Next exit: the correct lettering?

highway signs

It just looks wrong.

It sounds like state Department of Transportation is finally on the case of the rogue typeface on the Northway signs near Exit 6. Said DOT spokesperson Peter Van Keuren in a quote at the TU's Getting There blog:

"... the lettering on these signs is not standard as a result of an error that was made by the consultant," he said. "New signs with the standard font will be installed at no added expense to the state."

What's odd about this situation is that there are clearly defined guidelines about how text should appear on interstate signs. Also, the new signs don't appear to use Clearview, the easier-to-read typeface being used on new interstate signs around the country.

It would be interesting to find out who this consultant is (seemingly not a font nerd) and what other projects they've been consulting on.

(Thanks, Fred!)

Earlier on AOA: Next exit: illegibility


Who needs a "consultant" to make highway signs? Doesn't the state make enough of these things that it would be able to do the job itself? What the heck does a sign consultant do anyway? "I recommend that the stop signs be red with white lettering"???

Just goes to show what the state unions have been saying all along: paying big money for hot shot consultants is a waste of tax payers' money.

They're fixing them? YAY!!!! They've been driving me NUTS!

How about an investigation of those mixed case street signs that popped up in Albany recently? The lower case is really hard to read at a distance.

@D: Pic or location?

I've noticed them in the Lark Street / Delaware Avenue area. The older signs are all-caps and much easier to read.

chrisck: Just goes to show what the state unions have been saying all along: paying big money for hot shot consultants is a waste of tax payers' money.

The subject is way more nuanced than unions say, and they know it.

These are "contractors," but contract workers prefer "consultant" because it sounds better. Unions are exploiting that vanity to make contract-hiring seem indiscriminately wasteful.

"Cut zee vaste, not zee verkers" is a wild simplification. It's by no means cheaper or wiser to only hire permanent, CBA-covered workers -- who also carry high fringe-benefit costs (medical, retirement, etc.) and are expensive or impossible to dismiss when the work is done.

It's good and right that civil service unions argue their position. The real math is nuanced, the choice to hire or contract doesn't always have a moral component, and one hopes that Government managers use their options wisely.

Dr. Einstein wasn't much for black and white. I'd love to have a position that PEF would appropriately advocate for, but their recent message isn't helping citizens better understand Government. Pisses me off, a little.


Get use to the mixed case signs, they are now are requirement per MUTCD.
Studies show the opposite, that names of streets and cities are easier to read in mixed case than in all capital letters.

Seriously? We're paying money to make pretty road signs? The most over-taxed state in the country, trying to cut billions from our deficit, and we need to spend money to make the road signs look "nice"?

Who the heck is running this circus?

@D: I also noticed them on Delaware Ave, and I remember reading the argument before that they are supposedly easier to read that way. It makes no sense to me, because all you see is a big "D" and the rest is tiny.

Oh...@Greg, the sign I saw was near Emack and Bolios, at the corner there. I think it was the sign for Delaware & Marshall, since I was sitting on their front patio at the time.

Yep, right on the corner of Delaware and Marshall is a great example, because one sign has the new lettering and one has the old. Just noticed that the other day. I'll snap a pic tonight.

Jon, this is not about making signs "pretty," but making them legible to read. They do not conform to national MUTCD standards, and if someone gets into a crash, they will sue the State because the highway did not meet minimum safety standards. You, and all NYS taxpayers, will end up footing the bill.

FYI... If you actually read the TU blog, you would have noticed the fact that the signs are being replaced by the contractor at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

There we go. You can see the ALL CAPS sign in the back. Also, really, really don't enter Marshall from Delaware.

Yeah I'm with Jon here, all caps, no caps, I think you guys are going to be OK...

@Engineer: "Jon, this is not about making signs "pretty," but making them legible to read. [..] if someone gets into a crash, they will sue the State because the highway did not meet minimum safety standards. You, and all NYS taxpayers, will end up footing the bill"

That's not the sign that is the problem here, but the whole rest. Come on, both lettering are legible. It's not the sign that needs to be "fixed", it's the fact that some dingbat who can't drive could jump on that legal opportunity to sue the state and that we would end up footing the bill. Not the other way around, to my opinion.

I am glad to hear that the font was used in error, I hated it.. Good they are fixing it...

Those signs and this steering wheel on my belt buckle are driving me nuts

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