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Author Topic: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?  (Read 16510 times)

StogieGuy7

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #275 on: April 04, 2019, 04:02:45 PM »

I don't know about "excellent".

Like most people, I'm not cruising every mile of the Wisconsin highway system on a frequent basis (though I have been from Pleasant Prairie to Superior and Prairie du Chien to Marinette so I do have some perspective.  From where I live in Kenosha County, WI Hwy 50 and US 45 were both recently redone and are concrete paved.  I-94 that I take to work in IL is 8 lanes of good-quality concrete.  The county roads are less consistent but still fine.  This seems to mirror what I've seen across the state (with some exceptions here and there).  The only thing I'd say that is not representative is that Kenosha County (at least west of 94) has very few roundabouts, which is just fine with me.

On the other hand, Illinois roads are in really bad shape - basically anything maintained by IDOT is in need of work for lack of money. Michigan's roads are rougher than WI.  And roads in MN aren't are well maintained as WI from what I see.

Frankly, I don't get all the griping and chalk it up to cheeseheads being overly parochial and not getting out enough.
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CardInLex

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #276 on: April 12, 2019, 08:31:37 PM »

Kentucky: Being a Cabinet and not a Department! Departments are divisions within the cabinet, example: Department of Highways, Department of Aviation, etc. Across the state government it goes Cabinet > Department > District/Division > Branch > Section > Crew.
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #277 on: April 13, 2019, 01:29:55 AM »

Alabama has "Police Jurisdiction" signs--I am not sure it is unique in this regard, but any other states that use these signs are assuredly in the South.  When I first encountered them during a roadtrip, they made me nervous.  When I returned home, I did a little research and discovered city police forces in Alabama have extraterritorial jurisdiction that extends a short distance beyond the corporate limits of their respective municipalities, and the signs delineate where this ends.
That is actually extra territorial denotation.  Alabama state law allows for a municipal police department to enforce the law two miles outside of the territorial limits of the municipality. 
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hbelkins

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #278 on: April 13, 2019, 11:36:33 PM »

Kentucky: Being a Cabinet and not a Department! Departments are divisions within the cabinet, example: Department of Highways, Department of Aviation, etc. Across the state government it goes Cabinet > Department > District/Division/Office > Branch > Section > Crew Unit.

FIFY. An "Office" is the organizational equivalent of a division, and a "district" is actually an office. "Office of Highway District 10" is the official title of my organizational unit, and it's led by an executive director -- but the common term is "chief district engineer."

At one time, Kentucky used the term "bureau" as an organizational unit. I remember seeing equipment and vehicles labeled "Bureau of Highways." "Cabinet" came along in the late 70s or early 80s.
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formulanone

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #279 on: April 17, 2019, 07:31:24 AM »

Alabama has "Police Jurisdiction" signs--I am not sure it is unique in this regard, but any other states that use these signs are assuredly in the South.  When I first encountered them during a roadtrip, they made me nervous.  When I returned home, I did a little research and discovered city police forces in Alabama have extraterritorial jurisdiction that extends a short distance beyond the corporate limits of their respective municipalities, and the signs delineate where this ends.
That is actually extra territorial denotation.  Alabama state law allows for a municipal police department to enforce the law two miles outside of the territorial limits of the municipality. 

Despite the Police Jurisdiction warnings, I've rarely seen patrol cars hanging out near the signs. More of a "fair warning" sign, in my opinion. It's a bit of a warning that the speed limit is about to be reduced, so it's an additional upcoming notification.

Usually you see these in rural areas, for cities/towns which do not have municipalities that border each other.

jbnv

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #280 on: April 18, 2019, 04:02:37 PM »

Louisiana: The only thing I can think of are the X-Y numberings of some state routes (most of which are local ways that should belong to the municipality).
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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #281 on: April 18, 2019, 04:26:21 PM »

CT DOT:

Refusal to put in 2WLTL and would rather put in nothing or small/short car length left turn lanes.

Different sign designs that don't flow from one project to another.

