Analysis of the new highways' names
How are the new serial numbers composed?
First, the new serial numbers of the national highways are composed with letters and Arabic numerals, which means that the serial number of a national highway is composed by the letter “G,” meaning “national highway,” and followed by one or two Arabic numerals. Therefore, the serial number of the national highway is “G#” or “G##.” In contrast, the letter in the serial number of a highway in Guangdong province is “S.”
Second, the national highway: the capital radiation lines are single figures. With Beijing as the starting point and the dead points of the radiation the terminals, capital radiation lines are numbered and arranged clockwise starting from the No.1 Highway and its number range is from G1 to G9; starting at the northern points and ending at the southern points, the serial numbers of vertical lines are odd numbers arranged from east to west lengthwise and the numbers range from G11 to G89; and starting at the eastern points and ending at the western points, the serial numbers of horizontal lines are even numbers arranged from north to south crosswise and the numbers range from G10 to G90.
For example, the well-known Beijing-Zhuhai Expressway will be renamed the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao Expressway and its serial number will be G4.
Third, the highways in Guangdong province: the serial numbers of Guangzhou radiation lines are single figures arranged clockwise and the numbers range from one to nine; the serial numbers of lines running vertically north to south are odd figures arranged from east to west and the numbers range from 11 to 79; the serial numbers of horizontal lines are even figures arranged from north to south and the numbers range from 10 to 80.
Forth, the serial numbers of urban rings are double figures and the numbers range from 81 to 99.
Fifth, the serial numbers of parallel lines are composed by the main line’s number plus the letters “E,” “W,” “S” or “N,” which represent the direction of the parallel lines to the main line. The exits are numbered in accordance with the highway’s actual mileage instead of being arranged from the highway’s starting point. For example, the “No.20 exit” means that the exit is 20 kilometers away from the starting point.
The nationwide highway renaming project has been launched in Guangdong province. By the end of July, familiar names such as “Beijing-Zhuhai Expressway” and “Guangzhou-Shenzhen Expressway” will be replaced by the “Beijing-Hong Kong-Macao Expressway” and “Shenyang-Haikou Expressway,” and their sign posts will be replaced by the new serial numbers “G4” and “G15.” For the highways, the most important thing is that the signposts can be clearly identified and allow drivers to quickly and conveniently find their destination. Why is there such a huge change and how will people be able to adapt to this change? Who will pay the costs? Reporters from the Yangcheng Evening News interviewed officials from the Guangdong Transportation Department with these questions.
Why were the expressways renamed?
Expressways in China have been lacking unified names and serial numbers, and the system can thus easily confusing, which, to some extent, also affected the operation of the national expressway network. Zhang Jian, assistant general engineer at Guangdong Communications Department, told reporters that the Beijing-Zhuhai Expressway has been divided into northern and southern sections, the North Second Ring Road, East Second Ring Road and eastern Guangzhou-Zhuhai Expressways in Guangdong, and also the provincial roads have names that relate to obvious geographic features. For example, if one is driving from Guangzhou to Zhanjiang, one needs to use the Guangzhou-Foshan, Foshan-Kaiping, Kaiping-Yangjiang, Yangjiang-Maoming, Maoming-Zhanjiang and Zhanjiang-Xuwen Expressways. "This is because the names of the roads were originally given according to sections of the projects, and the more sections there are, the more names there are." Traffic experts believe that under the current expressway network, many problems, including some roads having several names, non-standard signs and non-uniform serial numbers, will inevitably occur if the names continue to be contrived from geographic features. Furthermore, parts of regions have the same abbreviations; therefore different expressways often have same names and also are easy to be confused with the national and provincial roads, a situation that is not conducive to the modernized system of information management for the roads.