The federal government is mandating that all street signs in the city be replaced with signs that use both upper and lower case letters. But the change has gotten off to a bumpy start in Country Club.
The first street sign in the community to comply with the new regulation appeared recently at the corner of Campbell Drive and Agar Place, but it misspelled the name of the street as “Cambell Drive.”
The city Department of Transportation has begun to replace all 250,000 street signs across the city, switching from all uppercase letters to a combination of upper and lower case letters — for example, the Campbell sign would go from CAMPBELL DRIVE to Campbell Drive. The city will complete the project by 2018.
The Federal Highway Administration is mandating the change because studies have shown that motorists find it easier to read signs that use letters of both sizes, instead of one uniform size.
Country Club residents said they were concerned about the misspelled sign. Many said they were more concerned that in a time of fiscal crisis the city would be spending an estimated $27.6 million dollars just to replace functioning street signs.
Country Club Civic Association president Marcia Pavlica first expressed concern over the error in signage, but then said she was more upset over the spending of taxpayer money on the signs.
“Everytime that I give directions, I always say that the spelling of Campbell Drive is the same as the brand of soup,” Pavlica said. “I find it really hard to get excited about upper and lower case letters on street signs, especially if they have not taken the time to spell the name of the street correctly.”
Pavlica went on to say that with the ongoing recession and other economic concerns, she was unsure whether forcing replacement of all signs by a certain date should be a top priority of the city at this time.
“This project may have merit to the federal government, but right now we need a heck of a lot of other things much more,” Pavlica said.
Pavlica said that the name of Campbell Drive actually refers to a landowner in the area who owned the property where the street is currently located during the time of the American Revolution.
At the intersection where the misspelled sign was placed, there is a street overlay in honor of the founder of the Country Club Civic Association, Maude Steiner. Steiner’s daughter Stella, who lives near the intersection, noticed the error.
“I saw the new sign and commented to several people that it was the incorrect spelling,” Steiner said. “I guess that they did not hire the correct people because they did not get the right name of the street.
But I’m still happy to be able to look up and see a tribute to my mother.”