Traffic signs, also known as roadway signs, are used to denote information or instructions to motorists and pedestrians. They've been around for thousands of years, with some of the earliest types consisting of stone milestone markers. With the advent of automotive transportation, however, traffic signs are now more important than ever. While there are dozens of types of traffic signs used in the United States, most fall under one of three categories.
Featuring a distinct red, octagonal design, the stop sign is the most easily recognizable traffic sign in the United States. It's used on countless roads to instruct motorists to stop their vehicle. But even if you're familiar with the general design and purpose of the stop sign, there are probably some things you don't know about this essential traffic sign.
If you're planning to include wayfinding signage in your community, you may need to comply with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Developed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the MUTCD contains rules that property and community developers must follow when using signs and other traffic control instruments on roads and streets with a medium or high volume of traffic. If you community is located on any non-low-volume road or street, as specified here, you must comply with the MUTCD's requirements when using wayfinding signage.
Unbeknownst to most people, street and traffic signs are typically designed with specific colors depending on their purpose. In the United States, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requires municipalities and developers to use signs in the correct color. While some property developers view this as a burden, it's essential to creating a safe, functional community. So, what do the different colors of street and road signs represent?
From parks and commercial shopping centers to neighborhoods and college campuses, wayfinding signage is found nearly everywhere. It's called "wayfinding" because it helps motorists and pedestrians find their way. When a motorist or pedestrian encounters wayfinding signage, he or she can use it to locate nearby points of interests. While all wayfinding signage serves this fundamental purpose, they are available in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes and styles. To learn more about wayfinding signage and why it matters, keep reading.
If you're developing a new residential community -- or if you're looking to update an existing community -- you might be wondering if it's acceptable to mount street name signs on the same poles or bases as traffic signs. Both street name signs and road signs are essential to residential communities. Street name signs guide motorists and pedestrians alike to their intended destination, whereas traffic signs provide control measures to reduce the risk of vehicle collisions. However, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has rules developers and municipalities must follow when using signage. So, can you mount street name signs on the same poles or bases as traffic signs?
Nighttime driving carries a higher risk of collision than daytime driving due to lack of sunlight. While most highways and roads are illuminated with street lamps, they don't provide the same level of lighting as the sun. Because of this, roughly half of all collisions occur at night, even though only 75% of travel happens during the day. To help reduce the risk of nighttime collisions, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requires developers and contractors to use traffic and street signs with a minimum amount of retroreflectivity.
From residential communities and historic city districts to commercial shopping centers, parks, hospital, schools and more, wayfinding signs are used in a variety of areas. The primary purpose of wayfinding signs is to assist visitors in navigating the area where they are used. A local park, for example, may feature wayfinding signs directing visitors to the picnic tables, restrooms and walking trials, while a commercial shopping center may feature wayfinding signs for the various businesses and their respective address number. But if you're planning to buy wayfinding signs for your development project, you'll need to choose the right ones to ensure that visitors can easily navigate it.
As the country's real estate market continues to rebound from the 2008 bubble, more neighborhoods and residential communities are popping up. From the East Coast to the West, the number of newly constructed homes is steadily increasing -- and this trend isn't expected to change anytime soon. If you've been given the task of developing a new neighborhood or community, though, you should strive for a cohesive design.
Regardless of where you live in the United States, there are probably road signs present. Whether it's a major Interstate Highway or a small street running through a residential community, all roads have signs to safely dictate the flow of traffic. They've been around for centuries, and while the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has enacted new regulations regarding their use and design, the basic purpose of road signs remains the same.