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Author Topic: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs  (Read 61241 times)

webny99

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #300 on: January 20, 2022, 02:02:37 PM »

Here's a four-way APL on I-630 at I-430 near Little Rock. ...
Here's the problem with the Arkansas sign though. Say I want to go to I-430 north and I'm in lane 4 (i.e. fourth from the left). I look at that sign and determine that since the arrow for my lane is a little left of that dividing line, my lane goes to Shackleford and I need to move one lane to the right to exit.

Maybe we need a poll on this. I don't read it that way at all. Ideally the arrow would be perfectly lined up with the divider, but it being ever so slightly to the left doesn't change my interpretation of the sign.
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US 89

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #301 on: January 20, 2022, 06:53:30 PM »

Here's a four-way APL on I-630 at I-430 near Little Rock. ...
Here's the problem with the Arkansas sign though. Say I want to go to I-430 north and I'm in lane 4 (i.e. fourth from the left). I look at that sign and determine that since the arrow for my lane is a little left of that dividing line, my lane goes to Shackleford and I need to move one lane to the right to exit.

Maybe we need a poll on this. I don't read it that way at all. Ideally the arrow would be perfectly lined up with the divider, but it being ever so slightly to the left doesn't change my interpretation of the sign.

I don't see how you interpret an arrow pointing into Shackleford as "oh that might actually also go to 430". The straight components of the other split arrowheads carry meaning based on which side of the divider they’re on. And even if the one between 430 north and Shackleford were right under the divider, I'd just avoid that lane out of uncertainty.

That also seems to go against the whole point of APLs. If one APL arrow-head can refer to more than one destination, I don't see how that is any better than the down arrows that were supposedly so confusing they are no longer allowed. Sure, they were clumsy and maybe not the clearest, but they were capable of giving a complete picture of what lanes went where and allowing drivers to plan accordingly. There are probably ways to design APL signs to do that, but I don't think any of them are currently MUTCD kosher.

Here's an example of something that I don't think is technically allowed but makes more sense: I-15 northbound in Sandy, UT. Sure, it has a right and straight arrow pointing to the same destination, but at least it doesn't hide that general purpose lane 3 is in fact an option lane.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2022, 06:55:42 PM by US 89 »
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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #302 on: January 20, 2022, 08:11:52 PM »

Here's an example of something that I don't think is technically allowed but makes more sense: I-15 northbound in Sandy, UT. Sure, it has a right and straight arrow pointing to the same destination, but at least it doesn't hide that general purpose lane 3 is in fact an option lane.

I dig this sign except for the EXIT ONLY above the rightmost option (UT 209). I mean I get their thinking with it but it could've been left out.
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PurdueBill

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #303 on: January 20, 2022, 11:40:29 PM »

As an old school driver I find all of the signs pictured in the above posts to be a little confusing. I still think conventional signing with down-arrows was better and that the FHWA was wrong to ban the use of down arrows for option lane signs.
Though would you prefer an APL if the "traditional" signage is like the following two:  :hmmm:
note that in the second image, the leftmost exit sign is over an option lane, so an "exit only" arrow is misleading



Where are these at in Ohio?
First one: I-670 EB at the I-270/US 62 exit
Second one: I-71 NB at the Polaris/Ikea exit
Both are in the Columbus area.

Columbus has more of those arrays than is probably good (with more examples like 270 SB approaching 70 but fewer signs across), but Dayton has seen them arrive (e.g., I-75 approaching the I-70 exit with 3 signs; one for WB, one for both, one for EB).  The ones pictured are the jackpot, though.
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webny99

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #304 on: January 21, 2022, 08:21:13 AM »

Here's a four-way APL on I-630 at I-430 near Little Rock. ...
Here's the problem with the Arkansas sign though. Say I want to go to I-430 north and I'm in lane 4 (i.e. fourth from the left). I look at that sign and determine that since the arrow for my lane is a little left of that dividing line, my lane goes to Shackleford and I need to move one lane to the right to exit.

