AARoads Forum

Regional Boards => Pacific Southwest => Topic started by: jeffe on April 18, 2021, 03:48:13 AM

Title: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: jeffe on April 18, 2021, 03:48:13 AM
Caltrans updated the standard plans on 16 April 2021 to now include external exit tabs. It's plan S122 and they are officially called an Exit Plaque.

All of the overhead sign structures have been redesigned.  There used to be separate sign structures for standard signs and CMSs.  These have been consolidated into a new sign structure called the Versatile Truss.

The Versatile Truss comes in three different heights, or frame depths -- 60, 72, and 120 inches tall.  These allow for a maximum sign height of 80, 180, and 240 inches, respectively.

Placing a 240 inch sign on a 120 inch structure will of course have considerable overhang.  The sign panel will be centered vertically on the structure, as the overhang is designed to be equal above and below the sign structure.

This will lead to much larger sign panels being available for use on California freeways.  They will also look different because the sign panels will extend below the bottom of the sign structure as they do in some other states.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: SkyPesos on April 18, 2021, 12:07:11 PM
You have some example images of this update? Want to see how the new BGS design compares to what I see in other states.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Alps on April 18, 2021, 12:59:54 PM
it's not April 1
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: jeffe on April 18, 2021, 02:55:52 PM
You have some example images of this update? Want to see how the new BGS design compares to what I see in other states.

I haven't seen any of these new sign structures out in the wild yet, but here is some info from the standard plans:
(https://i.imgur.com/lh9zpcC.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/flRC062.png)

The updated standard plans are available here: https://dot.ca.gov/-/media/dot-media/programs/design/documents/locked_2018-entire-revised-standard-plans-260-sheets-april-2021-a11y.pdf (https://dot.ca.gov/-/media/dot-media/programs/design/documents/locked_2018-entire-revised-standard-plans-260-sheets-april-2021-a11y.pdf).  The versatile truss plans start on page 222 of that PDF.

All of the examples show sign panels of equal height; I don't see anywhere that makes that a requirement though.

Quote
The Versatile Truss is a new truss design. It replaces the changeable message sign
(CMS) overhead sign truss. The Versatile Truss can accommodate sign panels (up to 240
inches tall), exit plaques (up to 60 inches tall), changeable message signs (CMS), and
extinguishable message signs (EMS).

The original standard overhead truss on Standard Plan sheets S1 through S22 will remain
available in the Standard Plans during a limited transition period. Projects should begin to
callout the Versatile Truss as soon as possible. The original Standard Plan truss will
eventually be discontinued from the Standard Plans.

Source: https://dot.ca.gov/-/media/dot-media/programs/engineering/documents/standardplanuserguides/versatile-truss/20200112-versatiletrussug_a11y.pdf (https://dot.ca.gov/-/media/dot-media/programs/engineering/documents/standardplanuserguides/versatile-truss/20200112-versatiletrussug_a11y.pdf)
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Alps on April 18, 2021, 05:14:35 PM
Are these mirrored for some reason or will all the exit number plaques be on the left -_-
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Max Rockatansky on April 18, 2021, 05:28:53 PM
I was kind of liking how the exit tabs in-sign were getting messed up like this:

https://flic.kr/p/2kMKL2N
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: jeffe on April 18, 2021, 07:37:43 PM
Are these mirrored for some reason or will all the exit number plaques be on the left -_-

I think the left mounted exit plaques are there to show a maximum wind loading situation.  The left side plaques will be twice as tall as a right plaques to allow for a LEFT plaque to be placed above the exit number.

(https://i.imgur.com/Kxkjiri.png)


I was kind of liking how the exit tabs in-sign were getting messed up like this:
https://flic.kr/p/2kMKL2N

Haha, yeah that sign looks great  :p 
The FHWA has given a hard no to using in-sign exit tabs:
https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/reqdetails.asp?id=359
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Max Rockatansky on April 18, 2021, 07:44:23 PM
^^^

Even more reason why Exit 23.9 is the best thing to happen Interstate 15 and Zzyzx in decades.  Really MUTCD adherence and California (both Caltrans and the DOH) have never really ever seen eye to eye on much of anything.  That’s why it totally wouldn’t shock me if the left Exit tab as illustrated above is real.

FWIW the above statement shouldn’t be taken as a complaint by me about MUTCD adherence in California.  I love interesting and weird signs, California has certainly been a treasure trove over the years.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: jeffe on April 18, 2021, 07:55:15 PM
Digging a little deeper, it looks like right exits will have right aligned plaques and left exits will have left aligned plaques.  No center aligned plaques here. :p

Quote
Exit number (E1-5P) plaques should be added to placed above and abutting the top righthand edge of the sign for an exit to the right.
Standard:
Because road users might not expect an exit to the left and might have difficulty in
maneuvering to the left, a left exit number (E1-5bP) plaque (see Figure 2E-22) shall be
added to placed above and abutting the top left-hand edge of the sign for all left-hand exits
(see Figures 2E-14 and 2E-15). The word LEFT on the E1-5bP plaque shall be a black
legend on a yellow rectangular sign panel and shall be centered above the word EXIT.

Source: https://dot.ca.gov/-/media/dot-media/programs/safety-programs/documents/ctcdc/july-9-2020/final-ctcdc-july9-2020-agenda-a11y.pdf (https://dot.ca.gov/-/media/dot-media/programs/safety-programs/documents/ctcdc/july-9-2020/final-ctcdc-july9-2020-agenda-a11y.pdf) (Page 14)
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: ran4sh on April 18, 2021, 11:16:47 PM
The FHWA has given a hard no to using in-sign exit tabs:
https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/reqdetails.asp?id=359

In that case the FHWA needs to start looking at Washington, Illinois, etc. (As far as I know, Georgia no longer has any left-exit signs with in-sign exit numbers.)
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: SkyPesos on April 18, 2021, 11:22:39 PM
The FHWA has given a hard no to using in-sign exit tabs:
https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/reqdetails.asp?id=359

In that case the FHWA needs to start looking at Washington, Illinois, etc. (As far as I know, Georgia no longer has any left-exit signs with in-sign exit numbers.)
Also Michigan, which uses both. From what I heard, full length tabs in Michigan are installed on signs that are shorter than the gantry's height, while those taller use side tabs.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: US 89 on April 18, 2021, 11:33:23 PM
But what about wind loading?
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: jdbx on April 19, 2021, 03:45:49 PM
Wow!!  It only took ~20 years since California started numbering exits to actually start doing it right.  The way exit tabs were jammed into signs while keeping existing legends looked awful, especially in urban areas where message loading within the sign was already pretty high.

I can't wait to see the first new design on a versatile truss out in the wild.

Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Occidental Tourist on April 19, 2021, 06:42:24 PM
Wow!!  It only took ~20 years since California started numbering exits to actually start doing it right.  The way exit tabs were jammed into signs while keeping existing legends looked awful, especially in urban areas where message loading within the sign was already pretty high.

I can't wait to see the first new design on a versatile truss out in the wild.



(https://i.imgur.com/OiOmu2W.jpg)
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: ran4sh on April 19, 2021, 07:05:18 PM
That's an example of an external exit tab, but the OP is also about 240-inch height signs. I'm guessing that Caltrans hasn't installed any of those yet.

In that case the FHWA needs to start looking at Washington, Illinois, etc. (As far as I know, Georgia no longer has any left-exit signs with in-sign exit numbers.)
Also Michigan, which uses both. From what I heard, full length tabs in Michigan are installed on signs that are shorter than the gantry's height, while those taller use side tabs.

The easy way to fix that problem for Michigan is to only make signs with height that is equal to or more than the gantry height even if that results in blank space on the sign.

(Or just make the sign normally. Plenty of states allow a sign to be shorter than the gantry, such as NC)
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: jeffe on April 19, 2021, 08:13:16 PM
I can't wait to see the first new design on a versatile truss out in the wild.
(https://i.imgur.com/OiOmu2W.jpg)


Great photo of external exit plaques Occidental!

However, the sign structure in that photo is actually a standard sign truss and not a versatile truss. 


Standard Sign Truss:
(https://i.imgur.com/xqD3jsd.png)
The verticals and diagonals are attached directly to the top and bottom chord.


Versatile Sign Truss:
(https://i.imgur.com/A5QdpcP.png)
With a versatile sign truss the verticals and diagonals are attached to a gusset plate, which it in turn attached to the top and bottom chords.

Closeup of the Gusset Plate:
(https://i.imgur.com/Krupe0j.png)

I don't think there are any versatile sign trusses installed yet, but anyone please send along a photo if you see one!

Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on April 19, 2021, 09:25:30 PM
So the only thing Caltrans needed to solve their "wind loading" problems is a feature that's been a part of the standard KDOT gantry since before I was born??
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Alps on April 20, 2021, 12:37:57 AM
Wow!!  It only took ~20 years since California started numbering exits to actually start doing it right.  The way exit tabs were jammed into signs while keeping existing legends looked awful, especially in urban areas where message loading within the sign was already pretty high.

