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Old February 23rd, 2007, 07:22 PM   #21
arzaranh
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Originally Posted by Verso View Post
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Well, of course cars are speeding, and the road is multi-lane, but it could be 'just' an expressway or sth like that. In Europe there's many expressways, which could actually be freeways. Btw, there are brown signs on Arizona's freeways??? I didn't know that, brown signs are usually intended for tourist attractions (in Europe).
what's the difference? in the u.s there are only toll and non toll highways. the non-toll highways are divided into various categories but but the difference between them is more about who pays and maintains them, oh and speed: fast="highway" for long distance drives, and slow="frwy/exprsswy/toll rd/etc." for inter/intra city commutes. i'm pretty sure we don't have motorways, in fact, i don't think i've ever heard of one before.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 08:25 PM   #22
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Motorway, freeway same thing. Its just like up here (Ontario) we don't refer to the 400 series as a freeway we just call it a highway in many causes.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 08:44 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by arzaranh View Post
what's the difference? in the u.s there are only toll and non toll highways. the non-toll highways are divided into various categories but but the difference between them is more about who pays and maintains them, oh and speed: fast="highway" for long distance drives, and slow="frwy/exprsswy/toll rd/etc." for inter/intra city commutes. i'm pretty sure we don't have motorways, in fact, i don't think i've ever heard of one before.
Ok, fair point, but with the motorway/freeway sign (or "Freeway entrance") you warn people not to go on such road with bycicle, tractor etc. or on foot (I mean, once you're on a freeway, it's too late to turn back), plus you mustn't stop, drive backwards etc.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 10:31 PM   #24
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Ok, fair point, but with the motorway/freeway sign (or "Freeway entrance") you warn people not to go on such road with bycicle, tractor etc. or on foot (I mean, once you're on a freeway, it's too late to turn back), plus you mustn't stop, drive backwards etc.
Well, freeways are pretty recognizable to start with. Not only that, but many (especially urbanized ones) have "No bicycles" signs. Interstates are all freeway (except in Cheyenne, Wyoming), so that's recognizable. In California and Nevada, there are "Freeway Entrance" signs. In most states, the difference between freeways and expressways is minimal, as the only real difference is side streets that intersect the roadway; major intersections are usually controlled with an interchange. Also, in most states, speed limits are a good way to tell, since most expressways speeds are lower than the freeway speeds. This is not the case in Texas, where one can go 75 mph (120 km/h) on a rural two-lane road.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 10:31 PM   #25
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we just call it a highway in many causes.
Many Europeans think of motorways/interstates as they hear the word "highway" but it can be a one lane road though.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 07:40 AM   #26
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I'm also wondering by the countries which don't use this sign, how do you know then that you're on a motorway/freeway? In the US for example, you know because signs with destinations are painted green.
I guess the best answer I can give is that you just know. Also before a freeway ends there's usually a sign that says "END FREEWAY" and it will give you the miles or feet until it ends.














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Originally Posted by Naga_Solidus View Post
THey have signs that say "Freeway Entrance" on all on-ramps in the USA, so you'd definetly know you're on a freeway.

I think that's only in California. I've driven from New Mexico through Texas to Vermont and have never seen a "freeway entrance" sign.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 09:05 AM   #27
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Australia does not use the sign, but we follow the same system as the US where there is the End/Start Freeway/Motorway/Expressway signs, with Freeway/Motorway entrance.

In Queensland, we use the term Motorway for most of our limited access roads, and if the state were to use the sign, it would be the green one.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 12:26 PM   #28
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Taste the difference

Deutschland (near Hepberg)


California (Sacramento)


I see certain advantages of the German sign over the Californian one:
  • The distinct shape and colour. Blue colour is related only to the autobahn, so when you see an arrow-shaped blue sign at a great distance, you will already know it will point to the nearest autobahn even though you can't read the text yet. As for the Californian sign, in order to recognise that it points to a highway, you have to get reasonably close to at least spot the route shield.
  • Notice how much information is provided on the german sign as opposed to the Californian sign. Why spell out "freeway" and take so much space if you can just draw a compact neat picture?

Here is how I would like to see the Californian sign

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Old February 24th, 2007, 12:34 PM   #29
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^ It'd be painted green. :P
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Old February 24th, 2007, 01:01 PM   #30
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i think every country in the world should adopt the freeway sign. which looks perfect in alex von's first pic.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 01:14 PM   #31
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i think every country in the world should adopt the freeway sign.
I think that every country in the world should adopt the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals (1968) in the first place Then all other standards and regulations will follow.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 02:49 PM   #32
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I wouldn't want to see everything the same the world round, but I do like your idea for the Europe-like signage. The arrow-shaped sign certainly gives the motorist, with a lot of visual pollution already entering his brain, a little less to compute as he approaches an intersection.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 03:55 PM   #33
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Bolivia doesn't use it too. They have only 4km of Motorway, with a simple sign that says "Autopista".
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Old February 24th, 2007, 08:33 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
I think that every country in the world should adopt the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals (1968) in the first place Then all other standards and regulations will follow.
Doesn't the Vienna Convention provide for the use of green signage and diamond-shaped signs as well?
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Old February 25th, 2007, 08:31 AM   #35
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Doesn't the Vienna Convention provide for the use of green signage and diamond-shaped signs as well?
Yes, it does. What I was reffering to were prohibitive and restrictive signs such as the speed limit, no overtaking, and the motorway sign.

