Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Crazy South Bay Freeway Sign in Milpitas, California Makeover

Here is the original captured by Google Street View:

237 South Bay Freeway looking East at McCarthy Blvd overhead sign bridge.
Pretty crazy sign, eh? A lot of info to process and the arrows (six of them of the Sword of Damocles type) appear to indicate the road is supposed to be seven lanes wide!!! It's obviously not the case.

Another misleading aspect of this sign is that the access lane to the 880 Express Lane is indicated to be in the left-hand breakdown lane. That's not the case either.

Plus, there's a tiny sign announcing that the Express Lane is only for 2-occupant -or-more carpools, except toll tag holders can use the lane regardless of how few people the vehicle carries. It's very easy to miss.

What is needed is a sign of the same size with only as many arrows as there are lanes (four, with a fith up ahead peeling off to McCarthy Blvd). It has to be the same size because of earthquakes -- a bigger sign may cause the sign bridge to tip over onto the traffic, or the truss-beam to detach from the pillars and fall onto the roadway, cars and all.

So here's an idea to clean up the sign:

Now we have almost* ALL the information on one sign, 60 feet wide by ten feet tall, same as the existing sign, with everything legible and in their proper place and only FOUR arrows pointing up, one for each travel lane. The right-hand arrow at the inside lane splits to indicate the upcoming exit and the "ONLY" next to it indicates either 237 Calaveras Blvd or McCarthy Blvd only.

* Except carpool required hours and days of the week.

Add exit tabs similar to the type found in Spain and the made-over sign will appear like this:

Of course, with this one the state engineers may have to order the sign bridge replaced with a new, stouter one. In which case, one can have a fifteen-foot high sign with the arrows down at the bottom and away from the town names, and include the hours and days of the week when carpool are required.

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