Sign Management and Assessment Methods

So you can't afford to replace your Traffic Signs?

Some people worry that they have to replace all of their street or traffic signs that are not in compliance with the minimum retroreflectivity requirements as set forth in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).  This is not always the case however.  The objective of the guidelines is to get street departments , public works officials, and transportation agencies is to establish a management method to maintaining their signs.  The management method concept helps ensure that those organizations are doing all that they can, with the time and money they have to work with, to keep traffic sign reflectivity at adequate levels for the traveling public.  If you've ever seen traffic signs that are not maintained it can be an ugly sight.  So you ask yourself, How do I begin?  Here are some steps that will help you accomplish this without bursting your budget or breaking the bank:

  1. Evaluate Management/Assessment Methods
  2. Complete a Sign Inventory
  3. Document Deficient Signs
  4. Choose your desired Management/Assesment Method
  5. Begin Replacement/Upgrade of Deficient Signs According to Your chosen Management Method

Some important things to remember:

  • Document all sign maintenance activities
  • Document all future sign purchases and manufacture dates
  • Order appropriate sheeting for all future signs
  • Follow your written policy as close as possible

More information on sign retroreflectivity for small local agencies can be found in the Retroreflectivity Toolkit published by the FHWA by visiting