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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:55 PM   #2461
GENIUS LOCI
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I'm sure there are data of total length of the roads in any Italian municipality: you can compare these data to know who is right
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Old May 16th, 2011, 05:07 PM   #2462
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Rome: 6100 km (source)
Milan: 1743 km (source)
Naples: didn't find anything.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 10:06 PM   #2463
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Cittadella (Padua)


Bologna
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Old May 17th, 2011, 11:10 PM   #2464
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Typical parking signal mess to be found in many Italian cities.

"Translating" them:


This is an indicating for a designated parking area ahead.

Paid parking - € 0,50 for 20min

Tickets available on parking meter Monday-Saturday 8h-13h and 15h-20h*

Parking forbidden, subject to removal from site, on Mondays 7h-13h
Parking forbidden, subject to removal from site, on Sundays 14h-20h
Parking forbidden, subject to removal from site, on the 3rd Sunday of the month from 7h-20h

This means, by implication, that parking is free of charge Monday-Saturday 13h-15h, during holidays that do not fall on Mondays or Sundays, during all nights and also on Sundays (other than the 3rd of the month) up to 14h.
Now tell me how do Padua municipality authorities expected a driver, unfamiliar with town, should be able to read these instructions while driving, even if slowly (30-40km/h)!!!

In Bologna, the mess is less but still present:

This is a street parking sign, applying to both sides of the sign (double arrow).

Parking allowed only for motorbikes and mopeds Monday-Saturday 8h-20h

Parking is only allowed for cars, minivans and small utility vehicles, up to 3,5ton, which are registered as authorized drivers for sector 4 (most likely residents and business owners in the area) on Monday-Sarturday nights (20h-8h) and Sundays and holidays all day long.

This parking is probably within the ZTL, an area where only residents area allowed to drive under the disguise of reducing traffic on medieval quarters (it is all b.s., as residents have to pay licenses + NIMBY-ism of people living in old quarters not wanting clogged streets just because they were build in year 800 d.C.)
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Old May 18th, 2011, 08:33 AM   #2465
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
This parking is probably within the ZTL, an area where only residents area allowed to drive under the disguise of reducing traffic on medieval quarters (it is all b.s., as residents have to pay licenses + NIMBY-ism of people living in old quarters not wanting clogged streets just because they were build in year 800 d.C.)
In this case it is not nimbysm, it is just common sense. I lived in Bologna for many years and a lot of streets in the city centre are clogged even just with a single car passing thru.
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Old May 26th, 2011, 08:57 PM   #2466
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I came across the Regolamento di esecuzione e di attuazione del nuovo codice della strada (here) which seems to be a document outlining how Italian roads should be signposted. Is this document binding? In that case, it seems like all of Italy is in breach of its own guidelines.

One rule that particularly struck me is rule 132. Is it my poor understanding of Italian or does it really say that a distance sign may be placed when leaving town or after complex interchange, but must be placed at 500 meters after every on-ramp on a motorway or superstrada? In that case, not too many autostrade and superstrade are compliant.

Another one is rule 130, about those itinarary signs that are placed before autostrada and superstrada exits. Rule says that they cannot have more than five lines. Which has an obvious reason, namely that motorists won't be able to read more lines than that. And then consider the actual signage: more signs in breach with the rule than in compliance, with the obvious conseqence that the signs defeat their purpose.

Without any doubt, further reading of the guidelines will offer other insights about how Italian signage might have been. Compliance would have improved Italian signage greatly in my view. Though I should not be surprised about the lack of discipline in Italy when it comes to compliance, are their any thoughts from the ground (i.e. Italian forummers) as to the reasons why Italian government entities and motorway concessionairs do not signpost in accordance with the rules?
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Old May 26th, 2011, 11:58 PM   #2467
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
I came across the Regolamento di esecuzione e di attuazione del nuovo codice della strada (here) which seems to be a document outlining how Italian roads should be signposted. Is this document binding?
The document is binding.

