Jalopnik has a feature on confusing traffic signs (via Digg). This one, the #2 most confusing sign, should be familiar:

Connecticut Avenue. Photo by talkingdc on Flickr.

Not only is it confusing, there’s something else wrong with it. (Hint: Look at the upper right.) That aside, this isn’t the worst of DC’s reversible-lane signs; I’d pick the entry ramp signs to Rock Creek Parkway, which have a giant DO NOT ENTER and then, in small type, something like “6:30-9:30 am weekdays”. It always makes me stop for a split second (usually in the middle of the intersection as I’m turning across traffic to get on at P Street), and if I have a passenger, they invariably yell, “wait, it says do not enter!”

I also immediately recognized the city where the sign on the left below appears, as I’ve driven through intersections like that (probably that very one) many times. The meaning of the right-hand picture, though, had me stumped.

Photos from Flickr by stuart (left) and Ryner12 (right).

I shared Jalopnik’s initial reaction: “look up to see how many planes are landing or taking off before attempting a left.” It’s always a good idea. (Here‘s the real, but still not entirely sensible, answer.)

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.