German traffic sign causes excitement among the Italians
A street sign in German was recently installed at a new roundabout in Neuchâtel. Reason enough for the Italians to be outraged about it online. With success! The panel is removed.
A sign in German in the city of Neuchâtel causes a stir.
Amit Juillardjournalists look
It’s usually the 30 zones that drive drivers crazy. But at the eastern entrance to the city of Neuchâtel, a sign with a speed limit of 50 km/h is a topic of conversation. The reason: the German word “General” is on the sign.
There is a lot of excitement on social media. On Sunday, former “Le Temps” journalist Bernard Wuthrich, who has recently retired, was the first to shoot at the sign and shouted a humorous “Gopfertami!” about that. A user commented: “The sign must come from the Prussian period.” (After the revolution of March 1, 1848, Prussian rule in Neuchâtel ended in 1857, editor’s note).
A federally owned section
Back to 2022. “I saw the sign on Sunday morning,” says Bernard Wuthrich to Blick. He believes it was installed last Friday. “The junction in Monruz has been converted into a roundabout in the last six months and it’s not all done yet.”
The fact that there is a German sign there is simply a faux pas for the Italians. Who is responsible for that? A look at the road map shows that the interchange is on the main road 5. A road that connects Lausanne with Koblenz AG. This section is federal property. The Federal Roads Office (Astra) is responsible for the construction site, but did not respond to Blick’s request.
The local authorities have more information. As Emmanuel Gehrig, spokesman for the city of Neuchâtel, explains, the work is being managed by a Neuchâtel construction company that had won the federal tender. The company has given the “signage” part to a German-speaking company, which is their right, says Gehrig. So this company is responsible for the breakdown.
The shield will be replaced soon
But the kick-off post should soon be a thing of the past. According to Gehrig, the sign should be removed by Tuesday.
It is clear that a sign in German would stand out, even if the people of Neuchâtel are used to seeing such signs just a few kilometers from Neuchâtel, after all the language border is only 6.5 kilometers further in the direction of Biel. However, in addition to signage in French, the city would prefer a limit of 30 km/h. “This is in line with our community policy to reduce noise pollution, CO2emissions and reduce the risk of accidents,” adds Gehrig.