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Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
IOne rule that particularly struck me is rule 132. Is it my poor understanding of Italian or does it really say that a distance sign may be placed when leaving town or after complex interchange, but must be placed at 500 meters after every on-ramp on a motorway or superstrada? In that case, not too many autostrade and superstrade are compliant.
imo it is not clear. The Rules says, "is placed" not "must be placed."

However you are right, our signage is a disaster, we Italians are adapted and we not realize it but foreigners often have problems.
The most striking example are the arrows of the lanes. In the picture (A1xA11 Interchange) the right lane goes straight, but it has the right arrow.





Under Article 147 it must have the double arrow straight + right (as in all other countries).
For this reason we Italians always choose the lane at the last moment, when the intersection is visible. We can't rely on signs.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 12:20 AM   #2468
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
Though I should not be surprised about the lack of discipline in Italy when it comes to compliance, are their any thoughts from the ground (i.e. Italian forummers) as to the reasons why Italian government entities and motorway concessionairs do not signpost in accordance with the rules?
Italy in many fields have some of the most advanced laws in the world. As many Italian analysts say: "The problem with Italy is not in the rules. It's in the fact that they are rarely enforced". My personal opinion is that politicians and rulers want to show the goodness of their work by presenting these advanced laws before the press and the public opinion. Italian journalist Beppe Severgnini once wrote that in Italy everything has to do with the bella figura ("good impression"): everything has to be nice at a superficial examination, the rest is less important...
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Old May 27th, 2011, 07:31 AM   #2469
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That doesn't explain poor enforcement. Maybe it has to do with incompetent government you guys have.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 08:28 AM   #2470
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Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
That doesn't explain poor enforcement. Maybe it has to do with incompetent government you guys have.
Sure it explains poor enforcement. It means having the maximum effect with the minumum effort. Not enforcing is a minimum effort.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 09:04 AM   #2471
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Rather pathetic if you ask me.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 09:46 AM   #2472
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I didn't.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 10:16 AM   #2473
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For many laws, a relatively lax form of enforcement is actually sensible. There isn't really too much upside in enforcing paragraph 159(31)(c)(iv) of EU Regulation 12456/2001 on the exact substances that may go into cheese. Or certain speed limits in the middle of the night. Having the rules is a good thing, not enforcing them all the time makes a very bella figura. Where signage ends up substandard, you may have very good-looking guidelines, but the public tends not to see those. The public only sees the signs on the ground. It is used to the mess, but well aware that there is lots of room for improvement. So the improvement / enforcement of the guidelines should make a very bella figura. In other words, this is an area in which Italians ought to adhere to the standards or Armani instead of the standards of Parmalat bookkeeping.


@Schwarzpunkt, where statutes say "is placed" I tend to read it as an imperative, not as a description of an actual situation. But that is of course the point of view as a foreigner.
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Last edited by -Pino-; May 27th, 2011 at 10:38 AM.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #2474
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I have to be sincere here, as I stated in another thread, I think Italy has much more important things to do than worry about signage. I drove for 10 years in Italy and, frankly, I never had any problems with signage. Of course it is something to be taken care of, but I wouldn't cry too much about it or call it "pathetic".
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Old May 27th, 2011, 07:40 PM   #2475
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Spinoza
I think Italy has much more important things to do than worry about signage. I drove for 10 years in Italy and, frankly, I never had any problems with signage. Of course it is something to be taken care of, but I wouldn't cry too much about it or call it "pathetic".
Just about every country has more important things to do than to worry about signage. But as signs need to be replaced and updated on a continuous basis, you can just start by bringing newly placed signs in line with the rules. And when you are at one exit, also place that distance sign that is / may be mandatory. It's not the end of budget austerity or major projects going on at the level of the various road-related institutions.

In the meantime, I find Italian signage far from pathatic. You need to adjust your mindset a bit once you enter the country, but it works. Yet the fact that people do not have problems is not decisive for the question whether or not there is room for improvement. Improvement may be something that people never missed. But that's enough philosophy at Friday Drinks time.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 08:34 PM   #2476
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Yet the fact that people do not have problems is not decisive for the question whether or not there is room for improvement. Improvement may be something that people never missed.
I do not agree.

