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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey...

This will be the first time I'm doing ED and I'm planning to stay in Munich for the entire trip (which is only 3 days).
I have been looking at YouTube videos and Google videos of general street layouts and traffic lights and stuff in Munich...Their traffic light system is kind of awkward. :confused:

Is there any tip anybody could give me about how they work (i.e. when to turn left or right, or is it like in the U.S. etc.)?
I looked through ED forums and I could not find anything other than parking tips and German drivers' behavior...I might have missed it.
If you guys have some tips or a website or videos or something, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks to all!
P.S. My ED date is on the 30th....Kind of over-planning, I guess! :)
 

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BMWCCA Member
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If you're planning to have Rolf pick you up at the airport, ask him those questions. He's certainly an expert and is very willing to impart his knowledge.
 

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My first ED trip was in October, and I found driving in Munich to be much like driving in any city in the US - except for the preponderance of German cars on the road.

So I'd say you don't have much to worry about. It'll come naturally.
 

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Travel Fever
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What do you mean by awkward? Like Red > yellow then green? Quite a few countries do that. North America just does thing a little different. I didn't get to do too much but I don't think you should turn right on red.
 

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The only thing I found to be unusual was there were places where turns onto and off of the inner ring road were restricted, especially at main crossings such as Maxilianstrasse. But don't panic if you encounter these situations. There is generally the Munich equivalent of the NJ "jug-handle" turn that puts you in the position to go in the right direction. (Some of these can be on left, not just on the right as in NJ.)

I guess I should point out that not all Germans diligently follow the signs and traffic rules. One of my students (a stunning blonde, BTW) regularly made the illegal left turn from outbound on Maximilianstrasse onto the Karl-Schamagl-Ring to head N. When I asked her about it, she said there was a general exemption to the "No Left Turn" rule for blondes and tourists. :angel: (What you are supposed to do is turn right and head S, move to the left, and enter a special U-turn lane. It is easier to do than to explain.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah...I have actually scheduled a pick-up with Rolf. I'll certainly bug him about this :)

You know...in the U.S. by default, you are allowed to make right turns on red unless stated otherwise and you are not allowed to make left turn on red at all...that kind of thing. I have also noticed that the lights for one direction are on both sides of the road, which would take some getting used to.
Anyways, thanks for all.
 

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Driving in Munich was just like most any US city. Very easy and natural.

Now walking was another story.

There is a pedestrian sidewalk and often a parallel bicycle lane.

Don't obliviously walk into or down the bicycle lane. There was low tolerance for impeding the bicycle lane ....... much like driving slowly (aka < 120 mph) in the left lane of the Autobahn! :cry:
 

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HerrDoktorProfessor
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What you are referring to is a Detroit or Michigan left. You go right to go left (after a u-turn). These are everywhere in metro D. They were first introduced in Michigan on the 1960s.
 

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There are a number of things (IMO) for you to know.

- Bikes are everywhere and have right of way. There are bike lanes that run along and sometimes through streets. The bike lanes are well marked, but get in to the habit of ALWAYS looking over your right shoulder as you turn right

- There is NO right turn on red UNLESS (LOL) there is a certain sign allowing you to turn right. Look for a metal sign with a green arrow pointing right. If you see that then treat the stop light as a stop sign (it's pretty rare to see btw)

- Turn off engine if you wait at a train stop

- NEVER ever pass on the right when on the Autobahn (unless you are in an exit lane - exiting the Autobahn)

- In small towns you will see an odd yield/right of way set of signs. These are usually when the road reduces to 1 lane. Yield at the round one with red circle while the square blue one with white arrow means you have the right of way

I could keep going and going here..lol. BTW all of this (plus a lot more) is in my appendix of my book. I have about a dozen pages or so dedicated to German traffic laws
 

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///Multiple
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I just read this web site and found it helpful: http://www.gettingaroundgermany.info/zeichen.shtml

It explains signage and right of way rules. There's also a quiz you can take on there. Let's just say I have more studying to do ;)
I found this site a couple of months ago and it's pretty extensive. I started reading through it and then just decided to take the test and wing it. It got to the point where I didn't have a clue what I was supposed to do! You really need to read it thoroughly because there's lots of signs and situations and they're not necessarily intuitive.

Good recommendation!
 

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Laguna Seca Guy
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At most signalized intersections, the lights are on the near side of the intersection only. If you are the first car in line and you pull too far forward, you won't see the light change. At some intersections, if the main signal light is tall, they also provide a small "baby" light at driver's eye height to help you. At intersections with green arrows for protected turns, the location of the green arrow light can vary. Be alert!

Using your on-board or portable navigation unit will help immensely, because it will tell you when to turn, and won't send you the wrong way up an Einbahnstrasse (One Way Street). This allows you to watch more for traffic signs, bikes, peds, etc, than if you were trying to read every street sign. If you miss a turn, it will just reroute you back to where you want to go.

The No Right on Red rule applies throughout Europe, although in Italy traffic laws are considered to be suggestions only.
 

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resU deretsigeR
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What most people fail to realize, it is illegal to stay in the left or center lane on the autobahn. If you are no actually in passing another vehicle you MUST move back to the right lane. Flashing of lights IS legal to let slower moving cars know you are coming but if you have an accident regardless of who caused it and you were over 130kmh you are partially at fault.
Oh and if you see the little gray and white Mini coming up fast and you DON'T have the sport or M package installed, he IS faster than you. :)
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Welcome to our new member from Germany, david in german, from Mannheim (s. post above this one).

 

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Laguna Seca Guy
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fixed your post :)
:rofl: Thanks!

There are quite a few places I could have added based on personal experience, but Atlanta wouldn't have been one of them. We spent a few days there last year and I don't recall much wacky driving.

ymmv.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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