Road distance signs

Submitted: Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 15:09
ThreadID: 135834 Views:2819 Replies:14 FollowUps:14
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Hi all, this is one question for the South Australians, while traveling in SA, we noticed the little signs which tell the distance to get to the next town, are using odd numbers... instead of like everywhere else, usually going in 5s (5,10,15) they seem to go 6, 11, 16 or the like, I'm thinking I even saw a 53 somewhere.. what's the story behind it, anybody know why?.. cheers Odog
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Reply By: Burto - Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 15:21

Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 15:21
Recently noticed the same thing, but then also saw the “normal” 5km markings going the other way. Seemed to be dependent on which way you are going. Could be an economy thing sharing the same post.
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Reply By: RMD - Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 17:46

Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 17:46
Perhaps it is because SA is lagging behind and when they ordered the numbers the factory had already sold out of the normal ones to other states.

It is good the numbers still fit the distances. I suppose they got it right.
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Reply By: Dean K3 - Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 18:13

Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 18:13
Picture would help but:

I get feeling they aren't road distances more to deal with infrastructure like water mains and telco cables.

I've seen a few painted onto trees or a sign that isn't MRD style in prominent position along roads over in Wait Awhile (WA)
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 19:08

Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 19:08
No Dean, they are definitely road distance signs, usually an abbreviated name of town or just a letter C 53(Ceduna) PA 21(Port Augusta) that type of thing.. anyone that has driven out of town would know what I'm talking about.. you must have seen them in your travels..
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Reply By: Hewy54 - Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 18:31

Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 18:31
They are in 5's going one way but they just use the same post for going the other way.
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 19:13

Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 19:13
They are only on the left side of the road, so I doubt that.. when coming the other way they are on the left, not the right.. so don't agree with you on your suggestion.. sorry... doesn't add up eh..
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie - Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 20:07

Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 20:07
Sorry Odag, but you are wrong. The signs are only on one side of the road.

Say the distance between Maitland and Minlaton is 49klm. Note: I drive this road every day on my mail run....

The first sign I see as I leave Maitland says "M45". On the other side of that sign it says "M4"....note that the two numbers add up to 49).

Five klicks further on, the sign says "M40" and on the other side of THAT post is a similar sign saying "M9".....Gee...once again they add up to "49".

Same goes all the way to the next town.

The only reason I can think of is that it halves the number of start pickets/droppers that the council/government has to purchase.

Add those savings up over the whole state and for ONCE I reckon SA might have actually done something half smart.
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 16:13

Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 16:13
G'day Roachie, yes I now understand it, even the wife said the signs were just on the one side of the road.. so yes, I was wrong in my comments, and take it all back.. sorry to anyone I've upset.. all good.. cheers Odog
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 19:01

Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 19:01
They are always on the left.. not on both sides of the road for the direction you are traveling.. have the letter of the town/city ahead, and the distance... just thought someone would know why...
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 19:38

Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 19:38
The ones I have seen in the SE were in multiples of 5 on the LHS when going from Adelaide. On the rear of these were numbers so you saw the distance signs on the RHS going towards Adelaide. The numbers were not in the main multiples of 5 but were the correct distance to the indicated town. I thought at the time it was a good cost saving idea.
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Follow Up By: Hewy54 - Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 23:05

Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 23:05
As it has been said before, they are not always on the left. The distance markers are on one side of the road and show the distance to the next town and are placed 5 km apart. Going one way they will be in multiples of 5, but going the other way they are still 5 km apart, but not always in multiple of 5 (as pointed out to you in an earlier post)
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 21:37

Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 21:37
"As it has been said before, they are not always on the left. The distance markers are on one side of the road"

Yes they are only on one side of the road. As I said before, on the roads I travelled, that side was the LHF was was the one side that they were on when travelling away from Adelaide and they were on the RHS as you travelled towards Adelaide.
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Reply By: Member - Charlie M (SA) - Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 20:47

Monday, Nov 06, 2017 at 20:47
It is the actual distance to the next town.
Originally they used to be mile posts, and they showed the distance from Adelaide as well.
Now they are showing the distance between towns.
It used to be from Post Office to Post Office, now not so sure where they take central town point from.
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Reply By: Member - Rustygq - Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 12:34

Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 12:34
I noticed this also. weird

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Reply By: Member - Odog - Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 16:07

Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 16:07
Ok, now I know. I did disagree with a few replies, but I was wrong.. for that I apologise to those, I thought were not correct... As said above, it probably is a money saving thing, being able to put the one post in the ground, and do the distance in both directions... thank you to all, for clearing this up for both the wife and I.. It did make for discussion and a few giggles on our trip at the time.. cheers all... Odog
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Follow Up By: Member - Roachie - Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 18:24

Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 18:24
No need to apologise old mate....it's all good.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 17:17

Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 17:17
Odog
You might also notice that there are, on most main roads, small vertical black on white numbers set back and facing the road every km.
These are used by the road authority for referencing the location of work needing to be done (potholes, resealing, etc). In addition, culverts are often marked by markers with a blue section.
Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Charlie M (SA) - Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 17:38

Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 17:38
On the Eyre Highway (Highway 1)
They start at the WA SA border which is zero.
That one ends at the tanks intersection, on the Port Augusta - Whyalla Road.
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Reply By: Hewy54 - Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 17:36

Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 17:36
The sign that had me stumped for a while was the OD ones. Near our home we have several of them on some roads saying OD 3.
wasn't until I asked a farmer friend about it that he said it stands for Over Dimension. If they have large farming equipment to transport they cannot take on the normal highway and have follow the OD route.
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Reply By: Member - Roachie - Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 18:29

Tuesday, Nov 07, 2017 at 18:29
Just on the subject of SA roadside posts/signs.....you may also see on some country roads, aluminium posts in three different colours....