I can't wait to see the first new design on a versatile truss out in the wild.



(https://i.imgur.com/OiOmu2W.jpg)
Of course the "ONLY" is still a problem  :rolleyes:
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Bickendan on April 20, 2021, 03:29:39 AM
I may be one of the few that likes CalTrans' internal exit tabs, but given how it can lead to cramped and ultimately 'busy' signage, the new external designs are welcome, especially if the CA 57 at CA 91 BGS shown above is anything to go by.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: roadfro on April 20, 2021, 12:00:32 PM
So the only thing Caltrans needed to solve their "wind loading" problems is a feature that's been a part of the standard KDOT gantry since before I was born??

I still think the wind loading explanation is a bit of BS. Nevada DOT has had a standard truss design nearly identical to Caltrans' for ages, and NDOT has had external tabs for years as well as signs taller than 120" for at least a couple decades...
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: stevashe on April 20, 2021, 12:36:23 PM
I may be one of the few that likes CalTrans' internal exit tabs, but given how it can lead to cramped and ultimately 'busy' signage, the new external designs are welcome, especially if the CA 57 at CA 91 BGS shown above is anything to go by.

I like them too, but the picture of the new exit tabs looks just as good. Only loss here is it'll no longer be unique.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: myosh_tino on April 20, 2021, 07:14:56 PM
Wow, this is quite an update.

For the life of me, I don't know of any situation where a 20 foot tall sign is going to be needed in California.  I know there are some in other states but those mostly revolve around some monstrous diagrammatic signs.  I believe California's Express Lane signs that display the current toll are 150" in height.  Heck, even the FHWA example APL is less than 180 inches in height.  I guess CalTrans over-engineered the 120" versatile truss so it can accommodate whatever weird requirements the FHWA hands down next.  I do hope the policy of all signs on a truss be of the same height will remain.  With them going to external tabs, I think it will drastically improve sign layouts.

As a connoisseur of all-things CalTrans, I'm in the process of adding this truss to my sign-making library.  I just completed the 120" truss (capable of holding a max-height guide sign of 240") but I'm still working on the 60" and 72" versions.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Alps on April 21, 2021, 12:25:15 AM
Wow, this is quite an update.

For the life of me, I don't know of any situation where a 20 foot tall sign is going to be needed in California.  I know there are some in other states but those mostly revolve around some monstrous diagrammatic signs.  I believe California's Express Lane signs that display the current toll are 150" in height.  Heck, even the FHWA example APL is less than 180 inches in height.  I guess CalTrans over-engineered the 120" versatile truss so it can accommodate whatever weird requirements the FHWA hands down next.  I do hope the policy of all signs on a truss be of the same height will remain.  With them going to external tabs, I think it will drastically improve sign layouts.

As a connoisseur of all-things CalTrans, I'm in the process of adding this truss to my sign-making library.  I just completed the 120" truss (capable of holding a max-height guide sign of 240") but I'm still working on the 60" and 72" versions.
The LA, SF, and Sacto areas all have complicated enough interchanges that I can see 20' happening. As a sign designer, I find that normal messages are in the 12'-13' range, so it doesn't take a whole lot.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: SeriesE on April 21, 2021, 12:29:30 PM
Mixed feelings on 240" signs. It can make layout less cluttered, but I don't want it if that brings those ugly MUTCD APL signs to California.

(Note: reason for not liking APL signs is the large amount of blank space)
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: myosh_tino on April 21, 2021, 03:12:15 PM
OK, so here is my version of the new versatile truss design that Caltrans released earlier this week.  The differences between the old and new versions are quite interesting.

First, the current truss design...
(http://markyville.com/aaroads/sign-hw/caTruss100.png)

Now the new truss design...
(http://markyville.com/aaroads/versTruss_newCA.png)

Main differences in the new design include beefier chords and vertical and diagonal components.  The thickness of the chord was increased from 6 inches to 8 inches.  The vertical and diagonal components were also increased from 3 inches to 5.  Looking at the new standard plans, these trusses can handle 100 MPH wind speeds and there are soil parameters that must be met before this type of structure can be installed.

Finally, here's a sample I whipped up using the new truss, a 120-inch tall BGS and a 240-inch tall BGS.

(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/versatileTrussExample.png)
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: TheStranger on April 21, 2021, 03:28:52 PM
One thing I've noticed in the 101 sign upgrade/replacement project in San Mateo County is that the new exit signs seem to be a foot taller than the trusses (so not entirely flush with the truss like the Route 92 sign in your example, myosh_tino).  Like the bottom is still on the truss but the top sticks out a bit.

Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: myosh_tino on April 21, 2021, 04:59:49 PM
One thing I've noticed in the 101 sign upgrade/replacement project in San Mateo County is that the new exit signs seem to be a foot taller than the trusses (so not entirely flush with the truss like the Route 92 sign in your example, myosh_tino).  Like the bottom is still on the truss but the top sticks out a bit.

That sounds about right.

The current truss, which has a 106" Frame Depth, can accommodate a 100", 110" or 120" tall sign panel.  The 100" sign panel is flush with the horizontal truss members (Caltrans calls these "chords").  The 110" and 120" sign panels are flush on the bottom but do extend above the top of the truss.

Edit: Looking at my reply, I know 106 != 100 but I believe the sign panels are flush with the top of the bottom chord which just happens to be 6 inches.  That's why if you look at my previous drawings, you can see the bottom chord below the sign panel.  For example...

(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/truss100-panel100-120.png)
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: cahwyguy on May 15, 2021, 01:58:13 PM
As noted before, I'm going through AARoads as part of my California Highways update pass. I saw the following

As a connoisseur of all-things CalTrans, I'm in the process of adding this truss to my sign-making library.  I just completed the 120" truss (capable of holding a max-height guide sign of 240") but I'm still working on the 60" and 72" versions.

As I'm not mapping the user name to the real world, where (by chance) is this sign-making library or website? Such things are incredibly useful when I'm having to make little maps for the site.

(And I'll note that my old standby, https://shields-up.net/, seems to be having some problems of late with error messages about fields not being set, but I can usually get it to work).

Daniel
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on May 15, 2021, 03:32:06 PM
As noted before, I'm going through AARoads as part of my California Highways update pass. I saw the following

As a connoisseur of all-things CalTrans, I'm in the process of adding this truss to my sign-making library.  I just completed the 120" truss (capable of holding a max-height guide sign of 240") but I'm still working on the 60" and 72" versions.

As I'm not mapping the user name to the real world, where (by chance) is this sign-making library or website? Such things are incredibly useful when I'm having to make little maps for the site.

(And I'll note that my old standby, https://shields-up.net/, seems to be having some problems of late with error messages about fields not being set, but I can usually get it to work).

Daniel

For shields, why not just use the shields from Wikimedia Commons? They're designed using real fonts and standards, so they look just like the real thing the vast majority of the time (any error comes from the DOT not following their own published standards).
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: cahwyguy on May 15, 2021, 03:36:04 PM
For shields, why not just use the shields from Wikimedia Commons? They're designed using real fonts and standards, so they look just like the real thing the vast majority of the time (any error comes from the DOT not following their own published standards).

Because they don't generate the shield with the number in it. I generally grab that and then do some resizing and editing when clarifying planning maps and such. But if you have a link, I'll look at it for the future. I used to use the shield generator that AAroads had; alas, that has gone away.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on May 15, 2021, 04:38:10 PM
For shields, why not just use the shields from Wikimedia Commons? They're designed using real fonts and standards, so they look just like the real thing the vast majority of the time (any error comes from the DOT not following their own published standards).

Because they don't generate the shield with the number in it. I generally grab that and then do some resizing and editing when clarifying planning maps and such. But if you have a link, I'll look at it for the future. I used to use the shield generator that AAroads had; alas, that has gone away.

Sure they do, they're just pre-generated by a bot (or a human editor) and saved to their server. They have a shield for pretty much every extant highway and many decommissioned ones. You just have to download them, and you can have the server resize them to whatever size you want before you download.

How to get shields from Wikimedia Commons:
1) Go to the Wikipedia page for the target route (e.g. "California State Route 1") and click the shield in the infobox at the top right of the page. For California in particular, you can go to the state-detail page (e.g. "Interstate 5 in California" or "U.S. Route 101 in California") to get Caltrans-spec signs.
2) You will be taken to a page with a name like "File:California 1.svg". (Once you've done this for one highway of a type, you can bookmark this page and change the number in the URL to save some time; all highways in the same system generally have a consistent file name scheme.)
3) This page will have links to PNGs in multiple resolutions below the large displayed image, and you can choose whichever you like; right-click the link and save to disk.
4) If you don't see the exact resolution you want, click on one of the options (which one doesn't matter). In the URL bar, change the pixel width (e.g. "230px" to whatever width you like. Height will be calculated automatically. Download to disk and enjoy.

