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Most Worthless Control Cities

Started by paulthemapguy, March 13, 2016, 12:36:15 AM

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paulthemapguy

What are the most minuscule/meaningless/useless control cities you've ever seen posted on large green signs for expressways and tollways?  I know there's a section of I-80 in PA that's signed as "80 East- Bloomsburg."  What the crap is a Bloomsburg?
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.0528358,-76.8801697,3a,75y,119.41h,83.55t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sgeGIcGfpcV2n2dfxSmr3_w!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo3.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DgeGIcGfpcV2n2dfxSmr3_w%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D182.43213%26pitch%3D0!7i13312!8i6656

I-180 in Illinois is signed toward "Hennepin," which is a useless town, but that's because all of I-180 is useless along with it.
Any other useless control cities you've seen on signs?
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ET21

Staying in Illinois, I-355 North from I-80 lists Rockford even though the interstate doesn't go anywhere near the city (it feeds into I-290, which links to I-90 that heads to Rockford). Honestly it should be labeled Schaumburg
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Clinched:
IL: I-88, I-180, I-190, I-290, I-294, I-355, IL-390
IN: I-80, I-94
SD: I-190
WI: I-90, I-94
MI: I-94, I-196
MN: I-90

The High Plains Traveler

I suppose any control city is not useful for someone not from that area, especially if it's a smaller city. I drove down to Florida a few years ago, and upon hitting the end of I-65 in Mobile, saw I-10 west pointing toward Pascagoula. I knew which way I wanted to go, but was anticipating seeing Biloxi or maybe even New Orleans on that sign. I have probably heard of Pascagoula, but don't think I could have put it on a map before then.

By the same standard, people driving east from Denver who are not from the region probably wonder what the hell a Limon is.
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jeffandnicole

Well, what the hell is a Philadelphia, or what is a Chicago?

Honestly, most people driving aren't going long distances.  In general, most people travel no more than about 17 minutes to get to a business, which is about 15 miles top in rural areas that requires highway driving. Along 80 in PA, Bloomsburg is probably a big destination. The vast majority of the travelers aren't going anywhere near New York, and probably aren't even leaving PA.  Thus, New York would be the useless control city.

hotdogPi

Why do I-93 North signs in parts of Massachusetts say "Concord NH"? Manchester NH is closer and larger.
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Dan

Quote from: 1 on March 13, 2016, 12:19:03 PM
Why do I-93 North signs in parts of Massachusetts say "Concord NH"? Manchester NH is closer and larger.
I assume it's because 93 goes directly through Concord, while staying away and out of sight of downtown Manchester....which is served by 3 & I-293.

Revive 755

Lots of them in Illinois:

1) East St. Louis as a secondary control city.  It's only ~3 miles from the primary control city.  With future sign replacements East St. Louis should be dropped and only St. Louis used instead.  If there is that great of need for a secondary control, use either Troy or Collinsville for I-55 and I-70, and maybe use O' Fallon for I-64 (and hope it doesn't get confused with O' Fallon, Missouri).

2) All the various "[cardinal direction] Suburbs" around Chicagoland.  Way too vague and open to misinterpretation.

3) Iowa on I-88.  There was not anything wrong with Moline - Rock Island.  If there is that great of need for an indication that I-88 provides a route to Iowa, use Des Moines or maybe even Iowa City.

4) The use of Wisconsin on I-90 well before Rockford

5) Danville on IL 394.  Unless IL 1 will be getting upgraded to an expressway in the next decade - which AFAIK is not happening - it should be switched to Crete or Beecher.

Zeffy

New York on I-95 north in Maryland; What's to say people aren't heading towards Wilimington, Philadelphia, or New Jersey?
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cpzilliacus

Quote from: Zeffy on March 13, 2016, 01:43:24 PM
New York on I-95 north in Maryland; What's to say people aren't heading towards Wilimington, Philadelphia, or New Jersey?

U.S. 40 (Pulaski Highway) between Baltimore and the Delaware line has several signs that mention Philadelphia, even though U.S. 40 has never gone to or through Philly.

I believe the discontinuity in I-95 (thanks mostly to NIMBYs in and around Princeton, N.J. - and to the snail-like pace of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to build an interchange between I-95 (Delaware Expressway) and I-276 (E-W Mainline of the Pennsylvania Turnpike) at Bristol) are to blame.

