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Author Topic: New CA tollway entry ramp signing  (Read 1454 times)

stevashe

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Re: New CA tollway entry ramp signing
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2020, 12:09:16 AM »

Regardless of any confusion over the meaning of "free" in freeway, I do think Jake's sign would be better with the middle line of "freeway" cut out as it seems redundant to say "toll road" and "freeway". It's also also worth noting that Caltrans sometimes uses signs that simply say "Toll Crossing Entrance" for ramps that lead directly to toll bridges, again leaving out the term "freeway", so a sign simply stating "Toll Road Entrance" would follow that precedent.

To my surprise, while poking around in streetview for an example a toll bridge entrance sign, I found that the sign for the ramp just north of the Golden Gate Bridge has exactly what I proposed with the "Toll" on a yellow panel! https://goo.gl/maps/fNzfHh6dKhF2Fmc19

Here's an older example without the yellow banner as well: https://goo.gl/maps/PHbyszv4nsNjq44z9

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jakeroot

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Re: New CA tollway entry ramp signing
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2020, 03:52:04 AM »

Here in Washington, I believe the term "FREEWAY" would have to remain on the sign, as limited access highways are legally coined "freeways" under WAC 468-34-110; "toll road" nor "toll crossings" are legal terms here, so they couldn't be used on signs exclusive from "freeway" IMO. But this may not be the case in California.

Personally, I don't consider using "toll road" and "freeway" on the same sign to be that confusing. They are not mutually exclusive; many (all?) of our nation's toll roads are also freeways; "toll road" is not unlike "Interstate": a designation given to the freeway in question, even if that designation is informal (as it is in those states where Interstates are simply the branding for a state route).

Here's two more alternatives (latter arising to contextually separate "freeway" from "toll road"):






It wouldn't be too great of a stretch [for East-coasters] to hear "freeway" and draw the conclusion that the route must be free, since it says so in the name, and it's not a "turnpike".

But it doesn't say so in the name. In the case of roads, "freeways" are roads that are "free of intersecting movements" (the adjective form of "free"). People potentially screw the pooch here by using "free" in its adverb form (word that modifies/qualifies an adjective, et al), by assuming that "freeway" means "way that is free of charge", which is incorrect.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2020, 03:58:10 AM by jakeroot »
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mrsman

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Re: New CA tollway entry ramp signing
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2020, 08:47:22 AM »

Another related thing to think about is whether there should be special signage for on-ramps to a toll bridge in the opposite direction of a toll.

For instance, at the last on-ramp to the Golden Gate Bridge in SF.  You are entering a freeway.  There is no exit before the bridge.  You don't have to pay the toll, but if this were a mistake and you have to turn back, you will pay the toll in the reverse direction.

Should there be a special sign for that?

-----

As an example of freeway last exit signs for this situation, see this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.6060494,-74.0781243,3a,75y,99.65h,89.44t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLagFI5Pe7G5xbb8xEzlMIw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

This is the last exit in Staten Island before hitting the Verrazzano Bridge.  Currently, no toll is charged in this direction.  But it is valuable to be warned that this is the last exit before the bridge, becuase if you want to return to Staten Island after crossing the bridge you will be paying a toll (and this is a very expensive toll).

Of course NY doesn't do freeway entrance signs.  But if there were a sign at an entrance just downstream from this point, how should it be worded?  maybe "freeway entrance" with a yellow background sign on the next line "No exit before bridge"
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heynow415

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Re: New CA tollway entry ramp signing
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2020, 11:33:12 AM »

Another related thing to think about is whether there should be special signage for on-ramps to a toll bridge in the opposite direction of a toll.

For instance, at the last on-ramp to the Golden Gate Bridge in SF.  You are entering a freeway.  There is no exit before the bridge.  You don't have to pay the toll, but if this were a mistake and you have to turn back, you will pay the toll in the reverse direction.

Should there be a special sign for that?

-----

As an example of freeway last exit signs for this situation, see this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.6060494,-74.0781243,3a,75y,99.65h,89.44t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLagFI5Pe7G5xbb8xEzlMIw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

This is the last exit in Staten Island before hitting the Verrazzano Bridge.  Currently, no toll is charged in this direction.  But it is valuable to be warned that this is the last exit before the bridge, becuase if you want to return to Staten Island after crossing the bridge you will be paying a toll (and this is a very expensive toll).

Of course NY doesn't do freeway entrance signs.  But if there were a sign at an entrance just downstream from this point, how should it be worded?  maybe "freeway entrance" with a yellow background sign on the next line "No exit before bridge"

The Golden Gate Bridge is "special" in a number of ways, including that it is operated by an independent district.  However, for State operated toll bridges there usually is signage as you suggest.  For example, approaching the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge from the west (no toll this direction) https://goo.gl/maps/CjMFWvzZsKxq2GVP7  there is a sign advising that a toll crossing entrance is approaching (and that it is the free direction).  Further down there are signs for the upcoming exit that it is the last exit. 
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mrsman

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Re: New CA tollway entry ramp signing
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2020, 12:52:37 PM »

Another related thing to think about is whether there should be special signage for on-ramps to a toll bridge in the opposite direction of a toll.

For instance, at the last on-ramp to the Golden Gate Bridge in SF.  You are entering a freeway.  There is no exit before the bridge.  You don't have to pay the toll, but if this were a mistake and you have to turn back, you will pay the toll in the reverse direction.

Should there be a special sign for that?

-----

As an example of freeway last exit signs for this situation, see this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.6060494,-74.0781243,3a,75y,99.65h,89.44t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLagFI5Pe7G5xbb8xEzlMIw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

This is the last exit in Staten Island before hitting the Verrazzano Bridge.  Currently, no toll is charged in this direction.  But it is valuable to be warned that this is the last exit before the bridge, becuase if you want to return to Staten Island after crossing the bridge you will be paying a toll (and this is a very expensive toll).

