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Old January 11th, 2012, 05:57 PM   #3121
g.spinoza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Which explains the name-craziness of directional signs on roundabouts or junctions, with sometimes 10, 15 cities named on arrow-shaped signs in blue or green.
I live in Italy and think that those signs are the exception, not the rule, but maybe I'm biased.
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But its mountainous area makes numbering even more important/usefull.
Quite the contrary. Montainous areas reduce the possible itineraries to go from A to B, so road numbering is not necessary at all. There are only 3 roads from the entire Thyrrenian side of Italy to the Po basin, it's impossible to get confused.: one is through Bologna, another through Parma and the third one through Cesena (which is not even an autostrada). So it's easier to get directions for these cities than obscure road numbers.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 06:14 PM   #3122
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Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
we Italians
You and maybe a lot of Italians.

We Italians is a bit exaggerated. Italians are 60.000.000

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Old January 11th, 2012, 08:13 PM   #3123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
Quite the contrary. Montainous areas reduce the possible itineraries to go from A to B, so road numbering is not necessary at all. There are only 3 roads from the entire Thyrrenian side of Italy to the Po basin, it's impossible to get confused.: one is through Bologna, another through Parma and the third one through Cesena (which is not even an autostrada). So it's easier to get directions for these cities than obscure road numbers.
For a North-South trip you may be right, also due to the fact that you will find well-known cities along those cross-Appennine axes that are, accordingly, easy to follow. And you would even have the option of signposting "North" and "South", which I have seen on old pictures of the A3 (presumably they did the same on the A1 and the A14?).

But east-west routes are trickier. There are much more of them (particularly when you take into account the construction work on the E78, Quadrilatero Marche-Umbria, Termoli-San Vitore etc), so they are more difficult to distinguish. The mountainous terrain means that they will cross wherever the terrain permits an east-west crossing, not necessarily to a large town. Some of these east-west routes do run to very familiar towns like Pescara, Roma or Napoli that can accordingly be used for signposting. But for many of these roads, you will end up with signs to not very telling place names like Teramo en Civitavecchia Marche. This is where route numbering can offer a large added value.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 09:36 PM   #3124
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Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
I live in Italy and think that those signs are the exception, not the rule, but maybe I'm biased.
10 maybe an exaggeration, but is rather common to find town names in 5-7 stacks. And they are hard to read because of their positioning. But this is changing for good with more gantries.

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Quite the contrary. Montainous areas reduce the possible itineraries to go from A to B, so road numbering is not necessary at all. There are only 3 roads from the entire Thyrrenian side of Italy to the Po basin, it's impossible to get confused.: one is through Bologna, another through Parma and the third one through Cesena (which is not even an autostrada). So it's easier to get directions for these cities than obscure road numbers.
You are referring to the 3 autostrade (let's face it: SS 3-bis is a de-facto highway). I was thinking more in terms of non-autostrade.

But SS 3-bis is a good example of the problems: in some sectors in Umbria, SS3-bis is followed by an older route, also a non-highway (thus blue sign). That can make signaling a mess. The inadequate shield for long road codes (such as... SS 3-bis) make it more difficult to read.

I actually think Italy should adopt shields that are of different colors than the backgrounds. Orange shields anyone ?
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Old January 11th, 2012, 09:38 PM   #3125
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But for many of these roads, you will end up with signs to not very telling place names like Teramo en Civitavecchia Marche. This is where route numbering can offer a large added value.
Sorry for be a road-Nazi (lol), but in the case of Teramo, problems would persist because they built the Teramo-A14 sector as an expressway, not full-highway. Hardly difficult to notice the difference (except for the lack of a proper interchange with A14).
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Old January 11th, 2012, 10:11 PM   #3126
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Many road in Italy have unlogical numbers: if you drive from Monfalcone to Trieste sea port (around 30km without turning) you will have in order: A4, RA13, NSA344, SS202. I think it would be better call the whole route A4 (except maybe the last section of SS202 that is very substandard, but RA13 and NSA344 are full motorway standard).
You probably mean NSA 314. But now I see in Wikipedia that it's NSA 344 on that small map. But I think it's wrong, because they also mention NSA 314 in text and I remember this number. Maybe lucaf1 can correct the maps?

