Asheboro to revamp traffic signs

ASHEBORO, N.C. — The city council is expected to approve a plan Thursday to make sure the 4,000 plus traffic signs throughout the city have the right amount of retro-reflectivity, meaning how well light is reflected back off of traffic signs.

The plan is required by the Federal Highway Administration to ensure that traffic signs are more visible at night.

“One-fourth of traffic travels at night,” said David Hutchins, director of public works. “We want to make sure people can see them.”

Starting late July, street crews will use a portable machine to test each sign throughout the city, measuring how well each one reflects light back.

“If one of them is off, then we’re going to change the sign,” Hutchins said.

It’s a job taken seriously by workers in the city’s traffic division who make each of the city’s traffic signs.

Officials say years of wear and tear can cause a traffic sign to go dull, losing its ability to reflect light.

“It only takes one sign like that out there hiding somewhere,” said Jimmy Cox, foreman for the city’s traffic division. “Somebody runs it, and it’s a lawsuit.”

Signs that if missed can have serious consequences for drivers.

“Half of the accidents that happen, happen at night,” Hutchins said.

Hutchins say about 70 percent of the city’s signs are in good shape and doesn’t expect to have to replace too many of them.

2 comments

  • jovan1984

    70% of Asheboro’s signs are in good shape. That is a much better percentage than the percentage of Barnwell County’s signs that are in good shape. I’ll tell you the percentage now: around 5% of Barnwell County’s signs are in good shape. I am only talking about the signs that are under the county’s control.

  • Robbie English

    I think you need to take a drive down a country road one night with all new signs and see just how blinding that reflection can be. I understand needing to see the sign but I have to actually use my hand to shade out some signs in our area at night due to the blinding glare back from new reflective signs. Almost worse than headlights directly in your eyes. If the sign needs to be that bright for some one to see, well then we have another issue the state needs to address, how well are we testing our drivers.

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