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Author Topic: Beltways and directions  (Read 7929 times)

Duke87

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Beltways and directions
« on: February 22, 2009, 05:07:23 PM »

One thing that's always bothered me about beltways is the way they're signed. DOTs always insist on using East/West and North/South, changing at the four "corners" of the loop.
Personally, I think this is silly, since one does not take a highway that runs in a circle in any compass direction, really.

I say that if a beltway actually makes a full complete loop it should uniformly have its directions signed as "clockwise" and "counterclockwise" on any BGS. On standalone shields where fitting this would be problematic, use "CW" and "CCW" for short.

Thoughts?
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74/171FAN

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2009, 05:29:51 PM »

"Inner Loop" and "Outer Loop" are already being used on signposts on I-64/I-664(also known as the Hampton Roads Beltway) and I believe that they are also used on the Capital Beltway(I-495/I-95) and maybe even I-695(Baltimore Beltway).
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deathtopumpkins

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2009, 05:33:49 PM »

Yeah, Inner Loop/Outer Loop is what is supposed to be used if I'm not mistaken...

And it looks like 74/171FAN beat me to it...

Bryant5493

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2009, 06:49:04 PM »

I-285, the Atlanta beltway, would be better served by using the Inner/Outer Loop designation. I finally got the jist gist of the east-west/north-south designation, a few years ago.


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Bryant
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 09:33:45 PM by Bryant5493 »
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akotchi

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2009, 07:00:38 PM »

I think the "Inner" and "Outer" designations are being applied more to the logo for the beltway than to the interstate highway shields.  I've seen cardinal directions for the interstate highways (including on the BGSs), but inner/outer only on the confirming assemblies.  I don't think Baltimore uses inner/outer yet, but I have not been on there in awhile.  Many confirming assemblies show both.  I-440 in Raleigh is the one exception I know of, but I thought that was to be changed when the 440 designation is removed from the I-40 overlap.

BTW, I only have the 495 (D.C.), 695 (Balt.) and 440 (Raleigh) beltways to go on, so things may be done differently elsewhere.
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mightyace

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2009, 08:25:33 PM »

I know from personal experience that Louisville, KY (I-265, KY 841); Cincinnati, OH (I-275); Columbus, OH (I-270); and Nashville, TN (TN 155) do not use Inner and Outer.  They simply change directions at some point.

And, yes, I know that the I-265 in Louisville and TN 155 in Nashville are not full loops, but they have enough of one for the direction to be an issue.
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Bryant5493

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2009, 09:59:20 PM »

I was just looking at a map of the Hampton Roads Beltway (I-64/664). Wouldn't it have been easier to just end I-64 East in Hampton, and then have I-664 take over the eastern portion of the beltway? It's already on the western portion of the beltway, at I-64's "eastern" end. That would be a little less confusing, I think.


Be well,

Bryant
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Greybear

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2009, 10:07:37 PM »

I know that I-635 in Dallas and I-820 in Ft. Worth do not use Inner and Outer. Both of them change directions as well at some point.

Neither highway is a loop around its respective city.
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WillWeaverRVA

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 01:28:52 AM »

I-295 in VA is not a complete beltway, but it does enter a directional dilemma. I-295 ceases to be a north/south highway at about US 301 or so, and goes east/west for a while before reaching I-64 in such a way that I-295 NB is actually going south. VDOT gets around this by simply not marking I-295 with any cardinal direction banners between I-95 and I-64 (in Short Pump), similar to I-64 between I-264 and I-664. This only applies to signage on surface streets; reassurance markers on I-295 itself still say north or south.

VDOT internally assigns I-295 as an east-west route between I-64/US 60 near Bottoms Bridge and I-64 in Short Pump, according to the annual traffic counts.
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V'Ger

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2009, 04:47:39 PM »

I've never understood that. The inner and outer works so much better than anything though.
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mightyace

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2009, 05:36:28 PM »

I have a recollection of watching Baltimore traffic reports in the early 80s when I was at Johns Hopkins.  The reports generally talked about Inner Loop and Outer Loop even though 695 was not signed as such.
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Alps

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2009, 07:57:43 PM »

I-295 in VA is not a complete beltway, but it does enter a directional dilemma. I-295 ceases to be a north/south highway at about US 301 or so, and goes east/west for a while before reaching I-64 in such a way that I-295 NB is actually going south. VDOT gets around this by simply not marking I-295 with any cardinal direction banners between I-95 and I-64 (in Short Pump), similar to I-64 between I-264 and I-664. This only applies to signage on surface streets; reassurance markers on I-295 itself still say north or south.

VDOT internally assigns I-295 as an east-west route between I-64/US 60 near Bottoms Bridge and I-64 in Short Pump, according to the annual traffic counts.
Would be nice to have it signed East-West between 64 and 295.  95/295 is a major interchange, former end of 295, and certainly where the direction changes.

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2009, 07:59:11 PM »

I think the "Inner" and "Outer" designations are being applied more to the logo for the beltway than to the interstate highway shields.  I've seen cardinal directions for the interstate highways (including on the BGSs), but inner/outer only on the confirming assemblies.  I don't think Baltimore uses inner/outer yet, but I have not been on there in awhile.  Many confirming assemblies show both.  I-440 in Raleigh is the one exception I know of, but I thought that was to be changed when the 440 designation is removed from the I-40 overlap.
I-440 is being changed to EAST/WEST, although the US 1 concurrency frequently gets signed NORTH/SOUTH out of laziness.  The INNER/OUTER references are only around because NCDOT gets its laziest in Raleigh.

roadfro

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Re: Beltways and directions
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2009, 02:47:54 AM »

The Standard Highway Signs book of the MUTCD does not include signs for "Inner" and "Outer", so they are probably not used very much on official signs, even though they may be common in local's terms. 

To me, if in an unfamiliar area, Inner/Outer would be a bit more confusing than referring to cardinal directions.  But this is coming from someone whose main experience with beltways consists of the Las Vegas Beltway which uses cardinal directions that switch at two of its corners...
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