Paper presented at the South African Transport Conference 17 - 20 July 2000 "Action in transport for the new millennium", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. ABSTRACT:The third edition of the SA Road Traffic Signs Manual (SARTSM) has been in use since 1993. It constitutes a complete technical revision of the Manual in use earlier and provides guidelines for most situations to be
encountered in the road signage environment. Due to the extensive expansion and upgrading of the facilities at the Johannesburg International Airport (JIA) and in particular the construction of the multi-storey parkade, changes had been made to the distribution roads within the Airport precinct. Road signage issues represented a large portion of the complaints received by Airport management in the past. The changes to the road system presented the opportunity to reconsider the way in which motorist guidance was given.
JIA is an exceedingly large trip generator. At the moment, it is estimated that these trips amount to more than 30000 vehicles daily. The planning for the airport is being done for some 20 million PAX annually by the year 2010. This would result in at least 50000 vehicle trips daily. Due to the extremely congested landside area the task of the motorist is equally difficult, especially so for the non-regular visitor to JIA. The brief given to Africon was to develop a signage system that would be user-friendlier and fit the proposed new usage
pattern of the facilities available to the motorist.
The signage plan provided for the motorist to be led through a number of successive decisions to reach his destination.
Guidance towards available parking has been achieved through the linking of variable message signs (both rotating vane and LED display types) to a parking management system implemented in all the parking areas,
thus providing dynamically changing information. Other frequently used or future facilities were included in the signage plan in such a way that the most logical routes to reach them were identified. This took
cognisance of the need to balance the usage of the two approach roads (also in terms of road signage utilization) as far as possible.
This signage plan had been developed against the background of the guidelines contained in SARTSM. A number of principles in SARTSM were utilised in an unconventional way. Differently coloured background insert panels were used to provide a means whereby different routes could be colour-coded, for example.
The colours so used are also not regular road signage colours, but were chosen to partly co-incide with a colour convention that has been utilised within the terminal buildings for some time already. With the cooperation of the signage manufacturer, it was even possible to provide these non-traditional colours in fully retro-reflective sheeting, thus ensuring that the signs look the same by night as by day.
It is concluded that the signage plan was successfully implemented in a very complicated environment, because it adhered strictly to certain important principles whilst it interpreted the SARTSM in an innovative way where possible.
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