The « Code de la Rue » (Street Use Code) Programme in France.

The « Code de la Rue » (Street Use Code) Programme in France.


F Murard, French Ministry for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Territorial Planning, FR


The french ?street use code? programme is a participative process involving representatives from institutions and associations, launched in 2006 to modify regulations by adapting them to the practices in urban areas. Initial results passed in 2008.


The « code de la rue » (Street Use Code) programme in France.

Information about the programme.

Making an active contribution to sustainable development is a key issue for France. In particular, this issue relates to urban areas. However, combining the demands of traffic, road safety, local life and environmental protection in a single location can be a complex process. And vulnerable users still pay a heavy price for poor road safety.

In April 2006, the government followed the example of other European countries such as Belgium by launching a consultation process involving representatives from institutions and associations involved in the ?code de la rue? project. This process was designed to help road managers improve the way in which public space is shared between all types of users, to improve user journey safety, particularly for the most vulnerable, and to encourage sustainable solutions as an alternative to car journeys.
This desire was reaffirmed in autumn 2007 by Jean -Louis Borloo, minister of state and minister of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning for the Grenelle de l?Environnment, the French government?s environmental round table.

The programme methodology.

Taking its inspiration from the Belgian example, the ?code de la rue? programme is designed to raise awareness of the Code de la route as applied to urban areas and, where necessary, to modify regulations by adapting them to the practices of those using public space.
The programme is managed by the DSCR (Road Traffic and Safety Directorate), with the support of CERTU (Centre for the Study of Urban Planning, Transport and Public Facilities). It brings together national associations representing policy-makers, professionals, users and institutions concerned.
The principle of participation underlying the programme implies commitment on two levels: the commitment of the government to push forward the proposals made by the steering committee and the commitment of other actors participating in the consultation process to disseminate the results.
The consultation process involved a participative element and focused on lessons learned from both foreign and French experiences.

Initial results, October 2008.

Society is now concerned with improving the way in which conflict between users is managed.
In order to help road managers improve the way in which public space is planned and shared between citizens, and to provide greater consistency between different traffic zones in towns and villages of all sizes, the French legal framework needed to evolve and a formal set of road network planning rules was required.
The ?code de la rue? programme opened the way to changes in the Code de la route (Highway Code) with decree 2008-754, which was passed on 30th July 2008.
This decree introduced the ?principle of prudence?, governing the relationship between drivers and the most vulnerable, as well as new urban road planning rules.
The changes also included a legal redefinition of specific traffic zones in urban environments, to include pedestrian areas and 30 kmph zones. The concept of the pedestrian priority zone was created and defined.
Finally, two-way cycle traffic in 30 kmph zones and pedestrian priority zones is generalized (except in specific cases).
Thanks to the changes in the law and the actions taken to disseminate knowledge and encourage discussion between parties, today policy-makers and urban planning professionals are finding new legal and technical planning and signing solutions for traffic zones

Next results by the end of 2009...

Several subjects of communication were already considered in the advertising campaigns of the Road safety led during the " Week of the road safety " of 2006, 2007 and 2008. The communication will be amplified in 2009 by means of associations.

The steering committee also opened working groups on several new sujects in 2009, in order to modify the Highway Code :
Priority of the pedestrians in crossing, study of the roller and the other one modes with roulette , study of the tramway circulation rules, study of the pavement definition (then the crossing pavement), the car park in the Highway Code, the opening of bus lanes to other users, the consideration of the vulnerable persons and people with reduced mobility in the road education of all the users.

Finally, the law on the implementation of Grenelle of the environment retained the principle of a charter on the " street use code", to encourage communities to decline the good practices locally.


Association for European Transport