What are the proper pavement markings in advance of a Railroad Crossing?
For an approach speed of 45 mph, NYSDOT Standard Sheet No. 685-01, sheet 4 of 5, Note R1, has the RR crossing pavement symbol placed 180 feet in advance of the nearest rail. However, Figure 8B-6 of the National MUTCD notes that "a portion of the pavement marking symbol should be directly opposite the Advance Warning Sign (W10-1)." Using the Advance Posting Distance Table from the NYS Supplement to the National MUTCD (NY2C-4) with 45 MPH to 0 MPH, the W10-1 sign (and therefore the pavement marking symbol) should be placed 360 feet in advance of the stop line for the crossing.
Which should be followed?
For a 45 mph approach speed, you should follow the National MUTCD's Figure 8B-6, with the distances taken from the NYS Supplement to the National MUTCD, Table NY2C-4. Place the advance warning sign 375' (15' + 360') in advance of the nearest rail.
The 180 feet would be close to the correct distance using the National MUTCD Table 2C-4. The actual distance from the closest rail would be 190 feet using the National MUTCD values (15 feet from the rail to the stop line and 175 feet from the stop line to the W10-1, according to Table 2C-4. The National MUTCD allows the markings to be moved such that the W10-1 sign is placed at the prescribed distance and the markings moved as needed as long as a portion of the marking is opposite the sign location. Additional markings may be added as needed. If the markings started at 180 feet from the closest rail and the W10-1 sign is at 190 feet, the specifications in figure 8B-6 in the National MUTCD are met.
However, the advance distance to the W10-1 sign is 360 feet based upon the NYS Supplement. Table NY2C-4. NYSDOT added in the sign legibility distance not included in the National MUTCD and this is why the advance distance at 360 feet. This would put the markings at least 310 feet from the stop line (and 325 feet from the closest rail) assuming the W10-1 is at the very beginning of the pavement marking
We checked with NYSDOT and the Standard Sheet is incorrect. It was created before the updated Table NY2C-4 was finalized. NYSDOT will be reviewing all of the Standard Sheets for conflicts. Until they are updated, follow the distances in the NYS Supplement to the National MUTCD.