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Why will street signs be changed to capital and lower-case letters?

Ken Little

There is a federal requirement to convert all street name signs to conform with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, said N.C. Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jennifer Garifo.

“This revision was made in the 2003 edition and allowed until 2018 for compliance. The long compliance date allows for signs to age out and new signs to conform to the new requirements,” Garifo said.

Garifo added:

“The font requirement with the first letter being upper case and the rest of the word being lower case was based upon research for older drivers. The research indicated that there was better legibility of the letters with the mixed-case fonts. There is also a specific font that was developed called Clearview font that even showed better results. It currently is not required but is allowed.”

Garifo said, “Some municipalities still request new signs with all-upper-case lettering. In cases where we are informed of these requests, N.C. DOT has made an effort to contact the municipality to inform them of the requirement,” Garifo said.

Related links:

What happened to the famous “Barstow, Calif.” sign on Interstate 40?

If I have a stolen street sign, how can I return it?

Are there penalties for removing street signs? Can the culprit be charged if the theft results in an accident?

How did Hooker Road get its name? If it has no historical value, why not change it rather than go to extreme measures to protect the signs?

User-contributed question by:
carolyn lee kiker

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