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Old May 8th, 2011, 11:03 PM   #2421
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There are no road numbers signed either.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 11:06 PM   #2422
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The road is just A22, both ways. It has little meaning to put such signs.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 04:07 AM   #2423
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I don't like that so much emphasis is put on Modena, I'd prefer Verona (or both).
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Old May 9th, 2011, 10:14 PM   #2424
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Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
The road is just A22, both ways. It has little meaning to put such signs.
You guys in Italy have a very limited view on when it makes sense to signpost route numbers. Essentially only when you are not yet on a numbered route. I would say that it always makes sense to repeat the route number on directional signs, even when you are already on it. It makes sense for reassurance purposes. Italy seems to be the only country in Europe where route numbers are no longer repeated once you are on the numbered route. Except on bridge numbering signs.

Oh yes, and E-numbers also fall outside of the scope of the Italian rule ...
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Old May 9th, 2011, 11:55 PM   #2425
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I don't see the point of having road number here too. I don't see them in other countries in such cases.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 11:58 PM   #2426
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We never rely on numbers. We prefer words. "Modena" and "Brennero" are much more explicative than A22... I guess very few Italians even know that A22 is that particular Autostrada. For everybody is just Autobrennero.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 09:38 AM   #2427
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Not too surprising when road numbers are either signposted with a very small shield or not at all. And of course road numbers will never really replace the main focal points Brennero / Modena or the name Autobrennero. But I do see route numbers as an important part of finding your way, and the Italian signs are just about the worst signs in the developed world to support the use of route numbers.

In comparison with other countries, both France and Spain do signpost the route numbers in similar situations.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 09:43 AM   #2428
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Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
In comparison with other countries, both France and Spain do signpost the route numbers in similar situations.
Just a matter of points of view. If numbers were different in the two directions, I could agree. But in this case they just seem redundant, unnecessary and a bit ridiculous.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 10:24 PM   #2429
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Once something is signposted, you should continue doing so. That continuity principle is pretty core to directional signage. That entails that certain data on signs may be redundant in certain situations because the situation more or less speaks for itself. Take signs that show the focal point for the road ahead. All the way South of the Brenner you see that same town returning on the signs. Isn't it completely obvious that, where the exit Rovereto-Sud is signposted, Modena is still straight on? Yet they signpost it. The reason is more in the objective to reassure the motorist rather than to show information that is really new. Distance signs and trailblazers are probably an even better example of reassuring without any intention to show information that is of immediate relevance.

But that form of reassurance is considered helpful to the motorist throughout Europe and beyond. The knowledge that you can always easily look up where your road is going, your current route number, etc, that helps the motorist to feel at ease. And that is exactly the bottom line of what I hear non-Italians say all the time about the Italian road signs. They are being pushed out of their comfort zone all the time. It's not that Italian signage tends to be wrong, but it is very minimalistic - dare I see too minimalistic. On the one hand, it survives. On the other hand, I am inclined to say that the refusal to signpost route numbers also plays a role in the signposting of villages like Gravellona Toce from very far out.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 11:23 PM   #2430
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As I said, it's just a matter of what you're used to. Nobody in Italy knows which autostrada A26 is. But if you say "Genova Voltri-Gravellona Toce" everybody knows. It's longer to say, but it's less easily mistakable. "Was it A26, or 25? Maybe 24?" But everybody knows where Genova is, and Gravellona Toce too, even if it is a small village indeed.

I'm living in Munich for 6 months now, and I always make confusion between A8, A9, A99 A995, A94... they're too similar, it's easy to get lost. But I know Berlin, Salzburg, Garmisch, Passau, Stuttgart. I never navigate using numbers.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 12:35 AM   #2431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
As I said, it's just a matter of what you're used to. Nobody in Italy knows which autostrada A26 is. But if you say "Genova Voltri-Gravellona Toce" everybody knows. It's longer to say, but it's less easily mistakable. "Was it A26, or 25? Maybe 24?" But everybody knows where Genova is, and Gravellona Toce too, even if it is a small village indeed.

