|Sign Seen in North Richland Hills, Texas. What Are We Being Advised About?|
On occasion, you'll see bike blogs that pay more than a decent amount of attention to signs, and complain about the finer points of "Share the Road" or "Bicycles May Use Full Lane" items. Recently, there was a story in "Streetsblog" that expounded on an advocacy organization that fell into this trap. Khal's "LA Bikes" skated out on to that thin ice, though I don't think he actually fell in to the trap. IMO, his main error was in forgetting that the whole MUTCD thing is a result of mixing engineering and politics into an area where few people know or care about the finer points. In this post, I'll attempt to avoid falling through the ice that Khal so bravely stepped out onto. Gulp!
In the first place, and in reality, we should remember that all signs are basically intended to give us information we need to safely go down the road or to make our lives on same nicer and more pleasant. Way back when, someone came up with the notion that different sorts of signs ought to have different colors and ought to be the same from place to place. Hence, the "MUTCD" was born. And THAT was the start of much arguing about the best ways to do things, much as people used to argue about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
Basically, the idea behind sign coloring is a pretty good one, and the colors are supposed to align with the purpose of the sign. The BEST summary of this that I've seen is on Richard Moeur's pages, with the color guide here.
|Speed Limit Lowered in Work Zone|
|Advisories Suggest the Lane to Reach the Informational Destinations|
|This Sign Advises There's a Way to Avoid Death if Your Truck's Brakes Have Failed|
It is Otherwise Illegal to Simply Park There!
|Rest Stop Bathroom Signs are ALSO Blue|
|Both Signs in this Photo are "Regulatory"|
|Regulatory Speed Sign|
|Ducks May Not be MUTC "Orthodox," But it's Pretty Easy to See the Warning Intent|
What's the RIGHT answer? Well, IMO, I don't think it really matters. Cyclist rights are independent of any oddball signage and most people really don't understand the finer points of same in any event. Note below many signs that really don't entirely fit with the rules.
|Is This Sign Warning Us We'll Fall if We Have No Front Wheel?|
|Someone Invented This Sign and Zip Tied it to a Pole|
|Business Sign Attempts to "Look" Like a Recreation MUTCD Sign|
|I Guess RED Makes it LOOK More Official|
|Business Sign Using MUTCD Green|
|Regulatory Looking Sign Telling City Employees Not to Cut the Wildflowers|
|Note the Duck Sign, and the "Construction" Barricade, Along With the Political Sign|
And YES, the "Share the Road" placard under a bike picture might fit in this bunch of pictures as well since, while one might consider the bike graphic a "warning" of bikes ahead, the "share the road" really isn't simply advisory. OTOH, how many angels CAN dance on the head of a pin? Can you spell "POLITICS?"
|What Regulation Does the Contractor Fall Under?|
|The Road Work Sign on the Bike Path is OK, but Watching for Pedestrians is a "Regulation?"|
Note that the "signless" pole USED to be a Stop Sign
|This "Advisory" Sign Predates MUTCD!|