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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 February 6th, 2016, 11:26 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
None of that invalidates my point about cardinal-directionality being useful as a heuristic, though.
I wasn't trying to do so, as I do like cardinal directions to be on the signs of mainline routes generally. The one thing that I was trying to say is that, when the signs on a mainline road do feature a metropolis a few hundred kilometers/miles further afield, that metropolis already more or less equates a cardinal direction. If a sign in Berlin refers to Munich, people will know that that road is the main road South. However, where such an alpha city cannot be signposted or where the alpha city is not a very well known town, there is no such automatic association between the destination signposted and a cardinal direction. But in any event, I am not suggesting that it would be appropriate to not use cardinal directions where a big metropolis can be signposted.

I broadly agree with the thoughts of your last post. Not sure whether you always need the first two 20k+ towns. One would probably be enough, in addition to the first big alpha city. Or you could opt for an approach often taken in France: you take the first 20k+ town and then the second non-alpha city signposted is a larger town of 80k+ (assuming of course that the first 20k+ town is smaller than 80k). And then you retain the big alpha city as the third destination.

As regards the positioning of distance signs: shortly after every exit would do. In fact that's what the MUTCD prescribes (provided that there is sufficient space for it), but it is a rule not very well complied with in the USA.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 12:25 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
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.
A100 signs Hamburg and Dresden: http://www.autobahn-bilder.de/inlines/a100.htm.

A103 signs Schönfeld and Tiergarten: http://www.autobahn-bilder.de/inlines/a103.htm. Just the district name of the location at the end of the Autobahn.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 06:19 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
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
As a geography geek, I love French Autoroute signs to look at pictures of. What other country would think of telling people in Beaune how to get to Lille? I just don't think they work at 130 km/h.
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Old February 6th, 2016, 06:25 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
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?
Around 1990, there was at least one Turnpike interchange in our area where going west led to "Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Ohio."

Virginia does distance markers well: http://azfoo.net/places/dc/pics/010_US-Hwy50E.jpg Normally right after an intersection. So I guess you call those reassurance markers. But most states would just give the route numbers and directions and not bother with the green panel
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Old February 6th, 2016, 07:06 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
As a geography geek, I love French Autoroute signs to look at pictures of. What other country would think of telling people in Beaune how to get to Lille? I just don't think they work at 130 km/h.
I do not know any other country with a more thought-through system of selecting destinations. Principles about the five categories of towns, signposting towns on branch roads and from how far out towns can be signposted make a fascinating read (though they are only available in French). But they are principles that I disagree with on one key point: they leave way too many destinations on signs, particularly those that you approach at high speed. The nature of the French motorway network, like a tree that branches out slowly, is not very helpful either in this respect.

Signposting Lille at Beaune is a sensible choice, but suffers from this very problem. In fairness, sign clutter around big towns is much worse than the signs at Beaune, but I still very much prefer systems where one or two main destinations per route is the starting point - and that's not the French starting point.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 02:43 AM   #66
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Signage:
-All Caps (like France)
-Further city written above (like Germany, not like France)
-blue for motorway (france, germany, ...)
-polish font <3 (drogowskaz)
-Single EU vignette system with no sticker (like in Hungary)
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Old February 7th, 2016, 08:18 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
I do not know any other country with a more thought-through system of selecting destinations. Principles about the five categories of towns, signposting towns on branch roads and from how far out towns can be signposted make a fascinating read (though they are only available in French). But they are principles that I disagree with on one key point: they leave way too many destinations on signs, particularly those that you approach at high speed. The nature of the French motorway network, like a tree that branches out slowly, is not very helpful either in this respect.
....
That's true. At the French roadgeek forum...is it forum.sara.infras.fr?...there is a thread* on "how far away is your city signed. With cute little diagram maps submitted by users, with, say, Lyon at the center of a star and prongs reaching up to Paris on the A1, up to wherever on the A31 (and A5?) and so on, showing at what point the signage for Lyon starts.