Option lanes that are not well signed in advance.
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ipeters61

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #282 on: April 19, 2019, 12:41:28 PM »

CT DOT:

Refusal to put in 2WLTL and would rather put in nothing or small/short car length left turn lanes.

Different sign designs that don't flow from one project to another.

Option lanes that are not well signed in advance.
Oh come on!  There's the... there's um... hm... well Broad Street in Manchester.

Are there any others?  I feel like there's another one in the Manchester area.  EDIT - Aha...now I remember, Franklin Avenue in Hartford.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 12:45:55 PM by ipeters61 »
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roadman

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #283 on: April 19, 2019, 01:19:09 PM »

Rotaries.

"School SLOW Crossing" signs, and various other three word phrases.

Driving in the breakdown lane being legal in some cases.
I used to wonder why breakdown lane driving was not legal even after the highway expansion, but then I learned that it was very dangerous.
Peak hour breakdown lane use in MA was first approved by FHWA as a temporary measure until the Randolph to Wellesley I-93/I-95 widening project (the 'Add-A-Lane') was completed.  It was then expanded to MA 3 south of Braintree and I-93 north of Wilmington later on.  Every five years since then, MassDPW/MassHighway/MassDOT is required to submit a report to FHWA to get approval to continue the program.  And yes, peak hour breakdown lane use has always been perceived as being very dangerous, largely due to a few high profile incidents over the years that involved disabled vehicles being struck by others using the lane for travel outside of the permitted hours.   However, the crash statistics, as reflected in the reports to FHWA, don't appear to bear that out.
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architect77

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #284 on: April 20, 2019, 01:27:15 PM »

Georgia....can't be bothered to inspect sign support structures every few years, so no more cantilevered overhead signs. Instead they spend twice as much ($60K+) to support a single sign on both sides of America's widest freeways. Ridiculous!
IMG_0703 by Stephen Edwards, on Flickr
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #285 on: April 20, 2019, 02:08:31 PM »

Georgia....can't be bothered to inspect sign support structures every few years, so no more cantilevered overhead signs. Instead they spend twice as much ($60K+) to support a single sign on both sides of America's widest freeways. Ridiculous!
IMG_0703 by Stephen Edwards, on Flickr

No matter what type of structure they are, they're supposed to be inspected on a regular basis.
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jakeroot

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #286 on: April 20, 2019, 06:16:58 PM »

Has it been considered that other signs may be installed in the future?
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index

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #288 on: April 21, 2019, 04:04:32 AM »

If you have a keen eye you may have noticed something interesting with Washington State.


A lot of the time they paint the colors of bridges to match the side of the state they're in/the surrounding landscape. A lot of the bridges west of the Cascades are painted this kind of pullman green color, while a lot of the bridges in the east are painted beige.


Here's some examples.


West of the Cascades:


https://www.google.com/maps/@48.0163744,-122.1876911,3a,75y,16.31h,85.33t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sw2_U8bFDjFWO1GPcEvQsQw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192


https://www.google.com/maps/@48.035843,-122.1813218,3a,75y,19.88h,87.41t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s_foNPx6wFEJV-rU7BQsyoQ!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3D_foNPx6wFEJV-rU7BQsyoQ%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D96.93384%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656


https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2681846,-122.5511489,3a,75y,108.48h,93.77t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1siztMB7KZxTIfusDMIhkXXQ!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DiztMB7KZxTIfusDMIhkXXQ%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D228.71039%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192


https://www.google.com/maps/@48.4060726,-122.6457024,3a,49.2y,198.86h,89.68t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipPxGVSBI-rwoUGcWS7PSmT4Ahq_rPJCyXjNuA7o!2e10!3e11!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipPxGVSBI-rwoUGcWS7PSmT4Ahq_rPJCyXjNuA7o%3Dw203-h100-k-no-pi-0-ya258.45694-ro-0-fo100!7i9728!8i4864


https://www.google.com/maps/@46.9771535,-123.8111954,3a,60y,259.15h,104.7t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s0_Fi2FqXbkLPg4Tz7yke1Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


https://www.google.com/maps/@46.9616501,-123.6034946,3a,41.2y,346.73h,95.63t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1snKk0xMNRvPEDFWoDLNYPEg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


Notice how all of these are the same color.  If it doesn't then you can kind of tell its original color from before it rusted or faded.


