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Author Topic: New Jersey Turnpike striping/signing inconsistencies with the current MUTCD?  (Read 6171 times)

Breadman17

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Obviously people who’ve driven on a normal road and the NJTP have (hopefully) noticed the inconsistencies from normal roads in places like:

1. The signing has a totally unique formatting to the turnpike, featuring original arrows and formatting on overheads all the way from the turnpike’s original construction…

2. The striping on the road is super strange too - their dashed white lines are SUPER long. For instance where a normal dashed white line would be about 10 feel long each, these ones on the NJTP seem to be maybe 20 or even 25 feet long? I also noticed driving on the turnpike recently that, looking in the gore points of the exits, it appears that a completely filled in gore point has been scratched out and replaced for the \/ shape that we see more commonly today. Historical street view on google maps seems to show that they really did used to be entirely filled in like this…

I just wanted to ask why these things are like this on the road? It fascinates me every time I go down there and I can’t seem to find any good place to look online that’ll tell me where these inconsistencies come from. Has no one stepped in and required them to become more compliant with the MUTCD? (also i’d hope they don’t because I appreciate the differences from normal roads) And why are the old arrows, sign formats and striping standards still in use today? I didn’t see a normal, MUTCD-compliant sign on on the turnpike during my last trip to philadelphia. Why are these things the way they are?
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The turnpike's own standards generally predate the standards in the MUTCD. As for why MUTCD compliance isn't enforced, the usual method for the federal government to enforce the MUTCD is to withhold funding from non-compliant agencies. Since the turnpike funds itself, it doesn't care about federal funding.
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1. If you look at the most recent signs, the arrows and formatting have changed to substantial conformance with the MUTCD.
2. The MUTCD does not dictate striping lengths. It gives approximate ratios but does not require anything in particular. And yes, gore points used to be filled in for visibility. Many agencies use hatching now.

Breadman17

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2. The MUTCD does not dictate striping lengths. It gives approximate ratios but does not require anything in particular. And yes, gore points used to be filled in for visibility. Many agencies use hatching now.

Understandable how they might want to change the signs because they may appear more visible, even if I have an attachment to the old ones (especially the old button copies), but I don’t quite understand why the turnpike would switch to hatching though if the best thing to do is to make everything as visible as possible to ensure fewer mistakes/accidents? Is it too costly for how effective it actually is to fill in the whole thing? And on the striping, the difference on the turnpike’s vs normal roads is pretty big. If they’re 10 feet long on a normal road then that’s a ratio of 1:3, but on the turnpike, if they’re 20/25 feet long that ends up with a ratio of 1:1 or 5:3 which is a pretty big difference. If they just do it differently just because they do then that’s what it is, sometimes i just gotta ask, ya know?

Also your website is awesome! It’s actually the thing that got me to want to visit the NJTP in the first place. Also inspired me to make my own to a degree to post all my pictures that i take of roads to. Super cool!!!
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jeffandnicole

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2. The MUTCD does not dictate striping lengths. It gives approximate ratios but does not require anything in particular. And yes, gore points used to be filled in for visibility. Many agencies use hatching now.

Understandable how they might want to change the signs because they may appear more visible, even if I have an attachment to the old ones (especially the old button copies), but I don’t quite understand why the turnpike would switch to hatching though if the best thing to do is to make everything as visible as possible to ensure fewer mistakes/accidents? Is it too costly for how effective it actually is to fill in the whole thing? And on the striping, the difference on the turnpike’s vs normal roads is pretty big. If they’re 10 feet long on a normal road then that’s a ratio of 1:3, but on the turnpike, if they’re 20/25 feet long that ends up with a ratio of 1:1 or 5:3 which is a pretty big difference. If they just do it differently just because they do then that’s what it is, sometimes i just gotta ask, ya know?

Also your website is awesome! It’s actually the thing that got me to want to visit the NJTP in the first place. Also inspired me to make my own to a degree to post all my pictures that i take of roads to. Super cool!!!

The NJTA has often said they use the longer dashed (aka 'skip') lines for visibility.  Using measurements from Google's aerial views, the skip lines tend to run about 25-28 feet in length, with the gap around 22-23 feet in length. There's one or two other roads in the country that use similar line lengths, but overall it's rare to see this length or ratio.

Also, when people ask about cost, such as for the gore points, I think that questioning runs directly in contrast to the skip line length.  If the Turnpike wanted to save money, they could reduce the length of the skip lines.  If anything, changing the gore points from solid to hatching actually costs more money, especially upfront, because the white paint needs to be painted over with black paint to create the hatching. 

Just to show a comparison of costs: If transportation agencies in general wanted to reduce costs, every roadway would feature unrestricted passing zones (which only require a skip line painted) over a full no passing zone (which requires 2 solid lines).  Thus, in general, a no passing zone costs up to 6 times the amount of paint, compared to a no passing zone!  A one-sided passing zone still costs about 4x the amount of an unrestricted passing zone.

