Roadway Typography

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Nathan Matteson's picture
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Joined: 16 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
Roadway Typography
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Just a general question:

I was in a pub the other night sitting next to an old photograph of Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive from the late 1920s. The words on the roadway (not the signage) read from top-to-bottom. It seems these days it always reads from bottom-to-top (at least in the States). Anybody know when/why* this changed occurred?

*I’m assuming it’s because bottom-to-top is how you encounter the words while driving, but was there some sort of research, government committee, etc.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Maybe it has to do with how fast you’re going over the stuff?

hhp

Chris's picture
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Joined: 23 Jun 2003 - 6:19pm
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I don’t think I’ve ever seen a highway sign reading from bottom to top.

isaac's picture
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Joined: 21 Oct 2002 - 11:00pm
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>(not the signage)

Nathan Matteson's picture
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Joined: 16 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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Yeah, not the signage. The words on the actual road. Like:

LANE
BIKE

or

PED-X
DOWN
SLOW

James Montalbano's picture
Joined: 18 Jun 2003 - 11:00am
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...

Nathan Matteson's picture
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Joined: 16 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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>how fast you’re going over the stuff

Because it’s also in bike lanes, I don’t think that’s it. I mean, I ride pretty fast some mornings when I’m running late, but not that fast ;-)

>It works either way.

It does work ‘functionally’ both ways, but grammatically it only works the one way.

Anyhow, I just found it curious. I had assumed that it had always been bottom-to-top.

Chris's picture
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Joined: 23 Jun 2003 - 6:19pm
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Nevermind, I’m blind.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen signs on the road like that either, but I never really pay attention. The only ones I can actually remember right now are the ones that say SCHOOL, but they’re only one line.

Daniel Weaver's picture
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Joined: 26 Aug 2003 - 4:14pm
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The signs in Manhattan that are on the road do read Lane Bike, and Xing Ped. I think its because of the speed the cars go. A side note I can ride my bike faster across town than a car can go, but what the cars do is go as fast as they can between red lights. Why, I have no idea.