Milwaukee’s proactive response to new federal street sign rules will cost $1.4M (eventually)
Tight-fisted residents expressed outrage and dismay (including Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnist Jim Stingl) at plans to comply with MUTCD’s new state-mandated guidelines.
City Public Works commissioner, Jeff Mantes, announced plans to replace street signs that don’t meet the new rules for readability and reflectivity. Not right away, mind you–The effort is spaced out over four years. And not all signs—just the ones that were going to be replaced anyways because they are getting old. New, more readable signs that you can see in the dark. Wow!
Online posters seem fixated on the cost ($1.4M!) and the new font rules (upper AND lower case!). People who never go anywhere and don’t read might not realize that Milwaukee has actually done a fairly good job keeping up with trendy signage updates (Signs installed since the 1990′s already meet the guidelines). They may not realize that New York City will have to spend $27M to replace every freakin’ sign in the five boroughs because they never replace any signs, unless a taxi, truck or water main bursting knock one down.
The new sign style will cost the same as the old font style, so what’s the problem? Perhaps the City Department of Public works shouldn’t have sent an email out announcing plans to spend $350,000 a year to replace signs that were going to be replaced anyway at the same cost. Sounds more like a budget line item adjustment to me.