The Turnpike has gone more-MUTCD in some other areas though.  The deceleration lanes for exits now use the dotted lines at nearly every exit.  And especially from Interchanges 9 - 18, you will fine the Turnpike has switched over to the commonly used MUTCD-style exit signage.

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storm2k

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2. The MUTCD does not dictate striping lengths. It gives approximate ratios but does not require anything in particular. And yes, gore points used to be filled in for visibility. Many agencies use hatching now.

Understandable how they might want to change the signs because they may appear more visible, even if I have an attachment to the old ones (especially the old button copies), but I don’t quite understand why the turnpike would switch to hatching though if the best thing to do is to make everything as visible as possible to ensure fewer mistakes/accidents? Is it too costly for how effective it actually is to fill in the whole thing? And on the striping, the difference on the turnpike’s vs normal roads is pretty big. If they’re 10 feet long on a normal road then that’s a ratio of 1:3, but on the turnpike, if they’re 20/25 feet long that ends up with a ratio of 1:1 or 5:3 which is a pretty big difference. If they just do it differently just because they do then that’s what it is, sometimes i just gotta ask, ya know?

Also your website is awesome! It’s actually the thing that got me to want to visit the NJTP in the first place. Also inspired me to make my own to a degree to post all my pictures that i take of roads to. Super cool!!!

The NJTA has often said they use the longer dashed (aka 'skip') lines for visibility.  Using measurements from Google's aerial views, the skip lines tend to run about 25-28 feet in length, with the gap around 22-23 feet in length. There's one or two other roads in the country that use similar line lengths, but overall it's rare to see this length or ratio.

Also, when people ask about cost, such as for the gore points, I think that questioning runs directly in contrast to the skip line length.  If the Turnpike wanted to save money, they could reduce the length of the skip lines.  If anything, changing the gore points from solid to hatching actually costs more money, especially upfront, because the white paint needs to be painted over with black paint to create the hatching. 

Just to show a comparison of costs: If transportation agencies in general wanted to reduce costs, every roadway would feature unrestricted passing zones (which only require a skip line painted) over a full no passing zone (which requires 2 solid lines).  Thus, in general, a no passing zone costs up to 6 times the amount of paint, compared to a no passing zone!  A one-sided passing zone still costs about 4x the amount of an unrestricted passing zone.

The Turnpike has gone more-MUTCD in some other areas though.  The deceleration lanes for exits now use the dotted lines at nearly every exit.  And especially from Interchanges 9 - 18, you will fine the Turnpike has switched over to the commonly used MUTCD-style exit signage.



NJTA's MUTCD-esque signage (as I call it, since it is substantially compliant but the Turnpike Authority will still do its own things where it feels it's warranted) is going to eventually be replaced for the entire length of the roadway, but I believe that they will only replace things when signs reach their end of service life dates. All signs from 6 to 9 were installed during the dualization project, so they're from around 2009 and still have a while to go before they're replaced. Most signs south of there were replaced in the late aughts or early teens as well save for a few sign bridges (at Interchange 5, and also at 4) but the NJTA is taking down those sign bridges, and lo and behold, the new signs going up at those locations are now MUTCD-esque. So the rest of the roadway will get the signs, it's just a matter of when.
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cpzilliacus

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1. If you look at the most recent signs, the arrows and formatting have changed to substantial conformance with the MUTCD.
2. The MUTCD does not dictate striping lengths. It gives approximate ratios but does not require anything in particular. And yes, gore points used to be filled in for visibility. Many agencies use hatching now.

Nice that the "old school" New Jersey Turnpike sign designs were used southbound and northbound approaching Exit 6 - they are presumably going to be with us for a long time to come.  I am not a huge fan of the design, but I like its unique attributes not seen on other freeways in the United States.

Now if someone could convince the NJTA to use the Penn Pike green keystone on those signs, that would be really cool.
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storm2k

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1. If you look at the most recent signs, the arrows and formatting have changed to substantial conformance with the MUTCD.
2. The MUTCD does not dictate striping lengths. It gives approximate ratios but does not require anything in particular. And yes, gore points used to be filled in for visibility. Many agencies use hatching now.

Nice that the "old school" New Jersey Turnpike sign designs were used southbound and northbound approaching Exit 6 - they are presumably going to be with us for a long time to come.  I am not a huge fan of the design, but I like its unique attributes not seen on other freeways in the United States.

Now if someone could convince the NJTA to use the Penn Pike green keystone on those signs, that would be really cool.

