PHILLY STREET SIGNS: Vibrant and diverse

Street signs in Philadelphia are maintained by the Traffic and Street Lighting Unit¬†of the Philadelphia Streets Department, just as NYC’s Department of Transportation does.


The predominant Philly street sign is a hexagon (actually a pair of hexagons with the same sign mounted on both sides of the post) with the main street name in large type and the house numbers in small type. New York City has experimented with house numbers on its street signs, especially in the black and white street signs installed by the Downtown Alliance in the Financial District around 2000. Little-remembered, though, are the house numbers mounted to enamel and metal street signs in downtown Brooklyn in the late 1950s, which were wiped out by the new vinyl signs that took over beginning in 1964.

However, in Philadelphia the Traffic and Street Lighting Unit occasionally lets an older or nonstandard sign stay in place, as in the title card. That sign resembles the vinyl signs in Queens between the 1960s and 1980s, with black type substituted for blue.

It’s altogether fitting that it should do so, since Philly is the nation’s cradle of liberty.


Categorized in: One Shots Out of Town

One Response to PHILLY STREET SIGNS: Vibrant and diverse

  1. steve says:

    I suspect the hexagonal shape of Philly’s street signs is a smoothed rendition of the Pennsylvania Keystone: tuck in sharp angles between the street numbers and name and you have a keystone shape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.