[Federal Register Volume 68, Number 56 (Monday, March 24, 2003)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 14138-14139]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 03-6920]



Federal Highway Administration

23 CFR Part 655

[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2002-13069]
RIN 2125-AE78

Traffic Control Devices on Federal-Aid and Other Streets and 
Highways; Standards

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The FHWA revises its regulation on traffic control devices on 
Federal-aid and other highways, which prescribes procedures for 
obtaining basic uniformity of traffic control devices on all streets 
and highways. This final rule makes some nomenclature changes and 
removes a reference to an outdated regulation.

EFFECTIVE DATE: April 23, 2003.

Transportation Operations, (202) 366-9064; or Mr. Raymond W. Cuprill, 
Office of the Chief Counsel, (202) 366-0791, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 400 Seventh Street, 
SW., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 
p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.


Electronic Access

    Internet user may access comments received by the U.S. DOT Docket 
Facility, Room PL-401, by using the universal resource locator (URL) 
http://dmses.dot.gov. It is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each 
year. Please follow the instructions online for more information and 
    An electronic copy of this document may also be downloaded by using 
a computer, modem and suitable communications software from the 
Government Printing Office's Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 
512-1661. Internet users may also reach the Officer of the Federal 
Register's home page at: http://www.archives.gov and the Government 
Printing Office's Web page at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.


    On October 30, 2002, at 67 FR 66076, the FHWA published a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing revisions to the regulation that 
prescribes procedures for obtaining basic uniformity of traffic control 
devices on all streets and highways. These proposals were to provide 
nomenclature changes and to remove the outdated reference to an 
outdated regulation. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices 
(MUTCD) is approved by the Federal Highway Administration and 
recognized as the national standard for traffic control on all public 
roads. It is incorporated by reference into the Code of Federal 
Regulations at 23 CFR part 655. Due to the reorganization of the FHWA 
and the deletion of 23 CFR 1204.4 by the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is necessary to update 23 CFR 
    The FHWA issued this notice to provide an opportunity for public 
comment on the proposed changes to 23 CFR 655.603. Based on the comment 
received and its own experience, The FHWA is issuing a final rule.

Summary of Comments

    The FHWA received one comment to the docket in response to the 
NPRM. The comment referred to a concern to improve the visual impact of 
certain sign designs within the MUTCD, specifically signs related to 
park and ride, carpooling and commuter buses. Since the comment is 
outside the scope of the NPRM, the FHWA decided to revise the proposals 
contained within the NPRM without change. The comment will be forwarded 
to the FHWA Office of Transportation Operations for further review and 
action, if necessary.

Rulemaking Analysis and Notices

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and U.S. DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    The FHWA has determined that this action is not a significant 
regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 or 
significant within the meaning of U.S. Department of Transportation 
regulatory policies and procedures. The economic impact of this 
rulemaking will be minimal. The actions in this final notice are 
intended to clarify 23 CFR 655.603 in light of the FHWA reorganization 
and to remove the reference to an outdated regulation. The FHWA expects 
that this action will provide clarity at little or no additional 
expense to public agencies or the motoring public. Therefore, a full 
regulatory evaluation is not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354, 
5 U.S.C. 601-612), the FHWA has evaluated the effects of this action on 
small entities. This final rule only updates the authorities of the 
FHWA and referenced documents regarding MUTCD compliance on existing 
highways. Such updates will provide transportation entities with the 
appropriate points of contact regarding the MUTCD. The FHWA hereby 
certifies that this action will not have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This action does not impose unfunded mandates as defined by the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, 109 Stat. 48, 
March 22, 1995). This final rule will not result in the expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year to comply with 
these changes as this action is minor and non-substantive in nature, 
requiring no additional or new expenditures.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    This action has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and 
criteria contained in Executive Order 13132 dated August 4, 1999, and 
the FHWA has determined that this action does not have a substantial 
direct effect or sufficient federalism implications on States that 
would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and local 
governments. The FHWA has also determined that this action will not 
preempt any State law or State regulation or affect the States' ability 
to discharge traditional State governmental functions and does not have 
sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of 
federalism assessment. The final rule is in keeping with the Secretary 
of Transportation's authority under 23 U.S.C. 109(d), 315, and 402(a) 
to promulgate uniform guidelines to promote the safe and efficient use 
of highways.

Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation)

    The FHWA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 13175, 
dated November 6, 2000, and believes that it would not have substantial 
direct effects on one or more Indian tribes; would not

[[Page 14139]]

impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal 
governments; and would not preempt tribal law. Therefore, a tribal 
summary impact statement is not required.

Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    The FHWA has analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13211, 
Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. This is not a significant energy action under 
Executive Order 13211 because it is not a significant regulatory action 
under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant 
adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. 
Therefore, a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211 is 
not required.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, 
Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing 
Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on 
Federal programs and activities apply to this program.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501, et 
seq.), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they 
conduct, sponsor, or require through regulations. The FHWA has 
determined that this action does not contain collection information 
requirements for purposes of the PRA.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This action meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, 
eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

    The FHWA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 13045, 
Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety 
Risks. This is not an economically significant action and does not 
concern an environmental risk to health or safety that may 
disproportionately affect children.

Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    This action will not affect a taking of private property or 
otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, 
Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected 
Property Rights.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The agency has analyzed this action for the purpose of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and has 
determined that it will not have any effect on the quality of the 

Regulation Identification Number

    A regulation identification number (RIN) is assigned to each 
regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. 
The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda 
in April and October of each year. The RIN contained in the heading of 
this document can be used to cross reference this action with the 
Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 23 CFR Part 655

    Design standards, Grant programs--transportation, Highways and 
roads, Incorporation by reference, Signs, Traffic regulations.

    Issued on: March 6, 2003.
Mary E. Peters,
Federal Highway Administrator.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the FHWA amends title 23, Code 
of Federal Regulations, part 655, subpart F as follows:


    1. The authority citation for part 655 continues to read as 

    Authority: 23 U.S.C. 101(a), 104, 109(d), 114(a), 217, 315, and 
402(a); 23 CFR 1.32; and 49 CFR 1.48(b).

Subpart F--[Amended]

    2. Amend Sec.  655.603 by revising paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2) and 
(d)(1) to read as follows:

Sec.  655.603  Standards.

* * * * *
    (b) State of Federal MUTCD.
    (1) Where State or other Federal agency MUTCDs or supplements are 
required, they shall be in substantial conformance with the national 
MUTCD. Changes to the national MUTCD issued by the FHWA shall be 
adopted by the States or other Federal agencies within 2 years of 
issuance. The FHWA Division Administrators shall approve the State 
MUTCDs and supplements that are in substantial conformance with the 
national MUTCD.
    (2) The FHWA Associate Administrator of the Federal Lands Highway 
Program shall approve other Federal land management agencies' MUTCDs 
that are in substantial conformance with the national MUTCD. States and 
other Federal agencies are encouraged to adopt the national MUTCD as 
their official Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
* * * * *
    (d) Compliance--(1) Existing highways. Each State, in cooperation 
with its political subdivisions, and Federal agency shall have a 
program as required by 23 U.S.C. 402(a), which shall include provisions 
for the systematic upgrading of substandard traffic control devices and 
for the installation of needed devices to achieve conformity with the 
[FR Doc. 03-6920 Filed 3-21-03; 8:45 am]