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Author Topic: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen  (Read 5350 times)

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Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« on: September 05, 2016, 03:44:47 PM »

I tried searching and didn't see any thread like this come up.

I was driving through Guelph, ON today and was following D-10, which is the highest detour number I can recall seeing. At first, I thought maybe the only reason it's so high is so they could use the default D-1 signs and add a zero to the end. But I also saw a nearby D-7, which leads me to believe that there really could be 10 detours through Guelph right now.

The D-10 signs, which show the tacked-on zero at the end:


The D-7 signs, which I also consider an unusually high detour number:


^ Both of these signs were taken on Hwy 7 (York Rd) between Elizabeth St and Victoria St
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2016, 05:23:33 PM »

I can't say I ever recall seeing a special number for a detour.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2016, 05:24:38 PM »

I can't say I ever recall seeing a special number for a detour.

I've never seen a numbered detour either.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2016, 05:29:17 PM »

^ Do the signs look familiar? Maybe these are an Ontario thing. I often see these detour signs used without any number (i.e. D-) if it's the only detour around.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2016, 05:33:30 PM »

I think this is just like poutine and unnecessary U's: mostly limited to Canada and not totally understood by Americans.
Do you have to remember which number you're following, or is it a step?
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2016, 05:36:31 PM »

I think this is just like poutine and unnecessary U's: mostly limited to Canada and not totally understood by Americans.
Do you have to remember which number you're following, or is it a step?

You follow the same number, so for example, to get around the construction on Hwy 7, I followed the D-10 signs around the various streets until the end of the detour. They're used if there are multiple detours in the same area (the photos for D-7 and D-10 above were taken on the same street very close to each other). That way, you know which detour to follow.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2016, 06:10:52 PM »

Detours around here are usually signed with either a normal route shield and an orange "detour" banner or a detour sign with a street blade on top.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2016, 06:16:59 PM »

Germany has permanently signed detours as Uxx (U standing for Umleitung, German for 'detour') in case a section of autobahn is closed, and they reach very high numbers. I remember seeing a photo of one in the eighties.

Edit: Now I've got to see the photo again, it was U83 off A2 near the black hole all maps label as a city called 'Bielefeld'. Sadly, no exit to Ausfahrt was in sight.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 05:26:11 AM by CNGL-Leudimin »
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2016, 07:08:01 PM »

Germany has permanently signed detours as Uxx (U standing for Umleitung. German for 'detour') in case a section of autobahn is closed, and they reach very high numbers. I remember seeing a photo of one in the eighties.

I wasn't intending on including permanently signed detours (sorry, I forgot about them). If I included those, Ontario's highest would be EDR (Emergency Detour Route) 427:



I wanted to include consecutively numbered temporary detours, but it sounds like these aren't as common as I thought.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2016, 09:02:40 PM »

Yeah, I don't think they're found outside of Ontario.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2016, 12:53:04 AM »

Let me make sure I understand the scenario correctly...

You’re driving down Highway 7, come upon a construction area with a road closure, and are presented with a sign that says something like DETOUR - FOLLOW D-10. So then you follow the signs marked D-10 around the construction area, and eventually, you’re back on Highway 7.

Is that correct?

I understand that, if two or more routes had detours through the same area and the DOT simply signed generic, unidentified DETOUR signs, motorists would get confused: Is that my detour?

But what I don’t understand is the need to sign the detour with its own number. Wouldn’t it be better to sign the actual route number with a DETOUR plate attached? Not only would Highway 7 traffic not have to worry about remembering which D number they’re following, any side road traffic headed for Highway 7 will be able to see and understand the detour signs immediately. Those motorists might not understand the relevance of “D-10” out of context.

Here’s how such a situation might be signed in the U.S.:
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2016, 12:56:07 AM »

I tried searching and didn't see any thread like this come up.

I was driving through Guelph, ON today and was following D-10, which is the highest detour number I can recall seeing. At first, I thought maybe the only reason it's so high is so they could use the default D-1 signs and add a zero to the end. But I also saw a nearby D-7, which leads me to believe that there really could be 10 detours through Guelph right now.

The D-10 signs, which show the tacked-on zero at the end:


The D-7 signs, which I also consider an unusually high detour number:


^ Both of these signs were taken on Hwy 7 (York Rd) between Elizabeth St and Victoria St

Those types of signs are an Ontario thing. I'm not even sure why it's a thing (why does there need to be a numbered detour?). I haven't seen it anywhere else in North America.

