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Author Topic: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?  (Read 9557 times)

ftballfan

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2019, 08:06:29 PM »

MN:
“Bypass Lanes” to allow traffic on two-lane roads to pass cars waiting to turn left.

Those aren't unique to Minnesota. I can recall a few in Nebraska; there are a couple in Illinois in Lake County (example on a county road, example on IL 59); and I want to say a few other states use them.

Not my state, but for Nebraska it would be diagrammatic junction signs.

Michigan also uses the bypass lanes
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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #51 on: January 19, 2019, 08:59:27 PM »

Quote from: SSOWorld
MN Has just too many signs as it is.

I'm curious to know how common it is outside of Minnesota to see separate signage for snowmobiles.

Northern New England.

H-58 in Alger County, Michigan, among other county roads, has snowmobile speed limit signs.
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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #52 on: January 19, 2019, 09:10:28 PM »

IDOT, where to begin?

Almost like having 9 DOTs for the price of 1 (not including CDOT and ISTHA, which have their own ways of doing things).  Each district seems to have its own way of doing things.  Some like rectangles for 3d state routes, some like squares.

Used a unique aluminum truss for signals in the 1960s and 1970s: https://goo.gl/maps/yGpxXsz5o6K2
A fair number of examples still exist, mostly around Metro Chicago.

Button copy and brown sign gantries (mostly in District 1, Schaumburg) in the 1980s and 1990s: https://goo.gl/maps/RhACFczXFKE2
Like CalTrans, all signs were sized to the height of the gantry.  Unlike CalTrans, the gantries could also be very tall.

A favorite thing for District 2, Dixon: https://goo.gl/maps/T5R5oaBhFK82
Using a speed plaque under the rectangular arrow.

Also,

ISTHA
1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 mileposts, commonly found on both sides of the carriageway: https://goo.gl/maps/dbz3eWgbkgT2

Triangular sign gantries (note, IDOT uses squarish ones): https://goo.gl/maps/LLjn39kBqpm

3:3 lane lines unlike the standard 1:3.  NJTP and the Indiana Toll Road also use them, but only ISTHA uses them with embedded reflectors: https://goo.gl/maps/u55TXeJFSXF2 in the Illinois standard pattern of stripe-reflector-reflector-stripe-empty-stripe-repeat.

CDOT
Flat out ignores the MUTCD at times: https://goo.gl/maps/67aemDVdei92 https://goo.gl/maps/n2QJEjuQ23B2 https://goo.gl/maps/b6AvkTXBq4C2

Unlike the rest of Illinois (IDOT, counties, other municipalities), never uses backplates ever: https://goo.gl/maps/pW81JFrzCtn

Likes to stripe for lanes and then have the lanes disappear or shift without warning: https://goo.gl/maps/XVW8k6ZuZAS2

Likes using symbol signage on parking signs: https://goo.gl/maps/EicHRJMvvcz

Safe passage signs: https://goo.gl/maps/AdF7i7hDLGy

No turn on red, 7 am to 7 pm, very well signed: https://goo.gl/maps/ahFpnpEUDAT2

MDOT-style backlit signage: https://goo.gl/maps/9LJshHEEA372

Unique No Outlet signage: https://goo.gl/maps/c98hj6jCxdr
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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #53 on: January 19, 2019, 09:22:14 PM »

Indiana:

Separate state highways with the same number.  Some original due to the grid system and others due to the transfer of state highways in urban areas to cities (another quirk).

Having separate routes with the same number isn't unique to Indiana.  This happens multiple times in Nebraska:

* N-2:  Gap from Lincoln to Grand Island
* N-27:  Gap between US 26 and N-2
* N-47:  Gap between US 34 and N-23
* N-66:  Gap in Louisville, another between US 77 and N-79
* N-103:  Gap between US 136 and N-4

Probably a few I missed.

I'd go with Indiana's quirks being the little blue signs at bridges with +XX (example[/url) and the use of overhead signs at almost all interstate interchanges on the side roads ([url=https://goo.gl/maps/n7ZZpQ9hBoH2]example).
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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #54 on: January 20, 2019, 03:08:36 AM »

Some quirks from other states that I've taken note of...

