By Kate Merrill

NORTHBORO (CBS) – Getting around Northboro is not easy these days. Dozens of street signs have disappeared.

It’s a problem that’s just getting worse.

The head of the Department of Public Works told WBZ at least 100 signs are gone.

WBZ-TV’s Kate Merrill reports

They are the green older ones that are vanishing and it will be a costly project to replace.

Each sign costs $125 dollars each, and that means a cost of over $15,000 for the town.

The federal government says the town must replace them with larger, brighter, red signs.

The new signs are already up in some places, but they’re needed in many more. WBZ-TV stumbled upon many busy roads without signs to tell you which road you’re on.

Residents say the problem is not only bizarre, but a real safety issue.

“Absolutely a nuisance,” said Northboro resident Andrew Delcid. “Because really, we shouldn’t be staring at our GPS’ anyway when we’re driving.”

“There’s a lot missing around the area and it’s frustrating when you’re trying to give somebody directions and they can’t find the street signs that you’re telling them to find,” said resident Chuck Silverman.

Residents said the problem hasn’t affected emergency services, fortunately, as they know their way around town.

New signs aren’t expected to arrive until the end of the summer and will take weeks to replace, officials said.

Comments (71)
  1. eddwal50 says:

    why do the feds care what color the street signs are

    1. McGehee says:

      That’s what I’d like to know.

    2. bryan says:

      This must be part of the Simulus (make work) plan to perform needless tasks and employ people to do unneeded jobs. It is appropriate for MA because it probably also included a few no show jobs too.

    3. Eddie says:

      that’s what I’d like to know

    4. Dorothy Grappo says:

      Because the color of the sign tells you something. Green is ‘directional’.
      Red is a sign you must obey — like a stop sign. Yellow is ‘caution’. etc.

      1. Snad says:

        How do you “obey” a street name”? The signs should remain green since the street name is inherently directional.

      2. BOB USMC says:

        YOU — BACK TO SLEEP!


    5. Sacduc says:

      Why ask feds? It’s people doing this, a group of people that supposidly are doing what YOU told them you WANT

    6. Tonyg101 says:

      The Feds not only care what color the signs are but stick their noses in as to weither the letters are upper or lower case as in New York City. Where the lettering was all upper case the Feds have deemed they should be lower case and wants NYC to change them.

    7. Mike says:

      Government micro-management. Some people gets a power trip on telling other people what to do.

  2. Stephen Rost says:

    They want you to see Red instead of $$$

  3. Stephen Rost says:

    They did this in Egypt.

    Always do’ whenever the civil believe in Freedom…

  4. signalchick says:

    The Feds don’t allow red street name signs anymore. They rewrote their manual 2 years ago that requires them to be green, blue, brown or white.

    1. BOB USMC says:

      Sounds like somebody needs a sex life. I’ve got a bunch of old appliance manauls sitting around. You want them?

  5. Booger McCoy says:

    A year from now you will all look back and reminisce about how lucky you were that this was all you had to worry about.

  6. Sailordude says:

    Maybe the feds want the signs to be a certain color for the color blind, who knows. Maybe it was part of Obama’s stimulus as those were about the only jobs that got created, the stimulus in progress street signs. Anyway, I am going to be so happy to see Obama b’itching on the talk shows the rest of my life rather then as my President after 2012!

    1. CalDre says:

      These new traffic sign regulations were put in place under the Bush Administration. See

  7. NaniB says:

    Disappeared? Like vanished into thin air? There one minute, and gone the next? Good grief, what kind of reporting is this??

    NO! They were stolen by low life criminals.

    And what are we doing about it? With all the eye-in-the-sky technology we have these days, you’d think it would be a no brainer to find the culprits and prosecute them!

    Our country is quickly spinning out of control. Our under class is growing, thanks to drugs, the economy,and the entitlement mentality that is being promulgated in DC. Long term hand outs are like hand cuffs – they enslave the person by killing their work ethic and self esteem.

    Why are we cutting vital services in our cities and states when we have record unemployment and record numbers of our population sucking on the government teatf? We should require everyone who gets a hand-out from the government to perform some work for that hand-out. That might help to create a sense of self worth instead of simply creating a new generation of societal leeches… I want it, I don’t have to work for it, leeches.

    This kind of problem will continue to grow until we get the stones to REALLY deal with it. Find the vandals and prosecute them!

    1. jeff says:

      I agree. Just check out the closest college dormitory and you’ll find half of them on the walls.

    2. Haus says:

      It will cost the city more to prosecute them than to replace the signs – you know that’s right. But, your state doesn’t have the ‘ol electric chair – good old liberals. Maybe, Northboro will give the suspect some food stamps, a Section 8 apartment, and mental therapy.