Black indicates where there has been a road fatality
Red indicates a serious injury traffic accident.
Blue (with "WM" printed on), indicates where the water meters are located (for the water meter reader). These are situated along the roadside adjacent to where there is a water main, either above or below the ground.

Roachie
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, Nov 08, 2017 at 11:06

Wednesday, Nov 08, 2017 at 11:06
And then in QLD you have a system of blue reflectors on guide posts on the left side , starts with 3 reflectors vertical , then 2 reflectors followed by 1 reflector .....and that is a wide part of the hi way / by way where it is deemed safe to pullover if need be .....
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Nov 08, 2017 at 11:20

Wednesday, Nov 08, 2017 at 11:20
.
I never knew that. I wonder how many others know it? Someone must have earned the
'Best-Idea-of-the-Week' award. lol

In any case, I think I can judge when the shoulder is wide enough for me to pull over safely.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Nov 08, 2017 at 11:41

Wednesday, Nov 08, 2017 at 11:41
Alloy, I think they maybe green. 3 reflectors mean HV pull off 1/2 K ahead, 2 reflectors 1/4 k ahead and one means you have arrived at the road side dump and watch where you walk if you get my drift.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Nov 08, 2017 at 11:42

Wednesday, Nov 08, 2017 at 11:42
.
Just did a bit of "digging".

Blue "raised pavement reflecting markers" are used to denote fire hydrant location.

The "3-2-1" reflectors are GREEN, to denote "informal heavy-duty vehicle stopping places".

All very perplexing, these rainbow colours!!!
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Wednesday, Nov 08, 2017 at 14:42

Wednesday, Nov 08, 2017 at 14:42
Blue posts with either red or white reflectors side of road dependent indicate a culvert running under road in WA

I'd be hesitant to pull over near any of them if i came across a oversize or needed to pull over for a rest

so much for national road rules and signage -a case of each to their own -still

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Reply By: Member - J&A&KK - Thursday, Nov 09, 2017 at 01:47

Thursday, Nov 09, 2017 at 01:47
Odog

I managed a national survey company and we did work in every state for many authorities including Main Roads.

It was interesting to learn that there was no nationally agreed standard for the GIS database that contained the feature layers and attributes of the road data set. There was a general consistency but sufficient differences to cause contractors grief when presenting data in a GIS format.

However I can offer a possible reason for the odd road distance sign posts in SA. Many of the surveys we did, for road realignment or widening, required us to place stakes that referenced the original road mileage posts. So your unusual kilometre post of C53 ( 53km to Ceduna) was probably nearby or adjacent to the original mileage peg of 33M (33*1.609=53) Many of the original mileage posts were missing so any intermediary posts were interpolated infill.

Any mileage post is only indicative and is seen by the roads authority as an approximation only.

Trust this makes sense

John
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Reply By: Member Boroma 604 - Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 at 10:43

Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 at 10:43
Gooday,
Great to have some of these little curiosities explained.
I really appreciate the odd sign that gives you the distance to the next town, here in Queensland it is totally hit and miss, some Shires seem to go to the effort of having them, not too many.

There are 2 other Gripes I have with road signage and lack of it in this State-:

One is the modern way of having these illuminated signs saying so many MINUTES to a destination, this is only encouraging Road Rage, I prefer to know the distance to my destination and travel at the legal speed, or if when towing our caravan I am not travelling at 100KM per hour and just wish to know the distance.

The other is same in most States, you see a signpost to a lookout, National Park or other feature you may wish to visit, they seldom if ever put the distance to the location on the sign.

The best and most Hypocritical sign I saw last week was one of those grossly & costly wasted large electronic signs that have seem to be breeding here in Ql'd, which they seem to be able to change the message from an air conditioned office far away.

This one located at the Very top of the descent of the Toowoomba Range, it said-:

"Distracted Drivers are Dangerous", a great message from Main Roads, I guess they are purporting to address Road Safety. Cannot think of anything much more distracting.
Cheers,
Boroma604.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 at 12:15

Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 at 12:15
.
Yes Boroma, I also see no purpose in those "Minutes To Destination" signs.
You will get there when-you-get-there and there is nothing (legal) that you can do about it. More likely to get a driver to SMS.... "I'm just 10 min away".

They were probably "Idea of the Week" by someone in the Transport Dept. who got the award for spending the budget.
Cheers
Allan

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