As we've seen earlier in this blog, drivers in New York City are often affected by even the most basic changes in vehicle traffic laws. Another change, currently underway, which will subtly alter the city streetscape, does not deal with vehicles but rather with street signs.
The Federal Highway Administration has ordered that street signs across the country be printed in a combination of upper and lower case letters, with only the first letter of each word capitalized. New York City's signs have traditionally been printed in all upper case letters.
All told, changing the signs here could prove to be a very expensive undertaking, considering that the city has about 250,000 of them.
The Highway Administration will be giving New York, and the rest of the country, a break, though, at least for a while, by allowing officials to wait until the old signs have worn out before replacing them.
"We spoke to state and local officials across the country, and we heard them loud and clear," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
So far, NYC has put up about 11,000 of the new upper-and-lower-case signs. They are printed in a typeface called Clearview, which according to New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, lives up to its name. In fact, she praised the typeface's "crisp, clean design" and said the new signs help bring "a clarity and simplicity to street design."
Some of the new signs replaced old signs that were taken down for routine maintenance or were installed when streets were being repaired. Some, though, according to the New York Times, appear to have replaced old signs that were still usable.
Stay tuned for further developments from our New York vehicle traffic law blog ...
If you have been issued a traffic citation, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.
This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
The New York Times, "New York's new street signs are a capital idea," David Dunlap, Aug. 18, 2012