If, for some reason, Wikipedia doesn't have a shield that you need pre-generated (which is rare, especially in the more populous states and states with smaller highway systems), you can make your own. You can download an SVG template (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Highway_shield_templates_of_the_United_States) from Commons, which has an editable placeholder text object, already set in the Roadgeek fonts. Download the source SVG by right-clicking and saving the "original file" link on the file page, open it in Inkscape (https://inkscape.org), change the text, and export to PNG. If this is a real highway that is missing (i.e. it's not a fantasy number), you can also request a shield (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_U.S._Roads/Shields_task_force/Requests) be made.

Some toll road shields are not available due to copyright reasons, but those probably wouldn't be in something like Shields Up either.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: cahwyguy on May 15, 2021, 04:54:55 PM
I'll save it for the future, although truthfully, using shields-up is much less involved. Plus (rant on) I tend not to like Wikipedia for highway pages -- I think in many ways they have pulled the hobby away from the roadgeeks, and resulted in a drop of the number of high quality highway sites as things migrate into wikipedia (rant off). But that's just my perspective as one of the OG highway sites (www.cahighways.org, since around 1992).

But it doesn't answer the original question:

As a connoisseur of all-things CalTrans, I'm in the process of adding this truss to my sign-making library.  I just completed the 120" truss (capable of holding a max-height guide sign of 240") but I'm still working on the 60" and 72" versions.

As I'm not mapping the user name to the real world, where (by chance) is this sign-making library or website?
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on May 15, 2021, 07:16:59 PM
I'll save it for the future, although truthfully, using shields-up is much less involved. Plus (rant on) I tend not to like Wikipedia for highway pages -- I think in many ways they have pulled the hobby away from the roadgeeks, and resulted in a drop of the number of high quality highway sites as things migrate into wikipedia (rant off). But that's just my perspective as one of the OG highway sites (www.cahighways.org, since around 1992).

What makes you think that the people that write highway pages for Wikipedia aren't roadgeeks themselves? There's actually been a bit of a culture war on Wikipedia in the past because the greater Wikipedia community didn't want to let roadgeeks in and wanted to delete all of their content. The roadgeeks basically had to fight for the right to exist there and ended up winning. The Wikipedia road editors are a nice bunch of people and a few of them are even on this forum. (Case in point, I'm one of them; if you've ever read an article about a highway in Oklahoma, you've read my work.)

I'd submit that without Wikipedia you'd still see the same number of high quality sites declining because that's true in all hobbyist circles, even those that Wikipedia doesn't cover, like fandom groups. The technical ability of the average Internet user has gone down over the years. Now instead of setting up a site and using that to publish information interesting to you, people just post it to Facebook or Twitter. Of course, it's a lot harder to find anything good or permanent on Facebook and Twitter.

The Wikipedia shields have actually had an impact in a way that isn't quite so obvious—causing accurate shields to appear in places where they wouldn't before. Now when you search for any random highway on Google Image Search, you can get an accurate shield from Wikipedia, so that's what people do when they're making a custom map or advertisement and need a highway shield graphic. The number of gross-looking shields drawn up by non-roadgeek graphic designers has declined over the years as a result.

But it doesn't answer the original question:

As a connoisseur of all-things CalTrans, I'm in the process of adding this truss to my sign-making library.  I just completed the 120" truss (capable of holding a max-height guide sign of 240") but I'm still working on the 60" and 72" versions.

As I'm not mapping the user name to the real world, where (by chance) is this sign-making library or website?


I'm pretty sure it's in a PowerPoint file on his hard drive.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: vdeane on May 16, 2021, 12:09:23 AM
I'd submit that without Wikipedia you'd still see the same number of high quality sites declining because that's true in all hobbyist circles, even those that Wikipedia doesn't cover, like fandom groups. The technical ability of the average Internet user has gone down over the years. Now instead of setting up a site and using that to publish information interesting to you, people just post it to Facebook or Twitter. Of course, it's a lot harder to find anything good or permanent on Facebook and Twitter.
Yeah, I remember when there used to be a forum for just about everything.  These days, if you want to find discussions on anything fandom related and it's not something actively trending on Facebook and Twitter, you're pretty much stuck with Reddit.  Especially now that Google has changed their algorithm to very heavily favor news articles and official sources, finding any hobby website, road-related or otherwise, isn't easy, even when they still exist.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: ran4sh on May 16, 2021, 12:18:53 AM
I'd submit that without Wikipedia you'd still see the same number of high quality sites declining because that's true in all hobbyist circles, even those that Wikipedia doesn't cover, like fandom groups. The technical ability of the average Internet user has gone down over the years. Now instead of setting up a site and using that to publish information interesting to you, people just post it to Facebook or Twitter. Of course, it's a lot harder to find anything good or permanent on Facebook and Twitter.
Yeah, I remember when there used to be a forum for just about everything.  These days, if you want to find discussions on anything fandom related and it's not something actively trending on Facebook and Twitter, you're pretty much stuck with Reddit.  Especially now that Google has changed their algorithm to very heavily favor news articles and official sources, finding any hobby website, road-related or otherwise, isn't easy, even when they still exist.

And Reddit is not ideal either because the voting mechanism causes most of their forums to become echo chambers where you're penalized for having an opinion contradictory to the popular opinions on there.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: myosh_tino on May 16, 2021, 04:11:00 AM
I'll save it for the future, although truthfully, using shields-up is much less involved. Plus (rant on) I tend not to like Wikipedia for highway pages -- I think in many ways they have pulled the hobby away from the roadgeeks, and resulted in a drop of the number of high quality highway sites as things migrate into wikipedia (rant off). But that's just my perspective as one of the OG highway sites (www.cahighways.org, since around 1992).

What makes you think that the people that write highway pages for Wikipedia aren't roadgeeks themselves? There's actually been a bit of a culture war on Wikipedia in the past because the greater Wikipedia community didn't want to let roadgeeks in and wanted to delete all of their content. The roadgeeks basically had to fight for the right to exist there and ended up winning. The Wikipedia road editors are a nice bunch of people and a few of them are even on this forum. (Case in point, I'm one of them; if you've ever read an article about a highway in Oklahoma, you've read my work.)

I'd submit that without Wikipedia you'd still see the same number of high quality sites declining because that's true in all hobbyist circles, even those that Wikipedia doesn't cover, like fandom groups. The technical ability of the average Internet user has gone down over the years. Now instead of setting up a site and using that to publish information interesting to you, people just post it to Facebook or Twitter. Of course, it's a lot harder to find anything good or permanent on Facebook and Twitter.

The Wikipedia shields have actually had an impact in a way that isn't quite so obvious—causing accurate shields to appear in places where they wouldn't before. Now when you search for any random highway on Google Image Search, you can get an accurate shield from Wikipedia, so that's what people do when they're making a custom map or advertisement and need a highway shield graphic. The number of gross-looking shields drawn up by non-roadgeek graphic designers has declined over the years as a result.

But it doesn't answer the original question:

As a connoisseur of all-things CalTrans, I'm in the process of adding this truss to my sign-making library.  I just completed the 120" truss (capable of holding a max-height guide sign of 240") but I'm still working on the 60" and 72" versions.

As I'm not mapping the user name to the real world, where (by chance) is this sign-making library or website?


I'm pretty sure it's in a PowerPoint file on his hard drive.

Not quite.

My sign-making library is a collection of Photoshop files.  I do not have an automated method of building my signs.  Everything is done by hand.

I made a video on how I make my signs and put it up on YouTube...
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: cahwyguy on May 16, 2021, 08:29:45 AM
Yeah, I remember when there used to be a forum for just about everything.  These days, if you want to find discussions on anything fandom related and it's not something actively trending on Facebook and Twitter, you're pretty much stuck with Reddit.  Especially now that Google has changed their algorithm to very heavily favor news articles and official sources, finding any hobby website, road-related or otherwise, isn't easy, even when they still exist.

Then I'm lucky that my site ( https://www.cahighways.org) seems to come up very high in the search rankings, as I'm sure does Gribblenation and AAroads. I know that I still have pages of link directories to other road related sites ( https://www.cahighways.org/othlinks.html ). If you still have a road site out there, please make sure I know about it. If you're in the links list, make sure the reference is correct; if you are not in the list, send me the requisite information. If the few well ranked sites legitimately link to other road sites, it raises them up. We're a community; let's work together (and now I sound like Adam in his Junction #2 podcast ... which is a good thing).

Daniel
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Rothman on May 16, 2021, 08:42:33 AM
Need to separate the bemoaning of the loss of the glory days of the Internet out of this thread.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: KEK Inc. on May 16, 2021, 03:43:29 PM
There's a new DDI on CA-120 in Manteca.  I'm not sure if it's finished yet, but I wonder if they replaced the BGS on the freeway with this new spec.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: myosh_tino on May 16, 2021, 04:20:03 PM
There's a new DDI on CA-120 in Manteca.  I'm not sure if it's finished yet, but I wonder if they replaced the BGS on the freeway with this new spec.

