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Old October 17th, 2008, 08:09 PM   #41
ADCS
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Who says it ain't broke? You? I doubt it will be enough to convince the FHWA not to proceed with the change
Well, that ship sailed three months ago, and they weren't listening to you if you didn't come with at least 20 peer reviewed papers backing you up.

I've got to say that I do like the big divergent arrows, but the reality is that they are a bit unwieldy and very nonintuitive. This is a step in the right direction.

I'm ready for the compromise solution when it comes to pictorial signs. Basically, if it can be done with a pictograph, it should be done with a pictograph. If it can be done much more easily and clearly with text, do it with text.

BTW, Alex, be happy you're in WA and will actually see some of these changes implemented. CA will just come out with their standard state MUTCD, which pretty much always says that the national one is null and void in CA, and that they'll keep doing what they've done since 1946.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:21 PM   #42
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I'm ready for the compromise solution when it comes to pictorial signs. Basically, if it can be done with a pictograph, it should be done with a pictograph. If it can be done much more easily and clearly with text, do it with text.
The problem with the text, in my opinion, is that it cannot be easily recognised from distance. At least, not as easy as the pictograph. Even if we disregard the argument that some people may not know English well enough to read the signs, pictographs are still better for locals too because of increased visibility. I noticed that after some time, I started recognising textual signs (e.g. "Lane ends. Merge Left") by the shape of the text before I was close enough to read them. So, I still rely on shape. Is it normal? Is it the purpose of the textual signs? I don't think so.

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BTW, Alex, be happy you're in WA and will actually see some of these changes implemented. CA will just come out with their standard state MUTCD, which pretty much always says that the national one is null and void in CA, and that they'll keep doing what they've done since 1946.
Yeah, you are absolutely right. And still, California is slowly moving toward the accepted federal standards. For instance, when I just moved to California in early 2001, they did not have numbered exits on motorways, and their exit guide signs looked somewhat different (compared to Oregon). But sometimes in 2003-2004 they started to change their standards. Still, I wish they installed mileposts on major highways.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:28 PM   #43
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I'd like examples of when pictographs DON'T work better than text. Obviously, names of towns and streets and roads must be written- but other than that? Can you give me any examples where text would be better? I can't think of any.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:30 PM   #44
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The problem with the text, in my opinion, is that it cannot be easily recognised from distance. At least, not as easy as the pictograph. Even if we disregard the argument that some people may not know English well enough to read the signs, pictographs are still better for locals too because of increased visibility. I noticed that after some time, I started recognising textual signs (e.g. "Lane ends. Merge Left") by the shape of the text before I was close enough to read them. So, I still rely on shape. Is it normal? Is it the purpose of the textual signs? I don't think so.
I'm a descriptivist when it comes to life in general. I honestly believe that for most people, they haven't changed those signs exactly for the reason you stated. People do recognize the signs by their word-shape, and I would say that's why they haven't changed text placement in 50 years.

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Yeah, you are absolutely right. And still, California is slowly moving toward the accepted federal standards. For instance, when I just moved to California in early 2001, they did not have numbered exits on motorways, and their exit guide signs looked somewhat different (compared to Oregon). But sometimes in 2003-2004 they started to change their standards. Still, I wish they installed mileposts on major highways.
California doesn't use reflective highway signs like everyone else in the civilized world, preferring to use the horribly outdated button copy signs (great for highway enthusiasts, stupid for everyone else). They also are half-assing the exit numbering. I don't understand why that given the high gas taxes in California, the highly dense, highly numerous population, that California isn't at the very forefront of signage and construction. It's almost like after the national standards were adopted, and they weren't identical to California standards, that they got all offended and said "screw you guys, we're sticking with this"
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:37 PM   #45
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I'd like examples of when pictographs DON'T work better than text. Obviously, names of towns and streets and roads must be written- but other than that? Can you give me any examples where text would be better? I can't think of any.
Some backward people may argue that it takes time to memorise the pictographs if they are not obvious enough. I don't know how much time it takes to memorise a few ambiguous symbols that are present in current American standards. Personally, it took me no more than 2 days to memorise all international signs before I could pass Ukrainian theory exam. And they were ALL pictographs Once you memorise the pictographs, there is no reason in the world why text would be better.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:42 PM   #46
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Big disadvantage of text is that its not in a totally universal language. An arrow means an arrow in every language,but the word "arrow" might not be present in,lets say,chineese.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:46 PM   #47
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I'd like examples of when pictographs DON'T work better than text. Obviously, names of towns and streets and roads must be written- but other than that? Can you give me any examples where text would be better? I can't think of any.
Text or text inside pictorial signs in the Netherlands:

STOP sign
Fietspad sign (bicycle path)
Usual signage, though they did some experiments numbering neighborhoods instead of write them out on signs (I didn't like it).

traffic signs which need an extra explanation like "buses/trucks only" or "except residents".
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:51 PM   #48
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Big disadvantage of text is that its not in a totally universal language. An arrow means an arrow in every language,but the word "arrow" might not be present in,lets say,chineese.
In the USA, you've got to come up with a much better explanation than your liberal socialistic multicultural crap

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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:54 PM   #49
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America is a large area with one language that everybody understands. You can have 10 different languages within 500 miles from a lot of points in Europe. That increases the need for pictorial signs. As many Europeans, we usually only understand 2 or 3 major languages (in my case; Dutch, German, French and English).
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:56 PM   #50
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traffic signs which need an extra explanation like "buses/trucks only" or "except residents".
Those are rather a rectangular supplemental plagues and usually installed underneath a main sign. I have yet to see them used alone.

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America is a large area with one language that everybody understands. You can have 10 different languages within 500 miles from a lot of points in Europe. That increases the need for pictorial signs. As many Europeans, we usually only understand 2 or 3 major languages (in my case; Dutch, German, French and English).
Well, in Soviet Union everyone understood Russian, but they still used international signage system. In Latin America (except Brazil), they speak the same language, and still they use pictographs instead of the text. China is pretty big too and most people speak Mandarin, but they also use pictorial signs. Having common language is not the reason why text should be used instead of the symbols.

Last edited by Alex Von Königsberg; October 17th, 2008 at 10:02 PM.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:59 PM   #51
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You're right, they are supplemental signs places under the main traffic sign. You see those all the time. "Anlieger frei" for instance in Germany.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
America is a large area with one language that everybody understands. You can have 10 different languages within 500 miles from a lot of points in Europe. That increases the need for pictorial signs. As many Europeans, we usually only understand 2 or 3 major languages (in my case; Dutch, German, French and English).
So? What if someone cant read?
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Old October 17th, 2008, 10:13 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Text or text inside pictorial signs in the Netherlands:

STOP sign
Fietspad sign (bicycle path)
Usual signage, though they did some experiments numbering neighborhoods instead of write them out on signs (I didn't like it).

traffic signs which need an extra explanation like "buses/trucks only" or "except residents".

Well, I'd argue at this point the word "STOP" inside the red octagon is no more needed than the word(s) "YIELD" or "GIVE WAY" are inside the red and white inverted triangle.
I do agree that an occasional extra explanation plate can be helpful, but it should be rare.
For example, your buses/trucks only could have a bus and truck inside a green circle with a car inside a red. I'm not sure about the bike path, but there are bike pictos, even here in America, so that wouldn't be too difficult.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 10:43 PM   #54
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In the Netherlands, the STOP sign does not only mean "yield", but you really have to stop there and then drive further. That differs the sign from the usualy yield sign where you don't necessarily have to stop. They're usual placed at intersections you really can't see in both directions unless you're stopped.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 01:22 AM   #55
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Who care about making signs that people from Mongolia can understand? In America, we speak English. I have no problem with English signs. Enough of this PC B.S.

In other countries fewer people drive. The driving age is higher, and many people are expected to get by without cars. In America everyone has to drive, including the borderline retarded high school kid from Texas. Signs need to be simple so that everyone here can understand them, not abstract to pander to foreigners.