Of course NY doesn't do freeway entrance signs.  But if there were a sign at an entrance just downstream from this point, how should it be worded?  maybe "freeway entrance" with a yellow background sign on the next line "No exit before bridge"

The Golden Gate Bridge is "special" in a number of ways, including that it is operated by an independent district.  However, for State operated toll bridges there usually is signage as you suggest.  For example, approaching the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge from the west (no toll this direction) https://goo.gl/maps/CjMFWvzZsKxq2GVP7  there is a sign advising that a toll crossing entrance is approaching (and that it is the free direction).  Further down there are signs for the upcoming exit that it is the last exit.

Thank you for that.  I am a big fan of the "free direction" panel that is listed there.  It definitely tells a driver what he needs to know.

I see that some of the other exit signs say "last exit in Marin County" in yellow.  But this sign gives it the proper context, when you leave Marin County you will do so on a bridge to Contra Costa County.  That bridge is a toll bridge, that happens to be free in your direction of travel.  But should you wish to return, you will pay.

I guess the follow up question should be whether there should be any special signage at the final entrance before the bridge, where you cannot exit once you enter.  Yes, there is one sign saying "Richmond Bridge Only", but the unique toll aspects of the bridge are not mentioned.  [Granted, this entrance is probably low traffic, and most people who pass through understand how the bridge is tolled, but the point of the thread's discussion is whether the freeway entrance signage should acknowledge the free direction of the toll bridge at the point of entrance.]

Here is GSV:

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.9431491,-122.4805613,3a,75y,57.71h,78.89t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sGm4QVwfUSFWXKHYsDGA6pg!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo1.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DGm4QVwfUSFWXKHYsDGA6pg%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D293.8434%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192

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jakeroot

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Re: New CA tollway entry ramp signing
« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2020, 01:33:52 PM »

^^^

I forgot to mention that in Tacoma, on westbound WA-16, there is a sign for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge that says "NO TOLL THIS DIRECTION". To the best of my knowledge, all other toll facilities in Washington are in both directions, so this (so far) has been WSDOT's only opportunity to utilise this signage:

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heynow415

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Re: New CA tollway entry ramp signing
« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2020, 06:09:01 PM »



Thank you for that.  I am a big fan of the "free direction" panel that is listed there.  It definitely tells a driver what he needs to know.

I see that some of the other exit signs say "last exit in Marin County" in yellow.  But this sign gives it the proper context, when you leave Marin County you will do so on a bridge to Contra Costa County.  That bridge is a toll bridge, that happens to be free in your direction of travel.  But should you wish to return, you will pay.

I guess the follow up question should be whether there should be any special signage at the final entrance before the bridge, where you cannot exit once you enter.  Yes, there is one sign saying "Richmond Bridge Only", but the unique toll aspects of the bridge are not mentioned.  [Granted, this entrance is probably low traffic, and most people who pass through understand how the bridge is tolled, but the point of the thread's discussion is whether the freeway entrance signage should acknowledge the free direction of the toll bridge at the point of entrance.]

Here is GSV:

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.9431491,-122.4805613,3a,75y,57.71h,78.89t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sGm4QVwfUSFWXKHYsDGA6pg!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo1.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DGm4QVwfUSFWXKHYsDGA6pg%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D293.8434%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192

The curiosity was killing me so I GSV'ed the last eastbound/no toll onramp before the San Mateo Bridge in Foster City and it does have advisory signage:  https://goo.gl/maps/VWxRDj1rvLgKGD4G7  Same goes for the First St entrance to the Bay Bridge in SF:  https://goo.gl/maps/F4XB987tsG9CJxJs5  These ramps obviously see a lot more traffic than the San Quentin/RSR ramp and the Foster City ramp is set back a ways from the SM bridge so it might not be apparent that you're immediately getting on the bridge like you are with the San Quentin onramp to the RSR bridge, hence the signage there and not at RSR.  The Main St. ramp was recently reconstructed but even looking at historic GSV images there was no sign for the ramp before so it's not like it was forgotten with the reconstruction.

The Bay Bridge one is interesting but understandable because you can technically return westbound on the bridge for free as long as you only go as far as Treasure Island in between the two bridge spans, but unless you live on Treasure Island, there's no reason for that maneuver.  And I suppose it can be debated as to why these are guidance/directional signage (white on green) instead of warning or regulatory color schemes.
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roadfro

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Re: New CA tollway entry ramp signing
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2020, 10:01:58 AM »

And I suppose it can be debated as to why these are guidance/directional signage (white on green) instead of warning or regulatory color schemes.

Well, the "toll crossing entrance" sign is meant to emulate the "freeway entrance" signs, which are white on green. That's not a regulatory or warning message, so the sign is green on white to give that guidance. One could argue that the "toll" part of the message could be black on yellow, but other than that these are fine.
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Roadfro - AARoads Pacific Southwest moderator since 2010, Nevada roadgeek since 1983.

mrsman

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Re: New CA tollway entry ramp signing
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2020, 04:56:36 PM »

And I suppose it can be debated as to why these are guidance/directional signage (white on green) instead of warning or regulatory color schemes.

Well, the "toll crossing entrance" sign is meant to emulate the "freeway entrance" signs, which are white on green. That's not a regulatory or warning message, so the sign is green on white to give that guidance. One could argue that the "toll" part of the message could be black on yellow, but other than that these are fine.

But those signs are in the non-toll direction.  So they really don't need to warn you of a toll with a yellow sign, instead they warn you that you are on a toll crossing that just happens to be free in your direction of travel.  So the current signage is fine.
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