08/24/08 113 W, 1 I - + 11 - 13 Redesigned Beltline Signs

As today's News & Observer notes, the DOT is fulfilling their promise to pull the "Inner Beltline" and "Outline Beltine" signs they say have bothered people for too long. The southern 8 miles, from Exit 293 (US 1/US 64) to Exit 301 (the I-40 split) will be known exclusively as I-40. The northern 16 miles, passing Crabtree, North Hills, and New Bern Avenue, will be known only as I-440. The inner lanes called East, the outer lanes called West. Got it? For those still confused, Yours Truly has a navigation aid at the ready. This guide to Getting Around Raleigh was drawn around 1990. Eh, it works.

News & Observer photo

if you don’t know the inner and from outer and can’t figure it out, you don’t need to be driving!!
lee - 08/24/08 - 18:03

From what I have seen the past few years, that probably applies to many out there…
DJ - 08/24/08 - 19:30

Favorite stories of can’t get from there? Many years ago, for the occasion of, ahem, my first union, a group of family members found themselves somewhere toward Sanford while trying to get from a downtown Cary chapel to the reception at a restaurant at Crabtree. (The old KB Jr. place, since closed and burned.)
Legeros - 08/24/08 - 20:29

well, maybe i shouldn’t be driving then, since to me, inner beltline would be 440 (northern belt/southern belt, or upper loop/lower loop), and outer beltline would be 540 – sort of like an expanded waistline
cornerhydrant - 08/24/08 - 20:44

what we really need is an electric rail line/network
cornerhydrant - 08/24/08 - 20:58

All those complaints come from transplants who cant use a map and see the “circular” shape of the interstate in question. What do you mean people cant tell the difference between “inner” and “outer”? Does that mean we will see “Outer Space” renamed, and “Inner Peace” re-designated as well? W-T-F!?

And as for the $1 Million sign contract….I must be in the wrong business!
J.Boggs - 08/25/08 - 09:44

I dont’ know if it is the transplants or not. I was born and raised here and I understand the concept of “inner” and “outer” loop. And this same terminology is used in places like Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD and they seem to do OK with it. There are just some people around these parts that just cannot understand the concept of a “loop”. It was the same thing when durham had the various “loops” including what I think was the “Downtown Loop”.

And these are probably the same people that have a cell phone glued to one ear and a Garmin/Magellan/Tom-Tom stuck to the windshield/dashboard…
DJ - 08/25/08 - 10:34

Easy Boggs, it’s not just the transplants. I wish I had a nickel for every time when I was at #8 that I had to explain the concept to direction-seeking drivers (Northerners, Southerners, and Midwesterners).

To me, a good solution might’ve been one of those green overhead signs, with a diagram. Showing the loop, and how I-40 plays a role into and out of the loop. In Virginia, along I-95, there’s a similar sign overhead that shows an alternate route around an inner city area in the form of a map, showing how it meets back with I-95. Put a few up around the the 40/440 area and be done with it!
Silver - 08/25/08 - 15:59

I’ll go with that silver, Illustrated sign not a bad idea, just as long as they put up the famous Atlanta signs “Fender-Benders move to shoulder”....but given DJ’s comment I dont see how people get so confused, especially when after I give them directions- they drive off and there sits the out of state plate (not to mention the first thing I notice IS the Garmin.)
Boggs - 08/25/08 - 16:36

Big Ole overhead signs, I think, would help out of state visitors. Show the whole loop around the city. The interstate concept is, that the 440’s, 540’s, 395’s etc. connect I 40 back to I 40, etc. Sounds real simple to this displaced yankee. Just don’t do what Taxachusetts did, leave the 395’s (etc) in place and move the I95 route. I tried to use the "Inner" "Outer" method with my sister-in-law a few years ago and she wound up in Cary, rather than Pleasant Valley. I guess dispatch will have to send Beltline responses to eastbound and westbound in the future. That doesn’t sound too bad either.
Retired Yankee - 08/25/08 - 20:26

Around and around and around and around and aroun an ar a…we go folks! I think that horse has a slight pulse cause he’s kickin!
buckwheat - 08/25/08 - 21:28

Retired Yank, not sure what you mean, but, incidents in the city limits get atleast 2 companies on the beltline and interstates already.

One thing I wish they would put in on our highways is “emergency vehicle u-turn only” turnarounds; a place in the median for emergency vehicles to turn around, versus going all the way to the next exit.
Silver (Email) - 08/25/08 - 21:51

Good thought Jeff—The lack of turnarounds delays our response, and is one of the reasons for so many apparatus responding on the beltline. I can’t begin to number how many times the given location is incorrect, necessitating a long drive around to get to the scene.
Goose - 08/29/08 - 00:01

Heck, that’s an every day occurence…
Silver - 08/29/08 - 01:04

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