There have been recent changes to Federal rules regarding street signs and improving their readability.
Federal guidelines for governing street signs, pavement markings and all other standards for streets and roads open to public traffic are published in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) . Updates in years 2000, 2003 and 2009 made significant changes in standards for street name signs impacting cities.
The latest standards reflect updates on safety and are intended to enhance the ability of drivers to read signs more quickly, especially at night.
Here are the deadlines for certain MUTCD Requirements:
January 2012 - Establish and implement a sign assessment or management method to maintain minimum levels of sign retroreflectivity
January 2015 – Compliance date for regulatory, warning, and ground-mounted guide signs
January 2018 – Deadline for changing street name signs to minimum letter heights
Sign Retroreflectivity Toolkit
This “toolkit” is actually a website, that has everything you need to comply with the new MUTCD requirements. It was designed by FHWA to help small local agencies implement the new rules.
It is very interactive and the whole site can be downloaded (bottom of the page), so you can share it with your team without an Internet connection.
The Sign Toolkit contains steps to implementation, including an interactive budget estimation tool, sources for funding, technical and educational resources, as well as sample forms.
Night Time Visibility of Signs and Pavement Markings – article by FHWA
Sign Management Methods & Funding – article by FHWA
Want to test your knowledge about street signs?
Take this quiz and determine your Sign IQ (complements of FHWA)!
APWA Broadcasts – these are recorded webinars you can download (for a fee).