The red street signs along Main Street, put up by ISU and the Town of Normal, are being ordered to come down by The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
Paris Ervin, spokesperson for IDOT, said the red signs violate standards set forth in the Federal Highway Administration’s “Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.”
According to the manual, green should be the standard color used for street name signs.
The color red is only for critical regulatory signs like Stop, Yield, Do Not Enter and Wrong Way, she said.
R.C. McBride, the assistant director of University Marketing and Communications, said the project was approved by the Town Council last summer.
“We continue to work very closely with the Town of Normal on plans for the project,” he said.
“IDOT notified Town of Normal staff of its concerns in April,” McBride said.
After the signs are taken down, many of them will be reused. Some of the signs will be repainted green and put back up, to comply with IDOT policy. There is talk that the new green signs will still be able to have a white Redbird logo.
Other signs will be auctioned off for a scholarship fund, McBride said.
McBride said most of the red signs will be able to stay up.
“In fact, we’ll be adding more at other locations this fall,” he said.
The signs that must come down are the ones at major intersections along Main Street, also called Route 51, which is a state highway.
The streets that intersect with Main Street, where the signs must come down, include Raab, Orlando, Willow, College, Dry Grove and Hovey.
Those are the intersections that have traffic signals, McBride said.
The smaller red street signs along residential streets near ISU campus will be able to stay up.
“The University will be paying for the replacement signs, just as it will be paying for any new red signs to be installed,” McBride said.
No tuition or taxpayer money is being used to pay for the signs, he added.
“The signs are purchased from royalties the University receives from sales of University-branded merchandise,” he said.
Funds like that are often used for advertising or branding-related projects, he added.
McBride said the red street signs were originally his idea. The original street signs were paid for by the Redbird Pride Committee.
“The Redbird Pride Committee is responsible for a number of initiatives to promote pride in the University,” McBride said.
They are also working on the upcoming water tower project featuring the Redbird logo, the Wear Red on Friday campaign, the recent changes to the College Ave. overpass and more, he said.