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grande_...3%A0_Triestina
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strada_..._202_Triestina
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccordo_autostradale_13
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Old January 11th, 2012, 10:17 PM   #3127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
The mountainous terrain means that they will cross wherever the terrain permits an east-west crossing, not necessarily to a large town. Some of these east-west routes do run to very familiar towns like Pescara, Roma or Napoli that can accordingly be used for signposting. But for many of these roads, you will end up with signs to not very telling place names like Teramo en Civitavecchia Marche. This is where route numbering can offer a large added value.
My previous post "Italy is a not so large country" was to address this fact. Everybody knows where Teramo, Civitavecchia, and other small towns are... maybe not everybody but more than the people who remember SS77, A32, or SP654.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 10:51 PM   #3128
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I live in a country that is many times smaller than Italy, so I can understand the idea that people know the towns that are signposted. And still route numbering is considered helpful. Why? Because it helps people in tying towns signposted to a particular route.

Take the E78 as an example. It may be signposted on the basis of towns that are relatively well-known, such as Grosseto, Siena, Arezzo and Fano. But if you stand in Siena and are travelling to Sansepolcro, what tells you which road you need to take? Of course, you know that Arezzo gets you into the right direction, but if you were expecting signs to Fano or Perugia, you could be confused. If you repeat the same exercise in Arezzo, it may be even tricker to associate the medium-distance focal point of Fano to the regional town of Sansepolcro. If you know the regional road network by heart, you'd overcome this. But signposting is there for the motorists that don't know road networks by heart.

Now imagine that the focal points in each of the situations described above were supplemented with a road number. I don't mind whether it's E78, SS765 or whatever else. The addition of the road number to the focal points makes the route signposted uniquely identifiable, excluding any possible confusion whether the route signposted is indeed "your" route. Even if you were expecting to be guided to a different town, the route number helps the motorist to quickly adjust and still take the correct road. That is vital as it is very difficult for motorists to prepare themselves for the towns that are signposted in an area that they do not know, while it is much easier to prepare yourself for route numbers that you will come across.

And you know what's even nicer? You do not need to remember all those numbers throughout the country. You just need a bit of preparation for your trip, to work out before you leave that at some stage you will need to look for signs that say "E78". Which is pretty darn easier than uncertainty like "At some stage I may need to follow Arezzo. But at that same stage I might also need to follow Fano. Or Perugia."
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Old January 11th, 2012, 11:02 PM   #3129
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Pino, I am a bit of a roadgeek and use road numbers, but I must say I am more comfortable with destinations. Even when I was in Germany I knew that, if I had to go towards Stuttgart from Munich, I'd encounter first Augsburg, then Ulm. I still remember them without looking at the map, but I don't remember the name of the road (was it A8? A9?). It's just that I remember maps better than numbers, and I suspect (most of) my fellow Italians do the same.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 11:08 PM   #3130
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Numbers are easier to remember, especially to foreigners not used to Italian style city names. It's also easier because you know what to expect, unlike destinations, which may not always be logically chosen. There are also many instances where it's not quite clear which route a certain destination takes, and a route number is also easier to refer to on temporary signs, VMS's and traffic information.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 12:05 AM   #3131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Numbers are easier to remember,
Apparently this is not so true.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 12:52 AM   #3132
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Numbers are easier to remember
Not to me. First I learned (Italian) cities when I was small, then motorways between them, and only then their numbers. Why would you know a road number, if you don't even know where it leads? It might be true for small towns, but bigger towns and cities are much more known than road numbers.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 12:57 AM   #3133
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Most drivers unknown to an area do not remember a list of 30 cities, towns and villages which may or may not be signed.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 01:07 AM   #3134
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They have to know them, otherwise why are they going there at all? Before I went from Cairns to Melbourne, I only knew the largest cities, but when I drove there, I looked at a map and learned all of them, it would've been quite ignorant, if I hadn't. Of course there's also the A1 signed (which is good), but how do you know in which direction to go, if you don't know towns? It's good to sign both, towns and numbers.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 01:14 AM   #3135
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Between bigger towns and cities people will rely on focal points much more than road numbers. Road numbers take a secondary role, as reassurance and as a form of specification (for instance, on which of the two possible routes between two towns you are).

