In a few hours, Alexandria is having an open house to discuss new signage in the city.
The purpose of the open house is to share progress on the citywide sign program and solicit input from residents regarding refinement of the designs. Members of the design team, the stakeholder advisory group, and city staff will be on hand to answer questions and record input.
Mostly, the plan seems to talk about touristy information (PDF) signs, but if I was going (it is in a few hours and I can’t make it) I would bring up the woeful state of primary numbered routes in the city. If you look at a map, several streets are actually state routes.
Did you know Quaker Lane is VA 402? Seminary Road is VA 420 and Van Dorn Street is VA 401, but only a few trailblazers inform you of this fact and none from other streets. Actually, I have never seen a VA 420 sign.
To me, posting the numbers on a map but not on the road or any of the connecting roads is not only pointless, but misleading to motorists unfamiliar with the area. This is a distinction that is not limited to Alexandria either as you will see in future blog posts. The city of Alexandria should start posting useful trailblazers for all numbered routes at regular intervals and major intersections. This also includes routes like VA 7 and VA 236, King and Duke Streets, respectively. If the city is not interested in doing that, it ought to ask mapmakers to stop putting the numbers on maps.