Federal Government Mandates Street Sign Change

9:59 AM, Oct 24, 2010   |    comments
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  • Signs in all Upper Case Must be Changed

BUFFALO, NY (WGRZ) -- Street signs in the area may look perfectly fine, but thanks to the federal government, the vast majority will have to come down.

Due to new orders coming from Washington, signs in all upper case font will eventually have to be replaced.

Congressman Brian Higgins disagrees with the mandate from the Federal Highway Administration and the US Department of Transportation. Those particular agencies say signs with upper and lower case letters are easier to read.

Local highway departments have until 2018 in most cases to replace the signs. Regulators hope most of the signs will just go in during routine replacement, but cities across the country say they'll shell out tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars collectively to meet these new standards.

Even stop signs, yield signs and some others must also be replaced; this regulation calls for better reflectivity so the signs will show up better at night. These emergency signs must all be replaced by 2015.

The FHWA and USDOT say the new signs will benefit older drivers, who typically can't see as well, but Assemblyman Mark Schroeder's biggest concern is cost. He said the fiscal mess in Abany will be made worse by this new regulation.

In New York City alone, replacing the signs will cost around $27 million. Buffalo is still calculating the cost.

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