Los Angeles - Exit Numbers and TTS

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Re: Los Angeles - Exit Numbers and TTS

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:07 pm

I would say post them as they should be according to caltrans documentation and the US standard exit naming guidelines. Eventually, caltrans will catch up with Waze.
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Re: Los Angeles - Exit Numbers and TTS

Postby jemay » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:51 pm

I would leave the numbers where it is... I know that when I drive around I too get miffed at the numbers, but I do know that more and more signs are being included with the numbers (like in the upper right corner of the sign or they extend the sign up to include the numbers. Again I would leave it because more and more signs are starting to include it.

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Re: Los Angeles - Exit Numbers and TTS

Postby jondrush » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:30 pm

Our general brief has been to match what is on the BGS (Big Green Sign) as closely as possible, in priority order of information. If the exit number is not on the BGS, but on a separate sign, I wouldn't have any problem putting the exit number last, or dropping it.
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Re: Los Angeles - Exit Numbers and TTS

Postby jondrush » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:42 pm

If the exit number is on a separate sign, nearer the exit, I'd have no qualms about moving it to the end of the ramp name, since it is the last bit of data that the user will encounter instead of the first.
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Los Angeles - Exit Numbers and TTS

Postby ottonomy » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:49 am

Southern California, generally speaking, has been a latecomer to the practice of posting signage for freeway/highway exit numbers. Los Angeles, specifically, seems to have resisted the idea with dogged tenacity. In most cases, if there is an exit number posted on signage at all on an LA freeway, it is on its own small square sign, low to the ground, and so far down the offramp as to be all but invisible to the driver until it is far too late for it to be of any use. As such, I find it frustrating in the extreme that exit numbers are given top billing in both on screen navigation instructions (causing the more relevant information to be truncated and hidden from view) and in TTS (where by the time the client is done chatting about the exit number, it may be too late to hear what the actual name of the exit or next segment of transition is).

Someday, this will likely be rectified on our highways, but until that time comes, I would propose that at least in cases where exit/interchange ramps have long names, and where the exit numbers are not posted at all on the big green signs that precede the off ramps, that they be appended to the ends of ramp names, rather than stuck at the beginning. I realize that this runs contrary to the accepted practices in most of the US, and that it could be confusing for editors not familiar with the area, but as someone who drives around in Los Angeles and its neighboring counties, from Santa Barbara to San Diego, I find it a continuous annoyance to be told first about an exit number, and last about the thing that's written on the signs I can actually see as I'm driving. I've polled close to 50 people on this subject, and in MOST of the cases, people look at me and ask incredulously something like "What? There are exit numbers on the freeways?"

I've read some multi-page threads on ramp naming, and I know that some have touched on California's historical reluctance to numbering exits, but I've seen no one mention the possibility of making the exit number come after the relevant street/highway name, rather than before. Maybe it wouldn't work. Maybe it would break something in Waze's TTS engine that I don't know about. I don't know, but I'm hoping that someone else who is a veteran of the LA freeway system will chime in and either confirm my frustration or denounce me as a minority complainer, so I can cease ruminating about this and go on my way about fixing things that are more broken.
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Re: Los Angeles - Exit Numbers and TTS

Postby ottonomy » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:05 pm

jondrush wrote:Our general brief has been to match what is on the BGS (Big Green Sign) as closely as possible, in priority order of information. If the exit number is not on the BGS, but on a separate sign, I wouldn't have any problem putting the exit number last, or dropping it.

These were the lines along which I was thinking, but it looks like there are more votes for uniformity of the system, which I understand, however begrudgingly...
jemay wrote:I would leave the numbers where it is... I know that when I drive around I too get miffed at the numbers, but I do know that more and more signs are being included with the numbers (like in the upper right corner of the sign or they extend the sign up to include the numbers. Again I would leave it because more and more signs are starting to include it.
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I too see the occasional exit number slapped asterisk-style at the top of a big or medium green exit sign, but CalTrans seems to think that they have done their duty when ONE out of five or six signs that precede an exit has a tiny exit number tacked on above the existing signage. Where they do exist, they are very easy to miss. I plan to post some photos that will show just what I mean by this (for those who are not locals here, as I'm sure that you already know). Anyway, I won't argue the case further for changing ramp naming practices in LA. It's probably best that this be standardized at least at the state level in Waze, to prevent confusion between editors.
AlanOfTheBerg wrote:I would say post them as they should be according to caltrans documentation and the US standard exit naming guidelines. Eventually, caltrans will catch up with Waze.

What concerns me is that when I look at the CalTrans documentation of where exit numbers have supposedly been fully implemented, it does not jibe with real world signage needs. I've been to other states and appreciated the usefulness of exit numbers. CalTrans doesn't get it. You have to HUNT for where they've hidden the numbers, even in the places where they say their job is done.

Example - Interstate 10:
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/signt ... pdf/10.pdf
Dark green = Fully implemented as far as CalTrans is concerned.
Light green = Small square sign on post, at ramp, beyond possibility of exiting.
Gray = exit number signage proposed

But try driving the 10 and actually spotting all these numbers. Challenging. This is an argument to be taken up with them though, not with Waze editors, so I'll let this go.
shawndoc wrote:At least it does say the exit name. I was using Google Nav around LA this weekend, and the Google TTS would often only use the exit number, on exits with no numbers posted. Especially confusing in those sections where you have 2 or 3 exits in a 1 mile stretch.

Yep. And when the GPS happens to be lagging just a little bit behind your actual position, such informationally crippled navigation instructions can really get you confused.

One of the things that compounds the problem of missing and/or inconsistent exit numbering is the fact that few people in the LA area understand that the numbers are not necessarily sequential, but rather milage based. I've heard it mentioned elsewhere in these forums that even the small exit number signs that are posted at ramps (too late to be seen before passing an exit) can still be helpful because the driver knows that, for example, passing exit 45 means that exit 46 is next. But this is not the way it works. Exit 45 is 45 miles from the beginning of the route, and if the next exit is 3 miles down the road, it will be 48, not 46. On top of that, the way that the LA freeway system is laid out, the routes that people actually use don't typically follow the way the numbered routes lie on a map. Far more people transverse the LA basin east to west following the straight line of I-210 to SR-134 to US-101 than follow any of those routes continuously, so the exit numbers reset constantly as one jumps from one route to another.
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Re: Los Angeles - Exit Numbers and TTS

Postby shawndoc » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:56 pm

At least it does say the exit name. I was using Google Nav around LA this weekend, and the Google TTS would often only use the exit number, on exits with no numbers posted. Especially confusing in those sections where you have 2 or 3 exits in a 1 mile stretch.
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