Now east of the Cascades:


https://www.google.com/maps/@46.9432196,-119.9686915,3a,29.9y,75.15h,91.72t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sEYW-LjORrj9Aj9eAK3haeA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


https://www.google.com/maps/@46.5885303,-118.2192948,3a,75y,258.49h,89.4t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipPG8yDFLwUcFXu-ikNSW9omIpZUTGwHejhMaM8!2e10!3e11!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipPG8yDFLwUcFXu-ikNSW9omIpZUTGwHejhMaM8%3Dw203-h100-k-no-pi2.677507-ya254.6524-ro1.5844649-fo100!7i7200!8i3600


https://www.google.com/maps/@45.6097497,-121.1387033,3a,34.3y,325.33h,91.85t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sGAyK9pb7WQN4Lg19_oVgPw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


https://www.google.com/maps/@45.9313389,-119.3282077,3a,60y,310.95h,88.94t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1snbwVDdH70GdspMvZSgeSBw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


https://www.google.com/maps/@47.8132108,-119.9721381,3a,75y,356.46h,93.94t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sGOMTfpHlYObBvAC0iumBGw!2e0!5s20081001T000000!7i3328!8i1664 (This one's brown but nonetheless the idea is still there)


https://www.google.com/maps/@47.9654259,-118.9820301,3a,60y,277.79h,90.2t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sk8I3J8km_NJys9Zb8vlryw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


I always thought this was a pretty interesting thing, and it feels like there's a bit too many examples of this to be a coincidence.
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mgk920

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #289 on: April 21, 2019, 10:49:11 AM »

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

WisDOT uses them all over, too.

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.

Wisconsin does.  WisDOT signs the single-lane side as they would any other passing/no passing zone.

I've seen Appleton and Milwaukee in Wisconsin use decimals on their mileposts of their urban freeways. Appleton has signs in the median of the roadway on I-41 that post mile markers every 2/10ths of a mile, and Milwaukee does this for every 1/10th of a mile on I-43 and I-94 downtown. It has a blue sign that shows you the highway you're on, the mile number, and the fraction below it. Here's an example in Milwaukee. Does any other state do this?
InDOT does on Urban/Suburban Interstate segments, like I-80/94 in NW Indiana, I-65, 69, 70, 74, 465, 865 in/around Indy, I-64, 65, 265 across the Ohio from Louisville, I-69 in Evansville...they kinda do it on new I-69 in Bloomington, but it is inconsistent there

Ok so I guess it's not a weird quirk. I was just going off the fractions of a mile thing Zeffy posted. But those are two different things...

That's a WisDOT/MUTCD thing, relatively little of I-41 is actually in Appleton's city limits (a *POX!* on the state's municipal boundary law!).  My sense is that all of those median blue marker signs statewide are done in decimal, usually every second 'tenth'.

One thing I've noticed is that for reasons I can't really comprehend, the city of Philadelphia has a weird obsession with expressing distances in 10ths on their freeway signs. Wouldn't be as bad if they also reduced the fractions when they could, but then we wouldn't have the 10ths I suppose.  :pan:
I think the average person would have trouble comprehending 2/5 as opposed to 4/10.

At least 10ths are shown on an odometer.

Not as regularly as they used to be. My previous vehicle dropped the tenths as soon as I rolled over 100K. My current vehicle has never displayed tenths of a mile.

Mine also does not show a decimal beyond even miles, same with its two 'trip' odometers.

IMHO, fractions have been trending out general public usage in the USA for many years now, anyways, such that if I had my way, I'd stop torturing grade school kids with having to learn them.  IIRC, they are not encountered by European students until first term algebra.  That would cut over a year off of the time that it takes to teach them basic math/arithmetic, as well as reduce the related frustrations.

