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Poll

Should their be lights on overhead signs?

Yes
- 19 (33.3%)
No
- 28 (49.1%)
Don't care
- 10 (17.5%)

Total Members Voted: 57


Author Topic: Should there be lights on overhead signs?  (Read 7645 times)

myosh_tino

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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #50 on: May 09, 2021, 05:11:10 PM »

California has also begun phasing out lights on overhead signs over the past few years.  In most cases, when the lights are removed, the catwalks they are mounted to are also removed.  This provides an added benefit of making it much more difficult for taggers to do their "thing" because they no longer have a platform to stand on.  The only downside I've run into is that legibility goes down significantly when there is condensation on the sign panel.
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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #51 on: May 09, 2021, 09:09:29 PM »

Arizona actually mounted its lighting fixtures above its overhead signs, not below.
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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #52 on: May 09, 2021, 09:16:18 PM »

Arizona actually mounted its lighting fixtures above its overhead signs, not below.
Which other places mount them above? I know Utah still have some mounted above, and Columbus used to do that in some installations before the last signs like that were replaced about 4-5 years ago.
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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #53 on: May 11, 2021, 07:35:31 AM »

Florida stuck with them for many years, but starting to remove them or leave them out of most new installs. There's a few gantries that have retained them...even excessively so.

Here's some recent ones west of Tampa on I-75:






« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 12:46:42 PM by formulanone »
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tolbs17

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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #54 on: May 11, 2021, 09:17:04 AM »

Florida stuck with them for many years, but there's a few gantries that have stuck with them...even excessively so.

Here's two recent ones west of Tampa on I-75:






Gross. If anything, I wish they were below the sign, not above.
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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #55 on: May 11, 2021, 10:16:56 AM »

Don't really like the shadow lighting above the sign casts. I could only barely see the 81 in that 581 at first glance.
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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #56 on: May 11, 2021, 10:54:30 AM »

Those pictures definitely make the perfect argument against placing sign lighting above the signs. I'd also agree that the amount of lights is excessive.
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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #57 on: May 11, 2021, 11:12:04 AM »

^^^

Actually, those pictures make the perfect argument against those monstrosity OAPL signs. The second of the three I-75 photos shows why the traditional arrows work just fine, and those oversized OAPL signs are simply overkill and not necessary.
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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #58 on: May 11, 2021, 11:58:10 AM »

there are also reflectivity issues when there's condensation on signs - is this less of an issue on modern sheeting?

Yes.  In Texas, I have noticed several signs that are relatively new that get condensation on them and they are practically illegible.  I specify Texas because part of it may be the reflective material Texas gets from it's vendors, and part maybe more, less or kind of condensation.  I have seen it on not cool days so it's not just a winter/early spring thing either. 

I voted yes to lights on signs because I have noticed problems, like the ones listed, with retroreflective signs.  I agree that installation, maintenance and upkeep are very expensive, but they are helpful.  In a given sate, we aren't talking about a whole lot of signs.  Mostly freeways in urban areas.  Yes, retroreflective signs do have issues, but no where near the issues unlit ground mounted button copy signs had when they had severe age on them.  The missing cat eyes made the signs unreadable. 
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 11:30:51 AM by ethanhopkin14 »
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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #59 on: May 11, 2021, 01:13:04 PM »

My personal opinion is that, if there's visibility/retroreflectivity issues, that's a sign (no pun intended) of a problem that can and should be corrected with a new sign, new lettering, or otherwise. In most (all?) cases, adding lighting is just a cop-out.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #60 on: May 11, 2021, 01:30:05 PM »

My personal opinion is that, if there's visibility/retroreflectivity issues, that's a sign (no pun intended) of a problem that can and should be corrected with a new sign, new lettering, or otherwise. In most (all?) cases, adding lighting is just a cop-out.

I would agree with you, except the old button copy signs with reflective route shields had the same issue with condensation that were corrected when those same style BGSs had a light assembly. 
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hbelkins

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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #61 on: May 11, 2021, 08:04:53 PM »

there are also reflectivity issues when there's condensation on signs - is this less of an issue on modern sheeting?

Yes.  In Texas, I have noticed several signs that are relatively new that get condensation on them and they are practically illegible.  I specify Texas because part of it may be the reflective material Texas gets from it's vendors, and part maybe more, less or kind of condensation.  I have seen it on not cool days so it's not just a winter/early spring thing either. 

I voted yes to signs because I have noticed problems, like the ones listed, with retroreflective signs.  I agree that installation, maintenance and upkeep are very expensive, but they are helpful.  In a given sate, we aren't talking about a whole lot of signs.  Mostly freeways in urban areas.  Yes, retroreflective signs do have issues, but no where near the issues unlit ground mounted button copy signs had when they had severe age on them.  The missing cat eyes made the signs unreadable.

My sole visit to Texas had me leaving Texarkana before dawn, heading west on I-30. There was a slight frost that morning and some of the signs along I-30 were very hard to read because of it.
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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #62 on: May 12, 2021, 09:29:11 AM »

Arizona actually mounted its lighting fixtures above its overhead signs, not below.
Which other places mount them above? I know Utah still have some mounted above, and Columbus used to do that in some installations before the last signs like that were replaced about 4-5 years ago.

Utah hasn’t put lights on any new signs installed since 2010 or so. Some sections of various Wasatch Front urban freeways do still have above-mounted lights, but good luck finding any that actually work.

Mr_Northside

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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #63 on: May 12, 2021, 11:05:41 AM »

My 2 cents on PA....
I don't know that the PA Turnpike has ever used lighting on overhead signs.  Other than some gantries on Toll-43 that were originally built by PennDOT, I don't know I've ever seen any.
PennDOT in general has been and still is pretty inconsistent (at least from my perspective, they may have guidelines that make perfect sense to them).   There are plenty of overheads that have been around for a while that never had lighting, and still some new gantries going up that still add lights.  (I do think rural vs urban may be a consideration).

Also of note, here in the Pittsburgh area, there are a cluster of signs with the lights overhead instead of underneath, but they are all around the airport, so I think it's safe to say that is the reasoning in that instance (can't vouch for other states - though the one picture above with the I-275 shield does show the airport/airplane icon)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 11:08:55 AM by Mr_Northside »
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Re: Should there be lights on overhead signs?
« Reply #64 on: January 14, 2022, 08:02:55 AM »

I see the reason why these signs have lighting because they are old school signs and they are not retroreflective. So artificial lighting is needed on them. When they are not lit up and when your headlights reflect the sign, they are not as visible because they are not retroreflective... Most signs like those have been replaced by now. Apparently Asheville has the most oldest non-retroreflective signs in the state. NCDOT went on a roll to replace many dated signs that required lighting in like 2010 or 2011 or so, but apparently they missed Asheville...

A contract is already underway to replace these signs with more reflective sheeting, eliminating the need for attached lighting. They are prolly doing it because it just creates light pollution.

When driving on the Knightdale Bypass at night, most of the overhead sign lighting does not even work anymore and the signs are fairly dark because the lighting did not work and the signs haven't been replaced. Only the exit tabs on the signs have been replaced. But I'm sure when a rehabilitation comes, all the signs that have lighting will be removed and will have more reflective ones.

There is many moresigns that will probably be replaced to eliminate light pollution. They are focused on using full-cutoff lighting with high mast lighting and whatnot.
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