I don't comment on FOXNews very often, but this one has been "awaiting moderation" for most of the day already and it looks like "comments are closed" on it now - so I might as well post it here for the benefit of those few who may stumble upon it. The topic of conversation at lunch today revolved around a NY Post / FOXNews story about the price tag of changing out a bunch of street signs in New York City so that they were Initial Cap and not ALL CAP format, supposedly for better readability. Certainly sounds like a sweetheart deal for some sign-making friend of a Washington lobbyist, but the thing that got my panties in a knot was that the story made it seem like yet-another-example of the Obama administration run amok when actually, some quick investigation turns up the change was first made in 2003 under George Bush! I wish I had saved a screen shot of their original story because they seem to have now removed the link to the 2009 document after reading (and not publishing) my comment below. It is true that the 2009 version of the MUTCD now calls for mixed case (initial cap) specifically on street-name signs and does not seem to permit ALL CAPS at all (see section 2D.05) but its clear that thats the way things were headed back in 2003 when it was initially added, and of course, the people involved in planning, specifying, purchasing, installing, and maintaining signage are all up to speed on this kind of thing long before Joe Public hears about it.
My (unaccepted) comment:
Heres a link showing the change was made in 2003, and so of course still appears in the 2009 version which FOX so kindly linked to: See Chapter 2D: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/HTM/2003/mutcd2003cl.htm No matter what folks may think about this particular decision, they should probably be thankful that there are uniform standards for signage in the US. Without consistent, clear, and appropriate signs and signals our nations roadways would yield an even higher death toll than the 34,000 that die EVERY YEAR in motor vehicle accidents. Reducing that number is a laudable goal, and may even be worth the money we spend on making our roads safer.