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Old June 19th, 2011, 11:45 PM   #2441
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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Next is that the distinction between standard exits and interchanges is meaningless to Brits, so adding the logos adds clutter and no meaningful information - ignoring additional ugliness.
I disagree with this. I already explained on SABRE why these symbols are indispensable of any accomplished motorway signage system. These symbols distinguish junctions in access points to the network and nodes of the network itself, which helps navigating a lot.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 12:28 AM   #2442
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Originally Posted by Maxx☢Power View Post
This,



looks so much better than this:



Still a little messy and short on information, but a big improvement. I don't like the exit number being placed outside of the main sign, if they were going to change it that much they might as well get rid of all the gray stuff and extend the blue to the edge. Most important (aesthetically) change: Getting rid of the gray.
That first sign is 1000x better, it'd be far easier to read pick the correct lane quickly
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Old June 20th, 2011, 01:29 AM   #2443
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I disagree with this. I already explained on SABRE why these symbols are indispensable of any accomplished motorway signage system. These symbols distinguish junctions in access points to the network and nodes of the network itself, which helps navigating a lot.
And as we explained on SABRE, it would only be of use to less than 1% of road users, and we could barely understand how you would navigate like this - it's like you were discussing some obscure bit of Germanic culture, probably as you were.

In fact, looking on the blog, there's normally some good reason/excuse used for making the signs fit the Vienna convention (which from what I can make out is the true aim of the project, hidden under talk of clarity and reducing clutter), but there wasn't really one there other than it could be used to tell the difference between new metric signs and old imperial signs.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 09:53 AM   #2444
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A distinction between simple access points and network nodes makes sense in a grid structure like the German network, but much less so in countries like the UK and Italy, where the network is much more based on a few major North-South routes with branches turning off every now and then. Many of these branches will not end up as motorways, but their importance as a branch is a fact.

In Germany, too, I think that the distinction between so-called network nodes and simple access points has become blurry. Many access points have been constructed as cloverleafs now and are therefore signposted with the interchange symbol. But the network importance of that interchange is as limited as the network importance of an interchange with a three-digit motorway. The only thing that a German interchange symbol tells me is that I am approaching an exit that I can take at a higher speed. Not the idea of a stand-out symbol for important points in the network.

My main point of criticism on the UK style is at the same level as MaxxPower's, namely the gantries. I don't really bother about the types of arrows, but lane allocation signs have to work visibly and I consider the UK lane allocation signs to be below par on that point. Separating focal points by a comma is not fantastic from a legibility perspective either. And maybe this is where you also run into an issue with the Transport font. Conceptually, it is very clear. But it is also so broad when compared to its height, that sign makers are often forced into using a smaller size which, clearly, does not enhance legibility.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 02:35 PM   #2445
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Your link doesn't work. If that was the discussion on SABRE (which I'm not a member of but I've lurked on occasion), it'd be interesting to read.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 02:43 PM   #2446
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http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/forum/...26247&p=525232
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Old June 20th, 2011, 02:47 PM   #2447
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That's brilliant! Cheers! [he said Britishly]
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Old June 20th, 2011, 04:35 PM   #2448
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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
And as we explained on SABRE, it would only be of use to less than 1% of road users, and we could barely understand how you would navigate like this - it's like you were discussing some obscure bit of Germanic culture, probably as you were.
There is nothing obscure about it. It is a simply way to indicate the importance of a junction. Way more than 1% use this information to navigate once it is reliably signposted.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 05:22 PM   #2449
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Perhaps the Germans would like to use fractions and sign miles - far more than 1% of people would use them once reliably signposted...

You have some of the people who can navigate the British road network best on SABRE, and no one understood why someone would navigate the way you described based on those little symbols, or how it would not get you lost unless you are lucky. Compare that to the reaction to distance-based numbering - even those who don't want it could see how it works.

Fundamentally, your navigation method is bizarre and unintelligible to the British mind and that being the case, the take up of such a thing - even if the symbols were rather large - would be very small by natives as such a way of thinking is alien to us.

What I also don't get is that you have to remember two numbers (how many interchanges and how many exits after that), rather than a single junction number. You talked about just ignoring exits until you've passed the right number of interchanges (surely you'd have to look at each one's signs to see if it's an interchange or not?), but you can do the same with junction numbers - 'oh that junction is #8, I want #22 so I don't have to care about leaving the motorway for a while'. I can't see people changing to a more complex system.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 07:24 PM   #2450
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Don't worry, it's not only about the British mind. If the Germans created their interchange symbol on the basis that it would serve as a distinction between important intersections and non-important intersections, they did a bloody poor job in my opinion. At least 50% of the cloverleaf symbols are placed at places that are of no importance in the Germany network, namely interchanges with a three-digit Autobahn or a Bundesstrasse.

