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What Is Traffic like in Paris?

Traffic flows along the boulevards, streets, and roads of Paris without too many problems -- and without a single stop sign. There are traffic lights that put the stop-and-go in daily commutes, but traffic circles are also used extensively to keep vehicles in motion, ruled by the concept that cars on the right always have the “right of way.” There used to be one solitary red octagonal stop sign in the outskirts of the city, basically at the end of a driveway, but it disappeared sometime between 2012 and 2014, and was never replaced.

Stop the madness:

  • All drivers know that red means stop, but the ubiquitous red stop sign wasn’t always red. Up until 1954, the sign was yellow, with the word STOP in black letters.
  • In the early 20th century, stop signs weren’t uniform in size or shape. In 1922, the American Association of State Highway Officials decided that eight-sided yellow signs should be the norm.
  • The red dye of that era tended to fade over time. However, by 1954, with the advent of fade-resistant porcelain enamel, the switch to red signs with white lettering was made official.
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