By Christophe Jaquet
The city of Caen (Calvados) reinvests the areas 30. “Not just to put up signs”, immediately warns Ludwig Willaume, deputy mayor in charge of the living environment. “We want to dissuade certain motorists from coming to places where they have nothing to do. »
By 2026, and the end of Joël Bruneau’s second term, the municipality intended seven new 30 zones in targeted neighborhoods of Caen, where speed has recently become a problem and where vehicle traffic must be limited to 30 km/ h. So far, it already had eleven.
“Too much traffic where there was none before”
It will begin this summer with Avenue Victor Vinde, wedged between Pierre-Heuzé, the Caen ring road and the North East cemetery. Precisely where “a year ago, local residents made their own arrangements, with polystyrene speed bumps for example,” says Ludwig Willaume.
In question ? Apps and GPS trackers, used daily by motorists to move recurring traffic jams in Caen. “Technological tools are bringing traffic back to places where there was little. This creates inconveniences for the living environment and security problems. »
At the top of avenue Victor Vinde, confirms Patrick Boisgontier. When he retired five years ago, the former employee in the metallurgy returned to live for good in his small house with a garden and a view of the ring road. He found it:
During the confinements, and until the closure of the Calix viaduct, some took the opportunity to do anything. There are maybe 5% of the motorists who go up to 90 km/h the long bend of the avenue. Here, there is nothing, no obstacle.
A bend that he compares to the Hunaudières, the famous portion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit, in his quickly put together project, “in a humorous way”and retained within the framework of the first participative budget of Caen.
In agreement with the inhabitants?
He, the regular at the Pierre-Heuzé district council, recommends installing speed bumps “upstream of intersections with priority on the right”, to narrow the roadway “by providing parking spaces”. All to “naturally break the current speed on the avenue”. According to him, “a radical solution of passage in zone 30 is not essential”.
Patrick designed his project in his corner. Without knowing that the City had its own, which it shares “80%”. He would have liked to be associated with it. The municipality assures it however, the deployment of zone 30 is done “in consultation with the inhabitants”. According to Ludwig Willaume, the town hall project was validated “a month or two ago”, after having been at the exposed pole of neighborhood life.
Of course, the City of Caen goes further than Patrick’s solutions. On avenue Victor Vinde as elsewhere, the 30 zones are “accompanied by very visible markings on the ground”. But, “for more efficiency”, the device is reinforced “by more substantial arrangements”. To know :
- raised crossroads at the entrance, with “a crossing sidewalk” that cars have to cut through – “which annoys the driver”, quipped Ludwig Willaume;
- “advanced sidewalks at all street corners” for the “orthogonalization” of intersections;
- locks to reduce traffic to one lane;
- platform-mounted pedestrian crossings.
A model at €480,000
The construction of the 30 zones is also, for the municipality, “an opportunity to renovate public spaces”. In particular, they will be “connected to the new network of cycle paths”, assures Nicolas Escach, elected in charge of the Sustainable City.
Started by July, the construction site for zone 30 on avenue Victor Vinde will serve as a model for the six others scheduled by 2026 in the districts of Saint-Ouen, Calvaire Saint-Pierre, Venoix, Grâce-de-Dieu, Guérinière and Vaucelles.
For this first zone 30, the City of Caen will commit €480,000. And invest “a substantial budget” of more than 2.6 million euros for the whole.
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