I'm living in Munich for 6 months now, and I always make confusion between A8, A9, A99 A995, A94... they're too similar, it's easy to get lost. But I know Berlin, Salzburg, Garmisch, Passau, Stuttgart. I never navigate using numbers.
It has to be something with the size of a country like Italy or Germany, both large countries, but when I´m at home in Hungary, everybody knows where M7 is or M3, you don´t have to mention Balaton or Nyíregyháza. The only thing you hear in a case of an accident/road work in radio broadcast is the direction like M7 towards Balaton/Bp. or M3 Nyíregyháza/Bp.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 12:44 AM   #2432
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There are of course exceptions: in Italy everybody knows A1 and A14, and maybe A3 and A4, but the other denominations are less known. In Italian newscasts you ALWAYS hear "A3 Napoli-Reggio Calabria" or "A24 Roma-L'Aquila-Teramo". Maybe we are better in geography than in mathematics
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Old May 11th, 2011, 10:59 AM   #2433
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Countries like Germany at least offer you the choice between relying on numbers or relying on major cities. People with a strong background in the paths of a road are more likely to rely on focal points, as even a village like Gravellona Toce will help them to immediately associate. But people with a smaller familiarity with a road network, who just navigate on the basis of a map, are much more likely to look at route numbers and they are unlikely to have even heard of Gravellona Toce, a town that will not feature on many maps either.

Hence the common choice to signpost route numbers AND main focal points. It's easy to do, won't cost a lot and is certainly a more appropriate thing to do than installing road numbers at bridge numbering signs. Or signposting an Autogrill 85 kilometers down the road.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 11:29 AM   #2434
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Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
Hence the common choice to signpost route numbers AND main focal points. It's easy to do, won't cost a lot and is certainly a more appropriate thing to do than installing road numbers at bridge numbering signs.
Those signs have a very specific purpose: they were installed in late '80/early '90 when a series of accidents happened. Some people started tossing rocks from overpasses onto the motorway, and in some cases those rocks hit a car and killed or injured its occupants. Signs were installed at each overpass to have a secure reference when calling police and ambulance.

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Or signposting an Autogrill 85 kilometers down the road.
Yes, this surely is something of a mockery to the driver, I agree


As for the general discussion about signing, you may be right, but ultimately every nation do what is necessary to the majority of its motorway users, and every nation falls short in some cases of signage because other nations do something different.

For instance, I cannot understand why on German Autobahns, in the very spot where an exit is, there is only a generic "ausfahrt" sign. If you miss the previous sign with the indication of the exit name, you'll just end up wondering "which exit is that?". Maybe Germans are used that way, but we Italians don't: in Italy exit names are always signed at exits.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 01:20 PM   #2435
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Isn't it a little late to be wondering if you should be exiting when you see that sign?
Maybe you are busy looking at other cars, behind you, ahead of you, on your sides. Maybe you're overtaking. Maybe panels before the exit are too full of words and you're a slow reader. Maybe it's just to be reassured, to speak with Pino's words. "Was it Garching-Süd or Garching-Nord?".
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Old May 11th, 2011, 01:48 PM   #2436
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No, what I mean is when you're close enough to read that sign maybe it's a little late to be exiting? Depends on how good your vision is I guess. Like here, there's no way you could read that sign before it's too late.
That sign you posted is hard to read, that's sure. Of course one cannot rely on exit signs only, but think of this scenario: you read "Trento-something 500m"... you are too busy watching a moron that overtakes you and cuts your way, so you miss the "something". Was it "Sud" "Centro" or "Nord"? Unsure about it you approach the first lane preparing for exiting, and you read "Trento Sud", so you don't exit because your exit is "Trento Nord", some 15 km away.

