Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sign, Sign, Everyhwere a Sign

Here in the north metro, our city planners decided it was high time we step into the new millenia and follow our European brethern by building a number of round abouts. This will get rid of only a few of those complicated 4-way stops. Personally, I like these new round-abouts. Traffic flows more smoothly with less congestion.
Consider the 4-way stop; too complicated for many. Some just can't quite figure out who's turn it is to proceed forward from the stop.
Sometimes we wait while the first in line waves to the other across the intersection to proceed ahead, while the person being waved at insists that the waver proceeds. In the meantime, nobody is moving; we are now 7 vehicles deep in all four directions.
No doubt these same people who have trouble with the 4-way stops will find the round-about a difficult procedure to follow. I've seen some stop, blink their turn signals and wait until the "cows come home" before proceeding.

But look at how many signs they put in place. I am surely positive this is the work of the over zealous sign manufacturing lobby. We have a sign that warns the driver of the upcoming round-about, (as if we can't see it in the first place). Notice how these unsightful signs detract and block the lovely street lamps.

Next is a yellow yeild ahead sign that tells the commuter that there is a yeild sign ahead. Gee, thanks for this warning, I may have missed that bright red yield sign.

Then we have a sign that warns us of a cross-walk. Wow, do these people think us commuters as stupid. We can plainly see the white cross-walk stripes. These white stripes are internationally known as a cross-walk.

Even the pedestrians are insulted along with us commuters with the addition of the little arrow sign that points cleverly toward the painted crosswalk stripes in the street.

And of course we have the ever useful no parking sign. Dangit! parking in the middle of a round-about is the best place to park one's vehicle. (please note the sarcasm from the crumudeonly author)

Sign Blight

Our esteemed city council deeded that a Day-Care in a residential area to be against the city zoning regulations. It was just a simple little sign to advertise a Daycare facility so we the commuters would have a care when driving down that street. Also to let parents know of this new Children Day care facility.

Down the Daycare sign went. Seems strange to me to worry about a little Daycare sign, yet the council blights our city with a mirriad of insulting and quite obvious street signs throughout the city.

"Sign Sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign"

For more on Champlin's cute roundabouts, please see http://thechamplinconnection.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/going-round-and-round-about-roundabouts/


  1. I agree that roundabouts (or rotaries, if you are a Bostonian) are very sensible. Americans just have to get the hang of them. But your signage in your photo is perceptual overload, more that a driver can absorb in a blink of time. I don't understand why some road planners don't get it by now.

  2. ok, the story with the roundabouts here is that they are so find of them, that they build it everywhere! especially where they are not needed... About the signs, well... we don't actually care, and most of the drivers probably feel delight in bumping into them :). no major damages...

  3. Here is my beef about Roundabouts. True, I don't get them. Almost everyone I've talked with dislikes them. No one in this country is familiar with them because roundabouts are not in the driving course we've all taken.

    So you have an entire country that is unfamiliar with roundabouts all of a sudden forced into them, not by their choice.

    You see, the State of Minnesota decided to install one of these roundabouts at my highway exit that I use to get to my home. It's the first two lane roundabout in the state. We are being used as an experiment for the state.

    The signs you have in your photos today look very similar to the ones in my neighborhood. There are many "one way" signs right next to 'left turn only' signs next to the classic roundabout directional sign. In the first 4 days, the police counted 100 people taking a left turn into the wrong direction.

    Untrained drivers, confusing signs, plus an experiment for the State.

    Well, they decided to change the classic roundabout sign to a 'fish hook' designed sign at a cost of $36,000. Not to mention the cost of the roundabout being accessed to the local businesses because of the 'benefit' they'll receive from the neighboring communities when they use the roundabout.

    Ugh, I'd better stop typing. This isn't a discussion board and I have a lot to talk about on how they presented this traffic change.

    But, I will say, the one good thing about the roundabout I drive on, being as it's multi lane, those drivers stopped waiting for the cows to come home, I can hop in the other lane and drive right around them and be on my way.

  4. excessive signage - a topic I could right about even more than slinger above but I'll desist - roundabouts - no wonder americans get confused on our roads as we have tons of 'em!

  5. Thanks! Now I'm going to really notice the signs! Normally, I'm simply irrated with the drivers who 1). Don't use an indicator to signal where they exit, and 2). Refuse to drive the circle and go straight. Now, I'll add 3). The excessive signage.

    I wrote an article about this same roundabout: http://thechamplinconnection.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/going-round-and-round-about-roundabouts/ and thanks for your comments as well.