I highly doubt it.

I've been keeping my eye on newly advertised projects on the Caltrans website over the past couple of weeks and haven't run across any that are using the new truss.  Also, keep in mind that the current truss is still approved by Caltrans.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: stevashe on May 20, 2021, 04:10:51 PM
I'll save it for the future, although truthfully, using shields-up is much less involved. Plus (rant on) I tend not to like Wikipedia for highway pages -- I think in many ways they have pulled the hobby away from the roadgeeks, and resulted in a drop of the number of high quality highway sites as things migrate into wikipedia (rant off). But that's just my perspective as one of the OG highway sites (www.cahighways.org, since around 1992).

But it doesn't answer the original question:

As a connoisseur of all-things CalTrans, I'm in the process of adding this truss to my sign-making library.  I just completed the 120" truss (capable of holding a max-height guide sign of 240") but I'm still working on the 60" and 72" versions.

As I'm not mapping the user name to the real world, where (by chance) is this sign-making library or website?


A slightly easier way to get shields from wikipedia for you may be to go to the list pages:

    Interstates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Interstate_Highways_in_California

    U.S. Routes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._Routes_in_California

    CA State Routes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_state_highways_in_California

From there you can just scroll down to the shield you need in the table and [right click]>"Save Image As..." to save it for later, or [right click]>"Copy Image" then paste directly into an image editor.

This is the method I've been using and it works great, and is pretty painless. The only caveat is that the images here are quite small, so you may want to use the method Scott gave if you need a larger version and not just a map marker.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: SeriesE on May 20, 2021, 04:54:43 PM
There's a new DDI on CA-120 in Manteca.  I'm not sure if it's finished yet, but I wonder if they replaced the BGS on the freeway with this new spec.

I highly doubt it.

I've been keeping my eye on newly advertised projects on the Caltrans website over the past couple of weeks and haven't run across any that are using the new truss.  Also, keep in mind that the current truss is still approved by Caltrans.

What about the new exit tabs? Seen any that specs them recently?
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: stevashe on May 20, 2021, 07:09:15 PM
There's a new DDI on CA-120 in Manteca.  I'm not sure if it's finished yet, but I wonder if they replaced the BGS on the freeway with this new spec.

I highly doubt it.

I've been keeping my eye on newly advertised projects on the Caltrans website over the past couple of weeks and haven't run across any that are using the new truss.  Also, keep in mind that the current truss is still approved by Caltrans.

What about the new exit tabs? Seen any that specs them recently?

As far as I know, this example from earlier in the thread is the only one out in the field so far, and was probably an experiment. It'll likely be the only one for a while, since the new specs only just came out, and engineering design for any project that isn't very small takes months to years, then we have to wait for construction.

Wow!!  It only took ~20 years since California started numbering exits to actually start doing it right.  The way exit tabs were jammed into signs while keeping existing legends looked awful, especially in urban areas where message loading within the sign was already pretty high.

I can't wait to see the first new design on a versatile truss out in the wild.



(https://i.imgur.com/OiOmu2W.jpg)

Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: myosh_tino on May 20, 2021, 09:17:08 PM
A slightly easier way to get shields from wikipedia for you may be to go to the list pages:

    Interstates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Interstate_Highways_in_California

    U.S. Routes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._Routes_in_California

    CA State Routes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_state_highways_in_California

From there you can just scroll down to the shield you need in the table and [right click]>"Save Image As..." to save it for later, or [right click]>"Copy Image" then paste directly into an image editor.

This works for standalone route markers but not for guide sign shields as those specs are different from the standalone shields.  I'll post some examples later when I get the time.


What about the new exit tabs? Seen any that specs them recently?

As far as I know, this example from earlier in the thread is the only one out in the field so far, and was probably an experiment. It'll likely be the only one for a while, since the new specs only just came out, and engineering design for any project that isn't very small takes months to years, then we have to wait for construction.

(https://i.imgur.com/OiOmu2W.jpg)

It should be noted that while the FHWA-spec exit tabs are new to California, they're not new to the rest of the country.  There is also a project that replaces the overhead signs on eastbound CA-91 before I-5 and that project also makes use of the FHWA-spec external exit tabs.  Once again, when I get time, I'll draw those signs and post them here.  It seems to me that Orange County (Caltrans District 12) is the only one that's been "experimenting" with the external tabs.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: myosh_tino on August 19, 2021, 12:56:51 AM
There's a new DDI on CA-120 in Manteca.  I'm not sure if it's finished yet, but I wonder if they replaced the BGS on the freeway with this new spec.

I highly doubt it.

I've been keeping my eye on newly advertised projects on the Caltrans website over the past couple of weeks and haven't run across any that are using the new truss.  Also, keep in mind that the current truss is still approved by Caltrans.

Fast forward two and a half months later, I think I've found the first use of the new truss in a Caltrans project.  The project is located on I-80 in-and-around Truckee.  New overhead sign structures are planned to be installed at Donner Pass Road and the Central Truckee exit off of eastbound I-80.  Signs on these new structures are vertically centered on the truss and feature external exit tabs.  I spent a few minutes drawing one of the new signs following the project plan...

(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/80w_Exit184-new.png)


FWIW, this is a 110" sign panel on a 72" truss.


Oddly enough, the rest of the signs along I-80 within the project area are also being replaced but feature internal exit tabs because they're being installed on existing trusses.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: SeriesE on August 19, 2021, 11:19:28 PM
There's a new DDI on CA-120 in Manteca.  I'm not sure if it's finished yet, but I wonder if they replaced the BGS on the freeway with this new spec.

I highly doubt it.

I've been keeping my eye on newly advertised projects on the Caltrans website over the past couple of weeks and haven't run across any that are using the new truss.  Also, keep in mind that the current truss is still approved by Caltrans.

Fast forward two and a half months later, I think I've found the first use of the new truss in a Caltrans project.  The project is located on I-80 in-and-around Truckee.  New overhead sign structures are planned to be installed at Donner Pass Road and the Central Truckee exit off of eastbound I-80.  Signs on these new structures are vertically centered on the truss and feature external exit tabs.  I spent a few minutes drawing one of the new signs following the project plan...

(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/80w_Exit184-new.png)


FWIW, this is a 110" sign panel on a 72" truss.


Oddly enough, the rest of the signs along I-80 within the project area are also being replaced but feature internal exit tabs because they're being installed on existing trusses.

The federal MUTCD spec exit only plaque is really ugly. Maybe I’m just not used to it haha.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: stevashe on August 19, 2021, 11:38:32 PM
Fast forward two and a half months later, I think I've found the first use of the new truss in a Caltrans project.  The project is located on I-80 in-and-around Truckee.  New overhead sign structures are planned to be installed at Donner Pass Road and the Central Truckee exit off of eastbound I-80.  Signs on these new structures are vertically centered on the truss and feature external exit tabs.  I spent a few minutes drawing one of the new signs following the project plan...

(http://www.markyville.com/aaroads/80w_Exit184-new.png)


FWIW, this is a 110" sign panel on a 72" truss.


Oddly enough, the rest of the signs along I-80 within the project area are also being replaced but feature internal exit tabs because they're being installed on existing trusses.

The federal MUTCD spec exit only plaque is really ugly. Maybe I’m just not used to it haha.

Agreed, I don't get why there's such a big margin on the left and right sides. You can see it's at least 50% more than the margin on the main sign itself!
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: J N Winkler on August 19, 2021, 11:52:21 PM
It should be noted that while the FHWA-spec exit tabs are new to California, they're not new to the rest of the country.  There is also a project that replaces the overhead signs on eastbound CA-91 before I-5 and that project also makes use of the FHWA-spec external exit tabs.  Once again, when I get time, I'll draw those signs and post them here.  It seems to me that Orange County (Caltrans District 12) is the only one that's been "experimenting" with the external tabs.

They have been cropping up for a few months now, but I think most of the installations so far are to be ground-mounted.  A few examples, starting with last April 13 and working forward:

*  12-0Q3104:  SR 91 Exit 24 overhead exit direction sign for I-5 southbound/Santa Ana (30" high, FHWA spec).  (This is the Orange County SR 91 sign refurbishment you mentioned, I think.)

*  04-3Q3904:  I-580 Exit 12 supplementary guide sign for Point Isabel Regional Park (12" high, Caltrans spec, replacing a graffiti-damaged sign with a strip-style tab (https://www.google.com/maps/@37.9093605,-122.3217865,3a,21.8y,163.75h,89.31t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sQPfbUiR2irinlsN1YnXR6g!2e0!7i16384!8i8192)).

*  01-366004:  US 101 Exit 709 Indianola Cutoff ground-mounted advance guide and exit direction signs (30" high, FHWA spec).

*  01-0F2404:  US 101 Exit 769 Klamath/Terwer Valley ground-mounted exit direction sign (18" high, presumably Caltrans spec).  (This is the "Tour thru tree" exit.)