    3. william bonney says:

      This mentality is the problem. In one paragraph, you lament the entitlement state. In the very next paragraph, you lament cuts to “services.” Services are entitlements. You either look to the government to solve all of our problems, or you don’t. You can’t have it both ways. I, for one, do not want the crack heads and welfare queens doing any government work to “earn” their freebies. Dealing with the government is already a nightmare, and would only be made worse by forcing the deadbeats to pretend like they are doing some actual work. Having “stones” would be making across the board cuts to all government expenditures and eliminating unnecessary spending like the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, and the IRS which could be eliminated with implementation of a no-loopholes flat tax.

      1. jl says:

        You’re afraid of a crack head filling a pot hole, painting over some graffiti, washing police cruisers, washing school buses, etc….? You don’t have them as customer service supervisors or make them Comptrollers. Just simple charge them with tasks that we pay illegals for.

      2. BOB USMC says:

        Why stop there. Get rid of the Department of Energy, the Federal Reserve, all of Obama’s Czars, the list goes on and on.

  8. Tim says:

    If we chop their little grimmy hands off, they wouldn’t be able to steal any more.

    1. BOB USMC says:

      I think it’s hilarious. Bunch of sheep that can’t find their way. LMAO!

  9. Astrile says:

    The story sounds as though it was written in a hurry by a five year old.

    1. Gary says:

      The dumbing down of America displayed in full glory.

  10. Tornadoboy says:

    I think they were just frustrated because they don’t know how to read

  11. Gary says:

    Sorry, but can’t let this one pass, “each sign costs $125 each” – you do know 1 “each” in the sentence will suffice.

    1. Mikey says:

      Clearly you don’t work for the Redundant Department of Redundancy…

    2. shredder says:

      Maybe its 125 dollars pers sign, per person, so 125 times the number of signs in town times the number of people who view the sign. I should work for the gubmint.

  12. Signtopia says:

    $125 each……..that is ridiculous. Having been in the sign business all of my life and for 6 years a sign fabricator for two municipalities, one in Florida and one in Maryland, I can say without question that street name signs do NOT “cost” $125 each. If the price of aluminum has soared as has gold, then there are several other substrate options. Those options include materials that will not warp or bend, and have no recyclable value as aluminum has. The bottom line is that SOMEBODY is ripping off the taxpayers and its not just a few thugs that steal the signs.

    1. Mikey says:

      This. I worked in a sign shop for a north Texas municipality and the street signs we made might have cost half as much as this article states. Sounds like another “no show” union job is included in the costs.

  13. Hank Warren says:

    Useless Fed regulating street signs, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama, vote for Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

    1. BOB USMC says:

      And there’s a d-bag poly tick in Maryland who thinks he’ll stop crime by taxing $1 on each bullet. People who vote for this jerk are morons. This country is full of $ hit. – eating poly tickers who will say anything to get in the door and avoid real work.

      1. rjm2238 says:

        I saw that story. I’d be willing to go the buck, one time, if I get the shot. One shot, one k. No problem, no more.
        Rich in New Mexico.

  14. George Johnson says:

    This is partially because these “low income” thieves don’t feel any pain for doing this. If they paid taxes like everybody else, they would feel the pain just like everybody else. Unless they get caught, this is a win win situation for them. They get the aluminum from the signs, and nobody has any incentive to turn them in, and they don’t feel the pain of paying taxes.
    How much longer as people going to put up with this?? AC’s, signs, man hole covers, cemetery markers, there’s nothing they won’t steal, they’re animals.

    1. BOB USMC says:

      Hey genius. 50% of everyone in the US doesn’t pay their taxes. Get a gun before the POTUS and his minions make it illegal. Protect that street sign. Don’t equate human theives with animals. Animals will only steal to survive. They don’t do it for profit or to be funny. See the current adminstration for examples.

  15. Greg Hormone says:

    …“Because really, we shouldn’t be staring at our GPS’ anyway when we’re driving.”

    My GPS talks. I dont have to stare at it.

    1. Mikey says:

      Maybe theirs is better looking than yours…

  16. Trash says:

    Low lives from Worcester must be moving East. Just another nice town being taken over, too bad.

    1. BOB USMC says:

      There’s low lifes everywhere. Check out a mirror tough guy.

