NE OH to SW MI notes

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Marc Fannin

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Nov 27, 2003, 4:35:26 PM11/27/03
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Thanksgiving trip from Lake County, Ohio (I-90 MM 190s) to Berrien
County, Michigan (I-94 MM 30s):

Route out: I-90 WB (part with I-80) to US 31 NB (I love those simple
directions!)
Route back: (Actually I'm still here - if I have any notes from the
return trip I'll post them in a reply to this message)

Not much change from my previous trips (for those reports go to
http://www.roadfan.com/triprep.html )

- Temporary freestanding marker assemblies, part I: In the just opened
I-90 Exit 195 (Ohio 615 - see http://www.roadfan.com/i90615.html for
links to a bunch of articles), it appears that the overhead sign for
I-90 EB on SR 615 and the signals for SR 615 NB at the I-90 EB ramps
will be part of the same structure; in the meantime, a
construction-project-type signal was installed, coordinated with the
permanent signals, and later freestanding I-90 assemblies were put up
(including white backgrounds for the I-shield and black-on-white arrow
signs).

- Lots of variable message signs (VMSs) on the Ohio Turnpike and
Indiana Toll Road; most of the ones on the Turnpike had a Thanksgiving
message, the other had an accident warning (the accident was in the
other direction, preceded by a 5+ mile backup, but apparently the
Turnpike Commission predicted rubberneckers).

- On the Toll Road between I-69 and Indiana 9 was a "YOUR SPEED"
readout trailer (similar to
http://www.kustomsignals.com/product_body2.asp?product_id=25&cat_id=6
but a little different) - first time I've ever seen one of those on an
Interstate.

- Add South Bend to places which are using ARTIMIS-style 2/10 blue
milemarkers
( http://www.artimis.org/system.php ) - although I know tha they are
already used elsewhere in Indiana, I didn't think that South Bend was
big enough to be considered for the system!

- Temporary freestanding marker assemblies, part II: After the US 31
freeway in michigan opened from Exit 15 to Exit 24 just south of
I-94@I-196 (see http://www.roadfan.com/michrdph.html#sjvp this time
for links to a bunch of articles!), signs indicating that travellers
needed to leave I-94 WB at its Exit 30 then follow Napier Avenue east
a few miles to the north end of the freeway in order to stay on US 31
SB were absent, although later this sign was added to I-94 WB/US 31 SB
just before Napier:
http://www.michiganhighways.org/etc/I-94_Exit30_US-31.jpg
As of today, there are also now a US 31 [up-and-right arrow] at the
exit ramp divergence and a US 31 [left arrow] on top of a small new
destination sign (Niles/South Bend) on the left side of the ramp.
Similar signs appear on the EB offramp, as well as a similar BGS as
linked above and a [TO][SOUTH][US 31] trailblazer on I-94 EB over the
St. Joseph River just before Exit 28 (M-139 and to the south the
previous alignment of US 31), although the latter could use an up
arrow underneath as it's next to the M-139 exit BGS and some people
might think that the two are meant to be read together. Of course the
signs WB are more crucial as that's also US 31 there. Some US 31
confirmation markers have been added to Napier as well (although
there's still not one heading east on US 31 SB from I-94).

- Two interesting Michigan freeway practices that I've noticed more
since I moved away: Straight arrow pavement markings on offramps near
their ends, and a lack of acceleration/deceleration lanes parallel to
the through lanes before converging/diverging (ramps meet the freeway
roadways at angles).

Happy (U.S.) Thanksgiving!

________________________________________________________________________
Marc Fannin|musx...@kent.edu or @hotmail.com| http://www.roadfan.com/
When I'm having a bad day, I can now think "Well, I could be Steve
Bartman...."

[Also posted at Yahoo! Groups GreatLakesRoads]

Marc Fannin

unread,
Dec 1, 2003, 3:22:40 PM12/1/03
to
musx...@kent.edu (Marc Fannin) wrote...

> Thanksgiving trip from Lake County, Ohio (I-90 MM 190s) to Berrien
> County, Michigan (I-94 MM 30s):
>
> Route out: I-90 WB (part with I-80) to US 31 NB (I love those simple
> directions!)
> Route back: (Actually I'm still here - if I have any notes from the
> return trip I'll post them in a reply to this message)

Just a few....

