Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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Michigan's Route Markers: The Clearview Future?

In the late-1990s and early-2000s, a brand-new highway sign typeface, Clearview, was developed and tested heavily in Pennsylvania and Texas to replace the familiar FHWA typeface, in use since the middle of the 20th Century. Purported to give a certain segment of the motoring population with poor eyesight in nighttime driving conditions while using high-beam headlights a slightly longer time to clearly comprehend the signs, the Michigan Department of Transportation began a widespread program to remove existing freeway signage and replace them with brand-new signs with the new typeface in early 2005.

FHWA-Clearview Typeface ComparisonAt first, when only the sign legends (the regular "text" on the signs) was being switched over to the new typeface, some wondered if the cherished FHWA typeface used on highway route markers since before the coming of the Interstate Highway System would also change. In the vast majority of the new guide signage installations, MDOT has been retaining the FHWA typeface for all route markers, so it seems the old font may be around—at least for the route markers—for awhile longer. However, a few route markers have cropped up during 2005 featuring the Clearview typeface along I-69 near Marshall, although these errant markers may be due to contractor error. Some errant I-96 Clearview route markers also showed up soon after along the Jeffries Freeway in Detroit.

Below are representations of existing Interstate, US, State and County route markers in use in Michigan followed by what those same markers may look like using only the Clearview font. Please keep in mind these are simply "artists renderings," if you will, as MDOT has only allowed a scant few Clearview route markers to be erected at present.

Interstate Highway Markers (FHWA Typeface)
Interstate Route Marker - Michigan
Interstate Business Loop Route Marker - Michigan
Interstate Route Marker - Michigan
Interstate Business Spur Route Marker - Michigan
Interstate Highway Markers (Clearview)
x
x
x
x
US Highway Markers (FHWA first, Clearview second)
US Route Marker - Michigan
x
US Route Marker (wide) - Michigan
x
State Highway Markers (FHWA first, Clearview second)
State Route Marker - Michigan
x
State Route Marker - Michigan
x
County Route Markers (FHWA first, Clearview second)
County-Designated Route Marker - Michigan
County-Designated Route Marker - Michigan
County Route Marker - Michigan
County Route Marker - Michigan
Federal Forest Highway & Forest Road Markers (FHWA first, Clearview second)
Forest Highway Route Marker - Michigan
x
Forest Road Route Marker - Michigan
x

 

Acknowledgements:

Every route marker image above was created by Christopher J. Bessert and, therefore, are copyrighted ©2005 Christopher J. Bessert, All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or otherwise use them without permission. However, some acknowledgements and credit are necessary:

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