Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Flyovers, Roundabouts and more

Photo: Austin-Healey at British Auto show Ottawa 2010, wikipedia

British road terms are such fun. Roundabouts and flyovers. In Canada, we have neither -- only overpasses and traffic circles. Perhaps that's what gives these less familiar driving terms such a thrilling feel of speed.

It's easy to imagine myself once again at the wheel of an Austen-Healey 3000, speeding around the roundabout, hair flying, outer wheels off the ground. Those cars were fast. I wouldn't dare drive one round a flyover, lest it take to the air.

Zebra crossings? Vancouver has no "pajama-wearing donkeys." But Canada geese, our local livestock, do cross the Stanley Park Causeway.

In England, each town has a high street, a term I had often wondered about. On a recent visit, I learned that this is a reference to Roman roads, which were cambered in the middle to allow water to wash down the sides.

As for the humped crossing, in some circles, such talk would be considered rude and crude.

Photo: Zebra crossing by jkroadmarkings

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