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Old April 9th, 2011, 10:15 AM   #1201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
That first sign shown is utterly redundant. There is about three times as much text in there as needed and I am not really sure that increases road safety.
Well, as much as I hate stereotypes - those about British and their reaction to snow are 100% true
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Old April 9th, 2011, 03:00 PM   #1202
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Originally Posted by minus_human View Post
if you look at those pictures that you posted when the road curves it stays flat, so you'd have to reduce speed, while in US freeways are not flat on curves
You mean section grade?


If yes, then they don't. At least in Poland (and I believe not only) section grade depends on curve radius and it varies getting values from 2% (radius 4000 m) to 7% (900 m).

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Originally Posted by minus_human View Post
moreover most US highways have raised pavement markers (which I didn't see in Spain or France, and on any German autobahn picture I looked at) which make night driving in US way better.
Pavement markers are useful on single carriageway highways with lots of curves going outside built-up areas. And on those we have plenty of while on real motorways white markings are enough as the carriegeways are straight and wide.


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Originally Posted by minus_human View Post
Many people complaint about concrete here....well, I personally prefer concrete over alphalt as on concrete road the night visibility is way better.
Concrete is expensive and cannot be widely used. Moreover, it makes markings less visible but I don't consider it as a problem.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 05:17 PM   #1203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Llama View Post
Well, as much as I hate stereotypes - those about British and their reaction to snow are 100% true
Not to mention it actually snows a lot in the north of the UK and in the highlands...
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Old April 9th, 2011, 05:32 PM   #1204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sponsor View Post
If yes, then they don't. At least in Poland (and I believe not only) section grade depends on curve radius and it varies getting values from 2% (radius 4000 m) to 7% (900 m).
Superelevation (if that is what you are talking about) is a must. You can't have roads without superelevation for high speeds.

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Pavement markers are useful on single carriageway highways with lots of curves going outside built-up areas. And on those we have plenty of while on real motorways white markings are enough as the carriegeways are straight and wide.
I think raised road markers are good for safety even on motorways. However, they are the enemy #1 of snow plowing machines.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 06:32 PM   #1205
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Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
There is an Ocean that separates North America and Europe. (I live in Canada, and while I like the Yanks, I don't want to be lumped in as one of them), it isn't surprising that Europe and Asia are similar considering they are the same land mass.
One of the funniest things I've ever heard. Europe and Asia are very different from each other. They aren't considered separate continents for no reason. Europe and North America are much more similar.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 07:01 PM   #1206
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Originally Posted by Verso View Post
One of the funniest things I've ever heard. Europe and Asia are very different from each other. They aren't considered separate continents for no reason. Europe and North America are much more similar.
This, and a few previous posts from various people, really go to what I'm getting at: North American and European signage standards are different (I'm leaving out Asia only because I don't know enough to talk about it) but why is that a problem? And if - for reasons that aren't clear to me - it is a problem and everyone should do everything the same way, why should it automatically be the European standard that prevails? That's what really bugs me about this type of comparison.

Actually, I do think there are things that Europe generally does better than we do. In the field of signage, we don't show enough destinations and distances*, although certain European countries show too many to be safely read at high speed. French signs are lovely if you're looking at them on the Internet. At 80 m.p.h., not so much. But I think there's a natural human tendency to take sides, at least when it's phrased in broad terms like "whose roads are better" as opposed to just "please compare" or "what's good and bad about...."

In fact, if anyone wants a peace-and-love moment, we could try "what do you like about the roads in other countries you've been in" :-)

*One particular example: A year or two ago I drove US 322 from suburban Philadelphia to Harrisburg. For those who don't know, Harrisburg is the state capital of Pennsylvania, and about 100 miles (160 km) from Philadelphia. While 322 is now the back route, I don't think it would be unreasonable for them to include Harrisburg as a destination on the reassurance signs. But not once on that route was there a sign telling me the distance; they'll just give the next two or three small towns.... In Europe, that would be considered obvious, basic information. (And not just in Europe: Virginia's good at this, just to take one example.)
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Old April 9th, 2011, 07:26 PM   #1207
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I always found the lack of really distant destinations on the signs along Interstate Highways a bit surprising about the United States. Of course, control cities are not as prominent on the signage in the U.S. as it is in Europe, but there may be only a few instances of destinations that are consistently signed from 400 miles away or more.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 07:37 PM   #1208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
This, and a few previous posts from various people, really go to what I'm getting at: North American and European signage standards are different (I'm leaving out Asia only because I don't know enough to talk about it) but why is that a problem? And if - for reasons that aren't clear to me - it is a problem and everyone should do everything the same way, why should it automatically be the European standard that prevails? That's what really bugs me about this type of comparison.
Don't worry, you're Europeans in denial anyway. :P
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Old April 9th, 2011, 08:27 PM   #1209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Superelevation (if that is what you are talking about) is a must. You can't have roads without superelevation for high speeds.
I know. It's not me who doubted about that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I think raised road markers are good for safety even on motorways. However, they are the enemy #1 of snow plowing machines.
And what I think is that as long as markings are kept white and clean, cat eyes are only confusing and unnecessary addition.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 08:29 PM   #1210
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I think a big problem with North American signage and traffic rules in general is that there are no strict standards.

Like I already commented previously in some other threads, there are many examples in Ontario, for example, where the official Driver's Handbook (the book most new drivers read before doing the theory exam) is ambiguous or just mentions something like "the following are some of the signs you will see on Ontario roads".