District 2 (adjacent to District 1 in northern California) retrofitted exit tabs to ground-mounted guide signs on I-5 in 2002 when Calnexus was new, but I think those were done to the old Caltrans exit tab spec from the early 1970's.

I'm really happy to hear about the new truss design.  Now that it (combined with some pressure from FHWA) is closing the book on the era of bitten-out tabs, I suspect some nostalgia for them will start to surface.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: myosh_tino on August 20, 2021, 10:18:31 PM
I'm really happy to hear about the new truss design.  Now that it (combined with some pressure from FHWA) is closing the book on the era of bitten-out tabs, I suspect some nostalgia for them will start to surface.

Nostalgia?  Maybe but not from me.

When I heard Caltrans was going to implement exit numbering I was kind of glad they chose to do it differently... something uniquely Californian... by using internal "tabs".  To me, personally, exit numbers were not important because I navigate freeway exits by street names or route numbers.  Even today, most traffic reports in the metro areas still rely on street names to pinpoint where accidents or backups are occurring rather than exit numbers (or mile markers, which Caltrans has not implemented as of yet).

However, after seeing the consequences of internal exit tabs... trying to shoehorn in the exit tab resulting in weird/funky/odd sign layouts, I'm glad they're moving towards external tabs.  Hopefully that will infuse some sanity into the way signs are laid out going forward.

With all that said though, I'm still not changing my opinion on APLs.  I think the sign panels are too tall and there's too much wasted space.  Thankfully, from what I have read, APLs are only going to be used at freeway-to-freeway exits in California.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: stevashe on August 23, 2021, 02:19:30 AM
Even today, most traffic reports in the metro areas still rely on street names to pinpoint where accidents or backups are occurring rather than exit numbers (or mile markers, which Caltrans has not implemented as of yet).

In the Seattle area, traffic reports use the street names too, and I suspect this is the case in most cities. I only really hear exit numbers or mileposts being used for incidents in rural areas where the street names are not as well known (and therefore less useful).
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: CentralCAroadgeek on January 04, 2022, 05:52:12 PM
Coming back from the dead here (I always lurk but haven't posted anything here since 2015) to report that a reconstruction project on US-101 in Carpinteria has added some new BGSes with external exit tabs

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/HODTbqs8gHTpvuP9Jhv3ZE2QLBvVgmVIsJrfboaEQZgAgTB_rKsltbtEGWdIPiQU43rsbAhjff-Wr3pQQ_dCE8BSBfKbFkKQ0yO4imrykcXEDhhpHAcbMznP4Fqc14lzyAWEpclEnisUlzlYd9Jd5umn6tsM3R3luDZ2AL4xyOVxVBwqPa0pkq54YN4CH_5fPX3S-FzEZdP97qnoOw9SDz1dFZs9tqxwdVEyKtx6ZE2B2kL2mQcixIb5loxTfUvy02O-wWkrVConae1Aj4TGFMKpD3_cSumU1iJYMkCe3iiWdTFmKNYvazHq7sQH5LZbuQpRE3ctqg0ievQ5_Tzq4PS934apYn2I5kd7DM5Yps8VfvDSAGvDeAPsGs1UsrY-4tuvByDHu1Ktq2sLMYjdh4mBhxuRDltop_l57T7i_Lkekj5yj9-mNKvGvXWkNy8fb4uo06bWmaaVQg-kfSwazkweakfEJjkfILkyvBfjpAn2ofC3-oy7_Y6aTt5SUOgQP4dFyCEr3OHXx_FFw-4peRgdwmvOvTX-v0RIAAJ79WE63GTgUiqePjpjHGwPruyLQ1yE6J7tPbE4kvqsf-JBbxq0_cLlFO-6aSShZlNUFOeOWjQu5eV8Dvjf16H2-fQKK4xB3GSdqjRkS68qIWHiukCpI82Hg8eQEZmFrWOcZvf5vJPIz-taz3HZVWaUCseN2HkUbTov7cTNtviKsD-1OT0fgg=w2595-h1946-no?authuser=0)

There's several more signs like this along that stretch of road, so it looks like something that will be sticking around in California now
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Max Rockatansky on January 04, 2022, 06:08:23 PM
I’m assuming that whole gantry is brand new also?
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: CentralCAroadgeek on January 04, 2022, 06:16:00 PM
I’m assuming that whole gantry is brand new also?

Judging by pre-2017 Street View footage (https://www.google.com/maps/@34.399645,-119.5141685,3a,90y,127.18h,90.18t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1soDgwN8pSSfrkVq4OQAMLhg!2e0!5s20150401T000000!7i13312!8i6656 (https://www.google.com/maps/@34.399645,-119.5141685,3a,90y,127.18h,90.18t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1soDgwN8pSSfrkVq4OQAMLhg!2e0!5s20150401T000000!7i13312!8i6656)), this is the very first gantry at this exit! It used to be a sign on the ground before this one
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Max Rockatansky on January 04, 2022, 06:37:36 PM
I’m assuming that whole gantry is brand new also?

Judging by pre-2017 Street View footage (https://www.google.com/maps/@34.399645,-119.5141685,3a,90y,127.18h,90.18t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1soDgwN8pSSfrkVq4OQAMLhg!2e0!5s20150401T000000!7i13312!8i6656 (https://www.google.com/maps/@34.399645,-119.5141685,3a,90y,127.18h,90.18t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1soDgwN8pSSfrkVq4OQAMLhg!2e0!5s20150401T000000!7i13312!8i6656)), this is the very first gantry at this exit! It used to be a sign on the ground before this one

Got it, that makes sense then.  Apparently Caltrans (maybe someone can expound on this) used internal exit tabs on existing gantries so it doesn’t alter the wind load capacity.  A new gantry would be designed with a wind load factoring then external tab into the design.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on January 04, 2022, 06:41:32 PM
Wow. If I didn't know better, I'd have no clue those were Caltrans signs. They look...normal.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: vdeane on January 04, 2022, 08:27:57 PM
Coming back from the dead here (I always lurk but haven't posted anything here since 2015) to report that a reconstruction project on US-101 in Carpinteria has added some new BGSes with external exit tabs

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/HODTbqs8gHTpvuP9Jhv3ZE2QLBvVgmVIsJrfboaEQZgAgTB_rKsltbtEGWdIPiQU43rsbAhjff-Wr3pQQ_dCE8BSBfKbFkKQ0yO4imrykcXEDhhpHAcbMznP4Fqc14lzyAWEpclEnisUlzlYd9Jd5umn6tsM3R3luDZ2AL4xyOVxVBwqPa0pkq54YN4CH_5fPX3S-FzEZdP97qnoOw9SDz1dFZs9tqxwdVEyKtx6ZE2B2kL2mQcixIb5loxTfUvy02O-wWkrVConae1Aj4TGFMKpD3_cSumU1iJYMkCe3iiWdTFmKNYvazHq7sQH5LZbuQpRE3ctqg0ievQ5_Tzq4PS934apYn2I5kd7DM5Yps8VfvDSAGvDeAPsGs1UsrY-4tuvByDHu1Ktq2sLMYjdh4mBhxuRDltop_l57T7i_Lkekj5yj9-mNKvGvXWkNy8fb4uo06bWmaaVQg-kfSwazkweakfEJjkfILkyvBfjpAn2ofC3-oy7_Y6aTt5SUOgQP4dFyCEr3OHXx_FFw-4peRgdwmvOvTX-v0RIAAJ79WE63GTgUiqePjpjHGwPruyLQ1yE6J7tPbE4kvqsf-JBbxq0_cLlFO-6aSShZlNUFOeOWjQu5eV8Dvjf16H2-fQKK4xB3GSdqjRkS68qIWHiukCpI82Hg8eQEZmFrWOcZvf5vJPIz-taz3HZVWaUCseN2HkUbTov7cTNtviKsD-1OT0fgg=w2595-h1946-no?authuser=0)

There's several more signs like this along that stretch of road, so it looks like something that will be sticking around in California now
I can't see the picture.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Techknow on January 04, 2022, 10:37:13 PM
Can't see the photo either. Looks like it might be linked to a private Google Photo?

I'm glad there's more of this, but it seems to vary greatly on Caltrans district to district. I reported in the CA catch-all thread that the I-580 Exit 12 supplementary guide sign has yet to be replaced (still has graffiti). This weekend my family and I went shopping at Livermore and I also noticed there were 3 more brown BGSes with internal exit tabs on I-580. So maybe District 4 hasn't caught on yet.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on January 04, 2022, 11:44:55 PM
I happened to have showed the photo to someone else over Messenger, so I was able to rehost it.
(https://i.imgur.com/C7yClTh.png)
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: deathtopumpkins on January 05, 2022, 10:33:32 AM
The signs are also visible in the latest streetview: https://goo.gl/maps/NSjBM42cqhte6Gyh7
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: SeriesE on January 06, 2022, 04:16:54 PM
I happened to have showed the photo to someone else over Messenger, so I was able to rehost it.
(https://i.imgur.com/C7yClTh.png)

The main sign being shorter than the gantry height looks sloppy
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: roadfro on January 06, 2022, 10:39:49 PM
I happened to have showed the photo to someone else over Messenger, so I was able to rehost it.
(https://i.imgur.com/C7yClTh.png)

The main sign being shorter than the gantry height looks sloppy

Given Caltrans' past inclination for undersized signs and less-than-ideal sign layouts, I can more than forgive these sign panels not being as tall as the truss... These are gold standard in comparison to much of their past work.

