The “Economist” said last week that ““DON’T WALK” signals hypnotise German pedestrians even when no car is in sight.”
Don’t believe a word of it.
Around here, everyone subscribes to the theory that “Rules are made for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.”
And no-one wants to be categorised as a fool, now do they..?
This is the railway crossing in Gonsenheim.
On the other side of the tracks, there’s a sizeable light industrial estate that’s grown and grown over the years.
For yonks, there was a sign to the effect that you couldn’t cross the lines at this point unless you were a tractor, this being a direct route from the village (where farmers still live) to the fields.
No-one paid any attention, of course.
First of all, no-one’s a fool and secondly, it’s either that or a 2.5 km detour via the only legal access road.
Instead of 100 metres.
At some stage, the city fathers were tired of being ignored and put up a physical barrier that allows we cyclists and them pedestrians through, but no cars.
Or tractors, for that matter.
So everyone moans, but does the 2.5km.
Last winter, there’s a humongous fire that closes off the access road.
Burns forever – obviously starts in the late afternoon, just before clocking-off time – and chaos unsues.
Some folk head off through the fields in the dark, take a wrong turn and end up to the axles in the quagmire.
BFE, a major supplier of mobile TV studios to the broadcasting industry, had an articulated truck loaded and ready to go to meet a contractual deadline and they formed a human chain, moving a whole TV studio box by box across the tracks.
Uproar in the papers.
City Fathers decided that a second legal access road would be a GOOD IDEA.
Hasn’t happened yet.
Only in Mainz…