Feds Want to Change All Street Signs

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

The federal government says street signs in mixed case are easier for drivers to read than those in all capital letters.

"Easier to read? I can read that just fine," Driver Bill Sutherland said of the COCHRAN road sign in Charlotte.

For safety's sake, the Federal Highway Administration is mandating that all signs in all caps be changed by 2018. The only problem, they didn't doll out any extra money to do it.

"The problem is there's an awful amount of them out there and it costs a lot to replace them," Blair Ballou of the Eaton County Road Commission said.

Ballou said each named sign costs about $100 to replace, and there are 2,500 signs like it in the county.

"We're worried about salt and snow removal and we don't have an extra quarter of a million dollars to replace named signs," he said.

The thing is, the county has already spent two years a lot of money replacing signs with one that are more reflective. They won't stop doing that, Ballou said, but they may hold off on changing the named signs for awhile.

"We're hoping they review it at the federal level and perhaps change it," Ballou said.

They just may, but as of now, several sign changes like font, and letter size are on the books that will cost cities and towns upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"I think it's a waste of money," Driver Katherine Johnson said.

Government officials News Ten talked to Wednesday said they'd much rather fix the roads, than replace the signs above them.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday he might reconsider these unfunded mandates during these tough times.
There is now a 45-day period where they are asking for the public's comments on this issue.

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