The PTC doesn't really use it on overheads either, so I'm fine with it as is.
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famartin

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1. If you look at the most recent signs, the arrows and formatting have changed to substantial conformance with the MUTCD.
2. The MUTCD does not dictate striping lengths. It gives approximate ratios but does not require anything in particular. And yes, gore points used to be filled in for visibility. Many agencies use hatching now.

Nice that the "old school" New Jersey Turnpike sign designs were used southbound and northbound approaching Exit 6 - they are presumably going to be with us for a long time to come.  I am not a huge fan of the design, but I like its unique attributes not seen on other freeways in the United States.

Now if someone could convince the NJTA to use the Penn Pike green keystone on those signs, that would be really cool.

The PTC doesn't really use it on overheads either, so I'm fine with it as is.

PTC might not routinely once ON the turnpike, but PennDOT uses it on approaches:
https://www.google.com/maps/@40.081209,-75.3868005,3a,75y,287.95h,85.24t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sv9pRpRf07SFSj2i_bP9moA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.1006581,-75.2911769,3a,75y,32.71h,85.68t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1siiiRMSTlKfl8lQivVWl9DQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.1273529,-74.8781353,3a,75y,283.08h,89.21t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1svCsdyC8QRssX6Nhq15_vkA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.4856695,-75.6786006,3a,75y,186.85h,93.48t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1snhtC0_cPNE1GY5FbRABp6Q!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.2188894,-79.6030612,3a,75y,67.6h,89.8t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sw7SrUY4b7RU3oqa0pYCkoA!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3Dw7SrUY4b7RU3oqa0pYCkoA%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D134.7227%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192

I could go on...
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jeffandnicole

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1. If you look at the most recent signs, the arrows and formatting have changed to substantial conformance with the MUTCD.
2. The MUTCD does not dictate striping lengths. It gives approximate ratios but does not require anything in particular. And yes, gore points used to be filled in for visibility. Many agencies use hatching now.

Nice that the "old school" New Jersey Turnpike sign designs were used southbound and northbound approaching Exit 6 - they are presumably going to be with us for a long time to come.  I am not a huge fan of the design, but I like its unique attributes not seen on other freeways in the United States.

Now if someone could convince the NJTA to use the Penn Pike green keystone on those signs, that would be really cool.

The PTC doesn't really use it on overheads either, so I'm fine with it as is.

PTC might not routinely once ON the turnpike, but PennDOT uses it on approaches:
https://www.google.com/maps/@40.081209,-75.3868005,3a,75y,287.95h,85.24t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sv9pRpRf07SFSj2i_bP9moA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.1006581,-75.2911769,3a,75y,32.71h,85.68t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1siiiRMSTlKfl8lQivVWl9DQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.1273529,-74.8781353,3a,75y,283.08h,89.21t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1svCsdyC8QRssX6Nhq15_vkA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.4856695,-75.6786006,3a,75y,186.85h,93.48t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1snhtC0_cPNE1GY5FbRABp6Q!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.2188894,-79.6030612,3a,75y,67.6h,89.8t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sw7SrUY4b7RU3oqa0pYCkoA!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3Dw7SrUY4b7RU3oqa0pYCkoA%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D134.7227%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192

I could go on...

What's with the inconsistent application though?  It appears the newer keystones use green backgrounds, versus white backgrounds on older keystones, at least in these GSVs.
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roadman

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike striping/signing inconsistencies with the current MUTCD?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2021, 09:22:56 PM »

1. If you look at the most recent signs, the arrows and formatting have changed to substantial conformance with the MUTCD.
2. The MUTCD does not dictate striping lengths. It gives approximate ratios but does not require anything in particular. And yes, gore points used to be filled in for visibility. Many agencies use hatching now.

Per the current MUTCD, striping within a painted gore is optional.  However, if the gore is striped, only chevrons may be used.  Transverse lines were allowed prior to the 2009 MUTCD, but are no longer permitted.
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike striping/signing inconsistencies with the current MUTCD?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2021, 11:16:43 PM »

2. The striping on the road is super strange too - their dashed white lines are SUPER long. For instance where a normal dashed white line would be about 10 feel long each, these ones on the NJTP seem to be maybe 20 or even 25 feet long?

The Indiana Toll Road and the Illinois Tollway system also use that same sort of lane striping.
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike striping/signing inconsistencies with the current MUTCD?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2021, 09:54:27 AM »

The turnpike's own standards generally predate the standards in the MUTCD. As for why MUTCD compliance isn't enforced, the usual method for the federal government to enforce the MUTCD is to withhold funding from non-compliant agencies. Since the turnpike funds itself, it doesn't care about federal funding.
The dashed lines on a typical interstate are 10 feet in length and spaced 30 feet apart.

