Nancy. He saw seven cars crash into it: what’s wrong with downtown terminals?

A car crashed into the new automated terminals on Gambetta Street in Nancy. (©DR)

As of September 16, 2022, two automatic terminals have been installed as part of the pedestrianization of Rue Gambetta. Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle).

However, several drivers did not see them and had an unpleasant surprise by driving their cars into them. A situation that aggravates local traders.

Raised elbows on the bumpers

“When it hits, it’s heart-pounding, it’s terrifying,” admits a shop owner from Rue Gambetta, who has seen seven cars crash into these bollards since they were installed and remembers the sound of the terminals and vehicles crashing.

With each incident, he pauses to help drivers: “We’re all leaving the shops, it’s a shock for everyone,” he says.

In Nancy, a signal light failed at one of the automatic terminals on rue Gambetta.
In Nancy, a signal light failed at one of the automatic terminals on rue Gambetta. (©Lorraine News / Aline Duchêne)

For the trader, it’s all about the “lack of signals”. “Once the ladies came from Strasbourg, they were going to the hotel and they didn’t know about the existence of these supports… They sat back on their bumpers,” he recalls.

He is not the only one on the other side of Gambetta Street to make this observation. The same speech Another day, in a clothing store: “The last time was very serious, the car rolled over the poles and got stuck. The tow truck had to come and tow him to open his block,” the worker explains.

Be careful at the Rue Saint-Dizier bend

Why don’t these drivers see the bollards? According to traders, at the beginning of events, some cars have a switch to lower the poles. After lowering the bollards, the first car passes and enters rue Gambetta.

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Then comes the problem. The rods do not rise immediately. Then the car behind the car that has already passed follows the traffic.

When the driver doesn’t see the new assembly of terminals, they go through it when the posts go up… and often the terminals are left raised on the bumper.

According to a shop on Rue Gambetta, Nancy's lots on Rue Gambetta have already been taken by seven cars.
According to a shop on Rue Gambetta, Nancy’s lots on Rue Gambetta have already been taken by seven cars. (©DR)

“This often happens to people turning from rue Saint-Dizier, not to drivers coming from the opposite street,” notes a shop owner.

“People are not used to the poles and when they come down the rue Saint-Dizier they don’t have enough distance to notice them,” explains another.

A stationary sign on one of the poles

And while the pedestals are dark gray, the same color as the floor, a red light-covered white band at the top of the pedestal helps identify the device’s location.

But for several days, one of the two terminals is no longer illuminated and has not yet been repaired.

“Fewer customers”

These terminal developments are yet another blow to some downtown merchants who have seen their habits upended by the pedestrianization of the neighborhood.

“By chance, we have very few customers. When the cars came down, the people saw the windows. The parking lots around here are quite expensive,” says a One Day Elsewhere employee.

“The city doesn’t hear us”

However, the majority of traders interviewed say they are not against pedestrianization. But they would like to “go there step by step”.

Several merchants on rue Gambetta in Nancy lament the lack of signs to announce the presence of automated terminals.
Several merchants on rue Gambetta in Nancy lament the lack of signs to announce the presence of automated terminals. (©Lorraine News / Aline Duchêne)

“We had several consultation meetings with the city. But it was really about ticking the “we brought traders together” box. The city doesn’t hear us,” laments one shopkeeper, adding that the terminals arrived “so quickly, so quickly” that drivers didn’t have time to announce their presence.

contacted with Lorraine NewsThe city of Nancy declined to comment on the events surrounding the new automatic charging stations on Rue Gambetta.

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