Maybe we need a poll on this. I don't read it that way at all. Ideally the arrow would be perfectly lined up with the divider, but it being ever so slightly to the left doesn't change my interpretation of the sign.

I don't see how you interpret an arrow pointing into Shackleford as "oh that might actually also go to 430". The straight components of the other split arrowheads carry meaning based on which side of the divider they’re on. And even if the one between 430 north and Shackleford were right under the divider, I'd just avoid that lane out of uncertainty.
...

Here's an example of something that I don't think is technically allowed but makes more sense: I-15 northbound in Sandy, UT. Sure, it has a right and straight arrow pointing to the same destination, but at least it doesn't hide that general purpose lane 3 is in fact an option lane.

I interpret the arrow as pointing towards the divider, which means that it could go to either destination. I don't see how it's any different from this, just with the arrows pointing up instead of down.

I like the Utah example a lot. I wouldn't be opposed to a split arrow like this on the Arkansas sign, as it's definitely a bit clearer, but I just don't think it makes that much of a difference either way.


I dig this sign except for the EXIT ONLY above the rightmost option (UT 209). I mean I get their thinking with it but it could've been left out.

Actually, that "EXIT ONLY" could just be shifted down to the bottom to match the other two. I'm fine with it being there since it is technically an exit lane, but I can't see any reason why it needs to be situated near the top of the arrow.
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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #305 on: January 21, 2022, 09:31:27 AM »

Columbus has more of those arrays than is probably good (with more examples like 270 SB approaching 70 but fewer signs across), but Dayton has seen them arrive (e.g., I-75 approaching the I-70 exit with 3 signs; one for WB, one for both, one for EB).  The ones pictured are the jackpot, though.
I wonder if this started out as an ODOT D6 thing. I don't recall seeing any of those in my home ODOT district (D8), only seen them in Columbus.
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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #306 on: January 21, 2022, 03:23:46 PM »

Here's a four-way APL on I-630 at I-430 near Little Rock. ...
Here's the problem with the Arkansas sign though. Say I want to go to I-430 north and I'm in lane 4 (i.e. fourth from the left). I look at that sign and determine that since the arrow for my lane is a little left of that dividing line, my lane goes to Shackleford and I need to move one lane to the right to exit.

Maybe we need a poll on this. I don't read it that way at all. Ideally the arrow would be perfectly lined up with the divider, but it being ever so slightly to the left doesn't change my interpretation of the sign.

I don't see how you interpret an arrow pointing into Shackleford as "oh that might actually also go to 430". The straight components of the other split arrowheads carry meaning based on which side of the divider they’re on. And even if the one between 430 north and Shackleford were right under the divider, I'd just avoid that lane out of uncertainty.
...

Here's an example of something that I don't think is technically allowed but makes more sense: I-15 northbound in Sandy, UT. Sure, it has a right and straight arrow pointing to the same destination, but at least it doesn't hide that general purpose lane 3 is in fact an option lane.

I interpret the arrow as pointing towards the divider, which means that it could go to either destination. I don't see how it's any different from this, just with the arrows pointing up instead of down.

I like the Utah example a lot. I wouldn't be opposed to a split arrow like this on the Arkansas sign, as it's definitely a bit clearer, but I just don't think it makes that much of a difference either way.


I dig this sign except for the EXIT ONLY above the rightmost option (UT 209). I mean I get their thinking with it but it could've been left out.

Actually, that "EXIT ONLY" could just be shifted down to the bottom to match the other two. I'm fine with it being there since it is technically an exit lane, but I can't see any reason why it needs to be situated near the top of the arrow.


Because it's not "exit only" at the first exit (which is what the "exit only" at the bottom of the right arrows are referring to).
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jakeroot

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #307 on: January 21, 2022, 04:31:05 PM »

I don't see how you interpret an arrow pointing into Shackleford as "oh that might actually also go to 430". The straight components of the other split arrowheads carry meaning based on which side of the divider they’re on. And even if the one between 430 north and Shackleford were right under the divider, I'd just avoid that lane out of uncertainty.
...