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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2016, 10:27:38 AM »

Those types of signs are an Ontario thing. I'm not even sure why it's a thing (why does there need to be a numbered detour?). I haven't seen it anywhere else in North America.

When you have multiple detours in the same area.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2016, 10:49:48 AM »

Let me make sure I understand the scenario correctly...

You’re driving down Highway 7, come upon a construction area with a road closure, and are presented with a sign that says something like DETOUR - FOLLOW D-10. So then you follow the signs marked D-10 around the construction area, and eventually, you’re back on Highway 7.

Is that correct?

Yep, that's right. :thumbsup:

I understand that, if two or more routes had detours through the same area and the DOT simply signed generic, unidentified DETOUR signs, motorists would get confused: Is that my detour?

But what I don’t understand is the need to sign the detour with its own number. Wouldn’t it be better to sign the actual route number with a DETOUR plate attached? Not only would Highway 7 traffic not have to worry about remembering which D number they’re following, any side road traffic headed for Highway 7 will be able to see and understand the detour signs immediately. Those motorists might not understand the relevance of “D-10” out of context.

In this instance, it would be more ideal to have the Highway 7 detour as D-7, but I'm guessing by the time this detour was put in place, D-7 was already being used for another nearby detour.

As for why Ontario uses these detour signs with generic numbers, I have one theory anyway. It might be cheaper to use these detour signs since they can keep being reused in various places. Often times, they won't bother adding any number if it's the only detour around, so of course this situation would require no modifications to the sign at all. And if a number is required, they can either reuse one with the correct number, or simply stick a number on top of an old one if need be. I'm thinking this is cheaper than having to produce a new route number or street blade for a construction detour they may only happen once on that road. Again, I'm just guessing here, I could be wrong.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2016, 11:19:13 AM »


I understand that, if two or more routes had detours through the same area and the DOT simply signed generic, unidentified DETOUR signs, motorists would get confused: Is that my detour?

But what I don’t understand is the need to sign the detour with its own number. Wouldn’t it be better to sign the actual route number with a DETOUR plate attached? Not only would Highway 7 traffic not have to worry about remembering which D number they’re following, any side road traffic headed for Highway 7 will be able to see and understand the detour signs immediately. Those motorists might not understand the relevance of “D-10” out of context.

Yes, I think that would be better to, but for whatever reason, Ontario has never done that.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2016, 11:24:54 AM »

1. A standard practice here is to assign a detour number based on route. "[STREET NAME] CLOSED/FOLLOW D-#"
2. Having ten detour routes in a city the size of Guelph is not noteworthy. Considering this detour has two routes (EB and WB each get one)
3. This detours York Road, not a numbered road. So other detour signs would be inappropriate.
4. Generic D-# signs are used as they can be reused again and again
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2016, 11:27:36 AM »

3. This detours York Road, not a numbered road. So other detour signs would be inappropriate.
4. Generic D-# signs are used as they can be reused again and again

Of course, the US has a solution for these as well. Unnumbered roads get a street blade. Detour signs are just given plastic overlays for new route numbers. There are times when cutting costs makes problems worse, especially for people unfamiliar with an area.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2016, 11:33:12 AM »

3. This detours York Road, not a numbered road. So other detour signs would be inappropriate.
4. Generic D-# signs are used as they can be reused again and again

Of course, the US has a solution for these as well. Unnumbered roads get a street blade. Detour signs are just given plastic overlays for new route numbers. There are times when cutting costs makes problems worse, especially for people unfamiliar with an area.

Then you're creating sign clutter in a situation where by definition you're dealing with unfamiliar drivers. A detour shield with a number is a lot quicker to ascertain than text.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2016, 11:39:46 AM »

^ Yeah, I don't know if I agree with that.  I know that's how Ontario does it, but if you miss the first sign in Ontario explaining what the detour route is, than our system goes out the window.

The US system isn't perfect either, but I think it's better than ours.