> - Add South Bend to places which are using ARTIMIS-style 2/10 blue
> milemarkers
> ( http://www.artimis.org/system.php ) - although I know tha they are
> already used elsewhere in Indiana, I didn't think that South Bend was
> big enough to be considered for the system!

On the other end of the trip, unless I missed where there weren't any,
all of non-tolled I-90 in Ohio except for Ashtabula County
(northeasternmost) has these, although the I-90/Ohio 2 section east of
downtown Cleveland lacks Ohio 2 shields. (The geography coincides
with the area of the MPO, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating
Agency.)

> - Temporary freestanding marker assemblies, part II: After the US 31
> freeway in michigan opened from Exit 15 to Exit 24 just south of
> I-94@I-196 (see http://www.roadfan.com/michrdph.html#sjvp this time
> for links to a bunch of articles!), signs indicating that travellers
> needed to leave I-94 WB at its Exit 30 then follow Napier Avenue east
> a few miles to the north end of the freeway in order to stay on US 31
> SB were absent, although later this sign was added to I-94 WB/US 31 SB
> just before Napier:
> http://www.michiganhighways.org/etc/I-94_Exit30_US-31.jpg
> As of today, there are also now a US 31 [up-and-right arrow] at the
> exit ramp divergence and a US 31 [left arrow] on top of a small new
> destination sign (Niles/South Bend) on the left side of the ramp.
> Similar signs appear on the EB offramp, as well as a similar BGS as
> linked above and a [TO][SOUTH][US 31] trailblazer on I-94 EB over the
> St. Joseph River just before Exit 28 (M-139 and to the south the
> previous alignment of US 31), although the latter could use an up
> arrow underneath as it's next to the M-139 exit BGS and some people
> might think that the two are meant to be read together. Of course the
> signs WB are more crucial as that's also US 31 there. Some US 31
> confirmation markers have been added to Napier as well (although
> there's still not one heading east on US 31 SB from I-94).

On M-139 southbound, the assembly approaching I-94 (as pictured at
http://roadpix.topcities.com/MI/00000104.jpg ) has been altered - the
US 31 and its arrow signs are gone, and the ENDS sign and its holder
are gone, leaving just a lone M-139 marker under the I-94 assemblies.
Northbound, the approach assemblies are unchanged: JCT I-94/M-139 and
this one:
http://www.roadfan.com/9431139.gif (rather than moving a bunch of
stuff from that one, MDOT could simply replace the "NORTH" above the
US 31 marker with a "TO").

All US 31 shields now have been replaced with M-139 shields south of
there, at least until a couple miles south of the M-63 intersection.

> - Two interesting Michigan freeway practices that I've noticed more
> since I moved away: Straight arrow pavement markings on offramps near
> their ends, and a lack of acceleration/deceleration lanes parallel to
> the through lanes before converging/diverging (ramps meet the freeway
> roadways at angles).

A couple other practices I re-noticed:

- In nearly every county, Michigan puts streetlights over state
highway/crossroad intersections which look like rural yard lights;
Berrien County for the most part lacks these, though there is one near
the northern end of the divided M-63 section north of St. Joseph.

- When a center left-turn lane becomes a one-way one at an
intersection, the yellow solid/dashed combo on the near simply
disappears, with a solid white line appearing a couple of car lengths
later, with no taper present (the far side solid/dashed combo becomes
a double solid yellow at the same place).

A couple bonus items from the day after the trip when I went to a
classical concert in Cleveland:

- Where US 322 (E 13th) meets US 6 (Superior) east of downtown, there
is an ALT 6 assembly. It is isolated, and I didn't think it was
related to the alternate US 6 across the Cuyahoga on the west side.
After sometime, I realized the situation: Whoever installed the sign
was supposed to put a "JCT" sign and overlooked that it was an "ALT"
sign....

- I-90 (Innerbelt) Westbound at US 322 (Chester) has a gore sign
reading "EXIT 173[up-and-right-arrow]B", in that order. It's new, too
(not button copy) so it'll be there at least until the Innerbelt
rebuild ( www.innerbelt.org ).

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