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Author Topic: States ranked by traffic signal layouts  (Read 9513 times)


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Re: States ranked by traffic signal layouts
« Reply #50 on: August 11, 2021, 03:36:07 PM »

New York State would be similar to New Hampshire in ranking.  While signal design is fairly consistent, there are very few side-mounted signals and a number of locations still make use of span wire.

With regards to span wire, is that considered a bad thing? Sure, the signal heads can bob around a bit when it’s windy, but it’s otherwise a very efficient; I might even call it clever.

It's definitely beauty in the eye of the beholder.


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Re: States ranked by traffic signal layouts
« Reply #51 on: August 11, 2021, 03:50:19 PM »

Is anyone else a little disconcerted to see people praising New Mexico for anything road-related?   :-P

They really are good at signalization. Are they known for being bad at stuff? Don't know a lot about NM.

From what I see on this forum, they’re in the same tier as Oklahoma for worst signage quality.

The post below nicely captures the difference between OK and NM signage:

ODOT signage is æsthetically garbage, violates norms of both graphic design and traffic control, and hurts your eyes to look at. But it's almost always there, and it's usually complete and mostly correct. ODOT signage sucks, but you can at least navigate with it. NMDOT sometimes can't even manage to clear that simple bar, to the point that it starts to negatively impact navigability. So there's a pretty good argument that NMDOT is worse than ODOT.
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Re: States ranked by traffic signal layouts
« Reply #52 on: September 19, 2021, 10:02:06 PM »

Off my top states, I'll put Wisconsin in the first or second spot. Really like the post mounted signal placement with two at the stop line, then another two in opposite corners past the intersecting road, and a single horizontal overhead signal (yes, I prefer horizontal overhead to vertical ones by a bit, but only if they're not all cluttered overhead).

FYI. WisDOT has been steadily converting and replacing horizontal signals with vertical ones since around 2010'ish. However, local DPWs can still use horizontally mounted lights.
Does Wisconsin still use the side signals placement I mentioned in the OP, and only one or two signals overhead? That is the main reason why I like Wisconsin's setup, and the horizontal overhead signals are a bonus. As long as the general layout is still there in newer installations, it's still on the top of the list imo, even with vertical overheads.

It seems to be up to the jurisdiction. When Eau Claire (City) started replacing signals as part of road projects around 2012-2013, they included the near side stop signals, however they were mounted to the mast arm poles, which were not always at optimal viewing angles and were often a ways away from the stop bar/travel lane. They since ditched this feature on more recent installs.

The standard has for the most part, been signal head per lane, vertically mounted on monotube mast arm from the right side or the median. Fill in post mounted signals as needed for stop line & median. Typically the desired faces showing an approach are a signal head per lane for the overhead, a near right stop line signal, a near left stop line signal if a median is present for the turn lane only, and a far left corner left turn signal. Some parts of the state you may also see a far right corner signal mounted on the vertical member of the mast arm structure. In certain regions, where offset left turn lanes are present, you will see post mounted turn signals in the median with no overhead component, since this would require the mast arm to be unusually long, and likely expensive.

At least from a state standard, it seems that signal head per lane is only being used for multi-lane approaches, and/or roads with speeds of 45+mph. Most single (thru) lane approaches still get the horizontal trombone truss arm overhead installation, though even these seem to be dropping out of favor when features like protected/permissive left turn signals are desired. The 5 section signal head design seems to be not preferred anymore.

I have also seen a modified standard appearing for two thru lane approaches where a trombone truss arm will be mounted on the right side for the right lane, and in the median to extend over the left lane, with vertically mounted signals, as a cheaper alternative to mast arms.

All my statements above are based purely on personal observation.
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Re: States ranked by traffic signal layouts
« Reply #53 on: September 19, 2021, 10:24:52 PM »

I'd say Nevada is the best.  I prefer signal per lane and side-mounted. 
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Re: States ranked by traffic signal layouts
« Reply #54 on: December 16, 2021, 06:42:30 PM »

I know we have a lot of pole traffic lights here in North Carolina, but wires are still being installed.


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Re: States ranked by traffic signal layouts
« Reply #55 on: December 17, 2021, 01:05:33 AM »

Going back upthread a bit to what was said about wire spans and side signals:

One place where there's a lot of span wire but still has side signals (usually on the left) to compliment the overheads is Shelby County, TN (and of course this includes Memphis). This is especially true when there's any type of left turn signals involved.

Even newer mast-arm mounted signals have signals on the side

8-8-8-12-12 side by sides hung overhead in Memphis. Maryland usually use these as supplements

Though there are some pretty messed up installations too

This one could use some side signals

I agree with Tennessee being somewhere in the middle, maybe the lower middle, and I would add Virginia there also. While VDOT is pretty uniform statewide (with some very minor differences), the cities are anything but. Some cities are great with signaling while others... not so much.
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