West Virginia is working to make signs on interstate and U.S. highway routes more legible and visible.
During regular sign replacements, the Department of Transportation is installing signs that feature a font called Clearview. Research has shown that Clearview increases legibility and visibility, at least on positive-contras signs, which have light lettering on a green, blue or brown background, the Charleston Daily Mail reported.
“In general, it’s easier to read,” Department of Transportation spokeswoman Carrie Bly told the newspaper. “Anything we can do to increase visibility is great.”
New reflectivity technologies are expected to further increase visbility.
So far, signs with the Clearview font have been installed along Interstate 77 north of Charleston and Interstate 64 in the Huntington area. The DOT began replacing signs along Interstate 70 in the Northern Pandhandle this year. U.S. 50 is up next, followed by Interstate 79.
“All of the interstate signage is generally going to be using the font,” Bly said.
Signs on other roads likely will still feature the old highway font, informally known as Highway Gothic, she said.
An average highway sign lasts about 15 to 20 years before it needs to be replaced, Bly said. Signage is replaced on entire sections of highway at one time.
The state’s Central Sign Shop in Charleston makes signs for interstates and other major highways, Bly said. Sign shops in each Division of Highways district make other signs.
States must request interim approval from the Federal Highway Administration to use the Clearview font. West Virginia is among about 30 states that have started using the newer font.
The font resulted from studies and research during the 1990s and 2000s at the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute at Penn State University and the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University. Its designers included Larchmont, N.Y.-based Meeker & Associates and Terminal Design, Inc., based in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Was this article valuable?
Here are more articles you may enjoy.