There are more than 4 million miles of road in the United States, according to data published by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). To help drivers navigate these roads, community developers use signs displaying the respective street's name. While all street name signs feature the name of the street, though, developers must ensure that their signs comply with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Otherwise, the local municipality may force the developer to take them down. So, how do you know if your street name signs are MUTCD compliant?
What Is the MUTCD?
Available for free on the FHWA's official website, the MUTCD is a document containing the design and usage specifications of all street signs, traffic signals and surface markings. Among other things, it lists specific colors, fonts, shapes and formatting to which street signs must adhere. As a developer, it's important that you comply with these requirements when choosing street name signs for your community.
The FHWA updated the MUTCD in December 2007 to include new reflectivity requirements for street signs. The purpose of these requirements is to improve nighttime visibility for drivers and lower the risk of collision. According to the FHWA, only 25% of road travel occurs at night, but nighttime driving is responsible for roughly half of all vehicle accidents. Under the newly revised MUTD, all street signs must feature a minimum maintain retroreflectivity level -- a rule that applies to street name signs and guide signs as well.
Combination of Uppercase and Lowercase Letters
In the past, street name signs in the United States were typically designed with all uppercase letters, such as "MAIN ST." But the FHWA updated the MUTCD yet again in 2009 to change this formatting. Now, all street name signs must feature a combination of both uppercase and lowercase letters. The first letter of the street name should be uppercase, with the proceeding letters all being lowercase, such as "Main St." The FHWA says that street name signs featuring a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters are easier for drivers to read than those featuring all uppercase letters.
Minimum 4.5-Inch Lowercase Letters and 6-Inch Uppercase Letters
When it introduced the specification requiring a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, the FHWA included height requirements for the letters of street name signs. Specifically, lowercase letters must be at least 4.5 inches tall, and uppercase letters must be at least 6 inches tall. The only exception is street signs for two-lane streets with a maximum speed limit of 25 mph, in which case lowercase letters must be at least 3 inches tall, and uppercase letters must be at least 4 inches tall.
Forsite can provide all of your signage needs for your Master Planned Community or Residential Development. We help our customers to create a uniform, upscale appearance and increase property values by "bundling" themed packages of decorative street signage, mailboxes, post and wall mounted lighting, and wayfinding signage
You can count on the experts at Forsite to help improve the quality of your community today. Contact us today to get started by talking to one of our experienced team members at 855-537-0200.