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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:54 PM   #2261
Gareth
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Here's an amusing article comparing US & UK driving experiences. It upset quite a few americans...

http://www.cbrd.co.uk/reference/international/usa.shtml
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Old May 21st, 2008, 11:04 PM   #2262
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They lost their credibility to me when they used Pennsylvania highways...
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Old May 21st, 2008, 11:48 PM   #2263
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Yeah no kidding, LOL. It would have been better for them to choose Ohio or Texas.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 03:53 AM   #2264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth View Post
Here's an amusing article comparing US & UK driving experiences. It upset quite a few americans...

http://www.cbrd.co.uk/reference/international/usa.shtml
Why it should upset Americans?
Nothing wrong with US signs in this article.The only people who get lost or confused in US are illiterate idiots. The same actually applies to UK.
Seriously, most problems with navigation abroad is just adjusting to different systems. Once you get used to let say US or UK system there is no problem. And it takes no more than one hour or few intersections/exits to do that.
I still don't get why people pray to German or Dutch signing system. They are no better than British or American.
Even the worst system (French in my opinion, at least on small roads) is still possible to work out in few hours.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 08:03 PM   #2265
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I still don't get why people pray to German or Dutch signing system. They are no better than British or American.
You put British and American signage in the same category?

First of all, German signs have a high degree of standardisation - this means that signs which have the same purpose don't vary as much as those in the USA. Second, Germans (as well as the rest of Europe) use the pictorial signs that deliver a message using pictures (also pretty standardised) rather than text as in the USA. For instance, warning signs indicating a merging lane have the same picture in both American and European signage systems, but in America they also have a clumsy sign reading: "Right lane ends. Merge left". Why? Same goes for writing "Do not enter" and "Yield" on otherwise identical European equivalent signs. By the way, in Canada they use the North American signing design, but they prefer to use pictures instead of words. Works much better in my opinion.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 08:35 PM   #2266
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So you're saying that trips are long in the tiny Puerto Rico, but people don't need to drive long distances in the Netherlands, which is thrice as big? How does this go together? And I believe traffic jams are more horrible in the Netherlands. Also, Puerto Rico is an island, whereas from the Netherlands you can drive to Singapore, if you wish. Even my country is bigger than Puerto Rico.
That's why I said we're a tiny island,but urban sprawl here is pretty bad wherehas it's not THAT bad in Europe,specially in your country.

Yeah so you're saying everyone in the Netherlands,your country,etc. drive those long distances all the time?

I mean,just to go to work,what distance do you travel,plus how bad is traffic???
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 11:47 PM   #2267
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Maybe Chris has some more info about the Netherlands, as I don't live there.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 11:56 PM   #2268
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
You put British and American signage in the same category?

First of all, German signs have a high degree of standardisation - this means that signs which have the same purpose don't vary as much as those in the USA. Second, Germans (as well as the rest of Europe) use the pictorial signs that deliver a message using pictures (also pretty standardised) rather than text as in the USA. For instance, warning signs indicating a merging lane have the same picture in both American and European signage systems, but in America they also have a clumsy sign reading: "Right lane ends. Merge left". Why? Same goes for writing "Do not enter" and "Yield" on otherwise identical European equivalent signs. By the way, in Canada they use the North American signing design, but they prefer to use pictures instead of words. Works much better in my opinion.

What's wrong with text based signs? I remember driving in Italy last year and was confused at some of the picture based signs. Some showed a red car next to a black car and another looked like a pair of tits. Speed limit signs look like state highway signs and they don't seem to use the variety of colors that they do in the U.S.

I think whatever system you grew up with is what works best for you. I like seeing a sign that says "Speed Limit" instead of a vague sign with a number in it or seeing "Do Not Enter" inside the do not enter sign. You have to be able to read to pass the driving test over here so I think text based signs are a good thing.


I love our highway signs in the U.S.


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Old May 23rd, 2008, 12:22 AM   #2269
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Quote:
You have to be able to read to pass the driving test over here so I think text based signs are a good thing.
... No kidding

In either case, to each their own. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 12:57 AM   #2270
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I disagree signs are not very standardized in the U.S. The federal signs are for the most part the same all over the country. The State signs are standardized within their State. So, yes, you have 50 different types of State signs but they are standardized.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 01:29 AM   #2271
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I disagree signs are not very standardized in the U.S. The federal signs are for the most part the same all over the country. The State signs are standardized within their State. So, yes, you have 50 different types of State signs but they are standardized.
That's what fascinated me about highways when I was growing up. I grew up in Texas so I thought all states had a white sign with the state name on it like in Texas but was surprised when my family did a trip from Texas to Vermont and each state had a unique shield for their state. I thought that was so creative it got me interested in highways.

I remember driving into Austin asking my mom "what does F.M. 1325 mean?" and she didn't know. I looked at the radio and noticed FM only went up to 104.something so I was on a quest to figure it out.

Also when I realized Interstates were mostly rural I thought that was weird because I thought "big highways" were only in cites.

Anyway my point is that you can drive from New York to Los Angeles and still feel like you're on a local road because the Interstate and the signage look the same all across the country. Even in Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico but their signs are in Spanish which was interesting to know.

Few Americans will ever drive in Europe so if signs are vastly different it really doesn't matter because Joe from Tuscon may never drive on A1 in Roma while Giovanni from Roma will never drive on Interstate 19 in Tuscon.