Here's an example of something that I don't think is technically allowed but makes more sense: I-15 northbound in Sandy, UT. Sure, it has a right and straight arrow pointing to the same destination, but at least it doesn't hide that general purpose lane 3 is in fact an option lane.

I interpret the arrow as pointing towards the divider, which means that it could go to either destination. I don't see how it's any different from this, just with the arrows pointing up instead of down.

I like the Utah example a lot. I wouldn't be opposed to a split arrow like this on the Arkansas sign, as it's definitely a bit clearer, but I just don't think it makes that much of a difference either way.

Just wanted to say that I was also interpreting the up arrow as pointing towards the vertical divider; it's not that uncommon for some slight misalignment; WSDOT dramatically messed up on I-5 in Tacoma, but I think people are figuring it out.

As to the right hook-arrow pointing at the straight-up arrow, I can't say I'm a fan. It achieves the APL goal of "one arrowhead per possible exit" but at the cost of being a bit bizarre to look at. I think there's a better way.
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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #308 on: January 23, 2022, 04:24:55 PM »

I don't see how you interpret an arrow pointing into Shackleford as "oh that might actually also go to 430". The straight components of the other split arrowheads carry meaning based on which side of the divider they’re on. And even if the one between 430 north and Shackleford were right under the divider, I'd just avoid that lane out of uncertainty.
...

Here's an example of something that I don't think is technically allowed but makes more sense: I-15 northbound in Sandy, UT. Sure, it has a right and straight arrow pointing to the same destination, but at least it doesn't hide that general purpose lane 3 is in fact an option lane.

I interpret the arrow as pointing towards the divider, which means that it could go to either destination. I don't see how it's any different from this, just with the arrows pointing up instead of down.

I like the Utah example a lot. I wouldn't be opposed to a split arrow like this on the Arkansas sign, as it's definitely a bit clearer, but I just don't think it makes that much of a difference either way.

Just wanted to say that I was also interpreting the up arrow as pointing towards the vertical divider; it's not that uncommon for some slight misalignment; WSDOT dramatically messed up on I-5 in Tacoma, but I think people are figuring it out.

As to the right hook-arrow pointing at the straight-up arrow, I can't say I'm a fan. It achieves the APL goal of "one arrowhead per possible exit" but at the cost of being a bit bizarre to look at. I think there's a better way.

The #4 lane points to the divider.  It does lead to being an option lane for Shackleford or 430 north.  Probably a better way to indicate that would be a two-headed arrow with one base.  Both arrows pointing striaght ahead, but one slightly to the left and the other slightly to the right, to correctly indicate that this lane goes to two different destinations that happen to be straight at this point. 

The following sign makes it clear that this lane indeed is ofr either Shackleford or 430 north, but I believe the whole idea with an arrow per lane, is one arrow for each lane.  And arrowheads denoting different directions.
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Tom958

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #309 on: February 04, 2022, 07:15:54 AM »

Not that anyone cares, but I've been avoiding this thread because it blows me away that there's anyone on this planet, let alone posting in this thread, who can't comprehend that a straight arrow pointing directly toward a dividing line indicates that the lane is an option lane that will split between the two indicated destinations downstream of and separate from the divergence indicated by the split arrow. And, conversely, if the dividing line is between two straight arrows rather than directly under one, it means that there's no option lane (or it could mean that the designers didn't know what they were doing, or that there wasn't enough room for a by-the-book way of doing what they wanted to do, but that's a separate issue). That's a matter of my emotional reaction to hard-to-process information. Whatever, Tom.

HOWEVER...

My understanding is that, in developing the APL scheme now in use, the concept was tested against both conventional signage and this Minnesota unisign scheme. Under that scheme, there's no reason for the dividing line to be anywhere other than directly over the option lane arrow because if there's no option lane, they'd use separate signs, as shown here. The logic of APLs is similar-- just the style of arrow is different.

