Dear PoPville – What’s Up With the new Sherman Ave Street Signs?

by Prince Of Petworth March 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm 19 Comments


Dear PoPville,

Does anyone know why they replaced some of the the street signs on Sherman Ave and intersecting streets with really small hard-to-read-font signs that only have writing on one side? These new signs are just awful and useless! You literally can’t read them until you are right up in front of them due to tiny lower-case font, and if you are coming from the opposite direction of the writing of the sign, you’re S.O.L in knowing what street you are about to intersect! Also, why did they change some, but not all of the signs? Why did they replace the signs at all? I’m sure the old signs could have been reused!


  • Anonymous

    I’m not the only one that can’t read those dang things? The signs are DC’s official new font. Lovely, aren’t they. I see them around, but I can’t tell if there is an replacement plan.

  • Anonther

    They are changing over all signs to the lowercase font, which is apparently easier to read than all caps. But it’s a bad font choice. At least both letters in NW are capitalized here – that hasn’t been true on all of the signs. *sigh*

    Don’t know why the other side is missing, though!

  • Anonther
    • Anonymous

      Yes…Clearly if I see a sign the reads Ne I will Immediately think I am in SW

  • jch

    They can’t even afford to paint the backs of signs !?! Sequestration takes over DC govt.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a huge cluster, that’s what it is. DDOT has undertaken a program to update all the District’s street signs to comply with new standards of some sort, yet in typical, shady Mayor Gray-era fashion, multiple contractors have made a mess out of the project, and I’m not sure that any of them have gotten it right. It’s a HUGE waste of your tax dollars, since the old signs were fine to begin with.

    • saf

      I keep seeing the “multiple contractors” statement. I wish someone would name the contractors, because I believe these are all coming out of DDOT’s sign shop.

  • Anonymous

    one-sided is terrible.

  • oldgrouch

    Those new small-font sign are an outrage. MAYBE the font would be easier to read if it weren’t about 8-point. Let’s all complain to our council members. And to the mayor’s office, and to our ANC reps.

  • Christina

    On a related note, what’s up with all the pedestrian crossing countdowns and signals often being turned the wrong way, such that you literally cannot read them from the other side of the street? I often see this in Columbia Heights. Is it a lazy installation job? Kids messing with them?

    • anon

      On the crossing signals: I think its people messing with them, or maybe one obsessed and slightly disturbed person. I notice these ALL THE TIME and all over town.

      • Identified

        More than likely it was the wind this past weekend, or a bus/truck that “moved” them.

        These are now made to rotate, so if they are struck by a high-sided vehicle, they will move. And the wind this past weekend was strong enought to rotate them.

        The ped light at the end of my street is turned at least 2x a week because of buses.

    • Reality

      Call 311 and they’ll fix it

  • jcm

    They are slowly rolling out the new signs. Instead of just pulling all of the old ones down, they are replacing them as needed. They’ve screwed up a lot of them, but they aren’t making up the design themselves. The mixed case, lettering size, and font choice are all a mandate from the feds. Here’s the standard they are implementing.


    I think the Sherman sign in the picture looks like it’s done correctly. Obviously the one-sided sign is a mistake.

    • jdc

      +1 I believe DC is coming into compliance with a federal/national mandate.

    • All of the new signs along Sherman and the intersecting streets are one-sided, so this is just one example of how they all have been for the last few months that the signs have been up. It doesn’t seem they are too concerned about fixing the one-sided signs! The new font is ridiculously small and difficult to read, but the one-sided signs is just an example of gross oversight!

  • CRS
  • Q-Street

    Why are we spending money on this?

  • wylie coyote

    The Washington Post’s own Mike DeBonis came up with a reasonable response to signage issues: ” If you see a bad sign, call 311, visit 311.dc.gov, or tweet at Lisle at @DDOTDC.”


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