Once the interchange at Bristol is completed enough to complete I-95 itself, then the signage for I-95 northbound in Maryland should be Wilmington, Philadelphia and New York.
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Pete from Boston

Similar but different topic (which I remember because I started it):

Biggest claim to fame: control city

"All Maine Points" for 95 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is not a great one.  It's not the best way to get to Fryeburg or Sunday River, for example, which are better accessed by exiting at that very point toward the Spaulding Turnpike.

1995hoo

I've always thought Benson was an odd choice on various signs in North Carolina. Even people who live in North Carolina don't really have a sense for where that is. It comes across as, essentially, "Crap, we want to sign the I-40/I-95 interchange as the next major waypoint, so what's the nearest town?"
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noelbotevera

Quote from: 1995hoo on March 13, 2016, 04:57:04 PM
I've always thought Benson was an odd choice on various signs in North Carolina. Even people who live in North Carolina don't really have a sense for where that is. It comes across as, essentially, "Crap, we want to sign the I-40/I-95 interchange as the next major waypoint, so what's the nearest town?"
Wasn't it once Richmond at some point? When I was a baby in 2004, I remember going up there and I saw "Richmond" for one BGS. Probably gone.

I remember a Michael Summa photo from the 1970's that shows that the Massachusetts Turnpike goes "to all points".
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hbelkins

We've had this discussion before.


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roadman65

Quote from: Revive 755 on March 13, 2016, 01:30:04 PM
Lots of them in Illinois:

1) East St. Louis as a secondary control city.  It's only ~3 miles from the primary control city.  With future sign replacements East St. Louis should be dropped and only St. Louis used instead.  If there is that great of need for a secondary control, use either Troy or Collinsville for I-55 and I-70, and maybe use O' Fallon for I-64 (and hope it doesn't get confused with O' Fallon, Missouri).

2) All the various "[cardinal direction] Suburbs" around Chicagoland.  Way too vague and open to misinterpretation.

3) Iowa on I-88.  There was not anything wrong with Moline - Rock Island.  If there is that great of need for an indication that I-88 provides a route to Iowa, use Des Moines or maybe even Iowa City.

4) The use of Wisconsin on I-90 well before Rockford

5) Danville on IL 394.  Unless IL 1 will be getting upgraded to an expressway in the next decade - which AFAIK is not happening - it should be switched to Crete or Beecher.

Nope, on I-70 this last fall, all mileage signs along the way west of Vandalia now omit "East St. Louis" and have only two destinations.  The next interchange and St. Louis itself are post interchange now.  Both entrance ramps from US 40 and US 51 at Vandalia now use "St. Louis" as westbound I-70 control city.

I cannot speak for I-64 though as GSV has not yet been on it recently, unless they just have in the past few months.  So they could still be using East St. Louis.

What about Memphis on I-57?  Does anyone really go there from Chicago?  When I first saw it on I-80 back in 1987, I actually thought that Illinois had their very own Memphis instead of Elvis Presley's former home.
Every day is a winding road, you just got to get used to it.

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yanksfan6129

Quote from: jeffandnicole on March 13, 2016, 12:13:34 PM
Well, what the hell is a Philadelphia, or what is a Chicago?

Honestly, most people driving aren't going long distances.  In general, most people travel no more than about 17 minutes to get to a business, which is about 15 miles top in rural areas that requires highway driving. Along 80 in PA, Bloomsburg is probably a big destination. The vast majority of the travelers aren't going anywhere near New York, and probably aren't even leaving PA.  Thus, New York would be the useless control city.

Is that true, though, of people who get on the interstates? Particularly outside of metropolitan areas?

Brian556

In Florida, Lake City. It is so small that I had no idea where the hell it was the first time I drove down there. On I-10, JCT I-75 would be a better control point. Once you get on I-75 South, FDOT understands this concept and has mileage signs for JCT TURNPIKE and JCT I-275.

I think mileage to the next Interstate highway junction should be included on mileage signs. It is needed info, and is muck more useful than small control cities. Also, mileages to state lines would be useful as well.

Revive 755

Quote from: Brian556 on March 13, 2016, 07:44:57 PM
I think mileage to the next Interstate highway junction should be included on mileage signs. It is needed info, and is muck more useful than small control cities. Also, mileages to state lines would be useful as well.

Agree on the first, disagree on the second - state lines are not usually useful for navigation.  The state line is usually crossed without turning/needing to change routes.  Plus the milemarkers in the WB and SB directions can already provide the distance to the next state (assuming the interstate doesn't end beforehand).

national highway 1

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roadman65

Yeah, but on I-95 it would be better to use "I-40 JCT" over "Benson" as more people know the junction more than the small community.  "Fayetteville" should be used SB on I-95 from Rocky Mount and "Wilson" should be used NB from Fayetteville.  Those are big enough towns along the way that motorists can use for referencing along the way.  Having the I-40 Junction on mileage signs would be also a good reference point, but not as a control city on a guide sign.
Every day is a winding road, you just got to get used to it.