Personally, I think that the Minnesota scheme is the best of the three, but testing found that it was inferior to APLs. That's why APLs are in the 2009 MUTCD and Minnesota-style unisigns aren't. It just occurred to me that the reason that the Minnesota scheme was found inferior to APLs is that the subset of drivers who are unable to comprehend the meaning of an arrow aligned exactly with a dividing line is a lot larger than I would've thought, and that whatever testing was done didn't pick up on that, possibly because only single splits were tested. It'd be nice to know if that was the case. Circumstantial evidence certainly suggests that not enough effort was put into deciding how to sign two option lane-lane drops in sequence, let alone into communicating a consistent policy to designers.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2022, 09:08:58 AM by Tom958 »
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Tom958

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #310 on: February 04, 2022, 09:20:26 AM »

Just wanted to say that I was also interpreting the up arrow as pointing towards the vertical divider; it's not that uncommon for some slight misalignment; WSDOT dramatically messed up on I-5 in Tacoma, but I think people are figuring it out.

That's really heinous. To me, it looks like the design was correct because the divider line is in the right place, but the fabricator took it upon themself to move the split arrow to where they thought it should go.

It's the same effect as this mess in Dacula, GA, but the one in Georgia was apparently deliberate, the result of the designer trying to depict a split downstream on the offramp.

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SignBridge

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #311 on: February 04, 2022, 08:48:01 PM »

That type of signing is very common in California. I actually thought that was the location in the photo 'til I read it was in Georgia.
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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #312 on: February 14, 2022, 07:51:24 PM »

Been awful quiet here lately. Is everybody hibernating for the winter? LOL
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tolbs17

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #313 on: February 14, 2022, 08:15:11 PM »

Been awful quiet here lately. Is everybody hibernating for the winter? LOL
Unless people don't have anything to say, but that's just my guess.

But anyways, I think both of these locations would be good candidates for APL signs.

https://goo.gl/maps/dCchtgJ1sonfGxBw5

https://goo.gl/maps/GeSfWuFw6yGRiM648
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Tom958

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #314 on: February 14, 2022, 08:32:19 PM »

But anyways, I think both of these locations would be good candidates for APL signs.

https://goo.gl/maps/dCchtgJ1sonfGxBw5

https://goo.gl/maps/GeSfWuFw6yGRiM648

The second is signed correctly per Section 2E.23 of the MUTCD, found on page 203 of this document. An illustration is on page 204. The first is similar, though the down arrows rather than diagonally upward arrows for the exit are dated. In case you're wondering, I had to look up the MUTCD section because I didn't remember how long the added lane had to be before it was regarded as a normal lane. It's half a mile, and neither of your examples exceeds that. 

I'd be good with using an APL at the point of divergence, but that's not the rule.
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tolbs17

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #315 on: March 04, 2022, 06:53:30 PM »

Sometimes when they make optional lanes, they don't always install APL signs. For example:  https://goo.gl/maps/jPR58pGd6sfBxFtc8

Unless it was too big or because of the bridge, but this is what I found. https://goo.gl/maps/qcYALYsQUtQNN9xq5

One can go here but this is an older sign and I don't know when TDOT plans to replace these. https://goo.gl/maps/XQiYRurk5g5o8gYG6

Same for here: https://goo.gl/maps/m8ry74BA2dzZvC537
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SignBridge

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #316 on: March 04, 2022, 08:09:29 PM »

In those first two photos from North Carolina, I don't see any option lanes there. Looks like the two (and then three) left lanes are for exit only and the three right lanes are thru lanes. And I'd say NC DOT did a nice job on those signs. They look excellent.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2022, 08:11:41 PM by SignBridge »
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tolbs17

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #317 on: March 04, 2022, 08:38:52 PM »

In those first two photos from North Carolina, I don't see any option lanes there. Looks like the two (and then three) left lanes are for exit only and the three right lanes are thru lanes. And I'd say NC DOT did a nice job on those signs. They look excellent.
Kinda noticed that now. The left two lanes are exit only with a third one adding up before the split.
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tolbs17

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Re: Arrow-Per-Lane (APL) signs
« Reply #318 on: March 04, 2022, 08:45:58 PM »

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