Pavement marking legends are placed on the roadway to remind drivers of the speed limit or to slow down. Use of wording on the pavement surface is more dramatic than use of signing only, which can get lost in the clutter of a streetscape. On-pavement speed limit markings have been used to reinforce speed limits or to indicate a transition zone.
For more on this topic by these authors, see also "Evaluation of Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs on Curves: A National Demonstration Project": http://www.trb.org/main/blurbs/172092.aspx
Iowa Department of Transportation; Federal Highway Administration
Hallmark, Shauna L. and Hawkins, Neal R., "On-Pavement Signing" (2014). Tech Transfer Summaries. 70.