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Author Topic: Do any engineers here favor Clearview?  (Read 6413 times)

roadman

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Re: Do any engineers here favor Clearview?
« Reply #50 on: August 02, 2012, 07:49:18 PM »


The light issues were on Virginia signs. Only the newest of the new Massachusetts signs have the same issue and still aren't nearly as bad. No idea why. I don't really notice it in Mass, but back in Virginia signs were extremely difficult to read at night because when your headlights hit them they just reflected all the light right back to you, preventing you from reading the legend. Like you said, it gets brighter, but the whole sign gets brighter, becoming nothing but light.

I personally don't see why it was such an issue that the signs try to look the same at night that they did during the day. There's no concern about being too reflective or anything like that if only the letters are reflective (i.e. button copy). So long as a sign has a nonreflective background and reflective letters/border/arrows/etc. there is no question of being able to see it.

I haven't been through Virginia since 2009, so I haven't personally observed any of their latest Interstate sign installations.  However, it almost sounds to me like VDOT is using a lesser grade sheeting for the legends than for the backgrounds.  Remember that there are several grades of HIP sheeting.  So, a Type IX background would indeed "bleed out" a Type IV legend.  Although Type IV is classified as a HIP material, its performance more closely matches the older high-intensity sheeting than most of the current HIP sheetings (Type VIII or better).
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mcmc

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Re: Do any engineers here favor Clearview?
« Reply #51 on: August 02, 2012, 09:40:48 PM »

Practically speaking, how long can we expect "interim" approval for Clearview to last? Eventually a final decision must be made. Any predictions when? And what the verdict will be?
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roadman

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Re: Do any engineers here favor Clearview?
« Reply #52 on: August 03, 2012, 11:02:15 AM »

Practically speaking, how long can we expect "interim" approval for Clearview to last? Eventually a final decision must be made. Any predictions when? And what the verdict will be?

Imterim approval is usually given by FHWA as a means to allow DOTs to use a field proven device until it can be added to the next MUTCD update.  The "12 LOGO" option for service signing, which - unlike Clearview - underwent extensive "on the road" testing first, is a good example of this (The "12 LOGO" option was added to the 2009 MUTCD).  I've heard rumors that Clearview still requires interim approval, and was not added to either the 2009 MUTCD or the 2009 Supplement to the Standard Highway Signs Booklet as an option, because it is a proprietary font.

By comparison, it's interesting to note that "Arrow Per Lane" signs went directly from a concept (1995 Older Drivers Handbook) to an MUTCD standard, and bypassed the Interim Approval process completely.  Note that, when the NPA for the 2009 MUTCD was issued in 2007, there were only about four "Arrow Per Lane" sign installations in the entire country.
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vdeane

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Re: Do any engineers here favor Clearview?
« Reply #53 on: August 03, 2012, 11:34:13 AM »

If it's just the proprietary issue, that would mean 10-15 years if we're dealing with a patent, forever if a copyright (theoretically copyrights expire, but they get extended every time Micky Mouse is slated to go public domain; copyrights will never expire for as long as Walt Disney is still around).
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1995hoo

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Re: Do any engineers here favor Clearview?
« Reply #54 on: August 03, 2012, 12:02:19 PM »

If it's just the proprietary issue, that would mean 10-15 years if we're dealing with a patent, forever if a copyright (theoretically copyrights expire, but they get extended every time Micky Mouse is slated to go public domain; copyrights will never expire for as long as Walt Disney is still around).

Twenty years in the case of a patent. But the fact that the ClearviewHwy website doesn't mention either a patent or a pending patent strongly indicates that they haven't sought such protection.

On the other point, Disney would go apeshit if the copyright on Song of the South expired because it would mean people could actually see the movie again without jumping through hoops to find it—although, on the other hand, if the copyright were to expire they could make money in advance of that by releasing a super-deluxe version with bonus features and interviews with the agitators who think it's racist and the like.
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mcmc

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Re: Do any engineers here favor Clearview?
« Reply #55 on: August 03, 2012, 02:39:00 PM »

It seems self-defeating for the makers of Clearview to do anything to hinder widespread DOT usage of their fonts. Getting approval in the MUTCD would pave the way for a much wider adoption than we see now. So if patents/copyright were an issue hindering this approval, wouldn't they want to do everything they could to avoid it? They could protect their copyright/patents plenty of ways (free or cheap licensing to selective agencies, for example).
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vdeane

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Re: Do any engineers here favor Clearview?
« Reply #56 on: August 03, 2012, 09:31:09 PM »

If it's just the proprietary issue, that would mean 10-15 years if we're dealing with a patent, forever if a copyright (theoretically copyrights expire, but they get extended every time Micky Mouse is slated to go public domain; copyrights will never expire for as long as Walt Disney is still around).

Twenty years in the case of a patent. But the fact that the ClearviewHwy website doesn't mention either a patent or a pending patent strongly indicates that they haven't sought such protection.

On the other point, Disney would go apeshit if the copyright on Song of the South expired because it would mean people could actually see the movie again without jumping through hoops to find it—although, on the other hand, if the copyright were to expire they could make money in advance of that by releasing a super-deluxe version with bonus features and interviews with the agitators who think it's racist and the like.
Yes, patents last 20 years, but clearview has been around at least 5 years or more.
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Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

1995hoo

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Re: Do any engineers here favor Clearview?
« Reply #57 on: August 03, 2012, 09:47:05 PM »

OK, good point. I was thinking in terms of the full patent term, not in terms of the practical effect here.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

roadman

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Re: Do any engineers here favor Clearview?
« Reply #58 on: August 04, 2012, 11:16:26 PM »

They could protect their copyright/patents plenty of ways (free or cheap licensing to selective agencies, for example).

The only way I see that concept working is if the Clearview fonts were licensed to state DOTs, say through a sign software vendor like SignCAD or Transoft, with the condition that the DOTs could distribute the fonts free of charge to their approved sign contractors and fabricators.

Remember also that, unlike TrueType or similar software fonts, Clearview is a font intended specifically for use on highway signs on public roads.  It disturbs me that the developers of the font, who were obviously paid by somebody to do the inital development and research, still feel the need to collect a fee everytime somebody wants to use Clearview on their signs.  If they truly did the research for FHWA, and got paid by government grants (even if those grants were indirect payments through universities), then one could argue that the final work product (Clearview) is actually the property of the Federal Government, and not that of the initial developers.

I design BGS (and LGS) signs, among many other tasks, for a living and, yes, I do get paid for that.  But, using this same model the Clearview developers are arguing (pay me for my work again, even though I've already gotten paid for doing that same work), it stands to reason that I should also be able to collect a royality (say a nickel a driver) from every driver who passes under (or by) one of my signs.

And don't worry, I value my job too much to even dream of suggesting that last idea to my employer.  Still, it's an interesting thought.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 11:23:42 PM by roadman »
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SidS1045

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Re: Do any engineers here favor Clearview?
« Reply #59 on: August 04, 2012, 11:29:01 PM »

Disney would go apeshit if the copyright on Song of the South expired because it would mean people could actually see the movie again without jumping through hoops to find it—although, on the other hand, if the copyright were to expire they could make money in advance of that by releasing a super-deluxe version with bonus features and interviews with the agitators who think it's racist and the like.

...as would CBS if their copyright on Amos and Andy expired, for the same reason.
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