What could Germany do to make integration easier?

68 posts in this topic

The German Autobahn system is about 4 times longer as that of the whole UK.  And Autobahns go in a ll directions, not just North and South.

 

Length is irrelevant.

 

The precise geographic direction is also pretty much irrelevant. What's important is to have two different names for the two different directions.

 

Just don't call it "1 Richtung wherever". I don't know where this "wherever" is.  Call it "1A Richtung whatever" and "1B Richtung wherever". Then based on 1A and 1B, I'll know which exit to take. Simple and effective. It's been used in North America for something like a century now.

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Get a navigation system. Or wait until the self-driving cars will become the ordinary.

 

1 A or 1B? 5W or 5E ?   I know people who have trouble finding their way back home from Lidl. And others drive thousands of kilometres each year without missing their destination a single time.

 

First world problem.

 

And of course an extend road system going into all directions is more confusing than just a single highway going- North-South.

 

 

 

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Get a navigation system. Or wait until the self-driving cars will become the ordinary.

 

1 A or 1B? 5W or 5E ?   I know people who have trouble finding their way back home from Lidl. And others drive thousands of kilometres each year without missing their destination a single time.

 

First world problem.

 

And of course an extend road system going into all directions is more confusing than just a single highway going- North-South.

 

 

 

 

The navigation system doesn't always know what exactly will be on the road signs, that is, what city or cities will appear after "Richtung:"

So even with a navigation system, it's very useful to have a consistent and predictable way to designate the two directions of the highway.

 

I don't know about people who can't find their way back home from Lidl, but something tells me that whether they see "24 Richtung Hamburg" or "24a Richtung Hamburg" on a street sign won't make much of a difference to their overall level of confusion.

 

For everybody else, using  24a and 24b for the two different directions of the highway would just take the guesswork away and make life easier. It's been used successfully in North America for the past century or so (with East/West, North/South rather than a/b, the naming convention doesn't really matter as long as each direction has a consistent name).

 

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...and it's not used in continental Europe. Works, No need to change. The level of confusion you claim to be part of the system might just be your inability to adapt to something not  known. A few hundred million continental Europeans and a significant number of non-European citizens and visitors get used to it as well, BTW.
 

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...and it's not used in continental Europe. Works, No need to change. The level of confusion you claim to be part of the system might just be your inability to adapt to something not  known. A few hundred million continental Europeans and a significant number of non-European citizens and visitors get used to it as well, BTW.
 

 

I don't have a problem with the current scheme and can find my way around all right. That doesn't mean it can't / shouldn't be improved, especially when the change needed is minor (just add a letter next to the number to designate the direction). 

 

Houses in Japan are not numbered 1, 3, 5, 7 ... or 2, 4, 6, 8 like in the Western world. They are numbered in a random-looking order like 58, 14, 93, 27 ... based on  the year each house was built (!). The Japanese have adapted to this numbering scheme and can find their way around. That doesn't mean it can't be improved.

 

Btw: even the lowliest of animals can adapt to their existing environment. What sets humans apart from animals is that they can improve, and actively seek ways to do so.

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I dont think anyone is against improvement, the question is about what actually is better.  It is not clear that bringing a new system in which people dont know would actually be better.  Bear in mind that people looking for A1 may not know if A1a is the same road.  Would you think that the A1(M) in the UK is the same as the A1 ?

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What you call an improvement would be the opposite for others. Because your "improvement" is nothing but causing confusion. People in continental Europe using an motorrway go for big towns. Not for numbers, I drive to Cologne, almost never using the number this Autobahn might have . And certainly I'm not interested if that Autobahn I use goes east or North East or West or South. Cologne is where I want to go to.

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As for Plain English - there is actually in Germany 'einfache Sprache'. I heard about it when doing a translation for a concentration camp museum here. The texts are in English, German and einfache Sprache. For people whose first language isn't German, or whose level of native German isn't high, or who just want to get a quick overview.

 

VHS German courses... well, one of my German friends who has moved to Aachen teaches a German class to the refugees once a week - free of charge. And there are others doing the same. All volunteers.

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What you call an improvement would be the opposite for others. Because your "improvement" is nothing but causing confusion. People in continental Europe using an motorrway go for big towns. Not for numbers, I drive to Cologne, almost never using the number this Autobahn might have . And certainly I'm not interested if that Autobahn I use goes east or North East or West or South. Cologne is where I want to go to.

 

Just to make it very clear: I am not suggesting replacing those "big town names", like in the picture below.

I am simply suggesting adding a letter next to the highway number to designate the direction. So 565 would be 565(N) and 555 would be 555(W) or something along those lines. The rest of the sign would stay the same.

 

Locals would not get confused (if they notice the change at all), and non-locals who follow maps or their Navi would simply need to look for the right number. If they need to exit onto 555(E) and this is the exit to 555(W), they will wait.

 

IMG_6098.JPG

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Hey I have an even better idea.  Actually have street signs on city streets at every intersection.  I should not have to go to the end of the street to figure out, three unlabeled intersections later, what street I'm on.  So far this has been the case in every street in Europe, and I'm beginning to think its some kind of defence mechanism.

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If I were right at this point in the picture it wouldn't help me to know that Koblenz  is South and Köln and Wesseling are West.

But what I would know is that I need to take the 555 to get to Köln. And that's what counts for me. For the moment.

 

 

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Hey I have an even better idea.  Actually have street signs on city streets at every intersection. 

Hallelujah!

You and I agree for once!!!

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If I were right at this point in the picture it wouldn't help me to know that Koblenz  is South and Köln and Wesseling are West.

But what I would know is that I need to take the 555 to get to Köln. And that's what counts for me. For the moment.

 

For  you as a local, yes. And that information will not be lost just because a letter is added to the (existing) highway number to designate direction.

 

For a non-local, however, who is driving across the country (or the continent), and whose final destination is not Köln, the extra information in the highway number does make a difference when figuring out which exit to take to get onto the next highway.

 

The way it's labelled now, one driving across the country is left wondering: should I take this exit to 555 or the next one (which will also be marked 555)?

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I'm no local. But I know that I don't want to go to Koblenz. But to Köln. Or a village nearby Köln (of which I have noted the exit number , like Böcklemünd exit 29 from the A 555)  So what is confusing here ?

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I have another idea for city streets.  The white colour of the dividing line for two-way streets is ambiguous.  Why not use yellow for those and white for lanes?  Not that I have ever nearly had an accident because of this, nope nope.

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I'm no local. But I know that I don't want to go to Koblenz. But to Köln. Or a village nearby Köln (of which I have noted the exit number , like Böcklemünd exit 29 from the A 555)  So what is confusing here ?

 

Obviously,if you want to go to Köln or to a village near Köln, you'll follow the signs to Köln and there is no confusion whatsoever.

 

But if your final destination is nowhere near Köln and you simply need to get onto the 555 to continue your trip towards your destination, do you get off at this exit to 555, which goes towards Köln, or do you wait till you get to another exit to 555 going in the opposite direction?

 

The fact that the two directions have been assigned the exact same number (555) sure doesn't help.

 

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Why on earth would I want to go in the opposite direction ?

 

The 555 is going towards Köln and that's where I have to pass by. Next sign will tell me the next bigger towns along that Autobahn.And one of them will be on my piece of paper(or in my head).

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Why on earth would I want to go in the opposite direction ?

 

The 555 is going towards Köln and that's where I have to pass by. Next sign will tell me the next bigger towns along that Autobahn.And one of them will be on my piece of paper(or in my head).

I give up

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The fact that the two directions have been assigned the exact same number (555) sure doesn't help.

 

It helps me.  I expect to have roads offered in pairs, ie one road with 2 directions.  Thats the way it has been for my entire life and it makes sense to me.  Lets say in the UK I take the M11 to Cambridge and want to drive home.  I assume that the M11 also runs the same route back, why would you want to rename the other direction?

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...and it's not used in continental Europe. Works, No need to change. The level of confusion you claim to be part of the system might just be your inability to adapt to something not  known. A few hundred million continental Europeans and a significant number of non-European citizens and visitors get used to it as well, BTW.
 

How do you  know people are not frequently taking the wrong on-ramp and then having to take the next one out and go back? It's happened to me just once and I bet there are others.If you haven't noticed the thread title, it's about what Germany could do that would make it easier to integrate foreigners. If you want to start a "what foreigners should do to integrate in Germany" thread, be my guest.

 

 

 

 

e To get you started 1. Learn to be inflexible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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