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Old May 31st, 2008, 08:48 PM   #2321
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
I've been wondering, are signs in the United States a federal standard or can states also adopt their own system?
The MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) is the national standard for road signage in the US. States can deviate from it slightly, but changes have to be approved by the Federal Highway Administration, if I remember correctly.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 10:03 PM   #2322
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
I'm not sure how someone would put a "NO THRU TRAFFIC" sign in picture form but the sign works well as designed.
There you go, man. It may take you couple of glances at the sign to memorise it, but you can't really confuse it with anything else.



Took me about 3 days to memorise all Russian (European) signs before I took a theory test. Now, think how you can substitute these signs with text

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Old May 31st, 2008, 10:09 PM   #2323
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No thru traffic, and "dead end" are not the same.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 10:34 PM   #2324
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Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
No thru traffic, and "dead end" are not the same.
I have been driving in America for 8 years, and not even once did this difference matter to me.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 11:12 PM   #2325
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
There you go, man. It may take you couple of glances at the sign to memorise it, but you can't really confuse it with anything else.



Took me about 3 days to memorise all Russian (European) signs before I took a theory test. Now, think how you can substitute these signs with text

Well that's the good thing about text signs. You don't have to memorize anything. You read it and you're done. By the way I have no idea what those signs mean.

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Originally Posted by gladisimo View Post
A picture I found on the CA DMV site.



Now, my only gripe with the American system is the number of "regulatory signs". All the turns signs can be replaced by a lane diagram in big intersections or potentially confusing areas, while all the other signs should be standardized in one way or another. Do not block intersection sign can easily replaced by yellow boxes to reduce clutter, and same with passing zones, etc.

In general, I think the European (well, HK, since it's based on the British system) handles itself much better in terms of managing the clutter vs amount of information delivered ratio.

As for the usefulness of them, however, there's no denying the vast majority of them are useful, if not executed in the best way.

I think the regulatory signs are great. They obviously work well over here otherwise they won't use them. Because of this thread only have I now noticed how many signs here are text based. Since everyone speaks the same language over here text based sings work. Not everything needs to be symbolized.

In Europe you can drive from Italy to Norway and encounter many different languages while in the United States you can drive from Miami to Seattle with no difference in languages which is more than twice the distance you would drive in Europe. I don't want highways over here to look like European highways because that would really suck.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 12:32 AM   #2326
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
Well that's the good thing about text signs. You don't have to memorize anything. You read it and you're done. By the way I have no idea what those signs mean.
Top sign means "Dead end". Left one means that next right turn will be dead end, and the right one means that the left branch of Y-intersection will lead to dead end. I don't want to be too annoying, but with all the stuff you have to remember throughout your life, traffic signs would take but a small niche in your memory.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 02:48 AM   #2327
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I'm glad we don't have signs like those here.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 08:45 AM   #2328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
What I meant was that these kind of signs should be represented by pictures and not text. If there are people unable to memorise pictures, rest assured DMV would not give them license to drive
But why have picture based signs when everyone here speaks the same language?
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Old June 1st, 2008, 08:48 AM   #2329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladisimo View Post
I never really take notice of them since I'm used to them here. But I think using pictures allows a sign to provide more information, thus probably replacing two or more signs at many intersections with one sign, while providing drivers with more useful information regarding lane designation. A picture design tends to provide more information with a simpler layout, replacing a clutter of works with one or two arrows.

One problem I frequently encounter in the states is not always knowing exactly which lane goes where, which is not a problem in places I'm familiar with, but becomes confusing at times in places I'm new to. Most signs simply say "this and that, right lanes" which is alright, except sometimes some lanes split, and some lanes become solids way before you can make a lane change. This is proven on one or two difficult intersections, where the local residents have obviously complained enough that they got the local government to put up a sign marking the lanes clearly. Why shouldn't this be done for most or all large intersections?

The only problem I see with changing the system is the logistics needed to re-educate the entire population, otherwise the system will take 60 years or more to phase in (just let the drivers who learn the old system die off)
But this is simply a matter of preference, not what people should or shouldnt do...Just because something makes sense to you doesnt mean its going to work for others.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 10:20 AM   #2330
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Quote:
Originally Posted by en1044 View Post
But this is simply a matter of preference, not what people should or shouldnt do...Just because something makes sense to you doesnt mean its going to work for others.
Good job, captain obvious.

And, actually, while this is a personal opinion, it does make some valid points, which some forumers here agree with, and at least in the example I provided, obviously, it finds agreement to some of the population, enough so that they changed the signing in the example I stated.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 10:22 AM   #2331
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Quote:
Originally Posted by en1044 View Post
But why have picture based signs when everyone here speaks the same language?
Clear sign that you didn't even read my post. My point, and I believe some people will agree, is that a good subsection of signs CAN be eliminated and the sign can be made simpler, while conveying more information as the initial signs could have.

