Discussion:
Clearview deauthorized
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Garrett Wollman
2016-06-30 19:36:09 UTC
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I went to the MUTCD Web site the other day for unrelated reasons, and
I saw the following notice, which I had not previously heard anything
about:

Termination of Interim Approval 5

On January 25, 2016, the FHWA published a notice in the
Federal Register terminating Interim Approval 5, which
permitted the optional use of the Clearview letter style on
positive-contrast highway guide sign legends. All highway
agencies, including those agencies who received the FHWA's
approval to use Clearview under Interim Approval 5, shall use
the FHWA Standard Alphabets for all new and replacement
signs. However, any existing sign that uses Clearview
lettering may remain in place until it reaches the end of its
useful service life. The Interim Approvals page contains
additional information about implementation.

The referenced Federal Register notice (81 FR 4083) states:

Although the research supported only one series of this
lettering style, the Interim Approval was written in a way
that would authorize narrower letter forms, to correspond to
the system of the FHWA Standard Alphabets, in anticipation of
successful future research evaluations. However, subsequent
evaluations showed no benefit to the narrower letter forms and
degraded sign legibility when compared to the corresponding
FHWA Standard Alphabet series.\3\ Additionally, tests of
alternative lettering in negative contrast color orientations
(dark legend on lighter background, such as for regulatory and
warning signs) showed no improvement and significantly
degraded legibility of the sign.\4\

and concludes:

Based on these findings, FHWA does not intend to pursue
further consideration, development, or support of an
alternative letter style. Accordingly, FHWA discontinues
further implementation of an alternative letter style and
terminates and rescinds the Interim Approval for new signing
installations, except as otherwise provided in the MUTCD.

-GAWollman
--
Garrett A. Wollman | What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft
***@bimajority.org| repeated, than the story of a large research program
Opinions not shared by| that impaled itself upon a false central assumption
my employers. | accepted by all practitioners? - S.J. Gould, 1993
Ed-M
2016-07-01 16:22:07 UTC
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THe Mass. Highway Department was wise not to use Clearview. But here in Louisiana, a lot of signs had already been replaced.
H.B. Elkins
2016-07-15 20:11:31 UTC
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Post by Ed-M
THe Mass. Highway Department was wise not to use Clearview. But here in Louisiana, a lot of signs had already been replaced.
No signs that are presently displaying Clearview will have to be replaced just because they use Clearview. They can remain until they would normally be replaced. In addition, any signing plans that were already underway that used Clearview can continue.

I think one issue was the cost of the proprietary Clearview font. It was very expensive, from what I understand. The traditional FHWA font is in the public domain and is free to use.
Ed-M
2016-07-16 18:49:20 UTC
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Thanks, I read that permission for allowing signs to remain in the original note.

Proprietary and very expensive! One of the drawbacks of privatization. I think the FHWA should have developed a clear-view typeface on their own instead. At least the developer can sell Clearview as an ad copy typeface/font.
Post by H.B. Elkins
No signs that are presently displaying Clearview will have to be replaced just because they use Clearview. They can remain until they would normally be replaced. In addition, any signing plans that were already underway that used Clearview can continue.
I think one issue was the cost of the proprietary Clearview font. It was very expensive, from what I understand. The traditional FHWA font is in the public domain and is free to use.
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