Making a left turn in France

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Jan 12th, 2014, 04:23 PM
  #21
 
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It's simple, it depends on the intersection. The are some places where you cannot make a left hand turn from the roadway. You have to follow the signs, exit to the right and loop around.
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Jan 12th, 2014, 05:27 PM
  #22
 
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It would seem to me that the "California way" in an above post would enable many more cars to turn left at a time than the "approved French way".

In other words, if 30 cars wanted to turn left from an eastbound road, and none wanted to go straight, while 30 cars wanted to turn left from the same road, westbound, and none wanted to go straight, all 60 cars could make their left turn in 2 continuous streams using the California method.

In the French method, using the Google map intersection as an example, 2 or possibly 3 cars at a time could turn left from the eastbound lane, and 2 or possibly 3 cars at a time could turn left from the westbound lane (assuming the remaining drivers were perfectly patient and courteous) and no more. Then 2 or possibly 3 more cars would advance from each direction, and then halt, then turn. Thus there would be 10-15 halts in traffic flow using the "French method" vs 0.00 halts using the "California method".

And here I've always thought that people in the US using the "French method" simply were horrible drivers....I never even considered they might think it correct.
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Jan 12th, 2014, 05:48 PM
  #23
 
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Very glad you brought up this point tomboy, as I was about to post a similar comment. IMO the "California" method would move traffic much more efficiently and safely than the dance French drivers in must do if multiple vehicles are trying to turn left at an intersection.
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Jan 12th, 2014, 05:49 PM
  #24
 
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Terrible comparison, the "California way" and the French method"! My experience is that French highways flow much better than those in California, especially during rush hour.
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Jan 12th, 2014, 05:55 PM
  #25
 
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We are only talking left turn methods here, Robert, not general traffic flow.

I will give you points, however, as I have watched the flow in the roundabout at the Arc with awe; completely amazed at the lack of the noise of crashing fenders and tinkling glass one would expect in the States in such chaotic traffic.
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Jan 12th, 2014, 06:24 PM
  #26
 
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IME, unless otherwise indicated (sign posted) cars in Berlin used the bum sniffing method Kerouac described. We used to call it the alley-oop. Somehow, bum sniffing seems more descriptive.
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Jan 12th, 2014, 08:09 PM
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Yes, you can consider each intersection to have an invisible roundabout unless otherwise indicated.

And it does take a certain amount of discipline by the drivers because when a lot of cars want to turn left, they must leave a gap in their queue so that other vehicles can get through.
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Jan 13th, 2014, 05:05 PM
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Nukesafe: can you imagine getting out of your car on one of the inner Arc rings after a traffic accident? No wonder they're cautious!!
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Jan 13th, 2014, 08:13 PM
  #29
 
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No, I can't imagine it, Tom, even in my worst nightmares. I'm afraid I would just roll up the windows, lock the doors and sob quietly until Mommy came.
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Jan 13th, 2014, 09:30 PM
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I cut across the inner rings all the time -- it's the fastest way to get to the other side.
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Jan 14th, 2014, 10:17 AM
  #31
 
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You da man, Kerouac! It is fascinating to watch that chaotic vortex of automobiles from the top of the Arc. I hold my breath, expecting to see horrible crashes --- but have never even seen a fender bender.

Is a puzzlement!
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Jan 14th, 2014, 10:33 AM
  #32
 
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Better I think to know about Priority on the Right, a confusing thing that even though you see less and less can result in problems when a car on a side street pops out in front on your because he is coming from the right - most intersections have yield or stop signs but in Orleans where I drive a lot there are small roads that lacking any yield signs technically have the priority given to the car on the right.
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Jan 14th, 2014, 12:33 PM
  #33
 
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There is no "California method" or French method. Intersections vary in the U.S. and in France. The determinative factor is the width of the cross street you are wanting to turn onto. If there is a large island (think divided rural highway in U.S.) you MUST use the "French method" as it is the only way to make it work.

As for the two google map versions above, nothing in those intersections that would determine when you make a left turn are even remotely similar. The picture from France shows an acute intersection with a very large distance between the point the cars enter the intersection and the point you must cross oncoming lanes. The U.S. version is a symetrical, equidistant intersection at right angles.

Its apples and oranges.
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Jan 14th, 2014, 12:39 PM
  #34
 
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http://tinyurl.com/l8bb5vt

How would you make a "California method" turn on this type of intersection?
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Jan 14th, 2014, 12:44 PM
  #35
 
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Y said there was no "California method" or French method, and then turn right around (hopefully not in the intersection) and say: "you MUST use the "French method" as it is the only way to make it work." Confusing? But then I see you're in St. Joe.
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Jan 14th, 2014, 12:47 PM
  #36
 
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http://tinyurl.com/l4l2cow

It is from a secure http, so you must select "no" in the pop-up to view it.

Here's a more common U.S. intersection design that would not allow a "California method" turn, but requires a "French method".
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Jan 14th, 2014, 12:58 PM
  #37
 
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Robert2533, you may also see quotation marks. I used those marks (not throughout, as I now see) to describe the two "methods" as were used earlier in the thread.

But I see you're from the Pacific Northwest, so maybe I should have been a little more specific?
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Jan 14th, 2014, 01:02 PM
  #38
 
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Like the U K France is embracing the Traffic Circle concept, changing everything about making 'left turns'.
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Jan 14th, 2014, 01:43 PM
  #39
 
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I think the bigger difference is really the age of the infrastructure. In the U.S., its a relatively new country, and the streets are subject to long-term planning which eliminates most intersections that are not right-angle, symetrical designs. Heck, roundabouts are common in Europe, but they are a relatively new concept in street design in the U.S. In my area, the state DOT has embraced them, and are installing them and have seen marked traffic fatality reductions.
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