I recently came back from a US trip where I spent a fair bit of time on the LA freeway system. I will add I have driven in the US for over 6 years continously and I hold a CA driver's licence but the LA freeways, especially around the downtown area, still cause me some angst!
Anyway it occurred me that some of this is due to signage.
For example let's say you are approaching an off ramp and one of the lanes (right most) is for getting off only while in the second from the right you can go through or get off. Then typically the signs looks like this
So for the 7th Street Exit, the right most lane is Exit Only means if you're in this lane you must exit, whereas if you're the second outer lane, you can exit or not. Actually when I first encountered signs like this I thought Exit Only meant, this is the only lane you can exit the freeway, not that this lane has no options but to exit. It's a subtle difference but caused me some early confusion.
Now here's a more confusing one.
Reading from left to right the first 3 are clear - this way to remain on the 405 North since this is the Freeway you're currently on,
What does the fourth and fifth arrows mean? Presumably these lanes only allow you go go to the 101 North? Then lane 6 means you can only go to the 101 South and lane 7 you get off at Ventura Blvd. Clear enough when you have time but even with GPS, and travelling at speed, some confusion can creep in, especially when (unlike this photo) the lanes are jammed with traffic hurtling along. As an aside I was using Google Navigation and when these intersections appeared, it showed all the lane markers with arrows and tried to guide you which is admirable but still you need to focus on both the phone and the road which can be challenging. There is nothing more helpful than having a navigator, especially at night when vision is not so clear but traffic is just as heavy.
Now in NZ it was a bit harder to find examples but I found this.
This is a bit clearer. The left most lane is clearly marked Exit Only and also an arrow to reinforce this. The second lane shows in the arrow you can get off or go straight ahead.
The others are pretty clear.
Just wondering for those who have braved the LA freeway system, especially around the downtown area, your thoughts.