A similar exercise for Philadelphia, which is actually quite a large city, would be pathetic.... And not just because we're so close to New York and hence a bit overshadowed by it.

*or was. I haven't been there in years.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 11:31 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
With cute little diagram maps submitted by users, with, say, Lyon at the center of a star and prongs reaching up to Paris on the A1, up to wherever on the A31 (and A5?) and so on, showing at what point the signage for Lyon starts.
You might be interested in this thread on the Dutch forum. Open the second spoiler in the first post and you'll see why. But the French are taking it one step further, with a rather mathematic approach rather than the usual "trial and error" approach of "see from where my town is signposted". See http://routes.wikia.com/wiki/Villes_...panneaux_verts

Quote:
A similar exercise for Philadelphia, which is actually quite a large city, would be pathetic.... And not just because we're so close to New York and hence a bit overshadowed by it.
That's what you get with an MUTCD that says that the control city should be the further town on a distance sign, in combination with the ways control cities have been selected in the US: driven by state boundaries or something as simple as an intersection between two Interstates. From time to time, you see a DOT deviating from this rule, but the instances remain few and far between. Having more of these "alpha cities" (as hammersklavier called them) on the signs would be nice, but it's unlikely to happen, I'm afraid.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 03:01 PM   #69
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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...
Finland as well as the Baltic republics usually use both national and E numbers side by side.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 03:09 PM   #70
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As for an answer to the question, my favorite is maybe Switzerland.

1) the font is nice
2) initial capital only
3) green for motorways
4) not too many road number classes
5) logical language policy, only one name used (except Biel-Bienne?)
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Old March 3rd, 2016, 01:54 AM   #71
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I was imagining the possibility of introducing a completely new European road numbering scheme, to replace the current E-roads mess.
This scheme would require that:
- the N-S and E-W pattern should be abandoned, since there are many important routes in Europe that follow an oblique (eg. SW-NE) alingment: this generates oddities like the 1+1 SS309 in Italy being an E-road, while the A13 motorway not being one;
- a single-numbered road should follow the most direct route between its two termini: no such things like E45 going from Milan to Rome via Cesena and Perugia, or E61 from Rijeka to Villach via Trieste;
- roads should not being interrupted by ferry routes, except those that are short and frequent (Messina strait, Fehman belt, Dover-Calais, E6 near Narvik,...), but not Turin-Palermo via Corsica and Sardinia or Poland-Finland across the Baltic sea;
- European numbers should only been signposted on small signs along the roads themselves, not on directional panels, to avoid creating more mess.

However, that would be a waste of money to design a new scheme, put new signs, while nodody cares about E-numbers anyway. It would be probably more reasonable to get rid of E-numbering at all.
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Old March 7th, 2016, 05:23 PM   #72
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I reject the premise of this ("Europe is now one country"). I think the Union is going to break up soon.
That's no reason not to standardize road signage, is it? ;-)

I mean, you've got lots of very different and sometimes directly contradictory systems. Why should green mean motorway in one place and non-motorway in another just because of arbitrary lines on a map known as borders?

(I'm snarking, due to the silliness about North American license plates in Roadside Rest, but at the same time serious. The differences in directional signage from one country to the next are significant, and more relevant to the visitor than what license plates look like.)
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Old March 7th, 2016, 07:57 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
That's no reason not to standardize road signage, is it? ;-)

I mean, you've got lots of very different and sometimes directly contradictory systems. Why should green mean motorway in one place and non-motorway in another just because of arbitrary lines on a map known as borders?
But they are standardized! The Vienna Convention is about standardization.

Most often, standards leave gaps for localization. In the European system, the pictograms are the key thing, and they are rather well standardized (except some new signs in Slovakia, for instance). Differences in fonts and background colors are not significant.

