Although they took no formal action, members of the Sarasota County Traffic Advisory Council Monday agreed larger speed limit signs, especially on roads with faster-flowing traffic, would be an improvement.
The next step is for the county’s executive director of public works to decide whether the change is feasible.
Chris Hauber, an engineer in the county’s Mobility/Traffic Engineering Office, told the five council members that county policy calls for speed limit signs measuring 24 inches by 30 inches.
“We almost entirely install 24 by 30,” Hauber said.
However, studies had shown that the faster a vehicle is traveling, the farther away a speed limit sign should be visible so a driver can react appropriately, Hauber said.
Hauber suggested on county roads with speed limits greater than 45 mph, the county could install signs measuring either 36 inches by 48 inches or 30 inches by 36 inches. At present, signs that large are used only on county roads with speed limits of 50 or 55 mph.
On any road with a speed limit of 45 mph, the council agreed the county should have the option of using signs measuring 30 inches by 36 inches.
“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve really gotten to appreciate the bigger signs,” council member Frank Domingo said.
The drawback, however, he said, is that if a person becomes accustomed to seeing larger signs in one area and travels to another place where the signs generally are smaller, the person may miss those signs more easily.
Council member Joseph Glickman agreed larger signs are a good idea. He added the sooner the county could make the changes, the better.