Frequently Asked Questions About Street Name Signs
How large do street name sign letters have to be?
The Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) requires different size letters depending on where the street name sign is posted in section 2D.43 Street Name Signs, Paragraph 03.
For street signs posted on local roads with a speed limit of 25 MPH or less: uppercase letters must be at least 4 inches tall and lowercase letters must be at least 3 inches tall. TrafficSign.com's 6 inch tall street signs follow these specifications.
For street signs posted on local roads with a speed limit of 40 MPH or less: upper-case letters should be at least 6 inches tall and lower-case letters should be at least 4.5 inches tall. TrafficSign.com's 9 inch tall street signs have 6 inch tall uppercase letters and 5 inch tall lowercase letters.
Refer to MUTCD Table 2D-2 for recommended letter sizes on all street name signs.
Supplemental street name sign letters such as "W" or "Ave" should have uppercase letters that are 3 inches tall and lowercase letters that are 2.25 inches tall.
What size do street name signs need to be?
The sizes of street name signs can vary depending on how many characters must be displayed, and where the sign will be used. The width of the sign depends on how many characters need to be used. For example, an 18 inch wide sign can fit about 5 characters, while a 24 inch wide sign can accommodate 8-12 characters, depending on the letter height.
The height of a street name sign will depend on where the sign will be used.
For use on local roads with a speed limit of 25 MPH or less: 6 inch tall signs should be used.
For use on local roads with a speed limit of 40 MPH or less: 9 inch tall signs should be used.
What colors should a street name sign be?
According to MUTCD section 2D.43 Street Name Signs, Paragraphs 17 and 18, the only acceptable background colors for street name signs are green, brown, white, and blue.
The only color that may be used for the sign's legend (and border) is white, unless the sign background is white, in which case the legend and border must be black.
TrafficSign.com has customizable novelty street signs for sale, which make for a great gift or decoration and are available with red and black background colors. These are not MUTCD compliant, since those colors are not approved for official use.
Do street name signs have to have borders?
According to MUTCD Section 2D.43 Street Name Signs, Paragraphs 14 and 15, street name signs do not have to have borders. If a border is shown on a sign, then it must contrast the background color and match the color of the legend.
What characters can be on a street name sign?
Street name signs should consist of uppercase and lowercase letters (rather than all uppercase or all lowercase) as this style is easiest to read from a distance. Street name signs also should not contain any punctuation marks unless it is necessary to avoid confusion (MUTCD Section 2A.13 Word Messages, Paragraphs 01 and 04).
Can street name signs contain a prefix or suffix?
According to MUTCD Section 2D.43 Street Name Signs, Paragraphs 03 and 09, a prefix and suffix (referred to as supplementary text) may be used on street name signs to indicate the type of street or the section of the city (such as Ave or SE). The prefix and suffix should have uppercase letters that are at least 3 inches tall and lowercase letters that are at least 2.25 inches tall.
Can street name signs contain images?
Yes, street name signs can contain images (referred to as pictographs by the MUTCD). The most common images found on street name signs are community seals, and icons representing a local place of interest. Regardless of what the image is, images on street name signs can't exceed the size of an uppercase letter on the sign legend.
Do street name signs have to be reflective?
Yes, street name signs must be reflective or illuminated during the day and night to show the same shape and color, according to MUTCD Section 2D.43 Street Name Signs, paragraph 14. TrafficSign.com street name signs can be purchased in three different kinds of retroreflective sheeting: Engineering Grade, High Intensity Prismatic, and Diamond Grade.
Have some more questions? Learn more about Federal Highway Administration’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices on the MUTCD website.
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