*edit.
As part of the construction to extend the 407 through Durham Region, I have had the opportunity to notice a lot of detour signage as part of the highway construction.  Often successive roadway roads are closed meaning there is successive detour route signage along major roadways.  Our detour signs post a lot of information on the first signs, and it can be easy to miss exactly what detour route is assigned to each roadway in my experience at least.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 11:44:18 AM by AsphaltPlanet »
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2016, 11:49:03 AM »

I apologize for not actually answering OP's question, but at least one U.S. state, Pennsylvania, has a system for their detours, but instead of numbers, they use colors such as blue, black, red and green. So you'll often see signs like "BLUE DETOUR" and an arrow pointing the way toward that detour's path. These color-coded detours are reserved for emergencies that may shut down certain routes. Or something like that.

EDIT: I looked it up and the colors correspond to directions. So blue detours are always northbound detours, and orange corresponds to the direction west, and so on.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 11:52:03 AM by epzik8 »
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2016, 01:14:56 PM »

The Thruway started putting up emergency detours as well.  The highest I know of is H.  Lettered emergency detours were/are also used in Utica's north-south arterial project.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2016, 01:50:29 PM »

I apologize for not actually answering OP's question, but at least one U.S. state, Pennsylvania, has a system for their detours, but instead of numbers, they use colors such as blue, black, red and green. So you'll often see signs like "BLUE DETOUR" and an arrow pointing the way toward that detour's path. These color-coded detours are reserved for emergencies that may shut down certain routes. Or something like that.

EDIT: I looked it up and the colors correspond to directions. So blue detours are always northbound detours, and orange corresponds to the direction west, and so on.

As far as I'm concerned, they are nothing more than signage pollution. I've never actually seen them in use, or read or hear "Use the Blue Detour".  Anytime a detour has been put in place, it's usually very specific, and accompanied by route numbers or street names.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2016, 01:52:34 PM »

I apologize for not actually answering OP's question, but at least one U.S. state, Pennsylvania, has a system for their detours, but instead of numbers, they use colors such as blue, black, red and green. So you'll often see signs like "BLUE DETOUR" and an arrow pointing the way toward that detour's path. These color-coded detours are reserved for emergencies that may shut down certain routes. Or something like that.

EDIT: I looked it up and the colors correspond to directions. So blue detours are always northbound detours, and orange corresponds to the direction west, and so on.

As far as I'm concerned, they are nothing more than signage pollution. I've never actually seen them in use, or read or hear "Use the Blue Detour".  Anytime a detour has been put in place, it's usually very specific, and accompanied by route numbers or street names.

It was years ago, but I do remember seeing a VMS in Pennsylvania telling people to use a blue detour route along an interstate.

Haven't seen a message like it since.
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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2016, 04:05:41 PM »

The Thruway started putting up emergency detours as well.  The highest I know of is H.  Lettered emergency detours were/are also used in Utica's north-south arterial project.

After what fortunatly was just a fiasco (no one died) for the WV Turnpike's misnanagement when it ground to a halt during a snowstorm when most of the other roads in the region were easily kept open, it came up with a set of pre-signed "emergency detours" which are A - E, taking 50 to 80 mile detours (all east of the Turnpike, and thus higher in the mountains).  None have been, or ever are likely to ever be, actually used.  All for PR purposes.

Other than that, I have never seen a detour signed other than just with the route shield of the parent road and an orange "detour" above the directional.

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Re: Highest Numbered Detour You've Seen
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2016, 05:12:22 PM »

I apologize for not actually answering OP's question, but at least one U.S. state, Pennsylvania, has a system for their detours, but instead of numbers, they use colors such as blue, black, red and green. So you'll often see signs like "BLUE DETOUR" and an arrow pointing the way toward that detour's path. These color-coded detours are reserved for emergencies that may shut down certain routes. Or something like that.

EDIT: I looked it up and the colors correspond to directions. So blue detours are always northbound detours, and orange corresponds to the direction west, and so on.

As far as I'm concerned, they are nothing more than signage pollution. I've never actually seen them in use, or read or hear "Use the Blue Detour".  Anytime a detour has been put in place, it's usually very specific, and accompanied by route numbers or street names.

At the point where Pennsylvania’s colored detour routes begin, there’s a folding signboard like the one pictured below. While they’re relatively small and easily ignored, I’m sure if you were driving in a blinding snowstorm and came upon a line of barricades blocking the road beyond this sign, you’d notice and heed it.

That said, in a quarter century of living in Pennsylvania, I’ve never seen one actually in use. The few glimpses I’ve caught of these FOLLOW signs have been when the signs blew or fell open. And while motorists may have given the sign a passing glance, because there wasn’t any apparent obstruction or incident, they simply ignored it and drove by.

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