Massachusetts
  • The abundance of post-top mounted large green signs at non-freeway intersections, or as we like to call them, paddle signs. I have seen large green signs similar to these in other states, but Massachusetts is the only state to mount them on top of the poles they're attached to. MassDOT (and more intellectual road enthusiasts) refers to the post-top paddle signs as D6, while the smaller ones mounted below are D8. The hardware used for the signs remind me of enlarged street sign brackets.
  • The large, white ENTERING [place] town line signs seen all across the state. The center of the sign features the state seal and the year of incorporation. Like the D6 signs mentioned previously, these "bookleaf" signs are mounted on top of the posts they're attached to.

New Hampshire
  • The abundance of large green uni-signs seen at numbered route intersections. They come in a wide variety of designs, such as ones with just shields, ones that include road and town names, and junction signs. NHDOT is slowly phasing these out, but there are still many out in the field.
  • Route shields for suffixed 2- and 3-digit state routes will have the letter suffix printed below the route number, like so.
  • The use of gold text on blue background on signs denoting their state liquor stores. Both the fact that New Hampshire is persistent in signing their state-run liquor stores and the fact that you'll find stores on the interstate are completely different quirks.

Delaware
  • DelDOT's very own flashing red arrow "T" signals. The concept is almost exactly the same as a flashing yellow arrow signal, except you must come to a complete stop before turning on a flashing red arrow. The latest generation includes two arrows (one flashing in the permissive phase, one steady in the protected phase) in the red sections, but you'll still find many of the old generation which utilized a red ball for the steady protected phase. Maryland also has flashing red arrow signals, although they incorporate the flashing and steady red arrow into the same section.

Maryland
  • Black route shield uni-signs used at major intersections. You'll normally find them on traffic signal poles, but can be seen posted in the ground by themselves. If you take a look at this example found at the intersection of MD 131 and MD 146 in Towson, where you'll notice how the SHA uses smaller signage than that of the ones posted on the opposite side of the intersection.
  • The unnecessarily wide spacing on the state's exit tabs. Sadly, these awkward looking exit tabs have been popping up around Delaware in recent years. I like to imagine that Marylanders give a long pause in describing what exit to take when giving directions. "Yeah, to get to my place, just take the Beltway to exit...................26, ard?"
  • I don't believe these are still being used as of the last 2-3 years, but the widespread use of "mini doghouse" auxiliary signals (I have no other term for them) at signalized intersections with protected/permissive left turns. These are usually mounted above the nearside of the intersection for approaching vehicles, but are occasionally seen by themselves alongside other 8-inch signals at small, town center intersections.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 03:10:58 AM by Ian »
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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #55 on: January 20, 2019, 08:20:53 AM »

    MN:
    “Bypass Lanes” to allow traffic on two-lane roads to pass cars waiting to turn left.

    Those aren't unique to Minnesota. I can recall a few in Nebraska; there are a couple in Illinois in Lake County (example on a county road, example on IL 59); and I want to say a few other states use them.

    ....

    I like that. It'd be nice if more states would do that sort of thing, recognizing traffic counts don't always warrant it.

    It does require having a full shoulder at the intersection, which many states and roadways lack.

    Indiana:

    Separate state highways with the same number.  Some original due to the grid system and others due to the transfer of state highways in urban areas to cities (another quirk).

    Guessing you haven't been to Arkansas...😌

    Maryland
    • I don't believe these are still being used as of the last 2-3 years, but the widespread use of "mini doghouse" auxiliary signals (I have no other term for them) at signalized intersections with protected/permissive left turns. These are usually mounted above the nearside of the intersection for approaching vehicles, but are occasionally seen by themselves alongside other 8-inch signals at small, town center intersections.


    Not just the doghouse signals, but SHA standard practice is to have a nearside, leftside-mast mounted signal period even if it isn't a protected-permitted left turn.

