For anyone traveling in to Bremen over the next few days or weeks, things are going to be a little tight. It’s that time of year when the local administrations improve the road surfaces by spreading a thin layer of bitumen across parts of the road surface and then sprinkling tiny, sharp stones on the wet result. In theory this improves the traction for vehicles, in practice it makes the road look like a patchwork and results, thanks to those who do not observe the speed limit, in many cars, trucks and other vehicles having small dents and scratches in their paintwork.
Today I had the pleasure of driving in to Bremen through four such areas. A few are fine, the speed limit dropped from fifty to forty which anyone can handle. There were, though, two longer stretches where the limit dropped from one hundred to forty, and many, many impatient people who decided to press their foot to the metal and spread the good word of scratches and flying stones to either side and behind them.
Photo Source: Shaun Dunphy – Creative Commons
More amusing, if long delays in traffic can ever be called amusing, is the new set of road works on one of the main routes in to the center of the city. An entire road is having new cables laid, so it has been blocked off and turned into the one-way street. Fine if you happen to be traveling towards the center, but not if you want to get out-of-town again. At the start of the street there is a small barricade with a clear sign attached to it: No Through Way. Not that this has stopped anyone, and the barricade has clearly been hit and crushed by several cars during the few hours it has been in place.
Clearly, though, the authorities in Bremen know their inhabitants and this inner conviction that rules are for other people. Right before the final barrier, where no one can possible drive through in the wrong direction, they have painted a long semi-circle across the road. This is to help all those who have ignored the signs and need to turn and head back in the other direction. Without it I am sure many people would be completely at a loss as to what to do next or, dare I say it, even have the knowledge of how to turn and head back the way they came.
And this road works pleasure, I am told, is planned right through to the middle of August. Perhaps by then a few people will have caught on to the idea that No Through Way signs mean you can’t get through and simply should even try. Perhaps.
Love & Kisses, Viki.