I recently came across one of Oak Park’s tile stop signs and quickly discovered that they are several scattered throughout the village at the ends of alleys. So what’s the story? The signs were likely installed in the 1930s-40s to remind drivers to stop before exiting alleys. As the village does not have right-of-way in alleys, it would be difficult for regular stop signs to be added at these locations. Most of the tile signs were likely covered in the 1970s, when many of the alleys were paved over. But if you keep your eyes out, you’ll still see them, scattered around the Village.
Oak Park isn’t the only place with tile signs: Ballard, a neighborhood of Seattle, has old street signs in tile on the sidewalks. Have you seen tile signs anywhere?
Sources and Further Reading:
The Wednesday Journal featured an article about the signs in 2005.
My Ballard has compiled a list of their tile street signs. See them here.