With all that said, I agree with what you're saying if there is any confusion here in my little rant.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 01:39 AM   #2272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker View Post
I disagree signs are not very standardized in the U.S. The federal signs are for the most part the same all over the country. The State signs are standardized within their State. So, yes, you have 50 different types of State signs but they are standardized.
You may have 50 styles of road shields for state highways but all the important signs which decide about safety are standardized. Speed limit signs for example are all the same from Alaska to Florida, the same with dangerous curves, steep hill, danger of animals running into road etc.
It doesn't matter if it is on county lane in upper Michigan or US highway in Arizona.
In European Union variations between countries are much bigger.
About text signs.
Personally I never had problem with them even if English is not my mother tong. Theoretically pictorial signs should have advantage. It takes less time to recognize picture than it takes to read text. Problem is when you have so many designs of pictures or if you have some local signs let say in Norway (running caribou or something like that) and you just came from Spain. How do you now what that picture means?
In this case clear text message might have advantage. Problem is when like in Europe you don't have common language.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 01:45 AM   #2273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
That's what fascinated me about highways when I was growing up. I grew up in Texas so I thought all states had a white sign with the state name on it like in Texas but was surprised when my family did a trip from Texas to Vermont and each state had a unique shield for their state. I thought that was so creative it got me interested in highways.

I remember driving into Austin asking my mom "what does F.M. 1325 mean?" and she didn't know. I looked at the radio and noticed FM only went up to 104.something so I was on a quest to figure it out.

Also when I realized Interstates were mostly rural I thought that was weird because I thought "big highways" were only in cites.

Anyway my point is that you can drive from New York to Los Angeles and still feel like you're on a local road because the Interstate and the signage look the same all across the country. Even in Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico but their signs are in Spanish which was interesting to know.

Few Americans will ever drive in Europe so if signs are vastly different it really doesn't matter because Joe from Tuscon may never drive on A1 in Roma while Giovanni from Roma will never drive on Interstate 19 in Tuscon.


With all that said, I agree with what you're saying if there is any confusion here in my little rant.
Someone may have put up this link before, but it's cool.

www.routemarkers.com/states/

BTW, I've always liked the "FM" designation in Texas. (Farm to Market), even though many of those roads are now in the middle of metropolitan areas.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 02:04 AM   #2274
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The best for me are Washinton State Highways signs.
Little profile of George Washington. How cool is that!!!
I'll try to find pictures from a trip I did few years ago to Oregon and Washington.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 03:39 AM   #2275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
What's wrong with text based signs? I remember driving in Italy last year and was confused at some of the picture based signs. Some showed a red car next to a black car and another looked like a pair of tits. Speed limit signs look like state highway signs and they don't seem to use the variety of colors that they do in the U.S.
Oh come on... It's not so hard to memorise that a red car next to a black one inside red circle means "no passing", and "a pair of tits" means "Bumps" Maybe it's hard to memorise pictures in the beginning, but once you do, then you will see the same pictures in every European country. And could you tell me what state highway sign is resembled by European speed limit sign? Look at Montana state highway shields, you will be surprised just how much they look like American speed limit signs.

Quote:
I think whatever system you grew up with is what works best for you. I like seeing a sign that says "Speed Limit" instead of a vague sign with a number in it
Vague, really? It is extremely hard for anyone to confuse a number inside red circle with anything else even though it doesn't say "Speed limit". It is, however, not so easy to differentiate between "Reduced speed" and "Maximum speed" textual signs in the USA when you are 200 metres away.

Quote:
or seeing "Do Not Enter" inside the do not enter sign. You have to be able to read to pass the driving test over here so I think text based signs are a good thing.
Just tell me one thing. What can you distinguish better from a long distance - a picture or a text? Yep!
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 04:39 AM   #2276
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I do see a problem with visitors having problems distinguishing picture signs they're not familiar with, but the same could be said for people who dont know english.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 02:17 PM   #2277
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I also like pictorial signs much more, although additional text (not just a simple text) doesn't bother me. But seriously, does any American still go reading "do not enter" every time (s)he sees that sign? I think you recognize it from afar, meaning it's all about the picture, not the text.

Last edited by Verso; May 23rd, 2008 at 04:32 PM.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 10:31 PM   #2278
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I also like pictorial signs much more, although additional text (not just a simple text) doesn't bother me. But seriously, does any American still go reading "do not enter" every time (s)he sees that sign? I think you recognize it from afar, meaning it's all about the picture, not the text.
There are other purely textual "signs" in the USA that read "Right lane must turn", "Keep right except to pass", "Pass with care", "Reduced speed ahead", etc. Pretty useless, in my opinion.
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Last edited by Alex Von Königsberg; May 23rd, 2008 at 10:39 PM.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 10:59 PM   #2279
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Am I seeing it right? "Trucks over 1 ton prohibited". Hell, it's hard to find a compact lighter than a tone, not mentioning a truck
That refers to carrying capacity in the bed of the truck. For example, an F-150 is a "quarter-ton truck" because it has a maximum carrying capacity of 500 lbs. All that sign is doing is preventing large trucks like 18-wheelers and package trucks from using the HOV lane.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 03:33 PM   #2280
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The Right/Left Lane MUST Turn signs are awful. Why they still exist is beyond me when we have perfectly good arrow signs for lane assignments.

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