Tarmac torment

RoadworksI foresee chaos in the Domaine next week. No, I’ve not been gazing into a crystal ball. I’ve just spotted a notice in the hallway giving notice that the resurfacing of the Domaine’s private roads starts on Monday. As a result up to 50 vehicles will have to park somewhere else for a few days.

Most times the Domaine most closely resembles a giant car park. The flats were built in the 1970s on the basis of approx. one garage spot per apartment. The roads leading to each of the apartment blocks were intended for visitors. Given the French’s propensity to abandon – I hesitate to use the word park – their vehicles as close to their destination as possible, remedies were later sought to keep the through roads and entrances clear, and to ensure adequate access for the emergency services. Yes, we’re talking bollards.

The Domaine is liberally peppered with bollards to dissuade residents from leaving their cars long-term where they shouldn’t. For example, in front of the apartment blocks. These areas are intended only to be dropping off points but residents often overstep the mark. Indeed, loading or unloading a car with shopping or baggage can be quite frustrating let alone trying to load or unload a removals van. There are areas designated for the daily collection of refuse. Bollards surround these too to dissuade, often unsuccessfully, people from parking there. If they do, the refuse collectors cannot empty the rubbish bins. Not a pleasant situation in high summer.

And talking of high summer, can you imagine what it’s like in July and August when friends and relatives descend like locusts to freeload off spend their summer holidays with residents? Overnight the per capita density of most flats increases four-fold. Not mine, I only have the ONE guest bedroom.

So where are these 50 cars going to park? Well some can put their cars in their frequently unused car parking slots in the second level underground parking. Others are not so fortunate. There’s the car parking in the commercial centre or at the Domaine Club House but that’s a good 500m uphill walk away from the apartment blocks affected. Of more immediate concern is the vehicles belonging to the hordes of plumbers, masons and carpenters still working on our block. They’re not going to look forward to lugging their tools up the hill. In addition, there will be some who, on a matter of principle, I’m not sure what principle, will not move their cars. It’ll be rich pickings for the police and contractors who’ll have to remove them. Of course, that also neatly solves the problem of where to store your vehicle for the next few days but the clock will be ticking.

I speak from experience. Not that I’ve had my car removed. No it was my sister who blithely ignored notices not to park in the road. The police towed her hire car away. Luckily for her, her elder sister was on hand to sort it, but it cost her 120 Euros. She’s not done that again.

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