Arrows have been used from time immemorial for getting at the target-birds eye. Whether it is to find a place in the heart or find a place in a city or find a sale; arrows are an immutable sign used in every culture across the globe. And this it transcends beyond language or culture.
Routing through the maze of modern life can never be a simple one and neither are modern cities. While every one wants to live or visit an interesting place absolutely no one wants to spend time exploring the way the geographic spot in the city they want to visit. This is why arrow signs that loudly and clearly proclaim directions have become indispensable to any city and San Diego is no exception. It starts with arrows for fee exit signs on highways that can lead to Escondido Freeway, San Clemente Canyon Freeway, Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway and many others
All a traveler needs to do is to know the destination, hitch on to the highway and follow the arrows. Arrows have been used singly or in groups in the traffic language to guide drivers about traffic rules. For instance three consecutive arrows drawn as a circle would mean “round about.”
Some agencies and even the government use unique color codes in arrows in toll roads to denote mode of payment like electronic, manual, and automatic coin machines. Traffic lights, color-coded are solid arrows.
Arrows not only guide drivers on San Diego roads but also San Diego divers who would use a diver’s map that has special symbology for denoting directions in the deep seas. For instance a green arrow with tails would be used for horizontal openings and a blue arrow heads for vertical openings. However, color-coding for arrows in these maps maybe less significant than shapes, because as the depths increases there is a greater absorption of the visible light and all colors appear black.
Arrows have not only been used in San Diego for direction, but has also been useful for the municipal authorities during times of natural calamities like an earthquake. The Federal Emergency Management Agency in their handbook for Rapid Visual screening for Seismic Hazards states that white arrows are used for denoting damaged houses/buildings and black lines are used to denote fault lines.
Color-coding has also been used for unusually to give special messages to driver. For instance, a Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) used indicates a permitted left turn.
Apart from these essential uses, arrows are being used in San Diego for commercial interests with municipal clearance to denote hospitals, restaurants, shopping areas and the like to entice travelers.
Arrows have thus become a silent yet powerful language that every motorist in San Diego seems to understand very clearly. In fact it has reached such significance that municipal authorities control the usage of different types of arrow designations to prevent any ambiguity in communication.
If only life came with such precise arrow signs, would it not be a boon to mankind?