Last edited by Paddington; October 18th, 2008 at 01:27 AM.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 04:59 AM   #56
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In the Netherlands, the STOP sign does not only mean "yield", but you really have to stop there and then drive further. That differs the sign from the usualy yield sign where you don't necessarily have to stop. They're usual placed at intersections you really can't see in both directions unless you're stopped.
Here, in the USA, STOP sign too does not mean yield. If you do not make a full stop and a policeman sees it, he will give you a citation. However, with the American practice to put STOPs at every intersection - whether your visibility is really obstructed or not - people do not stop there completely if there is no reason to stop. If they must stop and yield, they stop and yield and everything is well. If the intersection is perfectly clear and you can actually see it is clear, then very few people make a full stop.

People tend to filter all the BS that is forced upon them by retards from the DOT and still follow the common sense. These illogical rules are only used to feed city and state budgets. But as I quoted in the beginning, the FHWA will soon allow installing YIELD signs where before only STOPs were warranted. I don't think small town politicians will be particularly happy about it.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 05:14 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
In the Netherlands, the STOP sign does not only mean "yield", but you really have to stop there and then drive further. That differs the sign from the usualy yield sign where you don't necessarily have to stop. They're usual placed at intersections you really can't see in both directions unless you're stopped.
I think you've misinterpreted BillPA - he used two examples. The first being the Red Hexagon, which has "STOP" written in it (unless in Quebec, were it has "Arret" - I don't know of other places in the world that don't use the English - even the French do), where you do have to stop. The second being the upside down red outlined white triangle with either yield or give way in. Both signs have a unique shape, and the words aren't necessary (though I see no problem with putting them on - you know what it says but it makes that meaning crystal clear). The Stop sign, after all, is designed to be discernible when covered in snow, obscuring the sign face.

While popularity doesn't mean better, it is the case that the US is the only country not to use lots of pictagrams - most countries find them awkward - I mean we've heard as a defence that people have memorised the layout of the words to see what a sign says - they are seeing a shape that, having taken lots of practise, tells them - have intuitive pictograms and they don't need to take years, but days or even hours, to know what all the signs they might ever come across mean instantly, and when they come across one on the road, they know what it says without having to read, even if they haven't learnt.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 06:43 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Here, in the USA, STOP sign too does not mean yield. If you do not make a full stop and a policeman sees it, he will give you a citation. However, with the American practice to put STOPs at every intersection - whether your visibility is really obstructed or not - people do not stop there completely if there is no reason to stop. If they must stop and yield, they stop and yield and everything is well. If the intersection is perfectly clear and you can actually see it is clear, then very few people make a full stop.
That's why I posted this on page 1 of this thread:
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I've long believed that a new type of yield sign was needed, one that was like a stop sign operationally except that a full stop isn't required. Maybe a diamond, white with a thick red band around the edge. IMO an octagon would be more philosophically correct, but a diamond would be easier to distinguish from a stop sign, and the diamond shape means caution, which would be appropriate.

Such a new sign would save fuel at lightly-traveled intersections and hopefully induce motorists to take real stop signs more seriously.
Many people see a problem with the current use of stop signs, but only one person proposes a solution, and nobody even comments on it. WTF?
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Old October 18th, 2008, 11:41 AM   #59
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The Freeway/ Highway signs in Los Angeles are among the best ones I've seen. This picture shows the Freeway 10 East bound aproaching 5North, 10East, 60East, and 5South. Almost every lane is going to go in a different direction. This sign is good because I only need to know where my lane is going, I don't really need the sign to show how they "curve" or "turn" to different direction.



Here is another example, Freeway 110 North approaching interchange 110North, 101 North, 5 South, and 10 East

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Old October 18th, 2008, 03:36 PM   #60
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Many people see a problem with the current use of stop signs, but only one person proposes a solution, and nobody even comments on it. WTF?
Isn't what you are proposing a yield sign by a different name? A stop sign where you don't have to stop, just be cautious sounds just like "give way" to my UK ears.

For 4-way/3-way stops, perhaps mini roundabouts (yield to left) are the solution. You can do it without painting road markings - just have yield signs rather than stop and call it a 4-way yield, or more clearly have "To Left" on the "4-way" plates.
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