You have to rely on other messages spread by the German signposting to quickly grasp the importance of an upcoming intersection. The fact that they start signposting them early, for instance. But not on the cloverleaf symbol.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 07:47 PM   #2451
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I don't think there's any need to differentiate different types of junctions either. There are only so many main routes and branches, and junction numbers are surprisingly easy to remember. The British driver uses a combination of main routes and control cities, so, say someone were driving from Nottingham to Hull, they'd be looking for Junction 32, M18 and Hull. There is plenty of redundancy in this way of thinking already, and I sincerely doubt anyone would give a flying monkey what type of junction symbol they use. What is more, minor junctions often take the form of a roundabout, and British motorways are free, so there is usually very little time and expense incurred as a result of taking a wrong turn.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 09:40 PM   #2452
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Perhaps the Germans would like to use fractions and sign miles - far more than 1% of people would use them once reliably signposted...
No thanks. Germany and almost every other country on this planet turned metric long ago. There is no need to introduced obscure measures of which nearly no-one has a concept of. Neither do we need fraction as they look fvck ugly.

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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
You have some of the people who can navigate the British road network best on SABRE, and no one understood why someone would navigate the way you described based on those little symbols, or how it would not get you lost unless you are lucky. Compare that to the reaction to distance-based numbering - even those who don't want it could see how it works.
I don't expect the SABRE members to understand anyone who doesn't navigating by numbers as this and the British direction signage is pretty much sacred there. But to assume there was luck involved in navigating is rather stupid.

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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Fundamentally, your navigation method is bizarre and unintelligible to the British mind and that being the case, the take up of such a thing - even if the symbols were rather large - would be very small by natives as such a way of thinking is alien to us.
Bizarre is actually your assumption that there were just one universal British mind.

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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
What I also don't get is that you have to remember two numbers (how many interchanges and how many exits after that), rather than a single junction number.
Who needs numbers. Junctions have names which are far more easily remembered than numbers.

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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
You talked about just ignoring exits until you've passed the right number of interchanges (surely you'd have to look at each one's signs to see if it's an interchange or not?),
Yes, but symbols are significantly larger and therefore easier to spot from the distance.

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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
but you can do the same with junction numbers - 'oh that junction is #8, I want #22 so I don't have to care about leaving the motorway for a while'.
If you navigate this way you are just a totso away from going the wrong way.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 10:02 PM   #2453
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No thanks. Germany and almost every other country on this planet turned metric long ago. There is no need to introduced obscure measures of which nearly no-one has a concept of.
Almost every other country. But I find it bizarre that the rest of Europe is perfectly happy to turn often-bad English into its Esperanto on the grounds that it's a - no, the - universal language, but dismisses as "obscure" and nearly unknown a measurement system that was used within living memory by every country where that language is actually spoken natively.

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Neither do we need fraction as they look fvck ugly.
Fractions are ugly? That's a new one.

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Who needs numbers. Junctions have names which are far more easily remembered than numbers.
There are countries - including some quite large ones in fact* - where junctions aren't named. And the notion that names are more easily remembered than numbers is a matter of opinion.

*But of course, since some of the countries in question are inhabited by benighted barbarians who prove their benightedness and barbarity by - gasp - not doing things the way Continentals do, I guess they don't count.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 10:16 PM   #2454
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I don't expect the SABRE members to understand anyone who doesn't navigating by numbers as this and the British direction signage is pretty much sacred there.
I don't expect you to understand anyone who does not navigate the German way (or worse, the way you think that the German system works). The German directional signage is pretty much sacred with you.

