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Author Topic: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs  (Read 164537 times)

thenetwork

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #250 on: April 23, 2013, 09:41:05 PM »

Not ever having seen paid parking with no time limit, I would translate the sign thusly:

"However you interpret this sign, you might be wrong.  Give up.  Park somewhere else you know it's legal."

Simple remedy would just add 7A-10P uner the Pay to Park wording.  Problem solved!
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1995hoo

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #251 on: April 23, 2013, 10:59:12 PM »

You are correct. For some reason DC writes tons of tickets to people who think the "no time limit" part means free parking (two local traffic reporters have confirmed this to me). I wonder if it's because that part of the sign is in a different color.

I worded this poorly. The "for some reason" should have come after "people who." It's obvious why DC writes the tickets.

I'd probably word the sign differently so that there could be no ambiguity that you have to pay, though I'm unsure what I'd say.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"
—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #252 on: April 23, 2013, 11:16:29 PM »

I parked at one of those signs recently, and indeed it took me a bit to figure it out. It should read something like:

Metered parking
2 hour limit
7:00 am-6:30 pm
Mon thru Sat

Metered parking
No limit
6:30 pm-10:00
Mon thru Sat

Free parking
No limit
All other times

My question, of course, is if you park at 4:31 pm, are you good until 10:00 pm, or will you have exceeded the 2-hour limit as of 6:31 pm, even though at that time there is no longer a limit in place? In other words, does the limit apply to the start of your parking time or the end of it? Of course the meter wouldn't sell you enough hours at 4:31 to get you to 10:00 pm, so you'd have to feed the meter at 6:31.
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Kacie Jane

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #253 on: April 24, 2013, 12:21:39 AM »

99% sure that if you park at 4:30 pm, you're good -- not just till 10:00 pm (provided you feed the meter), but till 9:00 am the next morning (again, provided you feed the meter at 7:00 am to take advantage of those first two hours).
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1995hoo

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #254 on: April 24, 2013, 08:00:23 AM »

....

.... Of course the meter wouldn't sell you enough hours at 4:31 to get you to 10:00 pm, so you'd have to feed the meter at 6:31.

Or you can pay by mobile phone, in which case you can pay up to 10:00. I use the pay-by-phone at the 12-hour meters when I go to baseball games. The software knows when the meter enforcement ends and doesn't let you pay past that time (example: if pull up at noon for a 1:05 game, it won't let me pay for more than six hours 30 minutes). I assume it works the same way in the downtown areas subject to the sign seen in my prior post. Of course, if you misunderstand the sign and pay for too short a time, you still get a ticket. I've stopped to warn people what the signs mean when I've been walking to Verizon Center and invariably they've been shocked and grateful.

(The downside of paying by phone, from parkers' standpoint, is you can't use leftover time someone else paid for. If I pay until 6:30 in case the ballgame goes to extra innings but I leave at 4:10, the meter is no longer paid and the next person has to pay. The pay-by-phone is tied to your license plate number and the display on the meter doesn't change when you pay this way.)
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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.

djsinco

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #255 on: April 24, 2013, 05:30:52 PM »

Ambiguous signs I have only seen in CO; "No Double Turn!" When I moved here many years ago, I thought they specified no u-turn. What they are saying is is that only 1 lane may turn left, (in most cases.) There may be a few examples where they do not want 2 lanes turning right. No Double Turn still makes me wince, after almost 30 years, though.
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kphoger

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #256 on: April 25, 2013, 11:39:04 AM »

I'm not sure it's an "opposite directions" scenario because the side road is located solely on the south side of Route 50. Take a look at the Street View I linked and click down the road a bit to see the crossover.

Yup, it is a tee junction (I didn't actually look at the StreetView extract until after I posted).  However, a vehicle on the side road wishing to turn left onto US 50 and using the crossover to divide the turn into two stages can easily wind up abreast of a second car on US 50 wishing to turn left into the side road.  It is a different route to the same undesirable result.

