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Old August 17th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #321
Wover
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Old and new signage
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Old August 18th, 2010, 08:43 PM   #322
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Excellent photo.

(I can't help but point out that the sign in the background -- and several others around this intersection, as I coincidentally noticed just this week -- are set in Helvetica typeface. Haven't seen that anywhere else.)

[IMG]http://i35.************/34j29og.jpg[/IMG]

Not that it really matters, or that anybody should make the difference but it somehow caught my eye.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #323
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As Wover already mentioned, signage inside Tallinn is pretty messy. For example, why do they sign the city centre at that intersection? It pretty much is the centre already and besides, Rävala Avenue is practically a dead end. I would sign Viru square as the centre point of Tallinn instead.
Furthermore, why isn't the bus station on the sign(the bus station is situated on the right). Don't they think it's important enough? The harbour, airport, railway station and bus station should be signed on every major intersection in the city, IMO.
Then there are the language issues. At one intersection it's centre, at the other it's center and in some places it's only signed in Estonian(Kesklinn).

And to continue on the language issues: why are the tourist signs on highways in Estonian only? I know there aren't that many foreign tourists in Estonia, especially outside Tallinn but the tourist signs should encourage tourism not discourage it.

Last edited by Rebasepoiss; August 18th, 2010 at 10:11 PM.
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Old August 18th, 2010, 10:18 PM   #324
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Signage within city limits is almost always a problem, especially outside the main roads. I know many cities in the Netherlands barely sign destinations on city roads outside the major roads. You just have to know the way, otherwise you're getting nowhere.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 04:15 PM   #325
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Kukruse - Johvi (E20) update:





+ more pictures here:
http://pilt.delfi.ee/en/album/185299/
Will be opened on August 31st. Only few more days to go till they remove the 50km/h speed limit. One more bottleneck down
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Old August 19th, 2010, 05:02 PM   #326
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Looking great! Mäo bypass will also be finished in about a month. Combined with Kukruse-Jõhvi section, that's 14km of brand new 2x2 highway.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #327
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebasepoiss View Post
As Wover already mentioned, signage inside Tallinn is pretty messy. For example, why do they sign the city centre at that intersection? It pretty much is the centre already and besides, Rävala Avenue is practically a dead end. I would sign Viru square as the centre point of Tallinn instead.
Based on what I've seen in European towns - at this close to town centre, direction signs should start pointing to car parks. This is the first thing that a freshly-arrived tourist is looking for: where to stop and park the car. Roadside parking spots are becoming really rare (and I pity the tourist who needs to figure out how to pay for parking on the street.)

Car park entrances are already marked, of course. But my point is that they should be signposted in advance, too. (Possibly with a LED display showing the number of vacant places.)

In the good old '60s it was possible to proudly drive one's "Pobeda" straight to Town Hall Square and park it there but those times are not coming back...

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Originally Posted by Rebasepoiss View Post
Then there are the language issues. At one intersection it's centre, at the other it's center and in some places it's only signed in Estonian(Kesklinn).
I believe the newest practice now is "KESKLINN, C". Not the most elegant solution, perhaps, and it may seem too subtle at first, but it'll get the job done, too: if only the signage would be uniform.

In general, I think that signposting city streets is a difficult task -- and I believe that a sufficiently large town with excellent signage would be a truly rare exception.

Only a strict, consistent and very detailed specification (what are the recommended transit routes, what local and remote destinations are signed and on what conditions) would set things straight. But it would have to be in effect, unchanged, for 20 years in a row - since signs are anyway installed or replaced street-by-street.

While Tallinn may have messy signage (and I could also point out several messed-up route recommendations and conflicting instructions), I'd say it has almost enough signage.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #328
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Nice pics, the road seem of the highest standard it can be! I believe it would it be kind of expressway with 14 kms of 2x2!
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:00 PM   #329
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Having had to drive around a bit, I now have material for a couple of posts, but those will probably come next week.

