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View Poll Results: I'd like our new European Nation to be like:...
Austria 11 6.43%
Belgium 4 2.34%
France 10 5.85%
Germany 51 29.82%
Netherlands 41 23.98%
Italy 8 4.68%
Spain 11 6.43%
Sweden 8 4.68%
United States 11 6.43%
Portugal 8 4.68%
Poland 21 12.28%
Czech Republic 11 6.43%
Australia 4 2.34%
Norway 7 4.09%
Switzerland 11 6.43%
Other 14 8.19%
I want a whole new system 13 7.60%
I want a combination of countries. (explain which ones) 20 11.70%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 171. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 31st, 2016, 05:15 PM   #41
MichiH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
But wasn't the discussion about whether they could/should be added on Dutch and German signs?
Sorry, I misunderstood your previous post. I agree now .
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 08:01 PM   #42
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I honestly believe the Spanish system to be the superior one, but I might be biased.





White letters on blue background for motorways, black letters on white background for the rest.
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Old February 4th, 2016, 08:21 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
Most German and Dutch road numbers have one general bearing, and it is usually straightforward to attribute one of the four cardinal directions to that bearing. You do not need the perfect grid pattern of the US Midwest to signpost cardinal dieections. In the specific case of Germany: the motorway numbering was designed as a grid and on the basis of the general direction, so why not actually introduce it? In both Germany and the Netherlands, the number of non-ringroad motorways that actually change direction is pretty small. You can deal with road like the German A3 and the Dutch A7 creatively and just take the straightforward approach for all the rest.
Interstates are also numbered according to cardinal bearing. I know that I-35 will run north-south and I-66 will run east-west without looking at cardinal directional signage.

However, as I've noted before, that doesn't mean that cardinal directional signage is unimportant, especially once you've got a unified road network at a continental scale. For example, it would be nonsensical for all of E-80's control cities to be listed at its western terminus, or in Madrid, or wherever. The list would be absurdly long and probably spread out over multiple signboards. It's not useful at all.

Cardinal directional signage is a useful alternative to that: you signpost the three or four most local control cities and use cardinal directional signage to show that the road continues on. So I-70 in Columbus might get signposted towards Pittsburgh and then "East", or towards Indianapolis and then "West".

The other use of cardinal directional signage is to indicate, well, direction when a junction is too minor to merit specific control cities.

I do agree with Penn's Woods that the U.S. goes too far in that direction, though. An optimal signage system has to work at every scale from the local to the continental.
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Old February 4th, 2016, 09:18 AM   #44
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Another reason for including directions is that a reference to "E19 Antwerpen" may refer to the northbound roadway or to the southbound roadway, depending what side of Antwerp you're on. "I-95 North" always refers to the northbound side. I've heard European traffic reports say things like "the A1, direction Paris-Lille"....
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Old February 4th, 2016, 09:21 AM   #45
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And in the Dutch system important roads (highways = red and regional roads = yellow) have their own colour, so the information about the road system is sort of available.

Is there a reason the Dutch keep A- and E-numbers separate like that?
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Old February 4th, 2016, 12:40 PM   #46
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They keep it separate everywhere. Only a few countries like Belgium and Sweden stick with E-numbers as their primary national route numbers. The Germans and the French only display them sporadically...
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Old February 4th, 2016, 04:16 PM   #47
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Europe should copy the British on everything including driving on the right.
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Old February 4th, 2016, 04:29 PM   #48
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Europe should copy the British on everything including driving on the right.
And boom! goes the dynamite.
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Old February 4th, 2016, 05:12 PM   #49
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If there is one thing on which you cannot copy the British it is driving on the right. Maybe in NOT driving on the right-hand side?

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Originally Posted by General Maximus View Post
They keep it separate everywhere. Only a few countries like Belgium and Sweden stick with E-numbers as their primary national route numbers. The Germans and the French only display them sporadically...
That's not exactly the Dutch position nowadays. If a road has one E-number and one A-number, both shields will be placed next to one another on the baseline of the sign. Between every pair of arrows, you'd get two shields. So on the more easterly part of the A12, which is E35 only, you would get [arrow] A12 E35 [arrow] A12 E35 [arrow]. So this sign at the N11 intersection marks the exception, and that is because we find ourselves on a duplex. On a duplex of A-roads or E-roads, there is not enough space between the arrows to display all shields. So then the A-shields go onto the baseline, and the E-shields go to the top.

