Photographs of Unique Highway Signs in Colorado — With Complete Sentences?

As Interstate 70 winds through the Rocky Mountains heading west from Denver in Colorado, it experiences drastic changes in elevation — at one point exceeding 11,000 feet above sea level. Combine that with a winter snowstorm and you have a recipe for a trucker’s nightmare.

Photographs of Unique Highway Signs in Colorado — With Complete Sentences?

Last month in December 2020, I arrived in snowy Denver and proceeded west on Interstate 70 towards Utah. As one of the aforementioned snowstorms greeted me as I entered the higher elevations of the interstate, I soon noticed some highway signs I had never seen before.

Photograph ©2020 by Matthew Cohen.

The signs specifically called the attention of truck drivers, but it wasn’t the intended message that I found interesting. It was the way the signs used independent clauses — which can stand as complete sentences if a period is added. Later that week, I saw more signs along the descent towards Denver on the eastbound side of Interstate 70.

Photograph ©2020 by Matthew Cohen.

Photograph ©2020 by Matthew Cohen.

With the stern tone of their messages, as if pointing an invisible lecturing finger at truckers, these signs give one the idea that it is no fun being a truck driver on this highway, especially in the snow and ice.

Photograph ©2020 by Matthew Cohen.

The sign in the above photograph actually does have a complete sentence on it, when it prompts the truckers to ensure their brakes are properly adjusted for this drive.

Photograph ©2020 by Matthew Cohen.

The snowstorm that I encountered was not as bad as it could have been as there was not a lot of snow on the interstate itself. However, there was enough to where there was a severe accident on the shoulder and that traffic had to flow considerably slower to avoid sliding on the inclines. Plenty of truckers heeded the warnings on the signs and pulled off to the side of the road in certain areas. Colorado also has a law that requires commercial vehicles to carry chains on Interstate 70 from September through May. More details can be found in this article by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Summary

In the Appalachian Mountains on the east coast, the only signs that came close to resembling these were the ones pointing to the ramps used for runaway trucks. Interstate 70 had plenty of those signs in addition to the ones in the photographs. I found these signs interesting in that signs like these are uncommon in the United States. With the exceptions of the signs that display electronic messages and the “State Law” signs found on many highways, I had never seen large highway signs display complete sentences or independent clauses. Interstate 70 is a unique highway as a whole, considering the various types of terrain it traverses; as well as having one of the most bizarre endings of any highway in the United States.

All photographs ©2020 by Matthew Cohen.

3 thoughts on “Photographs of Unique Highway Signs in Colorado — With Complete Sentences?”

  1. Mick says:

    Nice pics only snowfall and hill station does not look good such kind of place also important

  2. Thomas Potter says:

    There are signs on interstate 80 for truckers coming out of Reno heading toward Sacramento that state, “LET HER DRIFT” meaning basically that they are allowed to use both lanes as they descend.

  3. mallthus says:

    Despite the seriousness of the grades on I-70 and the serious tone of these signs, regular drivers on this highway generally suck. It’s incredibly frustrating to be stuck behind someone on a downhill stretch that fails to understand what downshifting is, as they speed up past the speed limit, panic at their speed, slam on their brakes, then slow down to well below the speed limit. Then on the uphill stretches, these same people, driving along in the left lane carrying 10 mph above the speed limit at the base of the grade, slow down and then slow some more, so that by the time I pass them on the right halfway up, they’re going 15 mph below the speed limit. It’s enough to make me want a train horn.

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