    2. Richwilly says:

      Ya, God forbid any of the lovely, spoiled kids from Nortboro would do such a thing. Elitist .snob

  17. rjm2238 says:

    Most of those old green signs are made out of aluminum. Due to Mr. Obamas second great depression people have become so desperate they have to steal metals to get money as there are NO jobs, no prospects and no hope.
    Also as the worldwide political situation continues to deteriorate like a snowball rolling downhill towards hell based on Mr. Obamas total lack of leadership skills or even effort to get off the golf course and lead, all metals have sharply risen in value as they always do in unstable times. Look at the price of gold, copper, silver, aluminum etc. It has shot up just as it did during Jimmy Carters regime.
    I knew this would be Carters second term, but I almost long for that. At least he caused all the misery and problems through honest ineptitude, this regime is creating crisis after crisis to justify rule by decree, just like his Chavista buddies in Venezuela and other third world, tin pot nations and regimes.
    This is being done, just as Fast and Furious, on purpose and with a purpose. These people are a direct threat to the freedom of our nation and of ourselves and our children and our grandchildren.
    Rich in New Mexico.

  18. Jo Diggs says:

    $125 a piece? Are you kidding me? And we wonder why the economy is in the shape it is. Is the Federal Government still buying $1,000 toilet seats? lol.

  19. Barry Blathberk says:

    I bet if there are 4 or 5 dozen signs missing, they could be reproduced for a few dollars each. Sounds like a college prank. The real crime here is that some politician’s brother is soaking the taxpayers and making a ton of dough.

  20. Dennis says:

    Since when did the Federal Government tell localities what kind of signs to use?

  21. Obama Bin Lyin says:

    A sign of times. Welcome to Obama Nation…Obamanation….abombination.

    1. BOB USMC says:

      Dumbamanation comment

      1. Massimo Deportado says:

        How about WarBomba?

        Or Oilbama?


  22. El Gato says:

    As one who has worked with government specifications I can tell you they have come about through human nature.
    The government want to buy 1000 hammers. So they cut a contract. The manufacturer cheats by using low grade iron and wood. This is not noticed because the person who accepts the hammers has no idea how they should be.The hammers don’t fulfill their purpose, breaking, etc. So now the govenment has to write ridiculous specifications spelling every aspect of the hammer down to a gnat’s eyelash. Now manufacturers have to have and engineer to assure that the parts are made to specification. And that is why you have $100 toilet seats. The manufacturer that makes that toilet seat probably looses money on it.

  23. BOB USMC says:

    Bullhonky. Where did you work?

  24. Malachi says:

    hard to fathom! US GOV demjands new signs and then the old ones get stolen? we are all paying for this….Blame the bloated US GOV who is probably getting huge payoffs from the cpmpanies involved. oh well. blame the politiians again

  25. mmercier says:

    Many in Massachusetts believe that if you do not know where you are going, you should not be here to begin with.

  26. Al Tanglo says:

    If it were stop signs, I’d check behind body shops.

  27. John C says:

    “The federal government says the town must replace them with larger, brighter, red signs.” But what does the State and Local authorities want? Doesn’t’ the Constitution reserve such rights as determining local street sign colors to the States and the People?

    It’s more than ironic that this is happening in Massachusetts one of the most liberal-progressive socialistic states in the union. Socialism always results in state bankruptcy and economic collapse. Stealing street signs for the aluminum (or electrical wiring for the copper) is a symptom of economic depravity and socialistic policies that are economically disastrous.

  28. Warren says:

    I live there and my street sign has been stolen more than 10 times.

    1. rjm2238 says:

      Out here if we don’t like them we just shoot them. Oh yeah, I’m talking about the signs, this time! That explains why we have nice signs, get my drift.
      Rich in New Mexico.

  29. Liberty Signs and Graphics says:

    We sell the engineering grade green reflective street signs for half that price. I guess red is big money like the gov. I wonder what hack gave that job to his or her buddy.

  30. walter12 says:

    Why doesn’t some one catch the thieves and then find out where the signs are going to and why. If you wait long enough and try hard enough, you could catch them. The hell with the feds and the hell with the leftists in Boston. Both groups are insane.

  31. richwilly says:

    I bet a $1000 reward would make these signs show up fast. Of course the reward money would be contigent upon the arrest and conviction of these jerks.

  32. Damn rotten teens!

    True impact journalism. Didn’t even gloss over who has been stealing them or if local police are doing anything. Smooth.

    Gotta hope it was a disgruntled public works employee….

  33. Scooch says:

    Wait, FEDS?….and the Feds demand a certain replacement…and do the Feds provide the new signs also? Because if so, then I guess we can deduce who stole the signs….

  34. Tom says:

    Why is the federal government dictating the color and size of the new signs? Or maybe a better question is why would the town roll over on the issue? What’s next for a town that has no clue about their rights — federal rules on sidewalk width, maximum allowable height of lawn grass? I guess — to be fair — this means every town in the USA will have to spend money they don’t have on street signs that meet federal specs, i.e., larger and in red. I hope the new specs are provided to every community in the US along with a deadline for their installation. Maybe then the average dolt will begin to understand what’s happening to THEIR country.

  35. Eric says:

    THIS IS NOT NEWS! This is pathetic journalism.

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