Bourdeilles is old. It’s castle is old. The buildings nestled under the castle are old. The passageways weaving through the village homes are old.
These passageways were sized for humans and an occasional goat, horse or oxen cart. Sometime between the two World Wars these paths were widened right up against the village homes to make room for the few cars going through town. For years there were only one or two cars in Bourdeilles and all the old timers can still tell you who bought the first, second, third...........
Even after they had pushed the roads right up against the homes along these routes they are still only wide enough for one and a half cars at a time. They made the roads as wide as they could. They even cut off one corner of a house. The width seemed quite reasonable with so little traffic, and so few half cars. But nowadays, god forbid you step out of the house without listening and looking.
The car traffic is bad. The trucks are worse. Enormous trucks laden with rocks from the local quarries. Fuel trucks. Logging trucks that seem to carry an entire forest. You get the picture. There are enormous, heavy, scary trucks rumbling, jangling, thumping through town from 5 in the morning to 7 or 8 at night. Woe be to any innocent pedestrian as these monsters just about scrape your ears if you happen to be trying to walk along the tight-wire sidewalk through town.
Wine glasses dance on the cafe tables as great hulking shadows pass by at disrespectful speeds. It’s become a village sport to watch how two behemoths will decide who has the right of way. The loser has to back down the sliver of road and Hail Mary through a blind curve while trying to avoid the tiny grandmothers running errands. Cheers go up from the watching crowd as two great diesel beasts inch past each other and avoid the village dogs and randomly parked cars.
The village has struggled with this problem for years. Depending on whom you speak to there has been talk of constructing a by-pass of the village for 40 years, 20 years. Lately it seems as if a final decision is really about to be made and construction started.
------more to come------