Go West Young Man

Just got back from a trip to San Francisco for a combination of job hunting and wayfinding. I enjoyed the trip, and it gave me the opportunity to explore a much different area than I'm familiar with. One convention that particularly caught my eye was that of speed limits painted on the roads around Mountain View. It took me a while to realize that they were speed limits. I've occasionally seen a competing convention that involves road numbers painted directly on the interstate at particularly complex interchanges, and that seems more in keeping with the idea of a label.

A quick search turns up a robust set of pavement marking guidelines right here in Pennsylvania. There are three categories of markings: regulatory, warning and guide. Numbers show up in both the regulatory and guide sections and that's where I think the conflict arises. Imagine if arrows could be used for warning or guide purposes... school crossing over there or US65 goes that way. Oh, and right turn only.

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