I miss the old Trolleys...

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I miss the old Trolleys...

Postby Blackstreet » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:32 pm

I miss way back when when the Kawasaki cars used to look like this...

http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?16715

http://orenstransitpage.com/wordpress/w ... ubsur1.jpg

and when the panel above the back doors on the side of the single-ended Kawasaki cars would look like this: http://planphilly.com/uploads/media_ite ... .360.c.jpg

I was a kid when the trolley exteriors were painted that way and wish they still do today. I also miss the roll signs -- the plain white Helvetica text against a black or red background (or black letters against yellow). Even when the signs went digital in the 2010s, it would've been cool if they'd at least be the same exact font and color with the back, red, or yellow background but i remember i did a thread talking about the trolley roll signs a few years or so ago.

Anyway -- i would sell my right arm (not literally lol) to have only a portion of both the single- and double- ended Kawasakis painted like the pictures above because i miss those designs... as well as the way the single-end cars would have one window (by the back double doors i think) with the roll sign by it. You know what though, i remember two years or so ago, i was at 69th Street and while i was waiting for a bus, there just so happened to be a double-ended trolley with a roll sign on the window! I even stepped on the trolley and was playing with it too! I didn't get caught luckily but that was so nostalgic! I hope they didn't get rid of it and that is still there but i don't think so.

Does anyone else miss when they had the trolleys painted like that? Also I like when the stops used to look like this: https://justwestofphiladelphia.files.wo ... .jpg?w=300. I also miss when the 101 and 102 was the brown line and the 10, 11, 13, 34, and 36 was the green line.
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Re: I miss the old Trolleys...

Postby Myrtone » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:42 pm

Blackstreet wrote:I was a kid when the trolley exteriors were painted that way and wish they still do today. I also miss the roll signs -- the plain white Helvetica text against a black or red background (or black letters against yellow). Even when the signs went digital in the 2010s, it would've been cool if they'd at least be the same exact font and color with the back, red, or yellow background but i remember i did a thread talking about the trolley roll signs a few years or so ago.

These days destination blinds should be readable to the visually impaired, and so the letters need to be large enough for them to read it. The needs of the visually impaired must go before aesthetics.

One problem with the current destination blinds, but not the older ones, is that they are in all caps. I don't know about laws in the U.S and Canada, but the U.K's disability discrimination act (D.D.A) forbids all capitals on destination blinds, I don't understand why that is.
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Re: I miss the old Trolleys...

Postby JeffK » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:13 am

Myrtone wrote:... the U.K's disability discrimination act (D.D.A) forbids all capitals on destination blinds, I don't understand why that is.

It's for readability. As an IT developer I took a couple of classes in UI design; when researchers compared text in all caps versus mixed case*, the latter averaged about 15-20% fewer errors and could be read faster. Admittedly a computer UI is a lot more complex than a destination blind but you'd have to think our eyes and brains would react similarly in both situations.

* I guess you could say these were "case studies" /lame
Last edited by JeffK on Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I miss the old Trolleys...

Postby Myrtone » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:49 am

I don't understand why there would be fewer errors with mixed case.
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Re: I miss the old Trolleys...

Postby JeffK » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:28 am

Myrtone wrote:I don't understand why there would be fewer errors with mixed case.

There are a number of reasons. I'm a comp-sci guy and don't pretend to understand all the psychological / physiological factors involved, but it seems to come down to something called "shape contrast". In Western alphabets there's more variation in shape which makes it easier for our brains to distinguish one letter from another despite the additional complexity of lower-case characters. That allows our eyes to make fewer "fixation pauses"; i.e. tiny halts in the scanning process that are needed to distinguish one letter from the next. Fewer fixation pauses also lets the brain swallow larger groups of letters at one time so we tend to read syllables or whole words rather than trying to parse individual letters. It's somewhat analogous to how we (at least SHOULD) learn to read phonetically as children. After starting with letters we eventually get to being able to process syllables and words in a single glance*.

There's also the unmeasurable factor of simple familiarity. From the beginning we're exposed to mixed case far more often than to all caps, so we're just more accustomed to it.

I don't know if it'll help but we used books by Wil Galitz and Miles Tinker in those UI classes.

* But skipping over Steps 1 and 2 does NOT work, as the repeated failures of "See, Look, Say" reading methods sadly proved.
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Re: I miss the old Trolleys...

Postby tgolanos » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:34 pm

If it involves a disability act and the use of mixed font, it probably has to do with assisting people with dyslexia. Capital letters are more block-shaped than their lower-case counterparts and not every sufferer of dyslexia can disipher the different letters as easily.

Take a look at this Daily Mail link. This guy did a really good job in showing how people with dyslexia see letters. We used it in a few PD sessions at the school I was working in at the time.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... ition.html
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Re: I miss the old Trolleys...

Postby Myrtone » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:24 pm

Again, the needs of the dyslexic people are still more important than aesthetics or the original poster's nostalgia for the roll signs the K-cars had when they were brand new. Again, the SEPTA, Toronto Transit Commission, Yarra Trams and others are not museum or heritage services, so nostalgia of this sort is never something they would take into account, especially for signs that are not easily readable to every sighted person.
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Re: I miss the old Trolleys...

Postby JeffK » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:48 am

tgolanos wrote:If it involves a disability act and the use of mixed font, it probably has to do with assisting people with dyslexia. Capital letters are more block-shaped than their lower-case counterparts and not every sufferer of dyslexia can decipher [disipher] the different letters as easily.

Even if a mixed font requirement is aimed at people with visual issues it has broader benefits for the general population. At least according to the course work I did in UI design, mixed case improves speed and readability regardless.

It's sort of like what's happened with the ramps that have been cut into sidewalks at many intersections. Even though their original purpose was to aid people in wheelchairs, they've turned out to be a help for everyone from people with bad knees to parents pushing baby carriages.
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Re: I miss the old Trolleys...

Postby dowlingm » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:08 pm

All caps does not seem to offend the Toronto Transit Commission's interpretation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act for the new Flexity car signs
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=awGqcVisU14
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Re: I miss the old Trolleys...

Postby Myrtone » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:40 am

Just because it complies with the O.D.A or the A.D.A doesn't mean it works for people with vision problems or dyslexia. Why is the U.K's disability discrimination legislation stricter than any in North America? All capitals may be allowed in most or all North American jurisdictions, including Ontario but the U.K's disability discrimination legislation does require mixed case.
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Re: I miss the old Trolleys...

Postby Myrtone » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:15 am

Another thing that helps is keeping different letters as different from each other as possible, that is each letter being as different from the other letters of the alphabet as possible. For example, the letter b (non-capital) should have a little tail at the top to distinguish it from the letter d. And if there are route numbers, each numeral should be as different from all letters as possible, for example, the placeholder (0) should have a dot in the middle to distinguish it from the letter O/o, and also from a Scandinavian letter with a slash. These should also be as different from each other as possible, for example, if 6 has a curved or diagonal tail than 9 should have a straight, vertical tail.
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