Mike
« Last Edit: April 21, 2019, 12:00:54 PM by mgk920 »
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1995hoo

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #290 on: April 21, 2019, 02:30:51 PM »

None of our cars show tenths on the main odometer (three digital odometers, one traditional mechanical one). They all show tenths on the trip odometer(s) (the three with digital odometers all have trip meter "A" and "B"—I use "A" to track each tank of gas and "B" when we travel somewhere to track the total distance there and back again).

BTW, the loss of traditional mechanical odometers is a shame because it was much cooler seeing all the digits roll over at milestone distances. The only car I've ever had whose odometer maxed out at 99,999 was the '77 Ford Granada I had in high school (and it didn't have a trip odometer), but I never saw it roll back to all zeros because it didn't hit that point during the two years I owned it. My brother saw his '74 Beetle roll to all zeros when it hit 200,000 miles.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #291 on: April 21, 2019, 02:56:16 PM »

I have wondered if mechanical odometers were phased out in order to allow mileage to be counted using the vehicle speed sensor (attached to the output shaft of the transmission) rather than a mechanical counter.  I never actually had the odometer fail in either the 1978 Chevy Impala or the 1986 Nissan Maxima, which presumably used metal parts, but by 1990 the automakers were starting to use plastic odometer gears and many of these proved unable to stand up chemically to the lubricants used.  The odometer in my 1994 Saturn SL2 has been frozen at 127,000 and change for six years.
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Big John

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #292 on: April 21, 2019, 03:29:04 PM »

I thought the change to electronic odometers was to deter odometer tampering.
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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #293 on: April 21, 2019, 08:51:13 PM »

I thought the change to electronic odometers was to deter odometer tampering.

^This, plus it removes a bunch of mechanical components with a sensor that can potentially be used by many other systems in the vehicle. Also should be much easier to re-calibrate if you change tire sizes on the vehicle.
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roadman

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #294 on: April 22, 2019, 10:16:09 AM »

Georgia....can't be bothered to inspect sign support structures every few years, so no more cantilevered overhead signs. Instead they spend twice as much ($60K+) to support a single sign on both sides of America's widest freeways. Ridiculous!
IMG_0703 by Stephen Edwards, on Flickr

It's likely that physical constraints preclude installing the deeper cored shaft foundation in the median side that would be required for a cantilever support.  The other alternative, a spread footing foundation, is impractical due to the close proximity of the retaining wall for the ramp.  And, as another poster mentioned, they could be adding signs on the right side in the future.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 03:23:52 PM by roadman »
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Big John

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #295 on: April 22, 2019, 01:22:59 PM »

A cantilever gantry failed a decade or so ago, and GDOT made a policy of no more cantilever supports.
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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #296 on: April 22, 2019, 02:37:04 PM »

I use "A" to track each tank of gas and "B" when we travel somewhere to track the total distance there and back again

This is exactly what I do too.
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roadman

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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #297 on: April 22, 2019, 04:27:43 PM »

A cantilever gantry failed a decade or so ago, and GDOT made a policy of no more cantilever supports.

To satisfy my curiosity, I did some digging into this.  The GDOT policy change regarding cantilever sign supports occurred in 1995, as noted in the NTSB report on the March 2007 bus exit ramp crash on I-75 in Atlanta.  The change resulted from anchor bolt failures at some locations.  The HOV lane sign revisions at Northside Drive resulting from this policy change are cited as a likely contributing factor in the 2007 crash.  Full report on this crash is at https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/HAR0801.pdfhttps://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/HAR0801.pdf
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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #298 on: April 23, 2019, 05:17:51 AM »

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the PennDOT colored detours.
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Re: Weirdest Quirks of Your State DOT?
« Reply #299 on: April 23, 2019, 08:26:46 AM »

I had to follow that Red detour to the next exit down I-79 :sombrero:. It is signed as Orange detour in the other direction, and I've found a Blue and a Black detours too.
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