Wait a minute...  A vehicle turning left from the side road (Elk Lick Road, right?) would have the other vehicle in his sightlines only if they didn't keep right of each other (similar to what is seen in this example).  Couldn't this easily be prevented by striping (such as in this example)?  Or is the median too narrow to allow that sort of striping?
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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #257 on: April 26, 2013, 11:05:20 AM »

I'm not sure if cryptic is the right word, but "unusual sign" might be the right phrase.

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #258 on: April 27, 2013, 03:16:31 AM »

I'm not sure if cryptic is the right word, but "unusual sign" might be the right phrase.


Well, don't honk.

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #259 on: May 02, 2013, 09:25:50 AM »

I wonder if the person lives there, or if he's just visiting and that's a temporary sign....

On a more serious note, though, do they ever take down signs that say "Deaf Child" or whatever?  I mean, eventually they grow up or move or something, right?
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1995hoo

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #260 on: May 02, 2013, 09:30:36 AM »

I wonder if the person lives there, or if he's just visiting and that's a temporary sign....

On a more serious note, though, do they ever take down signs that say "Deaf Child" or whatever?  I mean, eventually they grow up or move or something, right?

A street about two or three miles from my parents' house had a "Blind Pedestrian" warning sign for many years. It was gone one day so I mentioned it to them the next time I saw them and my mom said the person had died (not from a traffic accident). So I guess some places remove that kind of sign.
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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.

elsmere241

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #261 on: May 02, 2013, 11:09:11 AM »

I wonder if the person lives there, or if he's just visiting and that's a temporary sign....

On a more serious note, though, do they ever take down signs that say "Deaf Child" or whatever?  I mean, eventually they grow up or move or something, right?

I never know how I'm supposed to react to those sorts of signs.
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hubcity

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #262 on: May 02, 2013, 11:49:35 AM »


When I see a "Slow Children" sign, I try to speed up if I don't see them, because it'll take them forever to get across the street.

Aheh.
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kphoger

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #263 on: May 02, 2013, 12:24:49 PM »

My sister, who has never wanted to have children, once stole a sign that said "Watch out for children".  He he he.
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1995hoo

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #264 on: May 02, 2013, 12:39:12 PM »

My sister, who has never wanted to have children, once stole a sign that said "Watch out for children".  He he he.

My brother's fraternity house had a "No Dumping" sign on the restroom door.
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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.

jeffandnicole

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #265 on: May 02, 2013, 12:59:08 PM »

I wonder if the person lives there, or if he's just visiting and that's a temporary sign....

On a more serious note, though, do they ever take down signs that say "Deaf Child" or whatever?  I mean, eventually they grow up or move or something, right?

The main road near where I live had Deaf Person signs removed a number of years ago. 
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thenetwork

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #266 on: May 02, 2013, 01:48:54 PM »

Somewhere in my travels, I remember seeing a sign saying "NO TURN ON RED WHEN SCHOOLCHILDREN ARE PRESENT".   So does that mean on a Saturday morning, if a kid or group of school-aged kids just happen to be meandering at a street corner, I have to wait for the light to turn green?  How do I know that they are not drop-outs???

And along the same lines of vagueness, if a sign said "NO TURN ON RED WHEN CHILDREN (OR PEDESTRIANS) ARE PRESENT", how close do they have to be to the corner in order to make that law stick?  What if they are at an opposite corner?  What if they are a lady of the night?
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J N Winkler

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #267 on: May 02, 2013, 02:14:39 PM »

My reaction (as a deaf person) to "DEAF CHILD" signs:  go ahead and paint a target on my back, why don't you.

"DEAF CHILD" etc. signs are not diagrammed in the MUTCD, though they are, at least in theory, covered under the general grant of permission to use word messages that are not explicitly shown in the MUTCD and do not have the same purpose as any other standard sign.  However, they appear in many state signing manuals as an option.  In practice I suspect most engineers use them to accommodate demands from concerned citizens who do not realize that these signs do not give drivers any meaningful information and instead call attention to the presence of a vulnerable (or potentially vulnerable) person in the neighborhood.

