There are 250,900 street signs in New York City that must be replaced in order to comply with new regulations set forth by the Federal Highway Administration. According to city officials, all existing street signs that have all uppercase letters must be replaced with new signs that use both upper and lower case lettering. The cost to replace each sign is $110 with the total project coming in at a price tag of $27.6 million.
The Federal Highway Administration claims studies have shown that drivers are able to read lowercase signs better than signs using all-caps. Research suggests that by reducing the amount of time it takes to read a sign, motorists will be able to pay more attention to the road. This will reduce accidents and improve safety for both drivers and pedestrians. The new signage will make it possible to read street signs easier and in less time, especially for older drivers.
In addition to changing from all uppercase letters, the replacement signs will also use a different font, Clearview, which is specifically designed to be easily read by motorists. A new reflective coating will also be applied to the new street signs.
The city already replaces approximately 8,000 street signs each year for wear and tear and they estimate 11,000 signs will have been swapped out by the end of the fiscal year. City officials in New York and municipalities across the nation will have until 2018 to change existing street signs to comply with the new regulations. Hopefully the new street signs will decrease accidents for pedestrians and drivers, as well as decrease construction accidents.