City council approves road sign standards ordinance

Councilor Sedfrey Cabaluna

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

The Sangguniang Panglungsod of Iloilo City on Tuesday approved an ordinance that would set the standards on road signs, what they should look like, how and where they should be placed, and the way they are maintained, among others.

This new ordinance adopts standards prescribed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in their Road Signs and Pavement Markings Manual, which in turn forms part of the comprehensive Highway Safety Design Standards Manuals, which were released way back in 2012.

The standard design shapes are allocated for the following road rules:

–       Octagon exclusively for the “STOP” sign;

–       Equilateral triangle with one point vertically downward, for the “GIVE WAY” sign;

–       Circle, mainly for regulatory signs, and may sometimes be mounted on a rectangular base either for easy recognition or for additional information;

–       Equilateral triangle, with one point vertically upward, for warning signs;

–       Rectangle usually with long axis horizontal, for directional, service, road work, special purpose, and supplementary plates for, warning signs;

–       Rectangle usually with long axis vertical, for facility information, instruction signs, guide signs and destinations of point of interest; and

–       Pentagon with point up, for pedestrian and school crossing signs.

Meanwhile, the ordinance also provides standards for the use of colors, including:

–       Red, as background for “STOP” signs or as border color on “GIVE WAY” signs,

–       Black, as legend color for signs having white, yellow, orange, fluorescent yellow-green background, and as chevron for hazard markers;

–       Yellow, as background color for roadwork signs;

–       White, as background color for most signs, and legends for some colored background;

–       Fluorescent yellow-green, as background color for signs related to pedestrian movement, school zones, and road work hazard markers to give additional emphasis and guidance to vehicle operators;

–       Fluorescent orange, as background color for roadwork signs whose legends relate to personnel working;

–       Green, as background color for direction signs;

–       Blue, as background color for service signs; and

–       Brown, as background color for all tourist facility directional and information signs.

Other important provisions in the ordinance, among others, include:

–       Prior approval of placement of road signages by the DPWH (for national roads), or by the Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) and the City Engineering Office (for local roads);

–       Prohibition against any advertising or commercial messages in road signages, expect in local roads where brand sponsorship is allowed, subject to regulation by the PSTMO;

–       Requirement of placement of signages of detours, temporary routes, and road openings, prior to actual roadworks;

–       Placement of signs on the right side of the road, with several standards on distance from curbsides or hazardous areas; and

–       Reflectorization and illumination of signs, particularly for those which are needed to be illuminated in darker road areas.

The ordinance will be implemented by PSTMO, and its monitoring and other activities will be overseen by the Road Signage Monitoring Council (RSMC), which is headed by the mayor.

The ordinance’s proponent, Councilor Sedfrey Cabaluna, cited their committee hearing where police officers attributed road collisions to lack of proper signages, as well as his own experience going around the city.

“There were a lot of collisions where the car owners were fighting over whose fault it was [and] who had right of way, claiming they were right. It was here that [police officers] pointed out that it was really road signs and proper information dissemination. This [ordinance] is one of the steps we will do to address these concerns,” Cabaluna said.

“When we were moving around the city, these are the usual complaints, saying that they didn’t see the ‘Turn Left’ sign. Those signs need to be on the right side of the road and whenever I pass by, they are on the left. The standard is that it should be on the right side because we are using the right-hand drive,” he explained further.

Cabaluna assured the public that as the transportation committee chairperson, being a member of the RSMC, they will actively monitor the implementation of the said ordinance.

“One of the reasons why we included [the RSMC in the ordinance], is because we at least want to get involved in the monitoring. I think more than the implementation is the consistency thereof, where we start things but we fade out somewhere down the line,” he said.

The councilor said that this is only one of the transportation-related concerns that the city council is planning to tackle down the line.