There has never been one of these signs on my street, but these signs are used elsewhere in Wichita, e.g. on St. Paul (about a mile from where I grew up).
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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #268 on: May 02, 2013, 08:50:44 PM »

In the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus, there is at least one "blind pedestrians in area" sign, complete with a white cane icon.  It's near a guide dog school.
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kphoger

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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #269 on: May 02, 2013, 09:06:17 PM »

Wow, someone needs to make a mock-up of a "STUPID KIDS" sign.
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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #270 on: May 02, 2013, 09:12:47 PM »

Wow, someone needs to make a mock-up of a "STUPID KIDS" sign.
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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #271 on: May 03, 2013, 11:42:47 AM »

My reaction (as a deaf person) to "DEAF CHILD" signs:  go ahead and paint a target on my back, why don't you.

"DEAF CHILD" etc. signs are not diagrammed in the MUTCD, though they are, at least in theory, covered under the general grant of permission to use word messages that are not explicitly shown in the MUTCD and do not have the same purpose as any other standard sign.  However, they appear in many state signing manuals as an option.  In practice I suspect most engineers use them to accommodate demands from concerned citizens who do not realize that these signs do not give drivers any meaningful information and instead call attention to the presence of a vulnerable (or potentially vulnerable) person in the neighborhood.

I've always assumed the intended logic is "honking won't work to get that kid standing in the street out of your way". But you're right of course; that's not additional or helpful information, since any person who doesn't get out of your way due to a honking, you still have an obligation not to mow down. Hearing people ignore honks as routinely as anyone, so I don't know how driver expectation is altered knowing that someone is deaf.
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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #272 on: May 03, 2013, 12:28:03 PM »


I've always assumed the intended logic is "honking won't work to get that kid standing in the street out of your way". But you're right of course; that's not additional or helpful information, since any person who doesn't get out of your way due to a honking, you still have an obligation not to mow down. Hearing people ignore honks as routinely as anyone, so I don't know how driver expectation is altered knowing that someone is deaf.

if you honk at me, I will just flip you off and not alter my course otherwise.

honking is the equivalent of going up to someone's face and giving a Beavis and Butthead "uhhhh... durrrrr..."  it conveys no information, and simply identifies you as a douchebag.
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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #273 on: May 03, 2013, 12:33:32 PM »

Well, the horn is needed for people who remain stopped at a light that's turned green, but are intently looking at their phone. Unfortunately, I'm using it a bit more than before (and I even wait 5-6 seconds before honking).

I don't think I've even pressed on a horn button for more a half-second; anymore than that is either being a bigger douchebag, slumped over the steering wheel, or suffering from horn/steering wheel pad failure.
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Re: Cryptic word messages on traffic signs
« Reply #274 on: May 03, 2013, 02:14:15 PM »

My reaction (as a deaf person) to "DEAF CHILD" signs:  go ahead and paint a target on my back, why don't you.

"DEAF CHILD" etc. signs are not diagrammed in the MUTCD, though they are, at least in theory, covered under the general grant of permission to use word messages that are not explicitly shown in the MUTCD and do not have the same purpose as any other standard sign.  However, they appear in many state signing manuals as an option.  In practice I suspect most engineers use them to accommodate demands from concerned citizens who do not realize that these signs do not give drivers any meaningful information and instead call attention to the presence of a vulnerable (or potentially vulnerable) person in the neighborhood.

I've always assumed the intended logic is "honking won't work to get that kid standing in the street out of your way". But you're right of course; that's not additional or helpful information, since any person who doesn't get out of your way due to a honking, you still have an obligation not to mow down. Hearing people ignore honks as routinely as anyone, so I don't know how driver expectation is altered knowing that someone is deaf.

I'll take the risk that this sounds like a lecture, but the reasoning that seems obvious to me apparently isn't obvious to others.

It's easy for hearing drivers to assume that a child will hear a car approaching or that companions will warn the child.

The reason for the "deaf child" sign is to warn you that the behavior of the child you see playing in his yard may not be what hearing people would expect, because the child can't hear the normal sounds of your car approaching that would warn a hearing child not to dart into the road. If he isn't looking at a playmate or caregiver, he won't hear their warning.

Of course no child, hearing or not, should dart into the street, but children do. That's why responsible adults look out for them.
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