I heard many of the new requirements of the 2009 National MUTCD are being eliminated. Is this true?
The requirements for sign types, sizes, colors, and symbols are not being changed. What has changed is the elimination or delay of compliance dates for meeting some of the new standards. As new signs are placed or old ones upgraded, they are still required to meet the provisions of the MUTCD.
In response to concerns and comments regarding the target compliance dates for many of the traffic control devices in the MUTCD, the FHWA has modified, eliminated or extended many of the dates listed in Table I-2 of the 2009 MUTCD. Here are some of the changes that are of importance to local authorities:
Compliance Dates Being Eliminated
- Increase in sign sizes of regulatory and warning signs (2B.03, 2C.04), Street Name sign letter heights on post mounted street signs (2D.43), School Advance Crossing Assembly (7B.11), School Crossing Assembly (7B.12), and Reduced School Speed Limits Ahead sign (7B.16).
- The need to replace regulatory, warning, and street signs to meet the new retroreflectivity standards in Table 2A-3: Minimum Maintained Retroreflectivity Levels by a certain date.
All MUTCD requirements still need to be followed when replacing existing signs or installing new signs.
Compliance Dates Being Extended
- Timing requirements for yellow and red (4D.26), and pedestrian clearance (4E.06) intervals from 12/31/2014 to June 13, 2017.
- Requirement for retroreflective strips on the front and back of crossbucks at passive railroad crossings (8B.03, 8B.04) from January 17, 2011 to coincide with the December 31, 2019 target compliance date for the installation of Yield or Stop signs at the same locations.
- The January 12, 2012 target compliance date that requires agencies to implement an assessment or management method to maintain sign retroreflectivity (2A.08) has been extended to June 13, 2014.
Changes in Standards
- The requirement for an assessment or management method for sign retroreflectivity is required only for regulatory and warning signs. Note that the requirements of Section 2A.07 Retroreflectivity and Illumination requiring signs to be visible both day and night still need to be followed for all signs.
- Historic Street Name Signs that are located on low-speed (30mph or less) roads within established Historic Districts may be allowed, provided they meet the criteria of 36 CFR Part 60.
Many of the other target compliance dates have not changed. These items include the requirements for crashworthy sign supports (2A.19), ONE WAY signs at specific intersections (2B.40), High Visibility Safety Apparel (6E.02), and Uniform of Adult Crossing Guards (7D.04). See the MUTCD for more information. The elimination of a compliance date DOES NOT remove the requirements as set forth in the MUTCD. As each sign is upgraded it must be done in compliance with the latest edition of the MUTCD.
For additional information please refer to the FHWA website.