Gov't Orders Cities To Change Street Signs
Deadline For Compliance Is 2018
POSTED: 4:19 pm CST November 29, 2010
UPDATED: 6:52 pm CST November 29, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An order from the Federal Highway Administration will require cities and counties to change traffic and street signs.The size of the signs, the lettering and reflectivity at night have to change to meet new standards. KMBC's Micheal Mahoney reported that it will cost millions of dollars to local governments, which probably don't have it.The changes are already happening. Lettering on some freeway signs are now in upper and lower case. Many street names used to be all capitalized.An official with the Kansas Department of Transportation said research shows that older drivers recognize words better when they are in upper and lower cases. The new standard also requires signs to reflect light better at night and be in larger type. States, such as Kansas and Missouri, have ongoing sign replacement programs.Mahoney reported that Kansas' big change will be adding exit lane directional arrows.For Kansas City, there's another challenge."We replace signs as needed if they're broken or been damaged. We don't have a steady sign replacement program in place," said Dennis Gagnon of the Kansas City Public Works Department.Mahoney reported that Kansas City will have to come up with $35 million over the next five years to accommodate the new order."To spend that kind of money for a program like this does not seem to be an effective use of the money," resident Torrence Leather said."No, I don't think that's a good way to spend the money -- not in these economic times," resident Kristin Amend said.What happens if local governments ignore the new rule?Mahoney reported that the federal government could cut off the money cities get for streets. If there is an accident, and it is decided that traffic signs were a factor and not up to federal standards, a lawsuit could be filed against the offending city.The deadline for compliance on most of this is 2018.