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This Is One More Reason Why the Tea Party Has Directed Anger

October 22, 2010

Just when you think it can’t get any weirder… Reason Magazine finds a way to make sure you’re not thinking clearly.  Hey, that STOP sign isn’t easy to read, let’s make it a Stop sign.  Do we need to punctuate it correctly as well?  The original article is from USA Today.

In a nod to the fading eyesight of the nation’s growing number of aging Baby Boomers, the federal government is requiring communities around the USA to change street name signs from all capital letters to a combination of capital and lowercase letters. The government says that makes them easier to read.

So wait, the free healthcare won’t pay for glasses?  Or are the boomers too vain to use them?  Do they require new Lasik that doesn’t make the night vision all hazy?

Under Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations, communities have until 2015 to improve the nighttime visibility of roadside signs — such as stop, yield and railroad crossing signs. The issue is how well a sign redirects light from an automobile’s headlights back toward the vehicle. Signs that fail to meet minimum standards must be replaced. Communities will be allowed to change the street name signs as they wear out.

The changes are called for in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, an 816-page (plus appendixes) behemoth that sets standards for traffic control devices — signs, signals and pavement markings.

We need 816 pages to ID that SLOW CHILDREN AT PLAY is not as good as Slow Children at Play?  And frankly, don’t mothers tell kids to watch for traffic when they play in the streets these days?  Or is is that the children are a bit slow, and they don’t recognize what a honking horn means?  Other key questions: Do street signs have to take into account the loss of color recognition that macular degeneration causes in older people, so next we’ll have to move to high-contrast signs?  Anyone want an orange and green stop sign?  Will this come out of the budgets for education?  Because, after all, kids are nearing the stage where they can’t read anyway. And we have to make sure that we cover all the languages.  How do you say Stop in Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Urdu?

The USA Today article has some data from small and large towns on the cost of this, most of which are commenting how this is coming at a REALLY BAD TIME… sorry, Really Bad Time as far as their budgets go.  Really, this is what we’re worrying about?

No wonder the Tea Partiers are so mad.  Go November!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ellen D. permalink
    October 22, 2010 2:35 pm

    I really like the picture of someone reading with an arrow, indicating where the library is. Wouldn’t you think someone who was looking for a library could read??

    • October 22, 2010 4:47 pm

      That discriminates against illiterate people who like to sit in the library and sip on subsidized lattes.

      • Ellen D. permalink
        October 23, 2010 5:44 pm

        Silly me, I forgot that since the USA doesn’t have an official language, they couldn’t possibly fit Library in all possible languages on every sign.

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