Removal of text from crossbucks?

 
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Currently, we have crossbucks of a U.S design, substituting RAILWAY for RAILROAD. Canada (a similar country to Australia) used to have them too, but they have since been replaced by ones with a red border with no lettering.
Should we follow suit given that many other countries also have level crossing signs with no text? This appears to include all European countries including the U.K and Ireland.

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  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Why change?  If it ain't broke, don't mess with it. In Victoria, we've already had the fiasco of changing Spencer Street Station to Southern Cross Station. It cost a lot of money and achieved absolutely nothing. For God's sake, don't put any more such ideas out there.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Well, you don't need to change all signs at once, just do it for new signs, they would be replaced a little at a time.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
What's a crossbuck?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Australia has a relatively low rate of level crossing incidents. The USA and Canada should be following our lead.

The red target board design (see below) is the current standard for new installations*, and this was incorporated into Australian Standard 1742.7, the Austroads Guide to Traffic Management and government policies as a result of extensive research.

I would invite Myrtone to look up the standards and the research which led to this recommendation, and either accept the validity of the findings or conduct his own research to determine if the current standards could be improved upon. I'd do it myself, but apparently I'm a fuzzy thinker so I'm probably not that suited to this kind of detailed research.



* given that even a fuzzy thinker like me can understand the differences, I'm sure that Myrtone will be fully aware of the differences in how new and existing installations are treated by the standards and policies.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Do you really think the text on our signs has anything to do with it? The U.S has texted crossbucks too! Canada used to but got rid of it, I don't know if (mainland) Europe ever has.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Aye chihuahua.......
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Do you really think the text on our signs has anything to do with it? The U.S has texted crossbucks too! Canada used to but got rid of it…
Myrtone
And Canada still has lots of level crossing incidents.

If the lack of text has something to do with it, then it's a bad policy which we shouldn't copy here. If the lack of text doesn't make a difference, then it's a meaningless policy which we shouldn't copy here because we should only spend money on making changes if they will have a positive impact.

The current standard in Australia was the result of extensive research. I think we will be better off sticking with that than taking a risk on what some other country has done without an independent review of the research which informed the policy decisions in those countries.

Have you verified if this is a national policy which applies to all railroads across Canada or if it is actually the domain of provincial government?

I don't know if (mainland) Europe ever has.
Myrtone
Europe is not a country. There are 50 countries in Europe, most of which would each have their own national policy or set of second-level policies regarding level crossing signage (five EDIT: six have no reason for such a policy).
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Well, you don't need to change all signs at once, just do it for new signs, they would be replaced a little at a time.
"Myrtone"
WHY?  WHY?  WHY?  For God's sake, what are you trying to achieve? This isn't the first pointless idea you've come up with.
  c3526blue Deputy Commissioner

Location: in the cuckoos nest
What's a crossbuck?
apw5910
An angry male deer, of course!

Happy explaining,

John
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

What's a crossbuck?
apw5910
Google can be your friend, it worked for me, perhaps it might work for you?
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Australia has a relatively low rate of level crossing incidents. The USA and Canada should be following our lead.
justapassenger
And so do the U.K and Germany, and maybe many other European countries.

And Canada still has lots of level crossing incidents.
justapassenger
What about the United States?

If the lack of text has something to do with it, then it's a bad policy which we shouldn't copy here. If the lack of text doesn't make a difference, then it's a meaningless policy which we shouldn't copy here because we should only spend money on making changes if they will have a positive impact.
justapassenger
Is there evidence that the lack of text has something to do with it. Licenced drivers are expected to know what a crossbuck means, where they know how to read the text on the sign or not.

Have you verified if this is a national policy which applies to all railroads across Canada or if it is actually the domain of provincial government?
justapassenger
Before I get into that, remember, it isn't just Canada, see below.

Europe is not a country. There are 50 countries in Europe, most of which would each have their own national policy or set of second-level policies regarding level crossing signage (five EDIT: six have no reason for such a policy).
justapassenger
This is what I mean; To my knowledge, crossbucks in all European countries are without text:

Slovenia

United Kingdom EDIT: There is actually that red-and-white border around the target board instead of a crossbuck in this case.

Belgium


Finland
And...


And it isn't even just Canada and Europe, crossbucks without writing are common elsewhere:

Taiwan


Vietnam

Japan

There is surely no reason why the majority should be wrong about this. It would be interesting to hear from someone who has used a level crossing in one of these countries and hear how they think it compares to using one here or in the U.S, is the difference between a crossbuck with text and one without really noticeable.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Pretty picture album. Unfortunately for you, that's quite a fuzzy and unpersuasive way to make your case. You will do better if you provide some detailed information to support the claim you are making, such as a peer-reviewed study showing that level crossing collisions decreased in a particular jurisdiction following the removal of text from crossbucks.

The data collected by the ONRSR shows that level crossing collisions in Australia are on a decreasing trend. The six month period published (July-December 2018) had just 14 collisions at road level crossings across the whole nation, a rate of 1.01 collisions per 1000 level crossings.


I don't think anyone would be interested in even funding a study to determine if changes are required to level crossing signage given the high level of safety of our level crossings. You certainly won't find a government willing to make the massive expenditure to replace all the signs without there being any evidence that the alternative design is actually better - and I mean real scientifically valid evidence, not fuzzy nonsense like a picture gallery of other level crossings.

