Saturday, 7 July 2012

Arrêt Minutes

In France it is understood that stopping at the baker's is essential. No matter what the street configuration or time of day it is clearly perfectly OK (in social terms, if not strictly legal) to park the car right outside the boulangerie and nip inside for your daily bread.

Un panneau d'arrêt minutes outside a boulangerie in the
Tours agglo, presumably installed by the bakery themselves.
Sometimes you see this arrangement semi-formalised, either by the bakery themselves or the commune. The signs saying arrêt minutes actually have no legal standing, but the rule of thumb is that you can park for no more than 15 minutes (and the expectation would be that you were there for a much shorter time usually). Similar signs can be found outside pharmacies and pick-up / set-down zones at stations and airports. The parking places are generally not in spots you would want to leave the car for any length of time anyway.

However, if the sign specifies a time limit, you can be booked for overstaying.


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