In other words, please stop being a pot that calls the kettle black.
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Old June 20th, 2011, 10:31 PM   #2455
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Who needs numbers. Junctions have names which are far more easily remembered than numbers.
For me numbers are easier to remember, and I'm not even British
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Old June 20th, 2011, 10:59 PM   #2456
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No thanks. Germany and almost every other country on this planet turned metric long ago. There is no need to introduced obscure measures of which nearly no-one has a concept of. Neither do we need fraction as they look fvck ugly.
So you get why I don't want our signs cluttered with ugly things that are obscure ways of navigating which nearly no-one has a concept of...
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But to assume there was luck involved in navigating is rather stupid.
As far as I can see, your system is count big interchanges and then count exits after the last interchange you pass - you need to be lucky that there aren't things you thought would be exits, but are interchanges, you need to be lucky that you don't miss an interchange when counting them off, etc
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Bizarre is actually your assumption that there were just one universal British mind.
I never suggested there was, but there's near universal education, a common culture and a load of other things that means that our brains work in similar ways.
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Who needs numbers. Junctions have names which are far more easily remembered than numbers.
I likely know more motorway junction names than 99.9% of people in this country, but I can't list them off in order for, say, the M6 - or even something shorter like the M56. I want to turn off at Croft and have just passed Wednesbury - the name 'Wednesbury' tells me nothing about it's relative position on the motorway, so it doesn't even give a vague ball park idea of how far away my junction is. I may also know that I've just passed Ray Hall, which is an interchange and that that Croft is now the 4th interchange ahead - could it be the 4th junction I meet, or the 400th? I have no idea, and I may forget to count J11a as an interchange (more likely is 10a Southbound). A sequence of (near) consecutive numbers is far more easy to remember than a sequence of the same amount of words - this is clearly the case as counting to 30 is far easier than being able to recite the first names off a register for a class of 30 people.
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If you navigate this way you are just a totso away from going the wrong way.
I can't see how you wouldn't be either by going based on the counting interchanges and then exits after the last interchange, unless you know where the TOTSOs are (and they are rare in on the UK Motorway network), in which case, if driving from Gatwick to Tilbury (say), you know you need to turn off at junction 5 to stay on the M25.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 12:38 AM   #2457
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You know what, you know a 'big' junction is coming up when you see one of the massive gantries over your head, which is far more visible than a little 'interchange' symbol.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 01:49 AM   #2458
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Who needs numbers. Junctions have names which are far more easily remembered than numbers.
I agree with this, with the proviso that in order to be memorable you have to be at least somewhat familiar with the language of the name. For example, I would not find many Polish names to be memorable because I don't have much of an idea how they are pronounced.

South African exits are numbered too, but in everyday speech people tend to talk of the names rather than the numbers, which I find logical. For example people will talk about the Elands Interchange rather than N3 Exit 105 or the Marlboro offramp rather than than Exit 124.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 02:39 AM   #2459
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I can't see how you wouldn't be either by going based on the counting interchanges and then exits after the last interchange, unless you know where the TOTSOs are (and they are rare in on the UK Motorway network), in which case, if driving from Gatwick to Tilbury (say), you know you need to turn off at junction 5 to stay on the M25.
You misunderstand me. I don't count junctions. I never did. I identify them by the symbol and their name. So I neither miss TOTSOs nor is it luck.

And I do know where the TOTSOs are, at least in the countries I venture. But I don't perceive TOTSOs as such as I follow control destinations rather than road numbers.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 09:59 AM   #2460
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I do not think that there is one definite way to navigate along motorways. It will make a great difference how familiar one is with the road in question. For instance, when I drive home along the Dutch A1 I will only look at exit names. Barneveld tells me that I have some time to go and Diemen tells me that I'm almost there. I don't ever look at exit numbers. But directional signage is primarily there for the motorist unfamiliar in the area. So how would I approach a drive on the British M6? Well, I may be looking for a sign containing my destination but I cannot be sure whether it will appear on the sign at all. Most maps (including online ones) only show the junction number of the exit that I'm supposed to take. And even where exit names are identified on maps, exit numbers are the only means of establishing whether I am getting anywhere near my exit (which I consider quite important information, as it tells me whether I don't need to bother with exits for another while or whether I should start paying attention to approaching exits). The names of intermittant exits are not telling me anything, except maybe that they are not the exits that I am to take.

So one road user, different use of the information typically provided on all road signage. I am sure that I am not alone in this approach. Many Germans will rely on exit numbers in areas where they are less familiar and many Britons will rely on exit names on routes that they know well. This is why numbers AND names do make sense. But why the discussion? Both the German style of signage and the British style of signage feature both, as sign designers in both countries have understood the use of this dual information. The main difference is in the absence of a simple exit / interchange symbol. And on that point, I fully subscribe to NCT's point. The importance of a junction follows from the general way in which it is signposted, not from one symbol. And most definitely not from that one symbol in the way the Germans use it.
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