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Author Topic: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs  (Read 18996 times)

agentsteel53

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2009, 10:31:00 PM »

those By-Pass (or is it Bypass?  I can never remember!) and Truck shields need suffixes in the shields.  I'd go with 601Y and 601T.  Add colored shields, and that gantry would be completely legible.

this brings up how to sign bannered routes in color.  Florida used inverted shield designs (i.e. white on blue instead of blue on white for business US-90 vs. regular US-90), and as far as I know, Mississippi signed the business routes in color and left the bypasses b/w.  But if you have ALT, TRUCK, BYPASS, BY-PASS, SCENIC, COASTAL, TEMPORARY, CITY, OPTIONAL, UNBUILT, UNASSIGNED, UNWISE, HYPOTHETICAL, LEFT-HANDED, BACKUP, NORMAL, BY_PASS, REGULAR, INCIDENTAL, PECULIAR, BY!!??!PASS, TAX EXEMPT, and DUTY FREE versions of a route ... it may get a little confusing.

(can you tell I'm not a fan of bannered routes?)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 10:33:01 PM by agentsteel53 »
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Duke87

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2009, 12:27:55 AM »

I dunno. I don't like the idea of color coding shields. Looks totally fugly.

An easier way to deal with the problem of complicated intersections would be to explain them with a simple diagrammatic as opposed to a ton of shields.

So, instead of this mess:


Just do this:


There. Was that so hard?

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2009, 01:06:54 AM »

I finally found it!

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Chris

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2009, 06:30:22 AM »

I finally found it!

http://declubz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/concord-north-carolina.jpg

Lol, I guess there is a huge parking lot near that sign so motorists can stop and read all the signs?  :sombrero:

donutbandit

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2009, 09:57:18 AM »

Quote
I finally found it!

After I posted it for you.
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mightyace

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2009, 11:58:29 AM »

Just do this:


I like it.  It shows the exact same information and is much more legible.  I could read this in a second or two and know what I had to do.  The original signs mess.  Well, I'd probably end up having to make a U-turn after going the wrong way!   :banghead:
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agentsteel53

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2009, 01:08:11 PM »

what's wrong with suffixed routes?  The reason I don't like bannered routes is because the banner does not provide, especially at high speeds, sufficient differentiation.

If I were approaching that North Carolina gantry at 45mph and slowing, I may or may not be able to pick out from there which of the banners represents the road I intend to follow.  Basically, it requires two passes of reading instead of just one.

the thought process is something like "okay, 73, east so not mine, 73 again ... wait, which 73 is which ... that one's TRUCK EAST, not for me either, don't care about 29, don't care about 601, still don't care about 601, here's another 73, it's WEST, that's the one I want ... wait, no, it's TRUCK WEST, okay now we get to regular 73 west... and I'm in a left turn only lane, screw."

if there were suffixes, it would be "73, okay that's east, so not me, 73T, don't care, 29, don't care, 601, don't care, 601T, don't care, 73T, don't care, 73, okay this one is west, change lanes to keep going straight, great!"

it's much more cognitively straightforward.

in short, banners should only reflect direction, or a trailblazer (like TO or JCT) to refer to a unique stretch of road.  EAST 73, WEST 73, JCT 73, TO 73 will all get you to the stretch of road that is "73".  "TRUCK 73" will get you somewhere completely different, and that road should have a different identifier - in this case, 73T.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 01:09:49 PM by agentsteel53 »
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agentsteel53

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2009, 02:35:39 PM »

I see your second point about truck routes ... what about for more general alternates, like Alternate and Business? 

as for the first point, I do believe in the cognitive advantage of having *something* in the shield itself to note, immediately, "this is not the 73 you are looking for", that is not present with just the banner.
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deathtopumpkins

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2009, 05:38:43 PM »

After reading this, just to get input from a non-roadgeek, I showed my mother that confusing array of signs from North Carolina and asked her whether she would know where to go more likely with bannered or suffixed routes. She said bannered because she wouldn't have a clue what each suffix meant.  However, if that was a standard practice, she said she would just skip over the 73T shields because it was something different than the 73 she was looking for, while with TRUCK 73 she would still have to look up at the TRUCK banner to differentiate.

So from that observation I think that suffixed routes would be easier to read and tell apart only if they were standard practice nationwide.

roadfro

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2009, 08:23:01 PM »

Suffixes do no good in a state that uses suffixed numbers all the time for non-banner route purposes.


As to the confusing photos above, states could avoid such confusing and busy route marker assemblies by not signing so many overlapping routes.

For example, on the second pic with the seven shields plus three more.  Why is there both a truck route and a bypass route for US 601 (not to mention that this doesn't seem like a bypass)?  Why do both the eastbound and westbound truck route for highway 73 run the same direction, and on the eastbound mainline?

Just a thought...
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agentsteel53

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2009, 08:37:39 PM »

would your mother have any objection driving down the truck route?  the TRUCK banner these days seems almost obsolete.  There seem to be very few state highways that are of such low quality that they cannot accommodate trucks.
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agentsteel53

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2009, 09:48:58 PM »

I just thought about a compromise to the banners vs suffixes: what about placing the banner within the shield itself?  This would differentiate, easily upon brief visual inspection, between the main route and its bannered counterparts.  To me the major problem with having a banner on top is that, on first glance, both 401s look the same.



here, I can easily tell the difference between 69 and Alt 69.  (And I still could even if Alt 69 were placed in a black square instead of being a cutout.  It's putting the banner *into* the shield that makes the difference for me.)

also, another thing: consistency.  In Oklahoma, sometimes Alt 69 is signed as "69A" on guide signs.  It took me a bit of time, when I was traveling, to note that 69A and Alt 69 were the same route!  So whichever way is deemed to be the optimal signing approach, *stick to it*!
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 09:50:39 PM by agentsteel53 »
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Duke87

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Re: America's 10 Most Confusing Traffic Signs
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2009, 01:57:16 AM »

In the shield works, but the text needs to be larger than that. No need to spell it all out, either. "ALT 69" would be fine. Similarly, one can use "TRK 69", "BUSN 69", "BYP 69", and "SPUR 69" for truck, business, bypass, and spur.

Although, honestly, "Truck" is the only banner that's ever really necessary, since there's something fundamentally different about the route. Otherwise, letter suffixes should suffice.
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