SIDEBAR: Parking sign arrows
last updated December 30, 2016
traffic engineers sometimes like to be sadistic. One way
they do that is with the arrows on no parking signs. To
wit, you will occasionally come across parking signs posted
like the one in
the photo below:
the cars at the left parked illegally?
would seem that the cars on the left side of the street are parked
illegally since the arrows point to both sides of the street, right?
is what it seems
like the sign is indicating
However, although the sign is faced perpendicular to the roadway,
parking restrictions always apply only to the same side of the
block where the sign is posted. Therefore, the arrows
actually mean in both directions from the sign on the same side of the
street. You may have to mentally turn the sign so that it
faces the street for it to make sense, especially for signs with a single arrow on them.
have to mentally turn the sign like this to envision what it really is
why do they post the sign perpendicular to the roadway in the first
place? Really, it's not to confound drivers. Rather,
they do that so it will be visible to oncoming traffic on that side of
the street. The good news is that, to alleviate the confusion for
foreigners and Germans alike, they usually mount the
signs angled toward the street like the ones shown in the photo
below. This helps to solve both the problem of
visibility and understanding which way the arrows are pointing.