2020 journal article
Analysis of Three Sign Management Program Case Studies
PUBLIC WORKS MANAGEMENT & POLICY, 25(1), 51–74.
Traffic signs play a major role on the national highway system because they provide users with important information such as warnings, regulations, and directions. To ensure sign visibility at night, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) requires transportation agencies to meet minimum sign retroreflectivity levels through a sign maintenance program. To better understand current trends, the researchers conducted an extensive literature search that showed that expected sign life and nighttime inspection are the most used methods, followed by blanket replacement. The literature does not typically discuss how these methods are implemented. Thus, the research team also contacted three of the four largest state-maintained highway systems in the United States (North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina) to discuss sign maintenance programs, implementation issues, and best practices. The authors describe in this article the findings and conclusions drawn from these case studies that may help other agencies improve their sign maintenance practices.