Tulsa's new LED traffic signs

Monday, October 10th 2005, 2:17 pm
By: News On 6

There's a new direction in Tulsa's city street signs. The new signs have lights built it - so they're brighter, but are they better?

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says at the city of Tulsa's traffic sign repair shop, a transition has started from mechanical signs to modern signs that light up when needed.

Mechanical signs are a necessary headache - used in places where they need to disappear for part of the day, but they can break down - and get stuck open or closed.

The replacement, like one near Carver Middle School, is designed to be maintenance free - though they're so new, no one really knows. Don Roberts with the city of Tulsa: "We'll probably wait, before we sink more money into them."

The city bought several, including a "no left turn" sign deployed at 11th and Harvard. The city says some people complain it's too glitzy, but no one can say it's easy to miss. The new signs are much brighter, but they're also much more expensive. The only way they could save money is over the long term, by either cutting energy usage, or cutting back on maintenance.

The new signs continue a pattern at the city of replacing incandescent lights with LEDs. Hundreds of traffic lights have been replaced over the last two years. At first, many of them failed, but were replaced under a 7 year warranty.

And each time the city replaces rusting poles with new ones, the lights are switched out with new ones - though for now, Tulsa will continue to rely on plain metal signs in places where the sign doesn't need to change.