    ---------------

    One more from MnDOT that hasn't been mentioned yet:  their large exit gore signs with the "EXIT", exit number, and arrow arranged vertically.  A few other locations have mimicked the alignment, but none match the full 72" x 84" (or larger with exit number suffixes) size of MnDOT's.
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    tdindy88

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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #56 on: January 20, 2019, 09:27:20 AM »

    Speaking of quirks, in Indiana "bypass lanes" are called "passing blisters," which is a term I've never seen anywhere else, nor in use by the general public.

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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #57 on: January 20, 2019, 10:15:52 AM »

    I've noted before that in Michigan, one doesn't pay tolls at the Mackinac Bridge and Canadian border crossing facilities, one pays fares.


    Michigan also posts passing warnings on rural trunklines where there is a passing lane in the opposing direction.

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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #58 on: January 20, 2019, 11:18:28 AM »

    For Utah:

    -About 20 different beehive shield variants posted in the field (This is not an exaggeration.)
    -State names on all new interstate shields
    -Almost no state route concurrencies, and the few that exist are unsigned
    -Primary state routes that are random parking lots for state institutions
    -Two state routes that serve only to block construction of a nuclear waste rail line
    -Mileposts for ramps in major system interchanges (example), with "wrong way" signs on the back
    -Sign gantries are exclusively monotubes
    -Curved mast arms for traffic signals
    -Almost zero spanwire signals in the state
    -Lots of nonstandard intersection/interchange designs (SPUIs, DDIs, CFIs, ThrU turns...)
    -Underbuilt freeway or expressway junctions with no room to upgrade to system interchanges (80/40, 201/154, 15/7, 84/89...)

    -Historically: outlined or double-outlined shields for US Highways on BGSs

    Michigan also posts passing warnings on rural trunklines where there is a passing lane in the opposing direction.
    snipped image

    I'm forgetting what the exact wording used is, but a sign to that effect is commonly used in Utah. I wish more places had that.
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #59 on: January 20, 2019, 11:45:58 AM »

    Maryland:

    I feel like Maryland uses a lot of custom signage:


    Delaware:

    There are two things noted in this image: the custom I-95 specific upcoming exits sign, also there is tons of advance signage for exits within Wilmington (follow Exit 6 for an example)
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #60 on: January 20, 2019, 11:58:30 AM »

    black-on-white HOV signs (once common but now a party of one).


    What is the alternative?  Everywhere I've been with HOV lanes uses the same signs, WA, BC, OR.


    Another Washington quirk, is the LGS for route signs.
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #61 on: January 20, 2019, 12:33:49 PM »

    Maryland:

    I feel like Maryland uses a lot of custom signage: ....


    Your comment prompts me to think of another Maryland-ism: the use of rhyming signs. Don't have time to go through Street View finding examples just now, but I've seen signs in advance of the service areas (Maryland House and Chesapeake House) that said "Stay Awake Take a Break," construction signs that said "We're improving to keep you moving," and (years ago) an obnoxious series of four signs that said, in order, "Stay Alert," "Stay Alive," "Don't Exceed," "Speed Limit 55" (that last being a standard speed limit sign).

    To be sure, I've seen some rhyming signs in other states—Virginia had a Burma-Shave type set of signs on I-66 about roadwork at one point, and there was a similar set of signs on the Dulles Access Road warning that it was for airport traffic only. But I can't say as I've ever seen another state that uses rhyming signs as routinely as Maryland does.
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #62 on: January 20, 2019, 12:47:23 PM »

    Should add to the list for Nebraska the unique exit gore signs (example), and the mile markers with a separate square for each number (example - kind of hard to see though).
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #63 on: January 20, 2019, 01:01:50 PM »

    Should add to the list for Nebraska the unique exit gore signs (example)

    Reminds me of this older style of exit gore signs that Iowa used to use, except with "EXIT" and the number reversed from the Nebraska example.

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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #64 on: January 20, 2019, 01:30:40 PM »

    ^ This was also standard procedure in Alabama for many years (not sure if it still is).  MnDOT also took the cheap route and did the same when they numbered a few of the pre-existing interchanges along US 52 between the Metro and Rochester.  Just added the numeral plaque above the pre-existing exit sign.
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #65 on: January 20, 2019, 01:53:38 PM »

    Michigan also posts passing warnings on rural trunklines where there is a passing lane in the opposing direction.
    snipped image

    I'm forgetting what the exact wording used is, but a sign to that effect is commonly used in Utah. I wish more places had that.

