Nantes and Mulhouse are leading towns for cyclists10 avril 2012
The towns of Nantes and Mulhouse, located at the two far ends of the EuroVelo 6 route in France, are among the first four French towns to have put up new road signs making life easier for cyclists in towns.
As soon as the French Highway Code ratified the new road signs enabling cyclists to turn right at red lights without stopping (if there is no car coming!), or to go straight on in the same conditions on T-shaped crossroads, the towns of Nantes and now Mulhouse (since 1st April) installed them on several of their junctions.
As important stopping places on the EuroVelo 6 route, they have therefore honoured their commitments in favour of cyclists and also taken part in the creation of the project within the working group that came up with the scheme.
This scheme is as follows: A “Give way” sign is placed under each set of traffic lights in question. This inverted triangular-shaped sign shows a bicycle and an arrow pointing towards the right or straight on. They are cyclists’ equivalent of flashing amber arrows. Cyclists must however continue to respect some safety rules: they must slow down when approaching the junction, give way to pedestrians crossing over the road and to priority vehicles coming from their right.
(Please note that motorised two-wheeled vehicles are not allowed to go over the junction and must wait.)
These new traffic rules mean that cyclists avoid repeated and fastidious stops, and help to ensure quicker and smoother traffic flows. The ultimate aim is to encourage city dwellers to use their bicycles as often as possible for their urban trips. This principle has existed for several years in the Netherlands with convincing results.