First, I think you might be interested in seeing pictures of soon-to-be-opened Mäo bypass.

The new interchange system is quite extensive and a lot has been changed and rebuilt, so I drove around for a while. The following pictures cover 3 different paths:
1) New 2+2 Tallinn-Tartu road towards Tartu;
2) Back along the old road through Mäo;
3) New 2+2 Pärnu-Rakvere road towards Rakvere.



General state of progress: noise barrier walls have been completed, all pavement seems to be laid, most crash barriers are installed, a few signs are already up, road is being prepared for markings. Aside from that, some landscape work remains to be done.

Coming from Tallinn, heading south:




Both carriageways are now open for traffic.



Noise barriers are a mix of earthwork, wooden wall and limestone wall. Limestone is a reference to the nearby town of Paide (old Wittenstein/Weissenstein), with its medieval castle and a restored limestone castle tower.



Approach to interchange between roads 2 & 5



Sliproad is not open yet. Curiously, this junction will only allow to turn right, for Pärnu and Paide; no good access to the left towards Rakvere.

I think this is because traffic towards Rakvere can make a left turn a few kms earlier, using a connecting road.




Joining sliproad.



Slope between main road and sliproad is very steep -- it almost has a feeling of an urban motorway where every square metre is precious. Acceleration lane looks really short, too.



By the way, in the opposite direction, signs are already installed.

Ahead towards Tartu.



Second junction: bypass ends here, new road alignment meets old one again and motorists coming from Tartu can exit for Mäo.



PART II - OLD ROAD THROUGH MÄO

Turning right, I am now on the old Tallinn-Tartu road, heading back towards the direction of Tallinn, via Mäo centre.

Mäo-Paide connecting road (15130), indicated on this old sign, is closed and will be demolished.



Those of you who have driven this road should remember that view...



One more chance to stop and eat, and around the corner, to the right, full speed ahead towards Tallinn! (Or so it was.)




And here, everything is now totally different... an intersection has popped up and we have a viaduct over road 5.



What used to be part of E263, a mighty 288-kilometre road, is now just a tiny stub connecting two closest villages.




On top of the viaduct. Below lies road 5, Pärnu-Rakvere. View towards Rakvere (north-east).



Zoomed in.



View towards Paide (south-west).



And along the old road again. This should still be recognizable as the old at-grade intersection between roads 2 & 5. Oh, and the old stork nest is still there! You do remember that, right?




As the road used to go towards Tallinn.



It does not simply rejoin 2 / E263, though; at one point the road makes a sharp left turn...



and arrives at a local intersection.

Both ways to road (15)159? But I thought I already was driving along it, as a sign previously indicated? Either 15159 is now a weird three-branch contrivance, or the piece of former 2 / E263 has been degraded to unclassified status -- a mere access road for 15159?

(Never mind, I'm over-analysing that.)



One more underpass on 2 / E263,



and one more branch road.



I bet not everybody has seen that traffic sign yet.



PART III - ROAD 5 (PÄRNU-RAKVERE) TOWARDS RAKVERE



Crash barrier not fully completed yet.




A junction, and the viaduct on old E263, now Mäo-Tarbja road.




Road 2 / road 5 interchange looks really unspectacular from here, since we're on an overpass.



Hmm, exit for Tallinn does not get an advance sign?



A misaimed side-shot. The southbound carriageway on 2 / E263, as seen from the overpass.



2+2 happiness ends very quickly, as soon as we're through the junction. But for a traffic volume of 1950 AADT (as it is from this point on), this is quite expected.


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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:19 PM   #330
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Great report Appreciated.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:47 PM   #331
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Well done.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:54 PM   #332
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I like that you are so thorough when photographing highways. I look forward to seeing more
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Old August 24th, 2010, 11:18 PM   #333
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Cool progress and amazing explanations! Thanks, Grisent! Waiting for more.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 01:08 AM   #334
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grisent View Post

Slope between main road and sliproad is very steep -- it almost has a feeling of an urban motorway where every square metre is precious. Acceleration lane looks really short, too.