This might actually be related to Caltrans' wind loading standards...
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: jeffe on January 17, 2022, 02:58:01 AM

This might actually be related to Caltrans' wind loading standards...

Yeah, this sign truss is of the previous design (note there are no gusset plates) before the versatile truss was introduced and it doesn't meet the current wind loading standards.

Some projects were designed with external tabs before the versatile truss was available.  They all use this reduced panel design to meet wind loading standards.

Given the long lead time to design these projects, it will probably be a while until we see a project constructed that was initiated after the current sign and truss standards were introduced.

For example, the plans to widen US-101 between Novato and Petaluma use the versatile truss, but the sign panels still have internal tabs.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: SeriesE on January 18, 2022, 02:26:58 PM
There's another external tab sign at CA-57 S signed for Lincoln Avenue.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on January 18, 2022, 02:43:44 PM
The main sign being shorter than the gantry height looks sloppy

Sign gantry height is supposed to have no bearing on the size of a sign panel. If it does, the sign is incorrectly laid out. According to MUTCD, sign panel size is dictated by the legend+margins and nothing else.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: SeriesE on January 18, 2022, 03:46:13 PM
The main sign being shorter than the gantry height looks sloppy

Sign gantry height is supposed to have no bearing on the size of a sign panel. If it does, the sign is incorrectly laid out. According to MUTCD, sign panel size is dictated by the legend+margins and nothing else.

California's convention is to have the sign equal or taller than the gantry height, so that's why I felt it looked off when the sign is shorter than the gantry.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on January 18, 2022, 03:49:32 PM
The main sign being shorter than the gantry height looks sloppy

Sign gantry height is supposed to have no bearing on the size of a sign panel. If it does, the sign is incorrectly laid out. According to MUTCD, sign panel size is dictated by the legend+margins and nothing else.

California's convention is to have the sign equal or taller than the gantry height, so that's why I felt it looked off when the sign is shorter than the gantry.

California's convention is against the MUTCD.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: stevashe on January 18, 2022, 04:09:08 PM
The main sign being shorter than the gantry height looks sloppy

Sign gantry height is supposed to have no bearing on the size of a sign panel. If it does, the sign is incorrectly laid out. According to MUTCD, sign panel size is dictated by the legend+margins and nothing else.

California's convention is to have the sign equal or taller than the gantry height, so that's why I felt it looked off when the sign is shorter than the gantry.

California's convention is against the MUTCD.

Are you sure? The MUTCD certainly prescribes minimum standards for sign dimensions, but I'm fairly certain there's no rule prohibiting exceeding them. And California is certainly not the only state to use taller signs than necessary for aesthetic reasons.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Alps on January 18, 2022, 07:20:47 PM
The main sign being shorter than the gantry height looks sloppy

Sign gantry height is supposed to have no bearing on the size of a sign panel. If it does, the sign is incorrectly laid out. According to MUTCD, sign panel size is dictated by the legend+margins and nothing else.

California's convention is to have the sign equal or taller than the gantry height, so that's why I felt it looked off when the sign is shorter than the gantry.

California's convention is against the MUTCD.

Are you sure? The MUTCD certainly prescribes minimum standards for sign dimensions, but I'm fairly certain there's no rule prohibiting exceeding them. And California is certainly not the only state to use taller signs than necessary for aesthetic reasons.
There are definitely other agencies (I wanna say Ohio has adopted this now) that will make all signs on the same gantry the same height.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: roadfro on January 18, 2022, 11:32:21 PM


The main sign being shorter than the gantry height looks sloppy

Sign gantry height is supposed to have no bearing on the size of a sign panel. If it does, the sign is incorrectly laid out. According to MUTCD, sign panel size is dictated by the legend+margins and nothing else.

California's convention is to have the sign equal or taller than the gantry height, so that's why I felt it looked off when the sign is shorter than the gantry.

California's convention is against the MUTCD.

Are you sure? The MUTCD certainly prescribes minimum standards for sign dimensions, but I'm fairly certain there's no rule prohibiting exceeding them. And California is certainly not the only state to use taller signs than necessary for aesthetic reasons.
There are definitely other agencies (I wanna say Ohio has adopted this now) that will make all signs on the same gantry the same height.

I feel like much of California's past convention on older signage has been that the sign height dictates the truss depth of the sign bridge... With every sign on the structure is the same height. But then if any sign on the gantry needs a change of legend later, it has to fit within the confines of the original sign.

I think this is starting to change with new sign and structure standards... But it's gonna take a long time to see a lot of significant changes in the field.


Count Nevada as one of those agencies where all signs on a gantry are typically the same height. There's a few one-off exceptions, but that's typically the rule...
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on January 19, 2022, 02:46:49 AM
Are you sure? The MUTCD certainly prescribes minimum standards for sign dimensions, but I'm fairly certain there's no rule prohibiting exceeding them. And California is certainly not the only state to use taller signs than necessary for aesthetic reasons.

Quote from: 2009 MUTCD §2E.14
Standard:
04 For all freeway and expressway signs that do not have a standardized design, the message dimensions shall be determined first, and the outside sign dimensions secondarily.

So deciding "all of our signs are going to be 90" tall" (or whatever) before the message dimensions have been determined is against the MUTCD. Deciding "all of the signs on this gantry are going to be the same height" before the message dimensions have been determined is against the MUTCD.

Now if you make the all of the signs equal to the maximum sign height, yeah, it's better than if you make them all too small and cram too much message onto one panel. But either way, it's equally wrong according to the rules, and making the signs too big is wasteful of materials and looks dumb.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: ran4sh on January 19, 2022, 01:12:54 PM

So deciding "all of our signs are going to be 90" tall" (or whatever) before the message dimensions have been determined is against the MUTCD.

I agree, California does this and it's wrong.

Deciding "all of the signs on this gantry are going to be the same height" before the message dimensions have been determined is against the MUTCD.

Now if you make the all of the signs equal to the maximum sign height, yeah, it's better than if you make them all too small and cram too much message onto one panel. But either way, it's equally wrong according to the rules, and making the signs too big is wasteful of materials and looks dumb.

Disagree. It's the same thing as states that use larger-than-standard signs in other cases, such as Wisconsin's arrows for route markers. FHWA has never really cared if a state exceeds the sign standards.

Case in point Georgia, Illinois, Texas, Michigan, etc all have provisions for BGS to be larger than necessary while still complying with minimum sign message and spacing standards. If the FHWA wanted signs to be the exact size for a standard then they would have cracked down on some of these states, but they clearly don't care.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Alps on January 19, 2022, 05:59:40 PM

So deciding "all of our signs are going to be 90" tall" (or whatever) before the message dimensions have been determined is against the MUTCD.

I agree, California does this and it's wrong.

Deciding "all of the signs on this gantry are going to be the same height" before the message dimensions have been determined is against the MUTCD.

Now if you make the all of the signs equal to the maximum sign height, yeah, it's better than if you make them all too small and cram too much message onto one panel. But either way, it's equally wrong according to the rules, and making the signs too big is wasteful of materials and looks dumb.

Disagree. It's the same thing as states that use larger-than-standard signs in other cases, such as Wisconsin's arrows for route markers. FHWA has never really cared if a state exceeds the sign standards.

Case in point Georgia, Illinois, Texas, Michigan, etc all have provisions for BGS to be larger than necessary while still complying with minimum sign message and spacing standards. If the FHWA wanted signs to be the exact size for a standard then they would have cracked down on some of these states, but they clearly don't care.
They haven't even cracked down on states taking decades to convert to mile-based exit numbers. They don't care in general.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: J N Winkler on January 22, 2022, 02:00:04 PM
It's worth noting that the MUTCD language in § 2E.14 does not actually mandate the use of uniform criteria for space padding, so Caltrans can claim it is complying on the basis that it is choosing truss depth (and thus the height of all signs on the structure) according to the height of the tallest legend block on the signs.

Plus, as has been noted, other state DOTs have their own ways of fudging the criteria.  For example, we're all used to three-quarters capital letter height for interline space padding, but Minnesota DOT allows this to vary from half to full capital letter height.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: stevashe on January 24, 2022, 05:12:51 PM
Are you sure? The MUTCD certainly prescribes minimum standards for sign dimensions, but I'm fairly certain there's no rule prohibiting exceeding them. And California is certainly not the only state to use taller signs than necessary for aesthetic reasons.

