By Rob Beschizza at 2:25 pm Thu, Aug 7, 2008
Mikel Maron's shot of a "real time retro traffic board" at Charles de Gaulle airport made my day. It did not, however, make the day of anyone wanting to get into downtown Paris.
Mikel's photostream [Flickr]
Let me tell you what doesn’t work in France…Google maps. Never have I found more mistakes than when I use Google maps here. I hope they see this and fix it.
Last year I went on a tour group to France and while in Paris our hotel also had one of these boards, I noticed that everyday at all times the thing was lit up brighter than Christmas. I managed to ask the tour guide about it and she explained that Paris had an initiative to reduce traffic lanes and widen public transportation lanes to encourage the use of the metro and bus systems but as a direct result makes for some of the wost congestion throughout the city’s traffic. Ick!
This is just what I heard, I’m sure there are Parisian bOINGbOINGers out there that could attest to more accurate information on thisâ€¦
Charles de Gaulle is NNE of Paris. The board shows very little traffic congestion coming from there so it would be a very quick drive in from the status being shown.
Having lived in Paris for the past 25 years, I can confirm that the current mayor (& his “green” allies) have made all transportation other than that which he controls (the trains, metro & Busses) a living hell. During non-summer workday traffic periods (8-11 & 5-7) the board will more or less turn completely red. Check out http://www.sytadin.fr/ to see the electronic version of the optomechanic version shown above.
The biggest change I’ve seen is not the number of people taking the metro or a bus (more likely a Train, then the Metro, then a Bus), it is the number of vespas & other 2 wheeled vehicules
@PMH: “that the current mayor (& his “green” allies) have made all transportation other than that which he controls (the trains, metro & Busses) a living hell”
It would of course be ridiculous to think that the explosively growing number of cars were responsible.
i love that airport. it’s like a modernist dream. and like all things modernist it doesn’t work very well.
Traffic was horrible yesterday because of several accidents caused by the sudden rain and thunderstorms that have hit over the last couple days.
Usually traffic in Paris in august is quite acceptable… all the parisians are at the beach.
Generally though, the public transport systems are a better option.
I live in the city and work 8km southwest from home. By car it takes 45 minutes usually (20 at the moment), or 35 minutes by metro+train+bus.
felsby, your ignorance is showing. France is not China, car ownership in France has not been “explosively growing” since the first oil shock in the early 70’s. I’ve lived in Paris for 25 years & worked for Renault, the RATP & ADP, so your unsubstantiated bluffs do not work.
monstrinho, I assume you’re referring to terminal CDG 1. Just about everyone agrees which is why CDG 2 used a completely different architecture that is much more functional (but which has it’s own problems as one of the halls collapsed in 2004).
Drewd, I live in the 18th & usually work outside Paris (depends on who/where the clients are). 15 years ago I got tired of spending 3-4 hours using public transport (metro + RER + bus + a 10 minute walk) every day & got my motorcycle license. I used to be able to be able to go anywhere around Paris within 45-60 minutes but now with all the new slowpoke scootards who drive like they’re still in their cars, my average transit time has gone down by 10-15 minutes.
While people who both live & work in Paris (like my wife) do well with public transport many, who work on industrial sites which are poorly serviced (like me), do not.
Cool, a map of spaghetti.
pmh: car ownership in France has not been “explosively growing” since the first oil shock in the early 70’s
figures? Or just guesses on your part? Every other european nation has had their share of the automobile explosion, but not France?
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