This week, because we're listening to the concerns of state and local governments, the Department of Transportation took the unusual step of requesting additional public comment on regulations that deal with replacing street signs.
The regulations--initiated under the previous Administration--call for the replacement of some street signs. While in better times this may have been appropriate, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given the difficult economic conditions facing many cities and states across the country.
Although there are safety advantages to many of these recommendations and requirements, we want to find a way to improve safety without piling costs onto the American people. That’s why we’re taking a second look and requesting additional public comment to get feedback on the best path forward.
And thanks to a few erroneous news stories, many Americans don’t have a good understanding of what these recommendations entail. For example, most of these requirements allow existing street signs to remain in place until the end of their useful life. And rules about upper- and lower-case lettering are not required unless a sign was being replaced anyway. The idea is to help aging baby boomers read road signs more easily.
But the bottom line is this: We don’t want to burden communities during hard economic times.
Now, you’ve heard me say time and time again that safety is this Department’s top priority. But I also believe in good government. Listening to the public ensures that we achieve both.