Quote from: 2009 MUTCD §2E.14
Standard:
04 For all freeway and expressway signs that do not have a standardized design, the message dimensions shall be determined first, and the outside sign dimensions secondarily.

So deciding "all of our signs are going to be 90" tall" (or whatever) before the message dimensions have been determined is against the MUTCD. Deciding "all of the signs on this gantry are going to be the same height" before the message dimensions have been determined is against the MUTCD.

Now if you make the all of the signs equal to the maximum sign height, yeah, it's better than if you make them all too small and cram too much message onto one panel. But either way, it's equally wrong according to the rules, and making the signs too big is wasteful of materials and looks dumb.

The sentence you quoted only says that the message dimensions must be determined first, but I don't see how enlarging the height a sign after making sure there is enough room for the message violates this standard. As I said before, this standard ensures that the minimum size of the sign must be enough to fit the message and any required margins, but does not prohibit increasing said margins.

And I disagree with you, I think a short sign next to a tall one can look a bit sloppy sometimes, though it depends on the proportions :P
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on January 24, 2022, 09:05:13 PM
Different sign sizes only look sloppy to me if they're vertically centered. If the bottoms of them are aligned, it looks much more orderly.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: tolbs17 on March 04, 2022, 09:50:42 PM
Just seeing this; it's about time they switched! The in-set ones looked silly and childish..
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Max Rockatansky on March 04, 2022, 09:53:55 PM
Just seeing this; it's about time they switched! The in-set ones looked silly and childish..

How are you defining “childish?”  If you’re here to complain about how Caltrans doesn’t follow the MUTCD like North Carolina does then please leave.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: tolbs17 on March 04, 2022, 09:57:26 PM
Just seeing this; it's about time they switched! The in-set ones looked silly and childish..

How are you defining “childish?”  If you’re here to complain about how Caltrans doesn’t follow the MUTCD like North Carolina does then please leave.
Not complaining. It was just odd that they were in-set of the sign. It was childish the put the exit numbers in-set the sign.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Max Rockatansky on March 04, 2022, 10:01:47 PM
Just seeing this; it's about time they switched! The in-set ones looked silly and childish..

How are you defining “childish?”  If you’re here to complain about how Caltrans doesn’t follow the MUTCD like North Carolina does then please leave.
Not complaining. It was just odd that they were in-set of the sign. It was childish the put the exit numbers in-set the sign.

I stand by my previous statement, please refrain from your nonsensical posts on this board.  Most of us here actually care about quality content and not spam.  “Childish” isn’t going to fit well with the serious threads and posts.

Also, if you had read up thread you would have noticed the wind loading issue with external tabs. 
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on March 05, 2022, 03:49:01 AM
When I was a child I put the tabs on the outside, so I don't really see how inset tabs are "childish".

Maybe putting tabs for left exits on the right. I did that a lot as a child.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Alps on March 05, 2022, 01:12:57 PM
Just seeing this; it's about time they switched! The in-set ones looked silly and childish..

How are you defining “childish?”  If you’re here to complain about how Caltrans doesn’t follow the MUTCD like North Carolina does then please leave.
Not complaining. It was just odd that they were in-set of the sign. It was childish the put the exit numbers in-set the sign.

I stand by my previous statement, please refrain from your nonsensical posts on this board.  Most of us here actually care about quality content and not spam.  “Childish” isn’t going to fit well with the serious threads and posts.

Also, if you had read up thread you would have noticed the wind loading issue with external tabs. 
I happen to agree that inset exit tabs look childish compared to external ones. Come at me.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Max Rockatansky on March 05, 2022, 01:44:01 PM
Just seeing this; it's about time they switched! The in-set ones looked silly and childish..

How are you defining “childish?”  If you’re here to complain about how Caltrans doesn’t follow the MUTCD like North Carolina does then please leave.
Not complaining. It was just odd that they were in-set of the sign. It was childish the put the exit numbers in-set the sign.

I stand by my previous statement, please refrain from your nonsensical posts on this board.  Most of us here actually care about quality content and not spam.  “Childish” isn’t going to fit well with the serious threads and posts.

Also, if you had read up thread you would have noticed the wind loading issue with external tabs. 
I happen to agree that inset exit tabs look childish compared to external ones. Come at me.

I mean hey, I think they look like total shit without external exit tabs.  But neither of us are posting empty calorie Google Street Views all of the forum are we?
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: J N Winkler on March 05, 2022, 02:06:24 PM
"Childish" is not a category I would personally use for guide signs--even badly designed ones--but I do think the phaseout of bitten-out and strip-style tabs in favor of external tabs improves the aesthetics.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: jdbx on March 07, 2022, 04:02:10 PM
Driving around this weekend on I-680 where all of the gantries are monotube, it got me to wondering if we are ever going to see external exit tabs on monotube gantries.  I hope so, some of the signs in my area are busy and cluttered-looking with the internal exit tab.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: joshI5 on March 07, 2022, 06:46:40 PM
Driving around this weekend on I-680 where all of the gantries are monotube, it got me to wondering if we are ever going to see external exit tabs on monotube gantries.  I hope so, some of the signs in my area are busy and cluttered-looking with the internal exit tab.

Not exit tabs per se, but the recent I-15 Express Lanes Project involved a series of monotube gantry sign installations with external "LEFT" tabs: https://goo.gl/maps/4QzchdLAnADbidiC9 (https://goo.gl/maps/4QzchdLAnADbidiC9)

Oh, and then there's this in SF with an external exit tab, although this was installed well before this new standard: https://goo.gl/maps/7z1ncTTkPaspnYwPA (https://goo.gl/maps/7z1ncTTkPaspnYwPA)
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: TheStranger on March 13, 2022, 06:17:29 AM
Saw a couple of new external exit tabs today, both for left-exits.

One is along I-580 eastbound at Buchanan Street in Albany, where an internal-tab sign had been replaced with a smaller sign for the street name legend, and an external Left Exit above it, but still with the gantry backing it.  Didn't get a photo.

I asked my dad to photograph the next one we saw, at I-80 west approaching Harrison Street exit in SF, and this is what it looks like:
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51935853585_b7156c5616_5k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2n8oPRt)_DSC8137e (https://flic.kr/p/2n8oPRt) by Chris Sampang (https://www.flickr.com/photos/csampang/), on Flickr
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51935313658_4323c67a51_5k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2n8m4mo)_DSC8138 (https://flic.kr/p/2n8m4mo) by Chris Sampang (https://www.flickr.com/photos/csampang/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: ClassicHasClass on March 13, 2022, 02:18:54 PM
Unrelated: I "like"  :pan: the "Br" thrown on to Golden Gate as an obvious later edit.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: jdbx on March 14, 2022, 12:34:27 PM
Saw a couple of new external exit tabs today, both for left-exits.

One is along I-580 eastbound at Buchanan Street in Albany, where an internal-tab sign had been replaced with a smaller sign for the street name legend, and an external Left Exit above it, but still with the gantry backing it.  Didn't get a photo.

I asked my dad to photograph the next one we saw, at I-80 west approaching Harrison Street exit in SF, and this is what it looks like:
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51935853585_b7156c5616_5k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2n8oPRt)_DSC8137e (https://flic.kr/p/2n8oPRt) by Chris Sampang (https://www.flickr.com/photos/csampang/), on Flickr
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51935313658_4323c67a51_5k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2n8m4mo)_DSC8138 (https://flic.kr/p/2n8m4mo) by Chris Sampang (https://www.flickr.com/photos/csampang/), on Flickr


I noticed that same sign this past Saturday driving into SF for the Warriors game.  I guess this sign looks better than the previous inset tab, although there is something somewhat wrong with the aesthetic of the tab looking nearly as big as the sign itself.  For comparison:

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.7854186,-122.3917414,3a,75y,247.12h,91.43t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sY17K5b_VAuL37huL3cfAMg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on March 14, 2022, 05:26:10 PM
I like how that is clearly an exit tab on one of the old gantries. Yet it hasn't blown over.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: SeriesE on March 14, 2022, 05:39:54 PM
I like how that is clearly an exit tab on one of the old gantries. Yet it hasn't blown over.

I’ve never understood the wind loading excuse when LA had external exit tabs for decades and they didn’t get blown away
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: SeriesE on March 14, 2022, 05:52:24 PM
Saw a couple of new external exit tabs today, both for left-exits.

One is along I-580 eastbound at Buchanan Street in Albany, where an internal-tab sign had been replaced with a smaller sign for the street name legend, and an external Left Exit above it, but still with the gantry backing it.  Didn't get a photo.

I asked my dad to photograph the next one we saw, at I-80 west approaching Harrison Street exit in SF, and this is what it looks like:
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51935853585_b7156c5616_5k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2n8oPRt)_DSC8137e (https://flic.kr/p/2n8oPRt) by Chris Sampang (https://www.flickr.com/photos/csampang/), on Flickr
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51935313658_4323c67a51_5k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2n8m4mo)_DSC8138 (https://flic.kr/p/2n8m4mo) by Chris Sampang (https://www.flickr.com/photos/csampang/), on Flickr

So much blank space on that exit tab.

