The New York City Department of Transportation said the signs, which feature street names in all capital letters, will be replaced with signs featuring both capital and lower-case letters and they will be printed in a font called Clearview, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.
The Federal Highway Administration said the new sign standards improve safety because they allow drivers to identify words more quickly, allowing them to swiftly bring their eyes back to the road.
The Transportation Department said it expects to have 11,000 of its 250,000 street signs replaced by the end of the year. Officials said the task should be fully completed by 2018.
DOT spokesman Seth Solomonow said additional costs to the city would be "marginal" because it receives state funding for routine repairs and that given a street sign's typical lifespan of a decade, the signs would have been replaced anyway.