Signs 101: Street Signs

You’ve probably noticed that we’ve been installing different street signs in recent years.  Instead of the dark blue, antique-styled street signs we used to install, we’ve started to use green street signs with white lettering.  There are several reasons why we made the switch.

1. It’s the law.  The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices is issued and updated by the Federal Highway Administration, and it specifies the standards for traffic signs, road surface markings, and traffic signals for all highways.  The MUTCD creates a uniform standard for street signs: 

  • Lettering with a combination of upper and lower case letters,
  • Upper case lettering at least 6” high,
  • Lower case letters at least 4.5” high,
  • Supplementary lettering to indicate street type (St, Ave, etc.) at least 2.25” high,
  • White text and a white border on a green background.

We go by the book, and this is the national standard for signage.

2.  Readability.  Besides being legal, there’s another benefit:  readability.  The old signs are really hard to read and—if it’s after dark—they’re just about impossible to see.  The new signs are bigger with larger letters and are manufactured with high-intensity prismatic sheeting on rust-free aluminum.  The old signs only have 3” lettering, are not reflective, and will rust (if they haven’t already.)

3.  Cost.  The final reason we went to the new signage was cost.  The old antique-styled signs cost about 10 times what the new ones cost.  That’s a lot of money to spend on signage that is hard to read. 

Join us next time to learn more about signs!

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