Click to enlargeLocal drivers refer to this spot as La Cabane Bambou (bamboo hut) because of the derelict vestiges of a once-popular bar-restaurant, located by the roadside against a splendid background of limestone cliffs.
This morning, therefore, I was saddened but not unduly surprised to learn through the Internet news that yet another terrible accident had just taken place at this spot.
Over the 20 years during which I've been living in this magnificent region, I've heard so much about the dangers of the road between Grenoble and La Cabane Bambou that I've become almost terrorized by this spot, in spite of (or maybe because of) its rough beauty. A few years ago, imaginative road-safety technocrats felt that it would be a good idea to put up a red-and-black signpost at every spot where a mortal accident had occurred. Their scheme was frighteningly morbid. There were so many wooden "tombstones" alongside the road that you had the impression that you were driving through a cemetery. But the outcome was not necessarily effective from a road-safety viewpoint, because drivers were so distracted by the roadside views that they probably paid less heed than otherwise to behaving correctly. Frankly, I don't know what might be done here to reduce the steady stream of fatalities...
PS My blog post has used information from the website of our prestigious and excellent regional media organization, Le Dauphiné Libéré [display]. I hasten to add, too, that the actual building known as La Cabane Bambou (displayed in the above Google Maps images) no longer exists, as it was demolished a few months ago. That section of the road now houses a battery of electronic radar detectors, powered by solar energy, designed to flash warning signs as soon as wild boars from the slopes of the Vercors start to cross the road, during the night, on their way to the River Isère, to quench their thirst.