But when you find yourself in more unfamiliar territory, you are more likely to see less familiar focal points. Australia is an interesting example as far as that's concerned, since when I first went there, I had studied a map, but my mental picture was not yet such that I could immediately reconcile signs pointing to Taree as a pointer to the coastal Sydney-Brisbane route. That's where that large Highway 1 sign came in very handily. More generally, I think that you can say that Europeans (Americans are a completely different story on this point) move to road numbers in situations where they are less familiar. Which is not necessarily when you are a tourist in a country far away, but also when you travel to a region that you don't know. Your general topographical knowledge will get you to the region, but your final leg to some village out there will be unchartered territory.

Where Spinoza speaks about remembering maps, that is the type of situation where people no longer have their mental map in front of them. Of course, that also means that you don't recall any road number. But it's also the situation where you've got a map in front of you (or directions). And as it happens, a match between a road number on your map / directions and a road number on the sign in front of you is by far the quickest way of working out what to do in that type of situation. Much quicker than trying to reconcile focal points on the sign in front of you with villages on the map, or to check all signs whether they contain the name of one in five villages that might just be the focal point of the route that you intend to take.

The interesting thing in this context is that most Europeans will say that they do not use road numbers and that they only rely on focals. Which is a statement that (largely) holds true for the trip to, say, Rome but not for the situations that I just described. When they start renumbering Italy and properly signpost the Italian numbers, you bet that the vast majority of the Italians will say too that they don't use route numbering. But I bet that they will start doing so (given a bit of time of course) on pretty much the same basis as the people from their neighbouring countries once proper signposted numbering gets implemented.
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Last edited by -Pino-; January 12th, 2012 at 01:22 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 11:16 AM   #3136
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This could happen "quite often":




The better solution (IMO) is to read the destination and the Route number box...
...BUT..even with the route number box could happen this:





Uploaded with ImageShack.us

PS: I hope the sentences are correct in English
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Old January 12th, 2012, 11:23 AM   #3137
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I seriously hope that the last one is photoshopped...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Verso View Post
You probably mean NSA 314. But now I see in Wikipedia that it's NSA 344 on that small map. But I think it's wrong, because they also mention NSA 314 in text and I remember this number. Maybe lucaf1 can correct the maps?

http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grande_...3%A0_Triestina
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strada_..._202_Triestina
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccordo_autostradale_13
Yes, it's 314. I looked at the wrong map.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #3138
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I seriously hope that the last one is photoshopped...
This wouldn't be so hard to check with Google Streetview - two of three distances (third may be wrong) show that this sign should be in the town of Abbadia Lariana on the coast of Lago di Como.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 01:08 PM   #3139
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you guys shall seriously consider bying a Satellite navigator

Having said that I absolutely love the american system (mainly numbers) also because it reduces the need for the 50 different cities destinations in each interchange

In a country of petty localism like Italy this leads to continue warfares among villages and towns "to be signed" everywhere
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Old January 12th, 2012, 08:19 PM   #3140
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Is GRA the motorway shown in the banner of ANAS home page?


They recently made many updates on Rome's ringroad and areal images of Rome date back to 2007, so I cannot find the place. My first guess was SS16 near Bari but it isn't. I don't think there are other 3x2 highways managed by ANAS, apart A3 (new sections) but the landscape is mountanious.
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