Home > National News > Lowercase Letters Instead of Lowering Costs?

Lowercase Letters Instead of Lowering Costs?

Sadia Noor

I have a certain amount of respect for the U.S government. In the face of all this messy criticism, the feds have still managed to keep their proverbial chins high and forge a moderately logical way forward.

Well, at least that’s what I thought. And then I heard it – the news to end all news, a decision that made my jaw literally drop, and possibly eliminated any hope I had in the human race. Apparently, New York State is spending $27.6 million changing all the street signs in the city from all caps to lower case letters. This is what it will look like:

Photo courtesy of the NY Post.

The Federal Highway Administration released a statement saying that changing street signs will improve readability and ultimately save lives. What do I think? I think that these signs have been around for over a 100 years, and I’ve never heard a single driver complain about the signs’ “readability”. The money can easily be placed in a department that needs it more. I would think that the federal government might be more concerned with budget cuts in the Department of Education than they would with upper case letters, but that may just make too much sense for them.

There’s also the fact that college kids everywhere – including Fordham – are being hit with financial aid reductions and are struggling to make ends meet. Moreover, we Fordham kids received a letter this summer stating that we would be removed from our fall classes if we didn’t pay the remaining tuition balance on our accounts – just when we were figuring out what to do with our reduced financial aid. I think that’s absolute craziness.

For the record, the state government was opposed to the street sign changes, but that still doesn’t change the fact that a huge amount of federal money is being put into a costly, futile task. I can think of a hundred ways to put this money to better use – unfortunately, the government can’t.

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  1. RAG
    October 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    your last sentence blew me away! very catchy!

  2. orange
    October 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Manufacturing these signs will create jobs. Presumably, American jobs.

    Do you not want to send America back to work?
    Do you not support our troops?

  3. David
    October 24, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    New York City replaces 8,000 signs per year due to wear and tear. They’ll just print the new signs with lowercase letters and phase them in over time. Why the federal government would pay for that is anyone’s guess, but it’s good news for the state.

  4. Sadia
    October 27, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Just for clarification: like David said, the NYC government replaces about 8.000 signs per year for replacement purposes anyways. However, because the state has a deadline to replace all 250,000 signs in the city by 2018, my concern is that unnecessary time and money will be spent ensuring that the new guidelines are followed. Frankly, that would be a waste.

    My point is that whatever extra money is spent towards changing street signs (be it $27 million or a few thousand) would have a greater and more positive impact in other departments. Since creating jobs is such a concern, why not create jobs that would bring in revenue instead?

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