WASHINGTON — An engineering research panel signed off May 5 on a new polycarbonate stop sign, saying that it reflects light better than traditional signs but has reduced legibility at night.
The sign's manufacturer, Allsign Products Inc. of Coral Springs, Fla., said the review from a unit of the Civil Engineering Research Foundation means the company will be able to step up marketing efforts and begin commercial production later this year.
The review from CERF's Highway Innovative Technology Evaluation Center found that the sign meets or exceeds all performance requirements, said Peter Kissinger, HITEC director. CERF is affiliated with the Washington-based American Society of Civil Engineers and evaluates but does not certify products.
``An honest reading of our report would say the sign performed very well,'' Kissinger said.
The report said the sign ``appeared to have lower internal contrast and legibility than other stop signs,'' but ``given that the design criterion for a stop sign is target value or conspicuity, user preference, internal contrast and legibility may not have much importance.''
Removing graffiti also is easier than with traditional signs, Kissinger said.
The Federal Highway Administration said last year that the sign met its standards, but states and local governments may want more tests, said Rich Mazur, Allsign product manager. Allsign is developing the sign with Hallmark Technologies of Windsor, Ontario, with technical support from Bayer Corp. of Pittsburgh.