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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Sans on Dec 2, 2010 at 12:49 PM
    Just where does this fit in the Grand plan? This is someones idea of a joke? We have 2 million unemployed, Face being the Laughingstock of the world, we are fighting 2 wars, and now this. I don't have any trouble reading the signs as they are, been reading them without a problem for over 60 years
  • by Wild Location: Jackson on Dec 2, 2010 at 11:50 AM
    How did I know there would be someone who would blame the Bush Administration for this.. Karen from Langston haven't u realized yet that your boy wonderful (obama) has been in office for 2 years now??? So how in hell can u blame Bush for this?? Cmon liberals its time u guys admit u have no idea what to do... I just love how its always somebody elses fault when your a liberal!!
  • by sue Location: michigan on Dec 2, 2010 at 09:07 AM
    What is the point of this? The signs may be a little easier to read in upper & lower case but not that but not that much. What I am really tired of are all the symbols. In new cars, on signs, on products, etc., They should regulate that wording (English in USA) should also be printed with each symbol. It is impossible to figure out what some of them mean.
  • by Bill on Dec 2, 2010 at 07:41 AM
    How much did this study cost? Who even decided to do the research? Signs are pefectly readable in all capital letters it is just a question of taste. Have you ever complained that you have trouble reading signs in all capital letters? Who did? More importntly who took them seriously enogh to study it?
  • by Mike Location: Holt on Dec 2, 2010 at 07:40 AM
    REALLY? Once again I am blown away by the the lack of cognitive ability by our Federal Leaders. Why do government officials feel compelled to justify there existence by coming up with even more wasteful spending and mandate these idiotic ideas (without funding) to a country that can ill afford anything extra. Once again this demonstrates how detached our government is from reality. This reminds me of the waste of dollars in Holt that sits on the corner of Aureleus and Holt Roads...we really needed that park! Hey I've got a better idea...let's feed, house and cloth someone in need instead. Silly Me!
  • by willy Location: tampa on Dec 2, 2010 at 06:43 AM
    IDIOTS.....oops, all caps so nobody can read it. What a waste of money.
  • by Ryan Location: Lansing on Dec 2, 2010 at 06:28 AM
    Before I make my decision on this issue, my question is what is the average lifespan of an ordinary street sign? The sign change is mandated to be completed in 2018; if the street signs would be replaced by the local governments anyways, because they have a short lifespan, what difference is it if it is unfunded by the federal government? (This obviously doesn't address the "big brother" attitude the government appears to have.) Now on the other hand, if a street sign has a long lifespan, I would have to agree that this unfunded mandate is hypocritical from its inception.
  • by Karen Location: Langston, MI on Dec 2, 2010 at 05:32 AM
    You can thank the Bush administration and the American Traffic Safety Services Association (read "lobby") and 3M Corporation (the largest provider of reflective sign materials)for this one. Read for yourself at: abcnews.go.com/Politics/signs-fine-federal-officials-review-street-sign-regulations/story?id=12282234
  • by JR Location: Michigan on Dec 2, 2010 at 05:12 AM
    Although this may be a decent idea, isn't there more pressing issues? I don't know like bringing down the deficit, not adding to it? These are hard times, the government needs to tighten its belt like the rest of us. I guess this wont directly add to the federal deficit since the feds are mandating cash strapped cities pick up the tab.
  • by Lee Location: Texas on Dec 2, 2010 at 04:41 AM
    Do we always have to look stupid? In the middle of tremendous unemployment, unheard of federal deficit, and Wikileaks, can anyone really say that spending millions on street signs that are perfectly fine is even "sort of" smart?
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