Cities Required to Make Street Signs More Reflective, Readable

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

Street departments across the country are going to be busier than ever for the next few years changing street signs.

All street signs will have to meet new federal guidelines by 2018.

It means cities are going to spend thousands (if not millions) of dollars to replace signs that may look perfectly fine, but according to new federal standards don't measure up.

The city of Wausau estimates it could cost $100,000 or more.

Most street markers are written in all capitalized letters, but not for long.

New regulations require signs to be in upper and lower case letters, which the fed says are easier to read. That means CHERRY ST. will become Cherry St.

Another rule says regulation signs, like stop, yield and no parking signs, must be more reflective.

Wausau streets superintendent says the biggest challenge will be to locate every sign and measure its retroreflectivity.

Luckily, some are already reflective enough, and new street signs have the new letter requirements.

"There is wear and tear, they get bleached out in the sun.. that's how wer'e going to try to handle this and I think that's how the feds are looking at it as well... and they are giving us to 2018 to get it all done," Don Skare said.

However, the city must have a written plan turned into the Federal Highway Administration by January 2012.

Part of the reasoning behind the changes, is that our population is getting older and traffic signs need to be accomodating to those with fading vision.

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