DC Needs $20 Million Worth of Street Signs

D.C. seems to be plagued by missing, damaged, obscured and even inaccurate street signs.

The signage inadequacies are so severe that the D.C. Department of Transportation has budgeted $20 million over the next five years for new signs.

D.C. has more than 250,000 street signs throughout the city, according to DDOT.

But some major traffic areas, like the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and 9th Street and Scott Circle, are not labeled clearly.

Residents and civic activists say sign problems damage the tourism industry, cause traffic and endanger people.

Terry Lynch, executive director the Downtown Cluster of Congregations, says emergency responders may be delayed, tourists may become lost and visitors may leave D.C. with a bad impression -- all because of signage problems.

On Massachusetts Avenue near the multi-million dollar Walter E. Washington Convention Center, there is not a single sign displaying the street name, Lynch said. 

DDOT says it is taking steps to address the problems.

"All signs are now [electronically] mapped,” DDOT said in a statement. “To allow us to consolidate requests for sign maintenance.”

The department has installed 34,000 new signs this year and intends to close 6,100 service requests, officials said.

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