And, Europe really is not one country. The redneck from Montana is rather similar to the redneck of Virginia. But Karl Brun from Sweden has not much common with Carlo Bruno from Italy.
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Old March 7th, 2016, 08:51 PM   #74
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I'm talking about directional signage. It's very different from one European country to another, and in ways that aren't necessary intuitive.
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Old March 7th, 2016, 10:15 PM   #75
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True. But if you look at the photos posted on websites and discussion fora, the situation looks more confusing than it is in reality. People cross a border and they will just switch automatically to a system that they know from a previous visit or, if they don't, get used to that other system pretty quickly. The fact that colours have different roles is something that you will appreciate within minutes. As a less informed foreigner you will probably miss out on a couple of subtleties, but motorists have been able to navigate across Europe properly for decades - and satnav only made life easier.

Of course it would have been preferable, had European directional signage been harmonised somehow. If only it was on a basic point like colouring. But Europe is not a federation with something like a Federal Highways Agency. It is a part of the World where each individual state has rights to decide and harmonisation requires treaties, i.e. unanimous voting. Unsurprisingly in that world the powers that be focused on those points that were harmonised by the Vienna Convention. It already took decades to get that one properly adopted and implemented, and in the meantime powers that be had better things to do than having endless discussions on how one might best harmonise directional signage.

So that's why everyone went his own way. A shame in some ways, but it's what you get when you are not a federation (or a centralised state).
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Old March 7th, 2016, 11:27 PM   #76
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I actually have no problem with that. And variety's the spice of life. I'm just, um, how to put it, pointing out some inconsistencies in some people's arguments. :-)

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Old March 8th, 2016, 12:11 AM   #77
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Are there road-related aspects, other than tunnel safety standards, currently disciplinated by EU laws? (E-roads aren't related to EU, but with the Council of Europe, and Vienna Convention has nothing to do with EU either).
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old March 8th, 2016, 01:03 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by italystf View Post
I was imagining the possibility of introducing a completely new European road numbering scheme, to replace the current E-roads mess.
This scheme would require that:
- the N-S and E-W pattern should be abandoned, since there are many important routes in Europe that follow an oblique (eg. SW-NE) alingment: this generates oddities like the 1+1 SS309 in Italy being an E-road, while the A13 motorway not being one;
- a single-numbered road should follow the most direct route between its two termini: no such things like E45 going from Milan to Rome via Cesena and Perugia, or E61 from Rijeka to Villach via Trieste;
- roads should not being interrupted by ferry routes, except those that are short and frequent (Messina strait, Fehman belt, Dover-Calais, E6 near Narvik,...), but not Turin-Palermo via Corsica and Sardinia or Poland-Finland across the Baltic sea;
- European numbers should only been signposted on small signs along the roads themselves, not on directional panels, to avoid creating more mess.

However, that would be a waste of money to design a new scheme, put new signs, while nodody cares about E-numbers anyway. It would be probably more reasonable to get rid of E-numbering at all.
I always use E system on long distance trips. I have never encountered any major problems with it, apart from intermittent E-routes signage in some countries, such as Germany, for example. National roads' numbers are of secondary and rather auxiliary importance to me (still have in mind foreign long journeys).

If it comes to the main topic of this thread, I would rather leave everything as it is. In my opinion, there is no necessity to improve something what works pretty well - I can't see any reasonable point in further unification of colours, shapes and fonts of directional signs. I am not even sure, if I'd ever like to see Britain and Ireland signing Vienna Convention, even if some of their signs and traffic rules slightly differ from Continental's.
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Old March 8th, 2016, 01:10 AM   #79
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I'd prefer a mix between Japanese road markings, a made-over German road system (with distinct numbering schemes for motorways (A-x), expressways (S-x), national roads, state roads and county roads) as well as the fancy Dutch kilometer signs:

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Old March 8th, 2016, 01:15 AM   #80
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I'd prefer a mix between Japanese road markings, a made-over German road system (with distinct numbering schemes for motorways (A-x), expressways (S-x), national roads, state roads and county roads) as well as the fancy Dutch kilometer signs:

S-x expressways exist in Austria and Poland, but not in Germany, where expressway are numbered with B like other federal roads (Bundestrassen).
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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