Federal Highway Administration Issues New Street Sign Guidelines

By: Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND/ODESSA - Street signs. Many times they're the difference between getting lost or where you need to go.

That's why Hal Feldman, Odessa's Traffic Coordinator, says they got rid of signs that were nearly unreadable.

"They spent more than their useful life if you saw some of the signs," Feldman said. "I mean signs that were not reflective anymore that were missing letters. That when you drive down the street at night, you couldn't even read the street name."

It was a $199,000 project just completed this April. Now the Federal Highway Administration says street signs in all caps have to go by 2018.

"It was probably poor timing," Feldman said. "We were 97 percent done with our project and different rules came out."

The government thinks the change will make signs easier to read, because drivers are used to reading in both lower and upper case; not all caps.

"If it's been proven and shown that it aids in legibility," Feldman said. "Then I'm all for it."

East of town, City of Midland's Transportation Manager Gary Saunders is ok with the change.

"I think it's a good project and if you drive along the Interstate you can see some of the changes already," he said.

Midland has to update more than 10,000 street signs to meet the regulations. Saunders says they'll just phase out the all caps signs as they wear out.

Feldman says it's frustrating, but Odessa plans to do the same.

"New guidelines come along and we'll follow them," he said.

He just hopes when they're finished this time, the signs will be able to stay around a little longer.