Not that I'm complaining about the system here, I'm fine with it, but I certainly see the reasoning behind the reasoning used in the European system, and I believe some aspects of it are better than that of the US.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 10:40 AM   #2332
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladisimo View Post
Clear sign that you didn't even read my post. My point, and I believe some people will agree, is that a good subsection of signs CAN be eliminated and the sign can be made simpler, while conveying more information as the initial signs could have.

Not that I'm complaining about the system here, I'm fine with it, but I certainly see the reasoning behind the reasoning used in the European system, and I believe some aspects of it are better than that of the US.
Well first off, back off with the attitude. i read your post and all you did was ignore my counterpoint because you dont want to sem to accept that there are other points of view than your own. Yes i guess they can be eliminated, but theres not enough reasoning to do it. A "good idea" isnt going to cut it. What we have works perfectly fine. If it aint broke, dont fix it.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 10:56 AM   #2333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by en1044 View Post
But why have picture based signs when everyone here speaks the same language?
Just like I mention numerous times before, pictorial signs are much better visible from farer distance. Also, it takes a simple glimpse at the picture to get the message while text requires a slightly longer time to be understood.

Your argument "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" obviously does not work here because two systems could not compared to determine which one would deliver lower accident rate. If you don't know any better (cause you didn't try), it doesn't mean your current system is not broken.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 05:52 PM   #2334
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This is why text signs do not work in Europe:



In the US, that's different.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 10:08 PM   #2335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Just like I mention numerous times before, pictorial signs are much better visible from farer distance. Also, it takes a simple glimpse at the picture to get the message while text requires a slightly longer time to be understood.

Your argument "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" obviously does not work here because two systems could not compared to determine which one would deliver lower accident rate. If you don't know any better (cause you didn't try), it doesn't mean your current system is not broken.
Isnt it at all possible that countries are different and what works one place doesnt work somewhere else. You cant just go around and say the US needs picture signs because i think they are better. It just wouldnt work here. Theres more information given on signs than in Europe and more variation in the information. The "If it aint broke, dont fix it" does work because the only thing wrong with the US Highway signing system is that you dont approve of it
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Old June 1st, 2008, 10:41 PM   #2336
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Quote:
Originally Posted by en1044 View Post
But why have picture based signs when everyone here speaks the same language?
1) Written signs need to be much bigger to be observed from the same distance
2) Words can sometimes be different interpreted, symbols are clear for everyone
3) People recognize symbol faster, since the number of them is limited. Written signs can show virtually any message.
4) Non-native english speaking people have more difficulties with written signs than with symbols
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 12:39 AM   #2337
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My only gripe with the US Interstates is the really big gap that exists between the two paved sections. It is really ugly. They should stick both paved sections together and put a concrete barrier or a crash barrier (metal thingy) in the middle to separate both directions.

This saves a lot of land space and on maintenance (not having to mow the lawn or cut the trees in between).

Why don't they do it in the USA/Canada?

Furthermore, they should really change the fonts that they use on highway signage (mainly exits signs). It's not that it's ugly, but I truly prefer what the Europeans use. Also, the green is really boring, put on some blue for a change.

Finally, they really should do like France and Italy in the sense that they really should cut down on the numbers of toll booths/stations. One or two is enough on a 200 or 300-mile section of a tollway.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 01:05 AM   #2338
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen669 View Post
1) Written signs need to be much bigger to be observed from the same distance
2) Words can sometimes be different interpreted, symbols are clear for everyone
3) People recognize symbol faster, since the number of them is limited. Written signs can show virtually any message.
4) Non-native english speaking people have more difficulties with written signs than with symbols
Theres so much information here in the US symbols just dont work. Sorry, but thinking that something is right because you approve of it isnt a good reason. Europe uses symbols, the US doesnt. Europe has many different laguages, the US doesnt. Theres no need for the US to have pictures and symbols when we all speak the same language. Im sure that your picture signs are great. I dont know, maybe youve had trouble driving on American roads. I would probably have trouble driving on European roads. Say what you will but Americans will never go to picture based signs and therers nothing wrong with that.

Last edited by en1044; June 2nd, 2008 at 01:32 AM.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 01:50 AM   #2339
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In Mexico we all speak the same language, however we use more symbols than the USA roads. These are our signs for the 'keep right' and 'do not pass' USA words signs:

[IMG]http://i27.************/2cqnrfc.jpg[/IMG]

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Old June 2nd, 2008, 03:59 AM   #2340
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China mainly uses the same language, Russia uses the same language, and the entire American continent south of the USA (except Brazil) uses the same language, yet they all use pictorial signs. So, the argument that the common language prevent the usage of picture-based signs does not work. Due to their historical isolationism, Americans are more conservative (i.e. unwillingness to learn something new even if it will provide benefits in the long run).
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