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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Odd signs on the road

One thing about driving in California is the whole notion of U-turns. They are the only way you can get to certain places. On my first trip out here, I was staying in a hotel which was between two major cross streets on El Camino Real. There was a raised center divider, and it was quite a long way from one end to the other. Fortunately, there was a pocket for an uncontrolled left turn about halfway down. I had to get good at negotiating that in order to get back to my room every night.

In Texas, you just don't see that nearly as often. Odds are, there will be a way to turn left directly into the place you're going. This might mean a center turn lane, or something else entirely. I can't remember swinging a U-turn at a light in Texas, whereas it's basically mandatory for certain destinations around here.

That's why this is doubly perplexing for me:

What are you doing?

I realize this is a still image, but trust me, that van was in fact in motion. It isn't someone who just decided to park in a very strange place. They did something that would be odd in that environment all by itself and then decided to do it in a place where it was explicitly forbidden. Genius!


Do superfluous apostrophes bug you? I die a little inside when I see them, and it's usually related to how big, how visible, or how permanent the error happens to be.

With that in mind, check out this snapshot that I managed to get somehow:


Florida Moving System's, Inc: all caps and on a giant rolling billboard. I bet they have a whole fleet of those things. How does this happen?


Today's final example of road strangeness comes courtesy of this sign on the Milpitas/San Jose border. It's where San Jose's Old Oakland Road changes names to Main Street. From what I understand, it used to be the way to go before the freeways went in.


The problem is that in abbreviating it down to just "Oakland", the sign creator managed to set up a potentially confusing situation. Oakland, as in the big city across from San Francisco, is in fact way off to your left when you're looking at this sign. If you turn right to get there, you'll get lost.

I'm going to be charitable and assume this had something to do with a minimum font size and a maximum sign size. It's just odd.