[mccookgazette.com] Mostly Cloudy ~ 62°F  
High: 81°F ~ Low: 58°F
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014

New street signs and more

Friday, December 3, 2010

Don't know if you've heard about this or not but ABC News reported on Dec. 1 that the Federal Highway Administration is ordering all local governments, from the smallest towns to the largest, to purchase new street signs the bureaucrats say are easier to read.

It's all in the new 800 page publication, "Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices." Local entities have been ordered to increase the size of the letters on street signs from the current 4 inches to 6 inches on all roads with speed limits over 25 miles per hour. The target date for this to be completed is January 2012. They are to install signs with new reflective letters that are more visible at night by January 2018. And whenever street signs are changed for ANY reason, they can no longer be in ALL CAPS. The bureaucrats have decided we can read lower case letters better.

One example of how this will impact local governments is Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This changeover will cost them nearly $2 million, which is twice as much as the city's entire annual allotment for traffic control.

The new regulations, written under the Bush Administration, are designed to make sure that signs are easier to read for an aging population.

Or, you could just buy a GPS.

Can you imagine an 800 page manual on uniform traffic control devices?

Not surprisingly, the American Traffic Safety Services Association which represents companies that make signs and the reflective material used on them, lobbied hard for the new rules. And at least one key study used to justify the changes was funded by the 3M Corporation, one of the few companies that make the reflective material now required on street signs.

And therein lies the real culprit; the lobbyists.

Lobbyists are never interested in the big picture. They have no concern at all about how many people will be inconvenienced or required to pay more money for products and services; they only care about the industries that pay their inflated salaries and legislation that affects their employer in either positive or negative ways. If it's a positive outcome for their bosses, they support the legislation; if it's a negative outcome they don't. It's that simple.

Lobbyists for the timber industry for example don't care whether clear-cutting forests is harmful to the environment, they only care that it's profitable for those interests they represent.

Americans can't buy prescription drugs from Canada because it would cut into the bottom line of Big Pharma companies in the United States so any attempt by our elected officials to legalize drug sales from Canada is met with uniform opposition by the lobbyists who represent pharmaceutical companies in the United States.

Lobbyists are the deal makers and breakers in this shadow government that supposedly represents all the people but doesn't. It represents the special interests of the wealthy who only want to get wealthier and who pay no mind to how it influences the nation at large.

This is the era we live in. It doesn't matter what kind of revolution we have at the ballot box. It doesn't matter that we throw the old bunch out and send a new bunch in. It doesn't matter how angry the electorate is.

Because as long as lobbyists run the country and dictate legislation instead of we the people, nothing's ever going to change regardless of who we send to Washington.


Fact Check
See inaccurate information in this story?


Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on mccookgazette.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

I am beginning to believe our whole Social Structure is somewhere in the Dump, or Asylum. Why, we wouldn't want a painted sign 'screaming' at anyone, would we, even though most all traffic signs have been painted in all 'Caps,' now for almost, if not more than, a hundred years.

Mike, the next target will be teachers, who dare not properly spell a word, caps, or lower case, lest you warp the poor students minds with truth.

Good article. Scary, but good.

Think I'll go back to my poetry. Praising God is a whole bunch more fun than trying to figure out our Government.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 5:38 PM

Wonder what cousin or uncle of Bush's owns most of the stock in 3M. Ha!

-- Posted by goarmy67 on Sat, Dec 4, 2010, at 2:24 PM

I don't think Mike's position is very well thought out. Pretty much a cut and paste of an ABC News story I just read.

Reflective roadway signs are pretty important to me. I have trouble seeing at night and I'm concerned about roadway safety. In researching this issue I found the following link from the orrganization you criticized. Their mission is roadway safety. I could support that lobby.

http://www.atssa.com/cs/root/news_pr/ret...

Road safety is one area where we need the federal government to lead.

-- Posted by huskermark on Thu, Dec 23, 2010, at 7:52 AM

How about letting local authorites make these decisions.

Mike Misses one very imortant fact as well. It's not lobbyists running the gubment it is the unelected burocrats that are running it. We can elect anyone we want but these people are still there no matter what. They have to make up silly BS like this to justify their existence.

How was this passed? Was this done through congress or through the Highway Administration?

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Fri, Dec 24, 2010, at 9:27 AM


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account on this site, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.

Mike Hendricks
Mike at Night