Getting our priorities straight

Rick Moran
In the midst of a budget crisis, the federal government is forcing New York City to change more than 205,000 street signs.

Are the street names misspelled? Are they made out of some banned substance?

Actually, no. The feds want to change the signs because they are all in upper-case letters:


Federal copy editors are demanding the city change its 250,900 street signs -- such as these for Perry Avenue in The Bronx -- from the all-caps style used for more than a century to ones that capitalize only the first letters.Changing BROADWAY to Broadway will save lives, the Federal Highway Administration contends in its updated Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, citing improved readability.

At $110 per sign, it will also cost the state $27.6 million, city officials said.

"We have already started replacing the signs in The Bronx," city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told The Post. 'We will have 11,000 done by the end of this fiscal year, and the rest finished by 2018."

It appears e.e. cummings was right to eschew capital letters, federal officials explain.

Studies have shown that it is harder to read all-caps signs, and those extra milliseconds spent staring away from the road have been shown to increase the likelihood of accidents, particularly among older drivers, federal documents say.

The new regulations also require a change in font from the standard highway typeface to Clearview, which was specially developed for this purpose.

You have to wonder who vetted those studies as well as how much was spent developing the new typeface, and why this project has been given budget priority over other, more worthy programs.

But we really shouldn't wonder. Bureaucrats have their own logic and it has very little to do with what's going on in the real world.

 

 


In the midst of a budget crisis, the federal government is forcing New York City to change more than 205,000 street signs.

Are the street names misspelled? Are they made out of some banned substance?

Actually, no. The feds want to change the signs because they are all in upper-case letters:


Federal copy editors are demanding the city change its 250,900 street signs -- such as these for Perry Avenue in The Bronx -- from the all-caps style used for more than a century to ones that capitalize only the first letters.

Changing BROADWAY to Broadway will save lives, the Federal Highway Administration contends in its updated Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, citing improved readability.

At $110 per sign, it will also cost the state $27.6 million, city officials said.

"We have already started replacing the signs in The Bronx," city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told The Post. 'We will have 11,000 done by the end of this fiscal year, and the rest finished by 2018."

It appears e.e. cummings was right to eschew capital letters, federal officials explain.

Studies have shown that it is harder to read all-caps signs, and those extra milliseconds spent staring away from the road have been shown to increase the likelihood of accidents, particularly among older drivers, federal documents say.

The new regulations also require a change in font from the standard highway typeface to Clearview, which was specially developed for this purpose.

You have to wonder who vetted those studies as well as how much was spent developing the new typeface, and why this project has been given budget priority over other, more worthy programs.

But we really shouldn't wonder. Bureaucrats have their own logic and it has very little to do with what's going on in the real world.