I suggest this thread be moved to the armchair operators forum.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Pretty picture album. Unfortunately for you, that's quite a fuzzy and unpersuasive way to make your case. You will do better if you provide some detailed information to support the claim you are making, such as a peer-reviewed study showing that level crossing collisions decreased in a particular jurisdiction following the removal of text from crossbucks.
justapassenger
As far as I know, it doesn't make a difference, and if it doesn't, why bother with the text, on new signs that is? We have already got rid of text from signs restricting turns, such as no-right-turn signs. Besides, the pictures were just to show that crossbucks without text are more common internationally.

I don't think anyone would be interested in even funding a study to determine if changes are required to level crossing signage given the high level of safety of our level crossings. You certainly won't find a government willing to make the massive expenditure to replace all the signs without there being any evidence that the alternative design is actually better - and I mean real scientifically valid evidence, not fuzzy nonsense like a picture gallery of other level crossings.
justapassenger
Well, first of all, a change in signage is a pretty minor change, especially if only a few are changed at a time, and as I said, we have already done this with other signs and signals, pedestrian signals used to consist of text, now they are a red and green man, as far as I know, changes to pedestrian signals and turning restriction signs over the years were done a little at a time.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Besides, the pictures were just to show that crossbucks without text are more common internationally.
Myrtone
So what? We have to copy someone else? Which one do you want to copy out of all the different ones in your pictures?  WHY?  WHY?  WHY? - you still haven't given one good reason.
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
I'm willing to bet most of those countries have multiple languages spoken, so therefore which one do you put on a sign?
Canada for example, requires that all signage in English also be written in French.

We don't have that issue.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Actually, we do have multiple languages spoken, we are a multicultural nation. Yes, Canada has two official languages, but if I'm showing that crossbucks without text are common even in countries that don't have the issue that Canada has.
In Australia, we actually have no official language, the use of English by the government, business and even on signage is nothing more than a convention, it is not fixed as an official language.

Look, my point is that the text on these signs doesn't distinguish them from others and most other countries (yes, even monolingual ones) do without that text, so surely we could do the same on new installations. For example; if an existing needs to be replaced, just replace it with one without text, in that case, whether the new sign has text or not should make no difference to the cost replacement.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

You have still not answered why it needs to change.

The current signs work well as shown by the ONRSR statistics I quoted above, the printing of the text doesn't add anything to the cost (the whole surface of the sign is printed) and there's no research to show that text-free signs actually do a better job.

No need to shift away from what is a winning option. Spend the money on something that would actually provide a real benefit to users of the transport system such as better real time service updates for public transport users, better cycle lanes in the inner suburbs or fixing more potholes for road users.

Plus, I do think that the ability to know whether you're looking at a railway or tramway could occasionally be handy if you're trying to find your way around somewhere and your phone battery has gone flat.
  C2 Junior Train Controller

English not our legal national language, Gorden Bennett.. Tourists is  also a prob and some Chinese tourists speak no english, hire a car and drive to wineries or what not. And it's only going to increase as they move in.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Myrtone, I'll be nice to you.
Don't give me all the reasons why we should change - just one convincing reason will do. We're all waiting.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Okay, I was just talking about new installations of crossbucks, not replacing existing crossbucks for the sake of eliminating the text. When it comes to installing new crossbucks, say when upgrading a level crossing or replacing signs that need replacing anyway, and I suggested that having text or not should not make a difference to the cost of a new sign. I also said that similar things have been done with turning restriction signs and pedestrian signals. But instead of a response to that, I get:
You have still not answered why it needs to change.

The current signs work well as shown by the ONRSR statistics I quoted above, the printing of the text doesn't add anything to the cost (the whole surface of the sign is printed) and there's no research to show that text-free signs actually do a better job.

No need to shift away from what is a winning option. Spend the money on something that would actually provide a real benefit to users of the transport system such as better real time service updates for public transport users, better cycle lanes in the inner suburbs or fixing more potholes for road users.

Plus, I do think that the ability to know whether you're looking at a railway or tramway could occasionally be handy if you're trying to find your way around somewhere and your phone battery has gone flat.
justapassenger
Well, crossbucks in many tram-savvy European countries are without text and check out both railway and tramway level crossings in these countries. Here is a tramway level crossing in the Netherlands:

And a railway one in the same country:

Any idea how they know whether they are looking at heavy rail or light rail?

And the reason to move away, especially if it can be done with for new signs with nary any cost difference, is the same as whatever reason we have already done that with turning restriction signs and pedestrian signals.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
For God's sake; we know what others do. There's no need to keep rabbiting on with more pictures.

Yet again: WHY THE HELL SHOULD WE CHANGE?

You've got no idea, have you?
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
See above, I said it's for the same reason it has been done with those other signs and signals I mentioned if you know why it has already been done with the other signs and signals I mentioned, and if you know the reason why it has been done with turning restriction signs and pedestrian signals, you don't need to bug me about not explaining why it should be changed.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
We know it's been done in other places - how many times to you intend to repeat it?

For the umpteenth time - Why should we change? What benefit will we get?  You still can't answer.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

myrtone,

what would be the cost benefit from the change, please no pictures, I bunderstand you are on the spectrum, but just a succint response please.

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