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Author Topic: Which state has the best signage?  (Read 1408 times)

Baloo Uriza

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2017, 02:01:32 PM »

Maryland, since I'm biased toward it.

I dunno, man…

That's some Craig County, Oklahoma level stuff there.
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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2017, 02:12:20 PM »

Maryland, since I'm biased toward it.

I dunno, man…

That's some Craig County, Oklahoma level stuff there.

No, it isn't. The infamous Craig County sign had each letter varying font and upper/lower case. Here, each sign is consistent with itself, even if the signs aren't the same.
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paulthemapguy

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2017, 02:25:40 PM »

I'd actually put Maryland somewhere in the bottom 15.
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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2017, 03:30:03 PM »

Just took a trip to central Missouri and that state ranks the best for me. EVERY intersection with numbered/lettered routes were marked cleanly. Always with directional tabs. Multiple highways were always consigned with one another (ex: US 71 was always next to I-49). I love that after exits, there were mileages for the destinations at the intersecting highway. For on ramps onto interstates there were always LGS's with shields and city.

The only inconsistencies I found were certain control cities flipping back and forth on I-44. Sometimes Rolla or St Louis. Or Joplin/Tulsa going west. And Fort Smith Arkansas I think is a poor choice for I-49 south of Joplin when the metro NW Ar cities have surpassed the population of Fort Smith.


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csw

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2017, 04:12:10 PM »

^ Seconded. Missouri is excellent.

hbelkins

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2017, 05:03:57 PM »

When done right, West Virginia is excellent. Junction signs, advance turn signs, end signs, directional banners used at the intersections, frequent reassurance markers, destinations at every state/US route intersection.

But it's not always done right. Lots of signs missing at lots of intersections, unfortunately.
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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2017, 05:42:33 PM »

Connecticut is more mediocre, maybe in the top 20.
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ekt8750

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2017, 05:48:55 PM »

Maryland, since I'm biased toward it.

A face only a mother could love I guess.
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Mergingtraffic

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2017, 06:31:18 PM »

I'd say FL.  The use highway gothic fonts on their BGSs.  All are well laid out.  Nice exit tabs that are well spaced.  All the state and route shields are well done.  Only bad part is some interstate shields have funk shapes or numbers.  However, I've seen some I-75 and I-275 shields that are perfect.

My home state of CT is well done too.

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Scott5114

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2017, 01:20:17 AM »

Having lived in MO and explored it quite a bit, it is probably in the upper half, but I wouldn't call it the best. Missouri is very consistent about a lot of things and their signs are similar from panel to panel. But there's enough one-off weirdness that I think there's probably a few states that outstrip it when it comes to "best".

There was that odd experiment that they were doing where they weren't posting Interstate reassurance shields on concurrencies, because they figured the enhanced milemarkers served as sufficient reassurance. Whatever happened with that?
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corco

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2017, 01:41:26 AM »

Idaho! has consistent, good signage. Highways are signed clearly and consistently, concurrencies are (nearly) always marked correctly and thoroughly, and there are very few errors or outright ugly signs. I find Idaho signage to be up there with Kansas. The only glaring issue is that occasionally state shields get inverted because contractors are idiots and Idaho's BGS vs. independent mount specifications are unusual.

I'd also throw out Wyoming as a state with underrated signage - though they do use Clearview and some of the very minor state highways are not signed from the interstates, and the insistence on making everything concurrent with everything sometimes makes things more confusing than it needs to be.

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2017, 01:46:00 AM »

Wyoming does have the tendency to use the wrong arrows a lot (straight-shaft arrows in a lot of cases where the MUTCD calls for the tapered-shaft Type A arrow). If you don't really care about the MUTCD's aesthetic choices and can get over that, though (I personally can't), it doesn't seem to be that bad from what I've seen.