The federal MUTCD can’t make up its mind about blank space/margins.

Some has too much blank space (around the text in exit tabs, APL signs, non-cutout US route signs) while others have not enough (number size in interstate/US route shields)
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on March 14, 2022, 09:11:40 PM
The number size issue is 100% on the states. The MUTCD-spec interstate shield has plenty of space.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/I-80.svg/240px-I-80.svg.png)

Some states make the numbers bigger than this. That's where the space issues come from.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: SeriesE on March 15, 2022, 02:37:45 AM
The number size issue is 100% on the states. The MUTCD-spec interstate shield has plenty of space.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/I-80.svg/240px-I-80.svg.png)

Some states make the numbers bigger than this. That's where the space issues come from.

https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009r1r2/images/fig2e_05.gif These 3 digit shields look very cramped to me (or were the example figures from the MUTCD not accurate to the specs, which is possible?)
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on March 15, 2022, 04:20:28 AM
They're not accurate, no. According to the 2004 Standard Highway Signs book, three-digit shields are supposed to use Series C.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: J N Winkler on March 15, 2022, 10:20:11 AM
When it comes to the Interstate shield, there is often a tradeoff between having digits at consistent height and position and using an alphabet series with high legibility per unit of letter height.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Alps on March 15, 2022, 06:15:05 PM
The number size issue is 100% on the states. The MUTCD-spec interstate shield has plenty of space.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/I-80.svg/240px-I-80.svg.png)

Some states make the numbers bigger than this. That's where the space issues come from.

https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009r1r2/images/fig2e_05.gif These 3 digit shields look very cramped to me (or were the example figures from the MUTCD not accurate to the specs, which is possible?)
They look fine to me. Some states default to D, some default to C, some do it number by number. NJDOT commonly uses D as shown.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Henry on March 16, 2022, 12:32:08 PM
It's good to hear that Caltrans is finally getting its act together, because I never liked the fact that it had unnumbered exits for many years, nor the exit tabs integrated into the signs. If anything, I'd rather have sequential exit numbering than no numbers at all.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: roadfro on March 16, 2022, 03:55:11 PM
In most cases, the internal exit numbers weren't all that bad. But whenever they tried to fit in an internal tab within the same space as a sign panel that already had a lot of legend/shields/arrows, it could get fairly ugly quickly. I am glad they are starting to incorporate external tabs though.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: RZF on March 17, 2022, 11:28:16 AM
It's good to hear that Caltrans is finally getting its act together, because I never liked the fact that it had unnumbered exits for many years, nor the exit tabs integrated into the signs. If anything, I'd rather have sequential exit numbering than no numbers at all.
Unfortunately, they're only placing exit numbers on certain freeways that were built after they decided to put in exit numbers. So, for example, CA-33 in Ventura, which was built before this change, does not have exit numbers, nor does it have any in the official CalTrans records.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Scott5114 on March 17, 2022, 12:30:47 PM
The MUTCD requires exit numbers on all freeways, full stop. So eventually Caltrans will be required to add them, the same way they were obliged to fix the exit tabs. It's only a matter of when FHWA decides to show their teeth on that particular provision of the MUTCD.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: TheStranger on March 17, 2022, 06:13:26 PM
The MUTCD requires exit numbers on all freeways, full stop. So eventually Caltrans will be required to add them, the same way they were obliged to fix the exit tabs. It's only a matter of when FHWA decides to show their teeth on that particular provision of the MUTCD.

Isn't like 85% of California's freeway system already covered under exit numbering though? (after 21 years of the CalNEXUS program)

That's higher than other states that only number exits off Interstates and major freeways for instance.  Not perfect, but I don't know if CalTrans will ever prioritize this beyond what they are already doing.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: ran4sh on March 17, 2022, 08:49:09 PM
The MUTCD requires exit numbers on all freeways, full stop. So eventually Caltrans will be required to add them, the same way they were obliged to fix the exit tabs. It's only a matter of when FHWA decides to show their teeth on that particular provision of the MUTCD.

Isn't like 85% of California's freeway system already covered under exit numbering though? (after 21 years of the CalNEXUS program)

That's higher than other states that only number exits off Interstates and major freeways for instance.  Not perfect, but I don't know if CalTrans will ever prioritize this beyond what they are already doing.

Not necessarily, if the "other" state's Interstates make up more than 85% of the total freeway system.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: J N Winkler on March 23, 2022, 01:44:38 AM
Unfortunately, they're only placing exit numbers on certain freeways that were built after they decided to put in exit numbers. So, for example, CA-33 in Ventura, which was built before this change, does not have exit numbers, nor does it have any in the official CalTrans records.

The MUTCD requires exit numbers on all freeways, full stop. So eventually Caltrans will be required to add them, the same way they were obliged to fix the exit tabs. It's only a matter of when FHWA decides to show their teeth on that particular provision of the MUTCD.

I think that before FHWA starts chasing down Caltrans for not numbering five exits on the short freeway length of SR 33 in Ojai, the hammer will come down on Kansas DOT, which does not number exits on non-Interstate freeways at all and has no (known) plans to begin, despite having close to 200 centerline miles of them.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Occidental Tourist on March 25, 2022, 04:23:37 AM
Unfortunately, they're only placing exit numbers on certain freeways that were built after they decided to put in exit numbers. So, for example, CA-33 in Ventura, which was built before this change, does not have exit numbers, nor does it have any in the official CalTrans records.

I don’t believe this is correct.  Cal-NExUS was started in 2002 and very few state route numbered freeways were built after that.  Plus, the Arroyo Seco Parkway, among others, had exit numbers added to it under Cal-NExUS and it was built 30 years before the Ojai Freeway.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Max Rockatansky on March 25, 2022, 09:47:01 AM
Unfortunately, they're only placing exit numbers on certain freeways that were built after they decided to put in exit numbers. So, for example, CA-33 in Ventura, which was built before this change, does not have exit numbers, nor does it have any in the official CalTrans records.

I don’t believe this is correct.  Cal-NExUS was started in 2002 and very few state route numbered freeways were built after that.  Plus, the Arroyo Seco Parkway, among others, had exit numbers added to it under Cal-NExUS and it was built 30 years before the Ojai Freeway.

The Ojai Freeway doesn’t have exit numbers.  Here is a photo album I shot last June:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/FheMeP

Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: J N Winkler on March 25, 2022, 12:34:46 PM
Does anyone actually know why the Ojai Freeway doesn't have exit numbers?
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Max Rockatansky on March 25, 2022, 12:36:28 PM
Does anyone actually know why the Ojai Freeway doesn't have exit numbers?

My assumption always has been that it just simply is a low priority freeway compared to everything else in Southern California.  I don’t think there has ever been anything regarding putting exit numbers on the Ojai Freeway in any CTC meeting minutes. 
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: J N Winkler on March 25, 2022, 12:59:26 PM
My assumption always has been that it just simply is a low priority freeway compared to everything else in Southern California.  I don’t think there has ever been anything regarding putting exit numbers on the Ojai Freeway in any CTC meeting minutes.

I certainly wouldn't expect it to be a high priority for actual installation of exit number signs.  However, when exit numbers were introduced in 2002, they were roughed in and tabulated for nearly all freeways.  I've looked at the exit numbering policy and can't see a provision under which SR 33 wouldn't qualify for exit numbers.  This makes me suspect a technical and totally non-obvious reason, such as it being built as a freeway without actually being legally designated as such.
Title: Re: Caltrans External Exit Tabs & 240 Inch Tall Overhead Signs
Post by: Max Rockatansky on March 25, 2022, 01:17:17 PM
My assumption always has been that it just simply is a low priority freeway compared to everything else in Southern California.  I don’t think there has ever been anything regarding putting exit numbers on the Ojai Freeway in any CTC meeting minutes.

I certainly wouldn't expect it to be a high priority for actual installation of exit number signs.  However, when exit numbers were introduced in 2002, they were roughed in and tabulated for nearly all freeways.  I've looked at the exit numbering policy and can't see a provision under which SR 33 wouldn't qualify for exit numbers.  This makes me suspect a technical and totally non-obvious reason, such as it being built as a freeway without actually being legally designated as such.

Certainly possible, much of the Ojai Freeway opened during December 1956.  That would pre-date the Freeway & Expressway System by several years. 

That said, Daniel does have the Ojai Freeway in the Freeway & Expressway System as designated in 1959.  This would include the unbuilt portion north from the current end of the Ojai Freeway to Ojai:

https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE033.html

Looking at the signage in my albums they pretty much all appear (at least northbound) too small to accommodate internal exit tabs.  I assume that means at some point the entire gantries will likely be up for replacement given the whole wind loading shenanigans stated above (this is a known Santa Ana Wind area).   Most of the signage appears to be late era button-copy designs.  I can see that being something pretty cost prohibitive to replace given the button-copy gantries probably are still within its designed service life.