To add to the confusion, until 2005 or so all E-shields on Dutch signs would be placed at the top of the signs, but we changed because some people thought that a more prominent position for the little used E-routes would actually be helpful. For examples of the resultant 'traffic light gantries', see here.
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Last edited by -Pino-; February 5th, 2016 at 09:26 AM.
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Old February 4th, 2016, 05:20 PM   #50
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I thought I noticed that something has changed with the E-allocations. Very cool site by the way, I've added it to my favourites...
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Old February 4th, 2016, 05:53 PM   #51
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But does one ever use the E-numbers? I find it quite unnecessary as every nation uses their local road-numbering in traffic reports, detours and governmental communication (as far as I know).
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Old February 4th, 2016, 06:06 PM   #52
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But does one ever use the E-numbers? I find it quite unnecessary as every nation uses their local road-numbering in traffic reports, detours and governmental communication (as far as I know).
It depends on the road, and the country. In Italy, SS3bis is better known by everybody as "E45".
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Old February 5th, 2016, 01:22 PM   #53
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Italy may be one of the weirder countries in this respect, as E45 for the SS3bis is just about the one E-number generally known in Italy. But that's only for the Cesena-Orte part; you won't hear E45 being used as the number for the other parts of the E45 in Italy. E78 would be distant second in terms of Italian E-numbers prevailing over national numbers; largely in the context of upgrading the Grosseto-Fano corridor that holds this E-number (which upgrade affects many national road numbers).

In any event, in Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, E-numbers prevail over national road numbers. In fact, Norway and Sweden have not even allocated national numbers to their E-routes, and Danish E-routes have an administrative national number only that is not signposted. Belgium wouldn't be Belgium if they were not the odd one out in some respect, and that is for its E-routes that are part of a signposted ring road or not running over a motorway. All in all, as you mention: whether national numbers prevail over E-numbers depends on the road and the country. But it is also fair to say that E-numbers were used much more prominently in the 1960s and 1970s and gradually lost ground in favour of national numbers since.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 02:44 PM   #54
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I do agree with Penn's Woods that the U.S. goes too far in that direction, though. An optimal signage system has to work at every scale from the local to the continental.
Both in the US and in Europe, there is not enough cross-continental traffic to justify the use of destinations at the continental scale. Signposting the two termini Seattle and Boston all along I-90 makes as little sense as signposting the two termini Amsterdam and Rome all along the E35. Or, taking it to the extreme, towns in the empty open spaces of Kazakhstan on the E40 or those of Northern Sweden on the E45.

In both cases, continental traffic on the main cross-continental routes will be assisted well enough if there is a well-known big city on the signs all the time. A city that tourists and professional drivers from other states/countries will be more or less instantly familiar with. On Europe's main roads that should be easily achievable. Conversely, in the more sparsely populated areas of the US, we have to accept that finding a large, instantly recognisable town along the route is often difficult. If you used a threshold of 750,000 inhabitants for the metropolitan area, you would have to signpost Chicago on the I-90 east of Seattle (and vice versa of course). That is over 2000 miles / 3000 km away. Even in the East, something like signposting New York from Cleveland brings you to numbers on the distance signs that you won't see in many parts of Europe. That's where the cardinal direction comes into play. But as discussed the US DOTs could often try harder to find better destinations, in the form of large interstate cities rather than just the small town that's close to the first intersection with another Interstate route.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 07:16 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
Both in the US and in Europe, there is not enough cross-continental traffic to justify the use of destinations at the continental scale. Signposting the two termini Seattle and Boston all along I-90 makes as little sense as signposting the two termini Amsterdam and Rome all along the E35. Or, taking it to the extreme, towns in the empty open spaces of Kazakhstan on the E40 or those of Northern Sweden on the E45.

In both cases, continental traffic on the main cross-continental routes will be assisted well enough if there is a well-known big city on the signs all the time. A city that tourists and professional drivers from other states/countries will be more or less instantly familiar with. On Europe's main roads that should be easily achievable. Conversely, in the more sparsely populated areas of the US, we have to accept that finding a large, instantly recognisable town along the route is often difficult. If you used a threshold of 750,000 inhabitants for the metropolitan area, you would have to signpost Chicago on the I-90 east of Seattle (and vice versa of course). That is over 2000 miles / 3000 km away. Even in the East, something like signposting New York from Cleveland brings you to numbers on the distance signs that you won't see in many parts of Europe. That's where the cardinal direction comes into play. But as discussed the US DOTs could often try harder to find better destinations, in the form of large interstate cities rather than just the small town that's close to the first intersection with another Interstate route.
None of that invalidates my point about cardinal-directionality being useful as a heuristic, though. You use local control cities and the directional marker to indicate that the road extends beyond them. So on I-90 in e.g. Montana, Billings (pop. just north of 100k) is the primary control city, while "eastbound" is useful for traffic to Mt. Rushmore, the Twin Cities, Chicago, or even further on, and "westbound" for traffic to the PNW. The directional marker folds a whole raft of possible destinations into one single word.