Don't they make BGSes out of wood?
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ParrDa

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2017, 10:14:34 PM »

It would be interesting to attempt a full ranking of all 50 states.
You'd almost need two lists, one for appearance, and one for guidance/message clarity.
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Ian

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2017, 11:18:48 PM »

I've seen a few posts bashing Massachusetts's guide signs, but I actually think they have some of the best looking modern freeway signage out there. They deep-sixed the design where the exit tab was part of the main sign panel (though I admittedly didn't mind the design), and overall, they look very clean.



I'm a fan of Mass's paddle signs as well (despite the sheer amount of US/state shield errors around the state), and I was sad to hear that they're moving away from mounting them on those unique jumbo sized street sign blade posts as seen below.

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roadguy2

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2017, 12:44:49 AM »

See this thread for a huge discussion of Utah signage.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2017, 08:42:00 AM »

I've seen a few posts bashing Massachusetts's guide signs, but I actually think they have some of the best looking modern freeway signage out there.
I would have to agree; granted, as a Bay State native, I am a bit biased.
 
I'm a fan of Mass's paddle signs as well.
I love those too & miss the older style layout where the arrow went through the route number.  See sign on the right for a newer/modern example to the old-school design.

I have to wonder the reason for the bashing is more due with inconsistencies (I'm looking at you MA 129 & 129A through Lynn) of how well a road/route is signed rather than its actual design or style.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 08:46:07 AM by PHLBOS »
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roadman

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2017, 09:32:17 AM »

I've seen a few posts bashing Massachusetts's guide signs, but I actually think they have some of the best looking modern freeway signage out there. They deep-sixed the design where the exit tab was part of the main sign panel (though I admittedly didn't mind the design), and overall, they look very clean.



I'm a fan of Mass's paddle signs as well (despite the sheer amount of US/state shield errors around the state), and I was sad to hear that they're moving away from mounting them on those unique jumbo sized street sign blade posts as seen below.


Ian,

Thanks for your kind words regarding Massachusetts guide signing.  The reason MassDOT is going away from the "paddle" sign design to single extruded panels is to incorporate current MUTCD standards for mixed-case legends.  Traditional D6/D8 "paddle" signs are fabricated from 0.250 inch thick sheet aluminum, the blanks for which are only available in a limited number of sizes.

In evaluating how best to incorporate the new mixed-case standard, MassDOT decided that using 6"/4.5" mixed case legend on D6/D8 signs would decrease overall sign legibility, and chose to go to a 8"/6" mixed case legend instead.  Because most legends would exceed the 5.5 foot maximum width of standard sheet aluminum blanks, new signs going forward will be fabricated from extruded aluminum instead.  As a result, there is no longer any advantage from either a fabrication or an installation perspective to providing separate sign panels, hence the change to single 'split' signs instead.

Because it is not practical to top-mount extruded panels to posts, the 'paddle sign' on tubular post arrangement is being phased out in favor of standard W-beam posts for most new installations.  However, "paddle" signs are not totally going away.  They will continue to be used in certain cases - mostly downtown 'streetscape' areas - where desired for aesthetic reasons and where the updated sign legends can be accommodated within standard 0.250 inch sheet aluminum blanks.


I have to wonder the reason for the bashing is more due with inconsistencies (I'm looking at you MA 129 & 129A through Lynn) of how well a road/route is signed rather than its actual design or style.

As I've noted in other posts, most of the inconsistencies in signing secondary state highways (US and state) in Massachusetts lie with the fact that most of these roads are under local jurisdiction, and not MassDOT.  MA 129 and MA 129A is a case in point, as the City wanted the route change, but didn't want full D6/D8 signs at many locations along both routes.  This was exacerbated by the fact that, instead of doing the signing changes for the routes as a separate contract, the District had the work prosecuted through their "on-call" sign maintenance contract.  As PHLBOS has noted in this and other threads, they still haven't gotten things right 12 years later.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 09:44:38 AM by roadman »
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Revive 755

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2017, 09:47:29 PM »

As long as there is adequate spacing for logo signs in an urban area, then they provide a useful service to the public.  This is especially true in Sun Belt metropolitan areas such as Phoenix or Atlanta which are typically less dense.

