1922 MOT map of France

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Ritchie333
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1922 MOT map of France

Post by Ritchie333 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 21:09

Having done MOT maps of Great Britain and Ireland, how about the country that inspired road numbering in the first place?

Under "Other historic maps", there's now a "1922 France" layer. This was produced by the Ministère des Travaux Publics in 1922 and is described as: Carte Itinéraire des Routes Nationales de France et D'Algérie avec les Chemins de fer d'intérêt général et les Voies navigables - National Road Itinerary Map of France and Algeria with railways of interest and navigable waters. It's basically the French equivalent of an MOT Map, although conceptually more like the early Ten Mile Road Maps of the 1930s.

As French Route Nationales have been comprehensively detrunked, particularly with two exercises in 1973 and 2006, it's much more difficult to identify the older routes, some of which date from Roman Gaul, and others were staked out by Napoleon, so there's a lot of history in there.
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Re: 1922 MOT map of France

Post by c2R » Sun Feb 23, 2020 21:37

Wow, thank you. The other really interesting thing about the map is how important canals are, not just the roads and railways!
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Re: 1922 MOT map of France

Post by Peter350 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:49

This is awesome. It’s astonishing to see how many Route Nationalés there are on the map which have now been reclassified as D roads, particularly in the north.

IIRC France never used a zoning system but allocated its roads in a clockwise sequence, with RN1 to RN24 radiating from Paris (some started further away). RN25 and above were used for cross-country routes avoiding the Capital, which also used a clockwise sequence starting and ending at the mouth of the River Seine.

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Re: 1922 MOT map of France

Post by Bryn666 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:10

Ritchie333 wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 21:09
Having done MOT maps of Great Britain and Ireland, how about the country that inspired road numbering in the first place?

Under "Other historic maps", there's now a "1922 France" layer. This was produced by the Ministère des Travaux Publics in 1922 and is described as: Carte Itinéraire des Routes Nationales de France et D'Algérie avec les Chemins de fer d'intérêt général et les Voies navigables - National Road Itinerary Map of France and Algeria with railways of interest and navigable waters. It's basically the French equivalent of an MOT Map, although conceptually more like the early Ten Mile Road Maps of the 1930s.

As French Route Nationales have been comprehensively detrunked, particularly with two exercises in 1973 and 2006, it's much more difficult to identify the older routes, some of which date from Roman Gaul, and others were staked out by Napoleon, so there's a lot of history in there.
Blummin eck this is fantabulous.

French road numbering doesn't really have a system, other than the original 20 radials from Paris I've never worked out the system for N roads, and the 1973/2006 exercises have made it even harder.
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Re: 1922 MOT map of France

Post by Ritchie333 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 14:09

Bryn666 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:10
French road numbering doesn't really have a system, other than the original 20 radials from Paris I've never worked out the system for N roads, and the 1973/2006 exercises have made it even harder.
France has never really gone for road numbers in the same way Britain has - that's how they could do the 1973 detrunking without sufficient people being particularly bothered. I believe the convention is - when you see "Toutes directions", follow it. When you see "Autres directions", follow it and pray.

The most intact N roads are, obviously, the ones where the geography makes it impossible to run a motorway through the area; however, even then the former N6 through the Col du Mont Cenis (one of Napoleon's roads through the Alps) is now a D road.
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Re: 1922 MOT map of France

Post by Nwallace » Mon Feb 24, 2020 21:32

The original Paris-Brest route was on the N12
The Audax Club Parisien have moved the Randonee from it for obvious reasons but the Union Audax Francais still use it (because they ride in large groups with a safety van at a steady 22kmh)

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When planning the ride down and back I got the advice to look for Department roads with one or two digits as the downgraded N roads would be 3, 4 or 5 digits.

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Re: 1922 MOT map of France

Post by Owain » Wed Feb 26, 2020 04:53

Bryn666 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:10
French road numbering doesn't really have a system, other than the original 20 radials from Paris I've never worked out the system for N roads, and the 1973/2006 exercises have made it even harder.
I think of it as a spiral from N1 to N20, and then spiral-cum-clustering system after that. As you say, there are 20 radials; after that, it looks like they worked their way clockwise around the map, using up N21-N24 in a continuation of the spiralling radials but without the roads actually reaching Paris, and then from N25 onwards clustering clockwise with the River Seine as the 12 o'clock position.
Ritchie333 wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 14:09
The most intact N roads are, obviously, the ones where the geography makes it impossible to run a motorway through the area; however, even then the former N6 through the Col du Mont Cenis (one of Napoleon's roads through the Alps) is now a D road.
And I have driven it, several times, because it is my favourite route into Italy! I cannot recommend it highly enough to all fans of continental roads.

Come to think of it, as of last September I have now driven over the Franco-Italian border on what used to be the N5, the N6, and the N7. There is a beautiful old-style N7 signpost still in place at the start/end of the latter. One day I'd love to do the whole of the former N7...

Other great French drives I've done include the N4-N44 from Strasbourg to Rheims, the D619/N19 from Troyes to Belfort, and the former N71 (both ways) between Troyes and Dijon. I've got a hankering to complete the N4, and to do the N2, N10, N12 and N20 too.

Over the border I've done the Italian SS20 from Cuneo to Ventimiglia through the Col du Tende. In Cuneo there's a lovely old sign pointing to Ventimiglia, which is possibly old enough to date from the time before the border was changed following the Second World War (the route always took you into France and back, but the adjustment to the border made the French section of the road longer). I might have a picture of that sign somewhere....
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Re: 1922 MOT map of France

Post by Ritchie333 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 15:56

I've also noticed that, since map is from 1922, it pre-dates the post WWII Italian Peace Treaty, and thus the N6 crosses the border at the summit of the Col du Mont Cenis, as opposed today where the crossing is some way south of it.
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