street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby Riamus » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:13 am

AndyPoms wrote:
Riamus wrote:(street signs are all capital, so those don't help)
Not anymore, US DOT now requires all street signs to be proper case...

See: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-10-21-road-signs-all-caps-lowercase_N.htm & http://www.missionmission.org/2012/06/14/what-the-hell-is-happening-to-sfs-iconic-street-signs/. There was supposed to be a deadline for cities & towns to replace ALL signs, but due to the economy the government decided that they will give them much more time & they can roll out the new signs during normal sign replacement.

Also, before someone calls BS on this, see Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/politics/traffic/mixedcase.asp


That's interesting. I hadn't heard about that. I think that's a good idea. Anyone know what the lifespan of a street sign is? Is there an official max lifespan, or is it just until the sign isn't too beat up or damaged to see anymore? I'm just wondering if it could be 10-20 years before all signs are changed. It will be odd to see some signs with all caps and some with mixed case.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby Riamus » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:36 am

dbraughlr wrote:(Even so, how does this apply to streets which are not named for a person?)


As far as this goes, it wouldn't necessarily matter. If *any* streets are legally/officially written using a lowercase letter at the beginning, then we can't make any broad statement that all streets need to start with a capital letter. It comes back to what I said earlier... if the official street name starts with a lowercase letter, it should be written as such in the app. Even if 99% of streets don't start with a lowercase letter, any that do should be written in the same way they are written officially. Maps of any sort should always match the official version of any names they include (or one of the official versions, it there are multiple names). The only exception that I can think of to that is if the map uses all caps instead of mixed case and I certainly don't suggest we do that because all caps looks really bad.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby Riamus » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:56 am

dbraughlr wrote:Is the burden on the person who wants to capitalize to prove that capitalization is the official way?


Personally, and this is just me and not meant as a standard for everyone to follow, if I wasn't sure whether or not it was officially capitalized, I would check with the editor(s) of that road and see if they capitalized it in that way because that was the official way or if they just guessed. I'd probably also do some Google searches for the street in question and see if I can find examples of capitalization. For example, the deKoven Drive mentioned above can be searched in Google and if you avoid looking at the various map sites and look at more official sites, you come across this city website that lists the City Hall address as being on deKoven Drive (see the address at the bottom of the page). I'm sure that if the City Hall address on the city's website capitalizes it in that way, then it's probably correct... even if you didn't have the nice Big Green Sign shown in the street view to go by.

Yes, this means some research, but I would rather have Waze be correct than to just blindly capitalize everything. Do other maps capitalize it as Dekoven? Yes. Should we? No.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby sketch » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:02 pm

For what it's worth, New Orleans does not use all caps on its street signs. As far as I know, all start with a capital, even "D'Hemecourt", "La Salle", and "DeSaix Blvd". (Suffixes are unsigned for "Streets".)

Detroit also does not use all caps on its street signs and has French origins (although not quite as much continuing French history as New Orleans), so maybe there are also some similarly-named streets there that can be used for guidance.

In these cases, of course we should match signage. In other cases, it may be useful to consult other official documentation for capitalization, but either way I don't think it's a terrible loss if we can't put in an initial lowercase.

...Unless it happens on ramps. Lowercase "to" is absolutely crucial.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby sketch » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:19 pm

AndyPoms wrote:Not anymore, US DOT now requires all street signs to be proper case...

See: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-10-21-road-signs-all-caps-lowercase_N.htm & http://www.missionmission.org/2012/06/14/what-the-hell-is-happening-to-sfs-iconic-street-signs/. There was supposed to be a deadline for cities & towns to replace ALL signs, but due to the economy the government decided that they will give them much more time & they can roll out the new signs during normal sign replacement.

Also, before someone calls BS on this, see Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/politics/traffic/mixedcase.asp

According to Snopes's analysis, the replacement deadline was for signs that don't meet the new retroreflectivity standards; all-caps signs don't have to be replaced by title case signs until the end of their useful life.

I'm glad, though. I find the Title Case signs in New Orleans and Detroit a lot easier to read than the ALL CAPS signs in many suburbs of either city.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby sketch » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:03 pm

I imagine most municipalities will simply wait a certain time until all the signs probably need to be replaced anyway. Although I suppose that doesn't account for signs that are run over, stolen, etc.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby sketch » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:12 pm

dbraughlr wrote:I noticed in New Orleans that the "De" is capitalized as in "De Saix" on street signs. But in Waze it is "DeSaix" (without the space).

Ah, yeah. I left it because the sign at the intersection with Gentilly/St Bernard doesn't have the space. I saw the sign at Wisner did and decided to follow the sign at St Bernard since it's bigger. Upon further investigation, though, I see that it's spaced on most of the other signs I see, including the green overhead sign at the Gentilly split. I've changed it now.
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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby sketch » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:29 am

dbraughlr wrote:I saw "LaPlace" on a sign. It is good not to have a space. "La" is widely used as an abbreviation. For example, SR-78 is call "La 78". There are Lafayette and Lajuene and many other names which are written as a name, not as French words. If you don't put a space in the name, that is fine with me.

My main point is that nowhere have I seen an an official street sign with a name which starts with a lowercase letter.

I've just been going off the signs. There's also "La Salle St"; it pronounces that no problem. Highways like "LA-78" have a capital A and that makes it pronounce the letters.


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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby sketch » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:13 am

Just follow the signs. If the sign's in all caps, capitalize the first letter. If some place has signs that say "el Camino Azul" or "de Ridder Blvd", then do it like that.


There may well be no examples of this in the states. But there's no reason not to follow it where it does.


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Re: street name in lowercase / first letter not capitalized

Postby sketch » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:07 pm

kentsmith9 wrote:I agree that I have never seen a lower case Spanish (or English) word or name on a street sign.

Therefore the only exception I think we have in our naming of a road is when we start with "to" as in the wayfinders.

Wayfinders were never supposed to have "to". Something got lost in translation from proposal to wikification. Having Waze show you "to I-55 / Jackson" when you're already on I-55 heading towards Jackson is misleading and confusing. I made clear in my initial proposal for wayfinders that this was the one instance where "to" is not used on a ramp segment.

I thought there was a line in "Road Naming (USA)" about this but I suppose there isn't.
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