It looks very similar to motorways in Sweden. A lot of roads in Estonia looks very Swedish.

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Originally Posted by Grisent View Post

I bet not everybody has seen that traffic sign yet.


What is this warning sign means? I have never seen this before.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 01:09 AM   #335
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End of paved road? Never saw these before either.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 02:52 AM   #336
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Quote:
Sliproad is not open yet. Curiously, this junction will only allow to turn right, for Pärnu and Paide; no good access to the left towards Rakvere.
Are you sure? Plans show, that left turns should be allowed. You can even see a break in the median for this on the image:
Quote:
Quote:
End of paved road? Never saw these before either.
Yep.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 09:04 AM   #337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasper View Post
Are you sure? Plans show, that left turns should be allowed. You can even see a break in the median for this on the image:
I checked project documentation -- indeed, you are right.

But the same break in the median will be used by those coming over viaduct and turning left towards Tartu. If so, it will be a very collision-prone intersection, which makes me wonder why they bothered with a 2+2 road at all.
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Old August 25th, 2010, 12:30 PM   #338
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AFAIK, there are 4 different left turns required to take all the routes at this T2/T5 interchange. That's pretty disappointing, actually.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #339
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For today, a bit of illustrated history. :-)

Past decade 2000-2010 brought a remarkable wave of improvements onto Estonian trunk roads. Most large reconstruction works were, of course, funded by EU support. Two important Estonian highway routes -- road 2 (Tallinn-Tartu-Võru-Luhamaa) and road 3 (Jõhvi-Tartu-Valga) -- were thoroughly renovated, almost in full length.

Both roads were also added into European E-road network. Road 2 was assigned route identifier E263 and road 3 is now part of E264. (Route E264 additionally extends to Latvia, the full route for that is Jõhvi-Tartu-Valmiera-Inčukalns.)

By the way, an aside question -- is E264 signposted in Latvia, too? It is supposed to follow A3, I guess.

Renovation works on road 2 were mostly completed between 2000-2004. E263 designation, though, was assigned a bit later -- in January 2006. For road 3, the timeline was similar. Most of the reconstructions took place in 2006, but European route E264 was not announced until January 2008.

You probably realize that renovation works also involved replacing direction signs with new ones. It appears that Road Administration had already performed all necessary steps in due time to get new E-road designations, and these designations were about to be granted.

Therefore, new direction signs for reconstructed roads (and adjacent roads, too) were designed and installed with... blank green E-shields:

[IMG]http://i34.************/14y3iwg.jpg[/IMG]
(Picture taken in summer 2007.)

When UNECE announced its resolutions in the beginning of 2006 and 2008 respectively, empty spaces were filled and numbers "263" and "264" pasted onto all direction signs.

Even now, motorists can see at night that numbers "263" and "264" are slightly shinier than the rest of the text on these signs.


Now, if you ask my opinion, I find E264 a somewhat justified E-route; it crosses borders and it connects Tartu to Rīga, one regional and one national centre.

E263 however seems quite pointless. It exactly duplicates a national route (road 2), so an additional designation provides zero bits of extra information for motorists. Rather, it contributes towards number overload on urban signage in Tallinn and Tartu. (1 E20 2 E263 4 E67 8 (E265) - quick, you have five seconds to make a choice and switch lanes!)

But perhaps E-road designations (first as a pending application, later officially) simply made it easier to apply for EU funding...
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Old September 1st, 2010, 12:12 AM   #340
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Today the most expensive highway construction project(Kukruse - Jõhvi section on E20) in Estonia was officially opened.




Unfortunately these are the only photos I could find...But I did find 2 videos of the E20 Väo-Maardu reconstruction which is ongoing now:
(OK, to be frank, these videos are from stage II of this reconstruction project which will start in 2011)


Last edited by Rebasepoiss; September 1st, 2010 at 12:21 AM.
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