    A bit more wordy, but Utah uses PASSING PROHIBITED WHEN OPPOSING TRAFFIC IN EITHER ONCOMING LANE.
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #66 on: January 20, 2019, 02:48:01 PM »

    Oregon:
    Speed XX signs where XX is the limit with up to 30 inch lettera. This is sadly going away as ODOT conforms more to MUTCD.
    The remaining speed 65T60 signs are at:
    I-5 at mp 271
    I-205 mp 0-6
    I-84 mp 47-63, 72
    State highways are not the same as state routes and many highways are unsigned and routes have no mileage.
    Mileage is not S to N and W to east always.
    No interstate business routes, they are taken by OR 99 and US 30.
    An abundance of 2 lane expressways, but a lack of 4 lane roads.
    Seems to waste money.


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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #67 on: January 20, 2019, 03:01:49 PM »

    Michigan also posts passing warnings on rural trunklines where there is a passing lane in the opposing direction.
    snipped image

    I'm forgetting what the exact wording used is, but a sign to that effect is commonly used in Utah. I wish more places had that.

    A bit more wordy, but Utah uses PASSING PROHIBITED WHEN OPPOSING TRAFFIC IN EITHER ONCOMING LANE.

    I don’t think MN allows the single lane to pass anytime in a passing zone, so I’m always curious when I see places that do.
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #68 on: January 20, 2019, 03:23:23 PM »

    black-on-white HOV signs (once common but now a party of one).

    What is the alternative?  Everywhere I've been with HOV lanes uses the same signs, WA, BC, OR.

    To be clear, I'm referring to white guide signs. I don't know of any white HOV guide signs in OR, but BC uses green HOV guide signs (white is only for regulatory signs, eg "KEEP LEFT"). The FHWA requires green guide signs for HOV/toll facilities now.

    Maryland
    • I don't believe these are still being used as of the last 2-3 years, but the widespread use of "mini doghouse" auxiliary signals (I have no other term for them) at signalized intersections with protected/permissive left turns. These are usually mounted above the nearside of the intersection for approaching vehicles, but are occasionally seen by themselves alongside other 8-inch signals at small, town center intersections.

    Not just the doghouse signals, but SHA standard practice is to have a nearside, leftside-mast mounted signal period even if it isn't a protected-permitted left turn.

    For the record, I find signal visibility in MD quite a bit better than VA for this very reason. I have seen intersections without the nearside signal, but they're very rare. It's not West Coast or NJ levels of redundancy but I appreciate it nonetheless.

    MD also uses very wide spacing for their signals, really only comparable to CA, in my opinion. Not sure why or how this happened, but I appreciate them not crowding signals together.
    « Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 07:18:52 PM by jakeroot »
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #69 on: January 20, 2019, 03:40:55 PM »

    In British Columbia ... Intersections with multiple signal body colors aren't uncommon either.

    Are those provincial installations, though?

    That's a city install, but I have seen mixed color signals on roads that were maintained by other authorities as well. I assume the MOTI is at least partly responsible for the standards that led to their usage. If it would make you happy, once I'm home from work, I'd be happy to find a provincial install. I'm sure there's more than a few out there, although they're still pretty rare. My point was simply that I've never seen mixed color signal bodies in the US or other parts of Canada at one intersection, that wasn't just a one-off thing.

    For some reason, lots of cities in BC switched from black to yellow signals (kinda the opposite of what seems to be happening in most of the US). So when one individual signal needs replacing but not the whole intersection, lots of cities will just replace that individual signal with a yellow one. I'm guessing that's what happened in jakeroot's link. You'll probably never find anything like that in a city that still installs black signals (Surrey for example).

