4th of June 2010 0
Street signs are the name tags of the asphalt world. Used to provide the name of the stretch of road that you are on, they are the basis for all directions and addresses in the modern world.
Typically found at intersections, atop tall poles, the street sign is one of the most common traffic signs in the world. Prior to the 1900’s bridges and buildings were used to identify the street that they were on. You would easily find a sign posted on a building or cornerstone that was chiseled with the name of the street on it. As more and more roads popped up however, and travel from one’s hometown became more common, a need for signs in places without buildings or bridges emerged, and thus the street sign was born.
Street signs are available in a variety of color combinations, ranging from the most common green with white reflective writing, to red and white, white and black and more. Some municipalities use uniquely colored street signs to distinguish them from other neighboring towns. Some private communities will have custom palettes and designs created to add to the ambience of their neighborhood. Regardless of what they look like though, the purpose and function is the same – to help people to know where they are.
It was not until the 1900’s that street signs started popping up on utility poles and other poles designed expressly for the purpose of holding the street sign. Most intersections that post a street sign will have two signs mounted one atop the other and set perpendicular to one another, identifying both streets that are crossing. At modern, large intersections that have a traffic signal overhead, these signs are often much larger and hung from the wires or beams that the lights themselves are installed on. These larger signs are much more visible, making it much easier to navigate quickly through busy downtown areas.
Custom street signs are often ordered by businesses or individuals that are looking to place an identification on their own private roads. Although these signs may not actually denote a road that can be found on any map, they still mark off the street, allowing visitors to easily determine that they are at “Kim and Mark Place”.