The flippant reply to your question would be ‘Trying to get to the other side’, but seriously, there is obviously a problem with road safety in this particular commune or else the council would not have risked its popularity by introducing such a measure.
Where vehicular traffic flow is high, and there is a relatively high proportion of pedestrian road users, there will be a commensurate increase in the percentage of accidents that involve pedestrians. Often these accidents will involve particularly vulnerable pedestrians such as the elderly, the young, the partially sighted, the hard of hearing, the temporarily distracted (mobile phone or MP3 player), or simply those who have no choice but to walk in the carriageway because someone has selfishly and inconsiderately completely blocked the pavement with their parked vehicle.
The local authority has a duty towards public safety and therefore a duty to do something.
The most effective thing would be to completely separate the different classes of road users so that they can never come into contact with each other, but this is both impracticable and hugely cost prohibitive.
Therefore, accepting that there will be contact between the different classes of road users, vehicular and cyclists, vehicular and pedestrian for example, then it is appropriate to instigate measures to reduce the extent of the injuries caused by such incidents, and the most effective, and indeed the most cost effective way of doing this is by reducing the speed of vehicular traffic.
I suppose that I should declare an interest here and tell you that for many years I was a traffic cop in a large city in the UK, and that therefore I have been the guy who has to clear up the carnage at the scene of the accident and inform the parent that their child has been knocked off their bike and is now in the mortuary.
So I have a question for you, and indeed for every reader of this post, and it is this;
“Will you allow a minute or two extra time for your journey in order to save the life of a child ?”