Driving with Bio-ethanol

Archive for September, 2011

Rules of the road and red lights

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

I’m not sure if it’s just the summer heat, but it seems to me that people’s attention for simple rules of the road has gone out of the window lately.

It all started with the bicycles.  We’ve noticed this year a lack of respect on the part of cyclists for red lights.

Red pedestrian traffic lightsIt doesn’t matter what kind of red light: pedestrian crossings, crossroads, or even cycle paths.  They just ride straight through them.  It’s a common occurance on the Hohemarkstraße in Oberursel, where I see at least one cyclist every week go through at red light – usually whilst pedestrians are crossing.

But at crossings it can be even worst – they veer off to the right to use the pedestrian crossing across the side road and avoid the red traffic light that way.  Of course, the pedestrian crossing may also be at red, but that doesn’t seem to worry them.

Then there are the pedestrians who just walk across the main road without looking, forcing drivers to brake hard.  And I don’t mean taking a run at it, I mean leisurely walking across.

> Continue reading at AllThingsGerman.net

Leb’ wohl, Bio-Ethanol

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Ford Focus FlexifuelIt is now four years since I started driving a car powered by bio-ethanol. Those four years ended yesterday when I returned the car to the dealer with only a few days left to run on the lease.

The car that I have replaced it with no longer runs on bio-ethanol (E85), although it does use the new E10 fuel.

So how have those four years been and why did I switch back?

Well, whilst on the one hand it was nice to try something new (more…)

Which side of the sign can I park?

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

This road sign means that you cannot park or wait on the side of the road where the sign is, on the sides of the sign pointed to by the arrow:

Halteverbot mit 2 Pfeilen

It is usually placed at the side of the road so that the sign is parallel to the road with the arrow pointing left in the direction of the traffic.  With both arrows you cannot park on either side of it.

Somewhere there is usually another one with a single arrow to mark the end of the restriction, and you often see this sign in turning circles on housing estates.

If the measure is only temporary, then it has a sign below with the effective dates:

Date restriction

So I was quite confused the other day when I wanted to park in this road:

Where do I park?

The signs are not pointing up or down the road, but across it!  But even if they were standing so that the arrows pointed along rather than across the road, something else is still wrong.

> Continue reading at AllThingsGerman.net

Germany’s first garage

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Most people who know something about 20th Century German history, will know that the name “Volkswagen” is a translation of “people’s car”, and that the idea behind the Volkswagen was to create a car that a large part of the population of could afford.  It led to the the town of Wolfsburg being built in 1938 (although it only become known as such in 1945) to house the production plant for the cars.

What many are not aware of – myself included until recently – is where these cars were to be kept.  Obviously most of the houses built before 1938 did not have garages.  Certainly the housing used by the part of the popular expected to buy the Volkswagen did not have them.  This led to a Volksgarage being designed.

I do not know if it was ever called that, but I do know where it was built and where the very first and possibly only example of one is today.

Germany's first garage, built 1938, now in Oberursel, a listed building

Germany’s first garage, now in Oberursel

> Continue reading at AllThingsGerman.net

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