|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2008)|
||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with North America and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
A street sign is a type of traffic sign used to identify named roads, generally those that do not qualify as expressways or highways. Street signs are most often found posted at intersections, and are usually in perpendicularly oriented pairs identifying each of the crossing streets. Modern street signs are mounted on either utility poles or smaller purpose-made sign poles posted on a streetcorner, or hung over intersections from overhead supports like wires or pylons. Up until around 1900, however, street signs were often mounted on the corners of buildings, or even chiseled into the masonry, and many of these old-fashioned signs still exist in older neighborhoods.
A street sign may indicate the range of house numbers found nearby.
Although this article is based on North American practices the same methods and systems prevail throughout the world.
Most streets have a traffic sign at each intersection to indicate the name of the road. The design and style of the sign is usually common to the district in which it appears. The sign has the street name and sometimes other information, such as the block number or the name of the London borough in which the street is located. Such signs are often the target of simple vandalism, and signs on unusually or famously named streets are especially liable to street sign theft.
Usually, the color scheme used on the sign just reflects the local standard (for example, white letters on a green background are common throughout the USA). However, in some cases, the colour of a sign can provide information, as well. One example can be found in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Within city limits, all major arterial roads use a blue sign, north-south roads use a green sign, and east-west roads use a brown sign. Other places sometimes use blue or white signs to indicate private roads.
In recent years, many US and Canadian cities have adopted the mast arm for traffic signal equipment; major intersections are marked with large signs mounted on the mast arms. This was started in the 1960s by the California Department of Transportation. Los Angeles and San Francisco started in the 1970s and recently New York City has introduced the bigger signs at its intersections. In 2013, New York City began to change street signs that have been previously used Highway Gothic font with a new one, Clearview, that include both upper and lower case letters, which is considered more readable.
standard sign, New York City
Historic Hungarian/German street sign in Bratislava
Street sign, Hong Kong
Street sign, Macau
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- Bacho, Katia (June 24, 2013). "On the Street Clarity". The New Yorker (subscription needed). p. 30.