    Few cities do this, but the Ministry of Transportation often installs yellow overhead signals with black supplementary post-mounted signals on purpose (they almost never do yellow post mounted signals). If there's a median left turn signal, the color kinda seems to be whatever they felt like doing that day. Example: https://www.google.com/maps/@48.4552568,-123.5193679,3a,49y,45.34h,87.66t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1shXyh_F_EjZyo3A5sl2wtYQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656. I don't think there's any provincial installs with completely random signals being different colors (e.g. a black overhead signal next to a yellow one).

    Idk where else to post this, but its kinda related so I'm gonna do it here. Look at this nasty signal that's part yellow and part black: https://www.google.com/maps/@49.2450966,-123.0651965,3a,24y,290.39h,92.34t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1swRn7OrWDEgKuOdftaCN25g!2e0!5s20180701T000000!7i16384!8i8192

    Yikes, that last link really goes to show how much some of the BC agencies don't care about body color!

    The first link was probably the install I was trying to think of. I knew I had just seen a brand-new example recently, but I couldn't remember where. The new accompanying signal to the south also has the same color scheme.

    Weirdly, several new signals that I know of in the Lower Mainland (on provincial routes) use all black signals, even overhead (16 Ave, Nordel Way @ Hwy 91), but plenty of the newer signals on Vancouver Island and in the Okanagan use the yellow overhead/black post color scheme. I don't know how, or why there is so much difference between regions but it's certainly unusual.

    The McKenzie Ave/Hwy 1 temp signals (in use during the interchange rebuild) use all yellow signals (even those post-mounted), which is definitely unusual for the MOT. There's a bunch of all-yellow installs along some Lower Mainland provincial routes like Lougheed Hwy, but I think these are all maintained by local authorities (I know Coquitlam quite likes all-yellow signals).
    « Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 03:45:12 PM by jakeroot »
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #70 on: January 20, 2019, 03:45:23 PM »

    Should add to the list for Nebraska the unique exit gore signs (example)

    Reminds me of this older style of exit gore signs that Iowa used to use, except with "EXIT" and the number reversed from the Nebraska example.



    Georgia used to do this back in the '90s, though it was a single sign with the number up top separated from the rest of the sign by a horizontal line. They did this only for 3-digit exit numbers (still sequential at the time, so only on I-75 from midtown Atlanta northward); numbers under 100 just used the regular ones.
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #71 on: January 20, 2019, 06:16:07 PM »

    MD also uses very wide spacing for their signals, really only comparable to CA, in my opinion. Not sure why or how this happened, but I appreciate them not crowding signals together.

    I've noticed that as well. My one gripe with this practice is that it often creates awkward spacing between the protected left turn and through signals. The left turn head(s) will be much closer to that of the through signals, making them spaced unevenly across the mast-arm/span-wire.

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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #72 on: January 20, 2019, 06:58:55 PM »

    MD also uses very wide spacing for their signals, really only comparable to CA, in my opinion. Not sure why or how this happened, but I appreciate them not crowding signals together.

    I've noticed that as well. My one gripe with this practice is that it often creates awkward spacing between the protected left turn and through signals. The left turn head(s) will be much closer to that of the through signals, making them spaced unevenly across the mast-arm/span-wire.

    https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5038/5860716631_1cdc45854d_z.jpg

    Very true. It looks best when a doghouse signal is used, or when the left turn signal is mounted on a pole or mast.
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #73 on: January 20, 2019, 08:39:25 PM »

    MD also uses very wide spacing for their signals, really only comparable to CA, in my opinion. Not sure why or how this happened, but I appreciate them not crowding signals together.

    I've noticed that as well. My one gripe with this practice is that it often creates awkward spacing between the protected left turn and through signals. The left turn head(s) will be much closer to that of the through signals, making them spaced unevenly across the mast-arm/span-wire.



    They could avoid that problem entirely by using side- and median-mounted left signals.  Or not having the mast-arm pole anchored in the median...
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    Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
    « Reply #74 on: January 20, 2019, 08:51:09 PM »

    They could avoid that problem entirely by using side- and median-mounted left signals.  Or not having the mast-arm pole anchored in the median...

    Even with the mast arm mounted on the right, the spacing would be the same. The left turn signal, as it is, is centered over the left turn lane. It's the through signals that are spread left and right from the centerline.
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