When I was an undergrad student in astronomy, in late 90s, as a part of my instruction I went to the University's observatory, up on the Apennine mountains near Bologna. One of the two telescopes was controlled by a 8086 computer, which was already Jurassic at that time. I asked the astronomer why wasn't the computer replaced with something newer, he looked at me and said: "Because it works."
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Old May 27th, 2011, 08:37 PM   #2477
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I think there's little doubt about the Italian signage being far behind the standards of Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain, Croatia, etc. It's not that it's completely illegible, but it's often unnecessary confusing or less-is-more in the extreme. I mean, if you install a giant overhead sign anyway, why not make it fit to the road situation?
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Old May 27th, 2011, 09:06 PM   #2478
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"It works" is an argument with limited value. People who invented cars and bought cars also had horses that "worked". But they saw an added value that nobody had missed until then. On signage, the same applies. Italians think that it works because they take their exits. Only somebody with a broader perspective will note that clearer signs help to save the last-minute lane-changes that Italians are used to yet that are unsafe. Better advance directional signage would save time and accidents. Helps things to "it works" in a way that many Italians had never figured.

By the way, I am not with Chris on lane allocation. The gantry signs are helpful to create a picture of both directions at decision time. Lane allocation is often not needed. For a lane allocation, you would need to broaden the pull-through sign in a manner that the legibility of the exit sign goes down (you'll be forced into the use of a condensed font much more regularly). So I'm fine without lane allocation at an ordinary exit. What I do not like, however, is the false suggestion of lane allocation given by Italian gantry signs. The arrow on the pull-through sign needs to be placed differently. I saw photos of Italian gantries of the 1960s that did the trick actually. Something went wrong afterwards.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 09:16 PM   #2479
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Only somebody with a broader perspective will note that clearer signs help to save the last-minute lane-changes that Italians are used to yet that are unsafe.
This is just something that YOU foreigners believe, but it's absolutely not true. As I stated in another thread, I've seen far more last-minute lane-changes in 6 months of driving in Germany than in 10 years of Italy. So please, stop saying that poor signage force drivers to this kind of manoeuvres because you're implicitly saying that German signage is poor.

Quote:
So I'm fine without lane allocation at an ordinary exit. What I do not like, however, is the false suggestion of lane allocation given by Italian gantry signs. The arrow on the pull-through sign needs to be placed differently. I saw photos of Italian gantries of the 1960s that did the trick actually. Something went wrong afterwards.
This is something I never even thought could be a problem for anyone, until you guys told so. But trust me, nobody in Italy has ever had any problem with lane allocation gantries, even if "they don't reproduce exactly the lane situation". I see the difference with German style lane allocation signage, but never had any problem with either.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 10:17 PM   #2480
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
This is just something that YOU foreigners believe, but it's absolutely not true. As I stated in another thread, I've seen far more last-minute lane-changes in 6 months of driving in Germany than in 10 years of Italy. So please, stop saying that poor signage force drivers to this kind of manoeuvres because you're implicitly saying that German signage is poor.
A few posts back, your own countryman Schwarzpunkt seems to disagree on last-minute lane changes. Of course, last-minute lane changes are also a mentality thing. Even if you know what the situation will look like, you can always choose to stay on the left until just before the exit and then cross three lanes. No signage will ever change bad mentality, but at least it can give you a clearer picture.

Quote:
This is something I never even thought could be a problem for anyone, until you guys told so. But trust me, nobody in Italy has ever had any problem with lane allocation gantries, even if "they don't reproduce exactly the lane situation".
Be honest, the signs are counter-intuitive. A three-year old gets the picture that a falling arrow above one lane forms a connection between the message above that arrow and the lane underneath it. And thus also what first-timers think when they first see Italian gantry signage.

The fact that Italians do not have problems with the signs as they are is because they have enough experience to have instinctively started to ignore the arrows. I as a non-Italian have sufficient experience to do that too. But it's always better to not rely on that type of experience. Where you can, rely on the intuition of a three-year old.
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