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So it may actually be a safety thing, but in general I agree that reassurance is good, whether it's route numbers or exit names/numbers.
You may be right. What I mean is that the overwhelming majority of Italians don't use road numbers as ways of navigation, and maybe we don't understand other people that do. Old road signs don't carry road numbers, maybe in future new ones will, like overpass signposts which are relatively new and always carry road number.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 02:44 PM   #2437
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What I mean is that the overwhelming majority of Italians don't use road numbers as ways of navigation, and maybe we don't understand other people that do.
Pretty much all over the world, route numbering was introduced well after directional signage. So people had always managed to navigate on the basis of focal points, and when they started numbering roads nobody really used road numbers as a basis in their navigation. But slowly but surely, people worked out that there is added value in them. Not because route numbers mean that focal points are no longer important, but because the two join forces -so to say.

From that perspective I'd say that Italy should simply give it a go to improve the signposting of the route on which you drive, while of course maintaining the current system based on fixed focal points (maybe some focal points should be changed, but that's off-topic). It won't hurt anyone and forms a good clarification at least for some.

Same goes for exit numbering on intercity routes, but that sounds like a bridge too far ...

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overpass signposts which are relatively new and always carry road number.
What do you mean? The large gantries that you see immediately before exits? The sole route number that I see on those tends to be a very small E-number. Which is a nice discussion in itself: if route numbers are considered unnecessary to signpost once you are on a certain numbered route, why are E-numbers signposted on all gantries?
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Old May 11th, 2011, 02:57 PM   #2438
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Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
Pretty much all over the world, route numbering was introduced well after directional signage. So people had always managed to navigate on the basis of focal points, and when they started numbering roads nobody really used road numbers as a basis in their navigation. But slowly but surely, people worked out that there is added value in them. Not because route numbers mean that focal points are no longer important, but because the two join forces -so to say.

From that perspective I'd say that Italy should simply give it a go to improve the signposting of the route on which you drive, while of course maintaining the current system based on fixed focal points (maybe some focal points should be changed, but that's off-topic). It won't hurt anyone and forms a good clarification at least for some.
I agree. One gets used to something only after the introduction of that something. Italy's main problem here is to systemize its messy and chaotic road numbering grid. Autostrade are pretty much ok, but tangenziali, raccordi, superstrade are a taxonomic mess. Before starting putting signs with road numbers, Italy must develop a consistent and reasonable road numbering scheme.

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Same goes for exit numbering on intercity routes, but that sounds like a bridge too far ...
Some superstrade started numbering exits since a couple of years. Examples are SS76 in central Italy and SS35 near Milan. I was kinda surprised when I saw them.

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What do you mean? The large gantries that you see immediately before exits?
No, I mean these ones:


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The sole route number that I see on those tends to be a very small E-number. Which is a nice discussion in itself: if route numbers are considered unnecessary to signpost once you are on a certain numbered route, why are E-numbers signposted on all gantries?
Good question. Maybe EU is bitching about signing E-roads, while the Italian government doesn't care about national numbers...
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Old May 11th, 2011, 04:08 PM   #2439
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So basically you're saying that signs should not actually do their job and indicate things. Marking the exits should be made more difficult. Good to know.
While we're at it, why don't we remove also speed limit signs? There's always some moron traveling at 150 and breaks when he reads 80, risking a collision with the poor guy behind him. Or when we're in a roundabout, there should be no indication of exits. There is always a risk that some stupid guy in the inner lane reads his exits and actually want to take it, without doing another round on the roundabout, and cuts our way on the external lane.

Excuse me, but this is really absurd.
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Old May 11th, 2011, 04:27 PM   #2440
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No, I said no such thing. I'm only talking about the sign positioned immediately on the exit like the one I linked to previously. Its job should not be to indicate direction. If you didn't see the 2 (or more) big signs indicating the exit before, well, then you've missed your exit.
Fortunately in Italy we think differently, maybe partly because we pay for each km driven, and missing your exit because it's poorly signed wouldn't be welcomed by taxpayers and registered voters.
And I must say, I've seen waaay more morons cutting my way from the passing lane to get to the exit in Germany in 6 months of driving, than in 10 years of driving in Italy. The problem is not the way exits are signed. The problem are morons: they can wreak havoc in any conditions.
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