New Stop Signs Increase Visibility, Improve Safety

New stop signs utilizing a 3D visual effect are being installed in Yavapai, Arizona, paid for in part by grant funding. With a new safety program from the USDOT, the signs are part of an effort to increase safety

What Happened?
The Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization is replacing 1,678 stop signs with updated assets that make it easier for drivers to see the signs in dark or foggy weather. The sign replacement project will be funded by a federal grant worth $400,000 administered through the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The Goal
The Yavapai city council approved a federal grant for the sign replacements valued at $400,000 which will be taken out of a $1.1 million regional contract. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration created a manual on uniform traffic control devices explaining the new standards for roadway signage across the country. The administration also offers an online quiz to help city officials better understand how signage can be more effective in promoting safety within the community.

The new signs will be an improvement from existing stop signs offering higher durability to withstand wet conditions and high winds. The stop signs will have a 3D prism effect so when car headlights flash them the light will beam back and brighten the signs. This will create the effect that the stop signs are plugged in and light up at night.

How It’s Funded
The Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization sought funding from the federal government to replace the signs through the Highway Safety Improvement Program that is distributed through the Arizona Department of Transportation. The town received funding based on its population size and commitment to improving transit safety in the community.

The Highway Safety Improvement Program aims to provide assistance to get regional signage up to federal standards. Under the federal Moving Ahead for Programs (MAP-21) initiative, the improvement program hopes to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries on public roads using data-driven strategies and efficient use of safety dollars.

The Highway Safety Improvement Program is funded through the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund. Recipients of the funds can receive the money in a lump sum to cover a variety of initiatives. First, each state must be allocated their share of the funding, and then each state’s Department of Transportation can divide up the assistance based on municipality need and plan.

Grant Features
For municipalities to be approved for a portion of the Highway Safety Improvement Program grant, an improvement project must be presented that is consistent with the data-driven State Strategy Highway Safety Plan. Cities must be working to improve a hazardous road location or address a highway safety concern. Cities must:

  • Define specific, measurable goals
  • Outline steps for implementation
  • Create a system to evaluate performance and efficacy from start to finish

Each state is in charge of updating and evaluating all programs funded by the Highway Safety Improvement Program, as well as set aside a portion of the grant for high risk rural roads projects. The federal government offers tools for data collection and analysis for states and cities to use, and is encouraging municipalities to share experiences and best practices for optimal results and most efficient use of federal dollars.

Keep The Streets Safe
EfficientGov has reported on projects to make streets safer and more efficient, such as adding traffic cameras in hazardous areas.

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Barry Greenfield

Barry Greenfield is the founder of EfficientGov.com.