Feds recommending uniform street signs by 2018

The Federal Highway Administration is recommending uniform street signs on every street with a speed limit of 25 miles-per-hour or over across the country by 2018, for safety reasons, and the current signs in several communities would not comply with federal regulations. Now, several community leaders are griping to the feds, and the Wisconsin Transportation Secretary is working to eliminate the federal regulations.

The unique street signs in the Village of Fox Point would not comply with the federal regulations, but are considered somewhat of a trademark in the village. The signs are black, made out of cast iron, and feature a fox design. Some say they are difficult to see at night, but the Fox Point Village manager worked to have the signs declared a county landmark by the Milwaukee Historical Society back in 2002, and village leaders say changing the signs now is unfair.

"They're a signature of Fox Point. You know you've reached Fox Point when you get to them. They've been around for so long, and it distinguishes them from every other area throughout Milwaukee," Fox Point Village President Elise Burns said.

Another area that would need to change their street signs is Bayside. Federal regulations say the letters must be upper and lowercase, and reflective. In Milwaukee, changing the street signs to meet these federal regulations would cost nearly $2 million, double the city's entire annual budget for traffic control. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association say the federal government should provide the funding needed to change the signs.