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L.A.'s street signs have been at the intersection of time and place
L.A.'s street signs have been at the intersection of time and place

The story of Los Angeles' street signs is hidden safely away on the ninth floor of Caltrans' downtown headquarters: Hand-stenciled wooden two-by-fours like those that originated in the 1890s, their white block lettering set against a dark blue background. The shotgun-style placards first erected in the 1940s. The blade style that surfaced in the '60s. Ten different designs have popped up over the decades on the corner poles and posts marking Los Angeles' 40,000 intersections. And the biggest fan of those 178,000 or so street name signs is John Fisher, who retired two years ago after 39 years as a city Department of Transportation engineer and assistant general...

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