And there is plenty of cross-continental traffic, both in the US and Europe. You just don't notice it if you're a driver ... because it's mostly trucks.

Last edited by hammersklavier; February 6th, 2016 at 07:23 AM.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 07:45 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
Both in the US and in Europe, there is not enough cross-continental traffic to justify the use of destinations at the continental scale. Signposting the two termini Seattle and Boston all along I-90 makes as little sense as signposting the two termini Amsterdam and Rome all along the E35. Or, taking it to the extreme, towns in the empty open spaces of Kazakhstan on the E40 or those of Northern Sweden on the E45.

In both cases, continental traffic on the main cross-continental routes will be assisted well enough if there is a well-known big city on the signs all the time. A city that tourists and professional drivers from other states/countries will be more or less instantly familiar with. On Europe's main roads that should be easily achievable. Conversely, in the more sparsely populated areas of the US, we have to accept that finding a large, instantly recognisable town along the route is often difficult. If you used a threshold of 750,000 inhabitants for the metropolitan area, you would have to signpost Chicago on the I-90 east of Seattle (and vice versa of course). That is over 2000 miles / 3000 km away. Even in the East, something like signposting New York from Cleveland brings you to numbers on the distance signs that you won't see in many parts of Europe. That's where the cardinal direction comes into play. But as discussed the US DOTs could often try harder to find better destinations, in the form of large interstate cities rather than just the small town that's close to the first intersection with another Interstate route.
I'm not suggesting posting Boston and Seattle from end to end. But give the next reasonably big city, not just Bloomsburg or Bellefonte. And then there's inconsistency. Utah will give the next sizable or important city even if it's hundreds of miles away. New Jersey and Pennsylvania go local. Illinois, in the Chicago area at least, gives the neighboring states. And then there are distance signs. You can drive from Philadelphia to Harrisburg on either the Pennsylvania Turnpike or US 322 and not encounter a single sign giving the distance to Harrisburg until you're almost there.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 07:45 AM   #57
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I am trying to think of it, what do urban motorways show in European countries, when there is no logical destination city on either end or along the path, aside from the city it already is?

I'm sure there are a ton of 3-digit Bundesautobahnen like this... Berliner Stadtring comes to mind.

For example in the Toronto area, Highway 407 is only signed west and east without a city. (curiously though, the QEW highway in the same area is signed only with cities, and no directions)

Or in the Montreal area, Highway 440 as well (the A-440 only runs in one city, Laval, a suburb of Montreal)
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Old February 6th, 2016, 07:48 AM   #58
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Indirect destinations:

Lyon, Bordeaux, Rouen and the like on the Paris Périphérique, for example. Another thing that would make some American highway officials' heads explode.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 07:51 AM   #59
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France just posts absurd lists of virtually every city in the country though on the signs and then after installing them remembers to add a 12 inch (sorry, 300 mm) wide panel showing the route number duct-taped on top
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Old February 6th, 2016, 08:28 AM   #60
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Quote:
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I'm not suggesting posting Boston and Seattle from end to end. But give the next reasonably big city, not just Bloomsburg or Bellefonte. And then there's inconsistency. Utah will give the next sizable or important city even if it's hundreds of miles away. New Jersey and Pennsylvania go local. Illinois, in the Chicago area at least, gives the neighboring states. And then there are distance signs. You can drive from Philadelphia to Harrisburg on either the Pennsylvania Turnpike or US 322 and not encounter a single sign giving the distance to Harrisburg until you're almost there.
One solution to control cities would be to regulate thus:

The next two cities pop 20k or 30k and above, and
The next alpha city pop 100k and above

So I-95 heading northbound from Philadelphia would have Trenton, New Brunswick, and New York as the control cities.

(Why? Well New York is the alpha city of the region, so even though Newark has 277k people signposting it doesn't make any kind of sense.)

Similarly, I-76 heading west of King of Prussia would have Lancaster, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh as the three control cities. And so on.

I have no idea about distance signs. Perhaps place one every 10 miles/20 km or so, as well as about ~1 mi/km past a major freeway junction?
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