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Appreciating the Value of Street Name Signs

May 23, 2019

Street name signs are what help visitors find their destinations, especially to places they’ve never been before. These signs don’t last forever and must be replaced periodically due to fading from sunlight, wear and tear from severe weather and vandalism. Even durable aluminum signs, which can last for over a decade, must be replaced from time to time. Here are points to remember about how visible street name signs are vital to a community.

Keeping Drivers Informed

When a street name sign is damaged to the point the name is obscured it should be replaced. Hard to read signs can confuse and even distract drivers. The key to safer communities has been through strategic placement of signs, as the more landmarks and streets that can be easily identified, the easier the area is to navigate. Missing signs can cause people to get lost for hours.

Every organization that’s in charge of keeping street name signs updated should be cognizant that missing signs create unnecessary confusion and disruption. Even if a sign is missing or obscured for a single day it can mean throwing off hundreds of drivers. A large city such as San Diego has about 50,000 street names to check periodically to make sure all signs are current and can be easily read by drivers.

Maintaining a Strong Community Image

One of the problems with avoiding fixing damaged signs is that it sends out a message that the community lacks concern. Missing signs creates the perception that no one is watching over a community. Motorists take signs less seriously when they notice ignored degradation such as graffiti. In many ways a missing street name sign has the same negative effect as vandalism, as it displays a void for meeting a certain standard and expectation.

Part of what separates safe and unsafe communities is appropriate signage. Communicating to drivers and pedestrians with signs requires funding, which is why communities with less funding are not able to connect with residents as well. While a missing street sign may not be a problem for a postal delivery service or bus drivers, it can create many inconveniences for individuals who are unfamiliar with the neighborhood. If your business depends on location, it’s even more important that your street sign is posted.


Every local jurisdiction must pay attention to the quality of street name signs to evaluate when they need to be replaced. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location to learn more about the various types of signage that communicate with motorists.

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