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jp the roadgeek

I don't like Providence being used as a control city for I-384 on I-84.  Reminds us of what might have been, but it ends 70 miles short of there, and 84 to 74 to 44 to 101 to 6 is a better way to get to Providence.  Should use Willimantic.  ConnDOT ought to change it to get back at RIDOT for using New York as a control city on I-95 south instead of New London.
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rschen7754

Surprised "Other Desert Cities" hasn't been mentioned yet.

paulthemapguy

Quote from: ET21 on March 13, 2016, 11:37:26 AM
Staying in Illinois, I-355 North from I-80 lists Rockford even though the interstate doesn't go anywhere near the city (it feeds into I-290, which links to I-90 that heads to Rockford). Honestly it should be labeled Schaumburg
Bam.  This is the garbage that inspired me to invent this thread.  While I understand there is little point in distinguishing between individual Chicago suburbs, I see little help in simply writing "Northwest Suburbs" and "Southwest Suburbs" for the control cities on I-355.  https://goo.gl/maps/n2sLm2sA8PJ2
I would use Schaumburg, Downers Grove, and Lockport.  From IL7 south, refer to SB I-355 as toward Joliet or simply "interstate 80."
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jeffandnicole

Quote from: yanksfan6129 on March 13, 2016, 07:20:22 PM
Quote from: jeffandnicole on March 13, 2016, 12:13:34 PM
Well, what the hell is a Philadelphia, or what is a Chicago?

Honestly, most people driving aren't going long distances.  In general, most people travel no more than about 17 minutes to get to a business, which is about 15 miles top in rural areas that requires highway driving. Along 80 in PA, Bloomsburg is probably a big destination. The vast majority of the travelers aren't going anywhere near New York, and probably aren't even leaving PA.  Thus, New York would be the useless control city.

Is that true, though, of people who get on the interstates? Particularly outside of metropolitan areas?

I would say so, in general.  It's been pointed out that the true intent of the IHS was to move people long distances.  As we see in daily traffic reports and as you hinted, the majority of traffic using the interstates are actually local commuters just going to and from work.  If you were to travel along and look at license plates of passing cars, a majority of them will be from the state in which you're traveling. 




paulthemapguy

Quote from: jeffandnicole on March 14, 2016, 10:15:46 AM
Quote from: yanksfan6129 on March 13, 2016, 07:20:22 PM
Quote from: jeffandnicole on March 13, 2016, 12:13:34 PM
Well, what the hell is a Philadelphia, or what is a Chicago?

Honestly, most people driving aren't going long distances.  In general, most people travel no more than about 17 minutes to get to a business, which is about 15 miles top in rural areas that requires highway driving. Along 80 in PA, Bloomsburg is probably a big destination. The vast majority of the travelers aren't going anywhere near New York, and probably aren't even leaving PA.  Thus, New York would be the useless control city.

Is that true, though, of people who get on the interstates? Particularly outside of metropolitan areas?

I would say so, in general.  It's been pointed out that the true intent of the IHS was to move people long distances.  As we see in daily traffic reports and as you hinted, the majority of traffic using the interstates are actually local commuters just going to and from work.  If you were to travel along and look at license plates of passing cars, a majority of them will be from the state in which you're traveling.

This is very very true.  But I think guide signs would be more helpful to someone who isn't already familiar with the area.  Chances are, if you're going to Bloomsburg, you're a local who already knows how to get to Bloomsburg.  This doesn't necessarily prioritize short-term destinations over long-term destinations, though.  There is a tendency for long-term destinations to appear as control cities on signs for transitions from freeway to freeway, and a tendency to see short-term destinations at rural access points.  So that's a good thing I think.
Avatar is the last interesting highway I clinched.
My website! http://www.paulacrossamerica.com Now featuring all of Ohio!
My USA Shield Gallery https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHwJRZk
TM Clinches https://bit.ly/2UwRs4O

National collection status: 361/425. Only 64 route markers remain

jbnv

I nominate "Bay St. Louis" on I-10 east of Slidell. I-10 bypasses Bay St. Louis almost completely. Gulfport would be a better control city. (The use of Bay St. Louis dates to the days when I-10 wasn't finished and eastbound traffic had to detour through BSL. That also gives us Pascagoula as the control city westbound from Mobile.)
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