Like the New Jersey Turnpike, the Indiana Toll Road also uses a longer dashed center stripe than what you'd typically see on a non-tolled interstate. A Google Earth estimate indicates the dashed lines on the ITR are 27 feet with 24-foot spacing in between. Unlike the NJTP though, the ITR uses MUTCD compliant signage and ramp gores use a transverse line cross-hatch, with 40-foot spacing (MUTCD now requires gore striping to be chevron-shaped, if used; transverse lines are no longer allowed). It also appears the Illinois also uses a longer dashed line on its tollways. From Google Earth, the dashed lines are about 25 feet in length, with 21-foot spacing in between. Similar to the ITR, Illinois' tollways use MUTCD-compliant signage and use MUTCD compliant chevron striping to mark ramp gores.
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Alps

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike striping/signing inconsistencies with the current MUTCD?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2021, 10:42:45 PM »

The turnpike's own standards generally predate the standards in the MUTCD. As for why MUTCD compliance isn't enforced, the usual method for the federal government to enforce the MUTCD is to withhold funding from non-compliant agencies. Since the turnpike funds itself, it doesn't care about federal funding.
The dashed lines on a typical interstate are 10 feet in length and spaced 30 feet apart.

Like the New Jersey Turnpike, the Indiana Toll Road also uses a longer dashed center stripe than what you'd typically see on a non-tolled interstate. A Google Earth estimate indicates the dashed lines on the ITR are 27 feet with 24-foot spacing in between. Unlike the NJTP though, the ITR uses MUTCD compliant signage and ramp gores use a transverse line cross-hatch, with 40-foot spacing (MUTCD now requires gore striping to be chevron-shaped, if used; transverse lines are no longer allowed). It also appears the Illinois also uses a longer dashed line on its tollways. From Google Earth, the dashed lines are about 25 feet in length, with 21-foot spacing in between. Similar to the ITR, Illinois' tollways use MUTCD-compliant signage and use MUTCD compliant chevron striping to mark ramp gores.
They're all 25-25-25-25 spacing, you're just seeing some bleed over of the lane lines. NJ Tpk. signage going forward is 99% MUTCD compliant. The ones from Interchange 6-9 were the last ones put up before, and you now see new ones with exit tabs etc.

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Turnpike really needs to change it sos outbound before to exit 6 is 'Philadelphia.'
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In 2023 when the 1-4 widening takes place, that will change to remove the current Turnpike signs and all signs will be MUTCD compliant.
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In 2023 when the 1-4 widening takes place, that will change to remove the current Turnpike signs and all signs will be MUTCD compliant.

It's doubtful any widening will begin to occur before 2025, but when it does happen that will be the end of the unique signage.
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In 2023 when the 1-4 widening takes place, that will change to remove the current Turnpike signs and all signs will be MUTCD compliant.

It's doubtful any widening will begin to occur before 2025, but when it does happen that will be the end of the unique signage.
It's fun knowing the answer (to which year construction is supposed to begin) but I can't divulge here (:

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In 2023 when the 1-4 widening takes place, that will change to remove the current Turnpike signs and all signs will be MUTCD compliant.
I doubt that.  Exits 6-8A are in the old Turnpike style, not MUTCD, and were installed less than a decade ago with the widening there.  MUTCD-style signs are only pervasive on the Turnpike from exit 9 north.
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In 2023 when the 1-4 widening takes place, that will change to remove the current Turnpike signs and all signs will be MUTCD compliant.
I doubt that.  Exits 6-8A are in the old Turnpike style, not MUTCD, and were installed less than a decade ago with the widening there.  MUTCD-style signs are only pervasive on the Turnpike from exit 9 north.

Those likely won't go away until they hit their service lives, which likely would be for another 15-20 years.
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When the 1-4 widening ever takes place, those first four exits will get redone sign wise.
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When the 1-4 widening ever takes place, those first four exits will get redone sign wise.

Although likely not successful, people could request the old signs be retained and only have new posts installed with the widening.
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jeffandnicole

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When the 1-4 widening ever takes place, those first four exits will get redone sign wise.

Although likely not successful, people could request the old signs be retained and only have new posts installed with the widening.

Feel free to put that request in during the appropriate public comment period.
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Alps

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When the 1-4 widening ever takes place, those first four exits will get redone sign wise.

Although likely not successful, people could request the old signs be retained and only have new posts installed with the widening.
What people? Roadgeeks?

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    • Alps' Roads

In 2023 when the 1-4 widening takes place, that will change to remove the current Turnpike signs and all signs will be MUTCD compliant.
I doubt that.  Exits 6-8A are in the old Turnpike style, not MUTCD, and were installed less than a decade ago with the widening there.  MUTCD-style signs are only pervasive on the Turnpike from exit 9 north.
Check the NJTA Standard Drawings online. That'll tell you their current standards. Hint: Current standards are slightly newer than the 6-8A signs.

 


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