easilyamused |

Another road-sign attraction

Published

The photo to your left is of a highway sign on Interstate 90 westbound, a few miles outside of Seattle. It’s a fine example of the comprehensive street-numbering system of King County, and also of the fussiness of too many road and highway signs.

The next exit gives access to three different roads, each of them numbered. The important bit of information is the numbers of the roads themselves; the rest is dross. Why on earth did the sign-makers clutter up this freeway sign with junk like “st” and “th” and the periods in “SE”? It just distracts from the essential information, making it harder to get the message across in those brief moments a driver has while zooming down the highway.

The right way to do this sign would have been:

161 Ave SE
156 Ave SE
150 Ave SE

In fact, given the way streets are designated in King County, you could have dispensed with “Ave” and just said “161 SE” etc. But that might have offended the sensibilities of local drivers, who expect a little more deference to tradition. But the ordinal-number designations, and the utterly useless punctuation, are offenses against function and common sense.

I won’t comment on the oddness of a road system that has all three of these local streets coming off one freeway exit. That’s a problem for highway engineers, not signage designers.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *