On traffic signs

Real life experience on the Spanish highways, through-ways, byways, and other roads. You'll always get lost! No kidding, this is the way Spanish roads have evolved... organically.

Every single time I'm going someplace new, I get lost. I was ever so happy when Nieves gave me the GPS. However, you can't rely on it for everything. In Madrid it gets confused by reflecting signals from high buildings. There are roads that are not mapped, etc.

I've been talking with some Spanish people I know and they also tell me they get lost ever so often.

The problem are the traffic signs.
  • There are non-existing signs. Those are real sweeties. Imagine coming to a roundabout and there is no sign whatsoever... 
  • There are late signs. You are traveling  at 90Kmh (or more) and you see your exit as you fly past.
  • Single occurrence signs. No comment.
  • There are small signs. Very much related to the late signs, and of course with the single occurrence sign.
  • WTF signs. You are traveling on a road and you see a single occurrence, late and small sign on the parallel road with a guardrail in between!
I can go on and on and on.

Take Madrid. Once upon a time it had the M30 circular highway. Now it still has, but since a couple of years ago it has a tunnel as well. Guess what? In the tunnel you have no sing whatsoever to indicate you are traveling on the M30 or in the direction of the M30... Combine that with ludicrous indications, like indicating a traffic lane for some destination long (long) before you'll reach the exit.

The result is disastrous for everybody that gets lost (that is: everybody sometime). You drive kilometers in the wrong direction and you waste time and gasoline. Also, whenever you drive wrong on a Spanish highway, Murphy's law kicks in: not all exits permit you to turn around...

So, there's a huge problem out there. What can be done? Traffic could analyze all indicators on all roads and crossroads. That's a big logistical challenge, there are thousands of roads. Afterwards, these signs could be classified for importance and later could and should be changed...


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