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Read the Signs - Decode The Hidden Meanings
I love to travel. Some destinations make great road trips and we love to drive, planning stops along the route for fun. I always carry a Rand McNally and more recently a GPS device. The GPS is great but not always dependable. If road changes occur it takes a while for them to be changed.
Street signs are made to warn, inform, guide and regulate driving directions. In some signs there are hidden meanings - if you can read them, they can prevent you from getting lost or help you when you are lost. For example interstate signs - the number of digits and whether they are even or odd can be good clues.
Interstate signs are usually red, white and blue. In general even numbered roads will run from east to west and odd numbered roads will run north and south.
If an Interstate is one-digit or 2-digit odd number it means the interstate runs north and south. A one or two-digit even numbered Interstate sign typically runs west and east.
Triple digit numberd interstates that are even numbered usually indicate that they run in a loop around other cities. So, Interstate 270 literally loops back to Interstate 70.
If the triple-digit numbered Interstate Sign is an odd number it implies a "spur" route which means there is a connecting highway but only at one end. It does not loop.
For example, on the map below you can see that Interstate 39 an odd numbered interstates, runs north and south. Interstatee 94 runs east and west.
If you are on Interstate 5 - it indicates you have roughly 5% of the U.S. to the west of you. If you are on Interstate 95 - you will have roughly 95% of the U.S. to the west of you.
Shapes & Colors
While paying attention to numbers is important, shapes and colors are important as well. The shape of a sign indicates the type of roadway: Interstate, United State, State or Couny. The color of the sign can also offer clues.
- Red = Stop, Yield, Prohibited
- Black = Regulatory
- White = Regulatory
- Yellow = Warning
- Orange = Construction
- Green = Directional and Distance
- Blue = Mortorist Services
- Brown = Public Recreation and Cultural Interests
Mile markers on highways and interstates are important to note. Not only do they pinpoint your exact location in case you need emergency services but they can also help you find your way.
Mile markers always go down in number as you travel south and they get higher as you travel north.
Mile markers also always decline as you travel west and get higher as you travel east.
Some road signs are very obvious in their meaning. Warning signs are typically yellow. The Winding road sign inidicates there are three or more curves ahead.
The directional arrow sign means there will be a sharp turn to the left (in the direction of the arrow) and they advise a speed of twenty five miles per hour.
There are many warning signs that every driver should know to ensure his/her own safety as well as every other driver on the road. While most signs are easy to decipher, some mean more than they appear at first glance.
Test your knowledge and take the quiz - can you read the signs?
Everyday IS a winding road.....
More funny stuff...
There are certain areas in the United States that have streets that do not appear on maps. They are also not marked by street or other road signs. Connecticut has many of them. Most of them are long ramps or connecting roadways. In Missouri, when a subdivision is being built a proposed plat is drawn up with street names. In my county, 911 is responsible for assigning street numbers for housing addresses. Typically address numbers on the south and east side of the street are even numbered and the north and the west side are odd numbered.
Apparently, there are "secret routes." These streets are never supposed to be mapped or posted but on occasion certain addresses have been leaked to the media. There are over 200 secret routes in Connecticut and they are all numbered highways above 400 and up to 900.
I mapped Area 51 which is known to exist and the governments denials about its purpose only makes it more fascinating. I have shown a map with pin point markers from Las Vegas, Nevada to Area 51 which is approximately 83 miles away. If you click on "show route and directions" you will see that there IS a street there. However, there is no designated name of the street at all. Photography is prohibited and the use of deadly force may be used to remove trespassers.
Area 51 - Rare video footage
Area 51 - Is the street there or not?
Area 51 - 1968
No Visiting Allowed - Area 51
Not so secret, secret location!
The Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center
The Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center is located at 19844 Blue Ridge Mountain Road, Blue Ridge, Virginia. It is on State Route 601 although you won't find it on any map.
This center was built in the 1950s during the cold war. In case of a national disaster or crises, all the federal government / Executive Branch members will certainly be heading in that direction. It is about 48 miles by air from Washington, D.C. and 54 miles by road. There is reportedly a huge underground complex and tunnel entrances that are not marked. Visitors will not be admitted without prior authorization.
I entered the address into google images and viewed the image as a satellite image. It is very odd with markers fashioned in circles and semi circles that dot the property. It is strangely reminiscent of stone henge.
If you click on "show route and directions" you will see that there is a road there, but it is a secret, so please don't tell anyone I told you!
600 Route - It is there!
Whoops there it is!
Tips on Safe Driving!
- Driving Safely Starts Before Getting Into The Vehicle
Things you should do before getting into your car to drive. What to check outside the vehicle and under the hood. Useful tips and handy items to keep you safe.
History of Secret Routes in Connecticut
- Connecticut Selected Secret Routes: 500s
History of Selected Connecticut Secret Routes (500-599)