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passage pour piétons

passage pour piétons

Not all intersections in Montréal have them, but the white strips in the image above indicate where pedestrians should cross the street.

In Québec, the white strips, or lignes blanches, make up what is known as un passage pour piétons. The strips may also be yellow.

un piéton
une piétonne
a pedestrian

un passage pour piétons
a crosswalk

Pour traverser la rue, j’ai utilisé le passage pour piétons.
I used the crosswalk to cross the street.

brigadier scolaire

brigadier scolaire

At intersections near schools, there is often a person who ensures schoolchildren cross the street safely.

If this person is male, the name for him is un brigadier scolaire. If the person is female, she’s called une brigadière scolaire.

une intersection
an intersection

un brigadier scolaire
une brigadière scolaire
a crossing guard

un écolier
une écolière
a schoolchild

Le brigadier scolaire a fait traverser des écoliers.
The crossing guard helped some schoolchildren to cross.

Traffic lights are known by two words in Québec: les feux and les lumières.

The first word, feux, is the standard usage in Québec. The second word, lumières, is the way you’ll often hear it said colloquially.

flèches vertes

flèches vertes

A green light may in fact be a green arrow, une flèche verte.

Here are some French examples related to traffic lights, using a mix of the words feu and lumière. Remember, lumière is an informal usage.

La lumière est jaune. The light is yellow.
Le feu a tourné au vert. The light turned green.
J’ai brûlé un feu rouge. I went through a red light.

Shit, tu viens de passer sur la rouge!
Shit, you just went through a red!
Colloquially, sur la rouge may sound like s’a rouge.

Le conducteur a tourné sur la lumière rouge.
The driver turned on the red light.

À Montréal, il est interdit de tourner à droite quand la lumière est rouge.
In Montréal, turning right when the light is red is not allowed.

Some out-of-province visitors to Montréal don’t realise that it’s not permitted to turn right on a red light. This is true for the entire island of Montréal. Yes, Montréal is on an island — that’s something else some visitors don’t realise!

It’s always kind of amusing when visitors from the US honk at a car waiting at a red light in an attempt to get them to turn right…

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