In the USA, very often I hear an argument that Europe uses standardized signs because of too many countries with different languages while in the USA (Canada), on the other hand, everyone speaks English. Therefore, in America there is no need for pictorial signs. But then, how can they explain why China, Japan, and the majority of South American countries use standardized signs as well? All these countries within their borders consist of monoethnic population that speak the same language, and they have far fewer visitor-drivers than the USA.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 09:48 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Yes, it does. What I was reffering to were prohibitive and restrictive signs such as the speed limit, no overtaking, and the motorway sign.

In the USA, very often I hear an argument that Europe uses standardized signs because of too many countries with different languages while in the USA (Canada), on the other hand, everyone speaks English. Therefore, in America there is no need for pictorial signs. But then, how can they explain why China, Japan, and the majority of South American countries use standardized signs as well? All these countries within their borders consist of monoethnic population that speak the same language, and they have far fewer visitor-drivers than the USA.
Well, I think most would dispute China being a monoethnic and monolingual nation, since most dialects would be considered languages in their own right in most places in the world. Japan is, that's for sure, and there are significant numbers of South Americans who speak indigenous languages.

There's no disputing that pictorial signs are generally better for relaying information more quickly than text-based signs. Most states in the US use pictorial signs when possible. California tends to lag behind in signage standards.

Also, on the speed limit sign, in many states it would be completely inappropriate for it to be posted as a prohibitory sign (which the red circle indicates, and how it is defined in most European countries), since legally the speed limit is a regulatory measure, that is, it is not specifically illegal to go over the limit, but it is a violation of the regulations of safe driving in most circumstances (confusing, yes, I know).

I guess my question is, why should the US/Canada/Mexico have a specific "freeway/expressway entrance" sign, or use the international sign? What disadvantage is there to it not being posted, especially since we tend to follow routes based on their number, as opposed to their destinations? If one's directions say "Go on Highway 101," does it matter if 101 is a freeway or a divided highway, or a two-lane road? People generally know not to walk on the freeway, or ride bikes on there (since they would be run over immediately).
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Old February 25th, 2007, 10:49 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Taste the difference

Deutschland (near Hepberg)


California (Sacramento)


I see certain advantages of the German sign over the Californian one:
  • The distinct shape and colour. Blue colour is related only to the autobahn, so when you see an arrow-shaped blue sign at a great distance, you will already know it will point to the nearest autobahn even though you can't read the text yet. As for the Californian sign, in order to recognise that it points to a highway, you have to get reasonably close to at least spot the route shield.
  • Notice how much information is provided on the german sign as opposed to the Californian sign. Why spell out "freeway" and take so much space if you can just draw a compact neat picture?

Here is how I would like to see the Californian sign


I think the way signs are posted in the U.S. are fine. I don't think we need so much information on the sign. Just knowing the highway number is enough because in the U.S. the highway is almost like a destination itself.


Here the driver already knows where F.M. 791 and F.M. 3006 take you.





Here they'll give you a little more help but there's no point in listing all the towns that these highways cross. Just a little bit at a time.




In this last picture there are at least 2 significant cities before you get to Austin but to lessen the confusion and clutter up the sign they tell you the next BIG city and if you don't know the rest then buy a map or have someone tell you. Getting around the United States is easy in my opinion. If I went any other country I'd probably be overloaded with highway information. Just give me the highway number and I'll be set.


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Old February 25th, 2007, 11:19 PM   #38
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Here the driver already knows where F.M. 791 and F.M. 3006 take you.
That's a wrong point of view. Signage is ment for those who are unknown to the area.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 11:49 PM   #39
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I agree, Americans IMO put too much stress to road numbers. People (usually) don't drive on a particular road because of the road itself, but because of a destination the road takes you to. Why would I have to look at map and remember bunch of road numbers, when you have cities/towns/villages written on signs? For example, I know numbers of the most important roads in my country, but if I choose to go to some village, no way I'll remember all those road numbers which take me to the village.

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Originally Posted by ADCS View Post
If one's directions say "Go on Highway 101," does it matter if 101 is a freeway or a divided highway, or a two-lane road?
Of course it matters; if you choose a freeway, you'll come to your destination much sooner than if you choose a 2-lane road (1 lane each direction).
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Old February 26th, 2007, 04:18 AM   #40
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Of course it matters; if you choose a freeway, you'll come to your destination much sooner than if you choose a 2-lane road (1 lane each direction).
Americans and Europeans think about road signage in fundamentally different ways, I think. Destination markers on signs are more for confirmation of the right direction rather than pointing where one should go in the US. Most highways have "North" or "South", "East" or "West" on their signs. If I'm lost, I'll ask for directions from someone, who will usually tell me to find a certain highway number and go a certain cardinal direction.

There often isn't a choice between taking a freeway or taking a two-lane road here (a large part of that being because the Interstate Highway System is mostly free roads); if told to go one way, that usually is the only/fastest route. Not only that, if there are parallel routes, the faster route is usually marked with the major city, while the slower, more "scenic" route is marked with the smaller towns on the way.
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