Rue Condorcet was the first street in the city to be pedestrianised in 1981, followed by Rue Max Dormoy and Place d'Erlon. The next major development in this domain will doubtless be the area in front of the cathedral, which is due to be finished by the end of this year.
Besides providing pedestrians with a pleasant environment in which to walk, these zones stimulate business and enhance heritage assets such as the cathedral.
The pedestrian area in the city centre also includes Rue de Vesle, which has been semi-pedestrianised by the introduction of traffic corridors for public transport only.
Pinpoint the pedestrian areas
You may find yourself walking in the pedestrianised Place d'Erlon but you notice that cars are using it or parking there and wonder if that's normal. It is, but only in strictly regulated circumstances – residents, delivery and removal vehicles are in fact allowed to drive into and park temporarily in pedestrian areas.
Access is controlled by one or two retractable bollards. When not in use, they remain in the raised position and are marked by a red light. They lower when a vehicle arrives and presses the “delivery” button. The vehicle has to take a ticket or risk being booked.
An orange flashing light lets drivers know the two bollards are down.
As soon as a vehicle has gone through and left the electromagnetic safety field (which prevents the bollards from coming up again), the light changes to red and the bollards start to rise. If another vehicle arrives within the electromagnetic field at the same moment, and if the bollards haven't had time to finish rising, they lower again as a safety precaution, but the lights stays red.