Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Doofus Of The Day #272

Our title today is shared between the Mayors of Levallois-Perret and Clichy-la-Garenne, neighboring suburbs of Paris in France.

French commuters ran head-on into a local political standoff Tuesday after feuding towns redirected road markings to leave two busy one-way streets facing off against each other.

The Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret and its conservative council lies next door to middle-class and Socialist-run Clichy-la-Garenne. Daily, thousands of motorists pass between the two, heading into and out of the capital.

This week, after deciding that the D909 route brought too much congestion to his town, Levallois mayor Patrick Balkany declared his portion of it a one-way street, speeding traffic into neighbouring Clichy.

Balkany's Clichy counterpart, Gilles Catoire, was not amused, and promptly issued a decree of his own, declaring his section of the D909 one-way as well, only this time in the opposite direction.

Chaos naturally ensued, and on Tuesday both local and national police were deployed to direct traffic away from the gridlock on the towns' borders and onto narrow suburban routes unsuited to high volumes of commuter traffic.

. . .

Following Tuesday morning's traffic chaos, the French central government, in the form of the regional prefect Patrick Strzoda, stepped in to order Clichy to re-establish two-way traffic on its section of the D909.

There's more at the link.

I would have loved to stand at the intersection where the two newly-one-way streets met head-on, just to see the bewilderment of the motorists! I spoke about this with my friend Lawdog a short while ago, and we both dissolved into laughter, imagining a traffic-directing French gendarme trying to make sense of the mess. We decided he'd probably let his whistle fall from his mouth, shrug his shoulders, throw his hands in the air, and walk away in disgust!



Anonymous said...

The mental images are too funny.
B Woodman

Anonymous said...

I envision the car-chase scene from the original Pink Panther, with the old man in his chair in the middle of the intersection watching the show!

Brian Dale said...

Here, we have state and county governments to tell the locals, "No, you aren't allowed to do that," but it's pretty funny from a distance.