But at what expense and how are they really adding much to the navigational purposes?  Most people would probably reference a location to eat or get gas from a GPS, smart phone, or another device if not outright just look off the side of the freeway.  I never once had an issue that I recall in all my years living in Arizona where I simply couldn't see a gas station or shopping center that was right off the freeway.  Just seems pretty callus to call a whole state terrible at signage standards just because of logo signs or lack there of.

From the last time I was in California, I agree with Pink Jazz regarding the lack of logo signs.  Seems I-80 does not have any in the whole state.  There are several interchanges where you cannot see what is off the freeway until you have driven past the exit, if you can see it at all - there are places hidden by others closer to the interstate.

Plus hand held phone use appears to be illegal while driving in California.
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jakeroot

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2017, 10:04:29 PM »

Plus hand held phone use appears to be illegal while driving in California.

You can use your phone as long as it's in a cradle.
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jbnv

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2017, 10:53:00 PM »

Texas and Florida. I liked Michigan and Wisconsin but I haven't been to either state in almost a decade.

Louisiana has flashes of brilliance punctuated by WTF moments. It's a shame that we stopped using Clearview, as we were finally getting good at it. Instead, LaDOTD's love affair with Series B has migrated to LGS's. I think if we had quality control (something this state sorely lacks in general) and design standards, we could be a contender for best very easily. It really isn't that difficult.
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Scott5114

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #45 on: September 14, 2017, 07:04:24 AM »

QC isn't that difficult—it just takes someone who knows what they're doing to double check and not be afraid to send something back if it sucks.

And yet there's so many states that just cannot even do that.
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jakeroot

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #46 on: September 14, 2017, 09:14:20 AM »

QC isn't that difficult—it just takes someone who knows what they're doing to double check and not be afraid to send something back if it sucks.

And yet there's so many states that just cannot even do that.

It's possible that, in places like Oklahoma, there is "quality control" (in the sense that there's more than one person reviewing the sign), it's just that none of the people doing it have any idea what they're doing. Sounds awfully pessimistic, I know. But it's hard to believe these giant signs are one-man jobs.
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roadman

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #47 on: September 14, 2017, 09:56:34 AM »

QC isn't that difficult—it just takes someone who knows what they're doing to double check and not be afraid to send something back if it sucks.

And yet there's so many states that just cannot even do that.
On MassDOT projects, guide sign details (which are in pattern accurate format) are first reviewed at the intermediate (75%) design stage, and are also reviewed at the final (100%) design stage.  Once a project goes into construction, the sign fabricator provides their own face drawings for the signs, which are reviewed by either the Traffic Engineering office or the designer of record for the project.  Lastly, there is a final QC procedure in place that calls for the Engineer or inspector on the project to check the sign panels against the approved face drawings before installation.

Usually, if an incorrect sign legend winds up in the field, it is either due to an error that was not caught during design - such as with the Pilmoth Plantation Hwy signs that were installed on MA 3 in 2008, or because the final sign panels were not checked against the approved face drawings just before installation - as was the case with the COD CAPE sign installed in Dartmouth at I-195 in 2016.

With the exception of shield mix-ups on D6/D8 signs, most of which are designed by the District offices and made by the MassDOT sign shop, in general sign errors on Massachusetts have been few and far between in recent years.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #48 on: September 14, 2017, 10:40:20 AM »

With the exception of shield mix-ups on D6/D8 signs, most of which are designed by the District offices and made by the MassDOT sign shop, in general sign errors on Massachusetts have been few and far between in recent years.
There's a handful of shield mix-ups on trailblazer & reassurance signage in the Belchertown area (MA 202 for US 202 & US 21 for MA 21) as well.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 10:43:48 AM by PHLBOS »
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Re: Which state has the best signage?
« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2017, 05:09:43 PM »

Adding to the logo sign debate, note that as I mentioned in another thread, multi-state logo sign contractor Interstate Logos claims that 98% of motorists use logo signs while traveling.  I wonder if they have any scientific studies to back up their claim.
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