I think the set of signs/rules should be very specific and completely defined, and no deviations from the standard should be allowed (you should not be able to put up some random sign, whether pictorial or textual, unless specifically defined by regulations). I have encountered signs while driving on Ontario roads (though rarely, I must say) whose meaning I wasn't immediately sure about because I never saw them anywhere before.

There are many other examples that come to mind. For example, how does the "priority from the right" work here? According to the books, the rule exists, but how can you really know when to follow it if the set of signs "controlling" it is not complete here (you have signs telling you to yield, but no signs telling you that you have the right of way, like in Europe).

Another example is specific to Ontario - apparently overtaking across a solid yellow line is legal, just not recommended. I actually did not know this until much later, and am still not 100% sure about it. The book says that a solid yellow line means "overtaking is unsafe".

In general, in Europe such things are much better defined. While it is true that in practice it does not really have an effect, I still think that these things should be clearer.

Another thing to remember is that while North America does have uniform driving regulations for the most part (I am including the US and Canada only because I don't know that much about Mexico), but at the same time, there are still many differences between all states, provinces, and territories.

The bottom line though is that no system is absolutely better, and it is certainly not necessary for everyone to adopt one system. However, it is also quite arrogant to not see the definite advantages of certain aspects of other systems.

For example, the pictorial signage system used by the majority of the world (based on the Geneva Convention) is better than the textual and not-as-standardized system that we have here. On the other hand, I prefer North American road markings. Mind you, even this is not very uniform across North America. For example, from my relatively limited observations, Canada seems to be a bit better than the US when it comes to using pictorial signs.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 08:46 PM   #1211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I always found the lack of really distant destinations on the signs along Interstate Highways a bit surprising about the United States. Of course, control cities are not as prominent on the signage in the U.S. as it is in Europe, but there may be only a few instances of destinations that are consistently signed from 400 miles away or more.
I checked the MUTCD those sings are limited to three destinations with last meant for a control city . http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009/p...tm#section2E39
But even that if that wasn't the case would be really useful info to have cities 400 miles away listed? Westbound on I-94 from Detroit that'd mean Milwaukee would be listed in addition to Chicago, while adding another city wouldn't hurt per se. I don't see as a glaring lack of info to know that Milwaukee is 350 something miles away.

Last edited by urbanlover; April 10th, 2011 at 04:31 AM.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 09:21 PM   #1212
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Originally Posted by urbanlover View Post
I checked the MUTCD those sings are limited to three destinations with last meant for a control city . http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009/p...tm#section2E39
But even that if that wasn't the case would be really useful info to have cities 400 miles away listed? Westbound on I-94 from Detroit that'd mean Milwaukee would be listed be addition to Chicago, while adding another city wouldn't hurt per se. I don't see as a glaring lack of info to know that Milwaukee is 350 something miles away.
Well, from the perspective of someone in Michigan, Milwaukee is beyond (and smaller than) Chicago, so I don't see the need. But Chicago is a must on 94 westbound west of Detroit. If Michigan treated 94 the way Pennsylvania does 80 and 81 your control cities would be Ann Arbor, then Jackson, then Battle Creek....

The example I like to use if of a European trying to find his way from Washington to Chicago. He'll look at his map, note that Pittsburgh and Cleveland are close to his route, then drive up Wisconsin Avenue expecting to see a sign with "Pittsburgh" and a freeway symbol, and therefore disregard the "I-270 Frederick" sign unless he's bothered to note the route numbers.

Conversely, an American trying to get to some point in rural France will note that he needs to exit the A-whatever at the N-whatever and miss his exit because the sign at the exit won't show the N-whatever, just a couple of towns. (At least most if not all European countries number their exits these days, which wasn't the case in the '80s when I was first there....) In either of these cases, it helps to be familiar with the fact that the other system emphasizes things you're not used to being emphasized.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 11:34 PM   #1213
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Quote:
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For example, the pictorial signage system used by the majority of the world (based on the Geneva Convention) is better than the textual and not-as-standardized system that we have here.
Agreed, pictorial is definitely better, even if you speak the language that textual signs are written in. I've driven in Australia, which has many textual signs (and needless to say I speak English) and I found it very annoying and distractive to read so much of the same text.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 07:27 PM   #1214
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So apparently, even in Europe, roads suffer when there's a bad winter. :-P

(article in French)
http://www.lalibre.be/actu/belgique/...hivernaux.html
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Old April 11th, 2011, 10:57 PM   #1215
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Average roads in here aren't that bad condition.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 10:58 PM   #1216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
So apparently, even in Europe, roads suffer when there's a bad winter. :-P

(article in French)
http://www.lalibre.be/actu/belgique/...hivernaux.html
You should see the roads where I live..

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Old April 11th, 2011, 11:15 PM   #1217
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Average roads in here aren't that bad condition.
So Europe's roads get judged by their best and our roads get judged by our worst? ;-)
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Old April 11th, 2011, 11:29 PM   #1218
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Belgian highways are some of worst in Western Europe.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 03:17 AM   #1219
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So Europe's roads get judged by their best and our roads get judged by our worst? ;-)
Dude, we all know that this is a retarded topic by now.

The EU is not a single nation, it consists of 27 different countries and they all have different standards in terms of pavement quality, signage, curv radius etc etc.

I've driven plenty in the US and my vote definitely goes to the US. Are roads in the netherlands better than the US? Yes.

Are roads in France better than in the US? Yes.

Are roads in Germany better than in the US? They're on par.

Are roads in Scandinavia better than in the US? No, they're not.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 12:27 PM   #1220
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There should be thread which reads Best Highways: Americas vs EU vs Asia
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