City’s road signs to be updated

Published 6:00 am Saturday, January 13, 2007

Pranksters won’t be the only ones taking down and changing road signs as Natchez traffic engineers update the city’s signs in the coming weeks.

A state-funded study, started last year, pointed out signs that were confusing, unnecessary, in the wrong place or needed updating.

Now, city workers will be taking down old signs, adding new ones and generally organizing the town’s road sign system. The board of aldermen approved the move in their last meeting.

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“Our sole motive is to try to reduce the mount of accidents we have within the city limits,” City Engineer David Gardner said Friday. “It’s good for us — it will make our inventory more efficient. It takes away the sign clutter.”

As far as he knows, this is the first time such an inventory has been done in Natchez, Gardner said.

And over the years, signs get put up, and they accumulate.

“You put up a sign, then another, and before you know it, 30 years have passed and you’ve got all sorts of signs on one street.”

In some instances, the number of signs can be streamlined, one marker doing the job three were doing before.

“We have to place them in certain locations to make sure they’re organized,” he said. “There’s nothing worse than putting up a bunch of signs that confuse a motorist.”

The study and signs will be paid for by a grant from the Office of the Governor’s Highway Safety Funds, Gardner said.

“They’re paying 90 percent, and the city puts up 10 percent,” he said. “The beauty of this grant is it will allow the city traffic department’s time and expenses associated with implementation to offset the 10 percent requirement.”

And the free signs will help keep traffic running smoothly, Gardner said.

“To make it more safe so we can reduce traffic injuries — that’s our goal,” he said.