[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 240 (Wednesday, December 16, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 66729-66863]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-28322]



[[Page 66729]]

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Part II





Department of Transportation





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Federal Highway Administration



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23 CFR Part 655



National Standards for Traffic Control Devices; the Manual on Uniform 
Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways; Revision; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 74 , No. 240 / Wednesday, December 16, 2009 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 66730]]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

23 CFR Part 655

[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2007-28977]
RIN 2125-AF22


National Standards for Traffic Control Devices; the Manual on 
Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways; Revision

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and 
Highways (MUTCD) (also referred to as ``the Manual'') is incorporated 
by reference within our regulations, approved by the Federal Highway 
Administration, and recognized as the national standard for traffic 
control devices used on all public roads. The purpose of this final 
rule is to revise standards, guidance, options, and supporting 
information relating to the traffic control devices in all parts of the 
MUTCD to expedite traffic, promote uniformity, improve safety, and 
incorporate technology advances in traffic control device application. 
The MUTCD, with these changes incorporated, is being designated as the 
2009 Edition of the MUTCD.

DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective January 15, 2010. 
The incorporation by reference of the publication listed in this 
regulation is approved by the Director of the Office of the Federal 
Register as of January 15, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Hari Kalla, Office of 
Transportation Operations, (202) 366-5915; or Mr. Raymond Cuprill, 
Office of the Chief Counsel, (202) 366-0791, Federal Highway 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20590. Office 
hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    This document, the notice of proposed amendments (NPA), and all 
comments received may be viewed online through the Federal eRulemaking 
portal at: http://www.regulations.gov. Electronic submission and 
retrieval help and guidelines are available under the help section of 
the Web site. It is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. 
Please follow the instructions. An electronic copy of this document may 
also be downloaded from the Office 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.

Background

    On January 2, 2008, at 73 FR 268, the FHWA published an NPA 
proposing revisions to the MUTCD. Those changes were proposed to be 
designated as the next edition of the MUTCD. Interested persons were 
invited to submit comments to FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2007-28977. Based on 
the comments received and its own experience, the FHWA is issuing a 
final rule and is designating the MUTCD, with these changes 
incorporated, as the 2009 Edition of the MUTCD.
    The text of the 2009 Edition of the MUTCD, with these final rule 
changes incorporated, and documents showing the adopted changes from 
the 2003 Edition, are available for inspection and copying, as 
prescribed in 49 CFR part 7, at the FHWA Office of Transportation 
Operations (HOTO-1), 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. 
Furthermore, the text of the 2009 Edition of the MUTCD, with these 
final rule changes incorporated, and documents showing the adopted 
changes from the 2003 Edition, are available on the FHWA's MUTCD 
Internet site http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov. The previous version of the 
MUTCD, the 2003 MUTCD with Revisions 1 and 2 incorporated, is also 
available on this Internet site. The 2009 Edition supersedes all 
previous editions and revisions of the MUTCD.

Summary of Comments

    The FHWA received 1,841 letters submitted to the docket, containing 
over 15,000 individual comments on the MUTCD in general or on one or 
more parts, chapters, sections, or paragraphs contained in the MUTCD. 
The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD), 
State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), city and county government 
agencies, Federal government agencies, consulting firms, private 
industry, associations, other organizations, and individual private 
citizens submitted comments. The FHWA has reviewed and analyzed all of 
the comments received. The NCUTCD comments included support for all 
items in the NPA except as otherwise indicated. The significant 
comments and summaries of the FHWA's analyses and determinations are 
discussed below. General comments and significant global changes 
throughout the MUTCD are discussed first, followed by discussion of 
significant comments and adopted changes in each of the individual 
Parts of the MUTCD. All of the items discussed below were proposed in 
the NPA unless otherwise indicated.

Discussion of General Amendments to the MUTCD

    1. The FHWA received several general comments from State DOTs, 
local agencies, associations, and citizens regarding the NPA. Two local 
agencies, a traffic control device vendor, an association, and two 
citizens expressed general support for the changes in the MUTCD, such 
as incorporating into the MUTCD recommendations of the Older Driver 
Handbook, the Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs, and new 
technologies. In addition to the overall general comments, some of the 
commenters had specific comments that relate to the entire MUTCD. Those 
topics that the FHWA considers to be substantive and non-editorial in 
nature are discussed in the following items within this section.
    2. The NCUTCD submitted a letter suggesting that the FHWA issue a 
supplemental notice of proposed amendments (SNPA). Fourteen State DOTs, 
AASHTO, and the Chair of the NCUTCD submitted duplicate copies of the 
NCUTCD's letter in support of an SNPA. In addition, three State DOTs, a 
county DOT, an NCUTCD member, and a traffic engineering consultant also 
stated support for the NCUTCD's letter. The NCUTCD's letter included 
the following statements in support of an SNPA:
    1. The NPA did not include a quantified assessment of the economic 
impacts of the proposed changes on public agencies and the private 
sector.
    2. More details are needed regarding some of the proposed changes 
and some of the proposed changes need to be reorganized or reformatted.
    3. The extent of the proposed changes and the number of expected 
comments is such that the final rule would be significantly different 
from the NPA version, and would therefore constitute a new document 
which should be reviewed as an SNPA prior to becoming a final rule.
    4. Because of the interconnectivity between the language in the 
various sections, chapters, and parts, a change in one section might 
have impacts on multiple other sections. Therefore, an SNPA is needed 
in order to have the opportunity to review additional changes resulting 
from responses to comments to assess whether they are consistent with 
each other.

[[Page 66731]]

    5. There is precedent for issuing multiple proposed rules for 
changes to the MUTCD.
    6. It is essential that the FHWA provide an opportunity to review 
the FHWA responses to the docket so that implementation and liability 
changes can be identified, assessed, and discussed before a final rule 
is published.
    7. An SNPA is needed to assess the FHWA response to comments and 
evaluate the level of engineering flexibility that will be provided in 
the next edition of the MUTCD.
    Five State DOTs, a local agency, nine toll road operators, a major 
retail business owner, and a traffic engineering consultant also 
expressed general support for an SNPA.
    Two bicycle associations, a traffic engineering consultant, and a 
citizen disagreed with the need for an SNPA and requested that FHWA 
publish a final rule. The two bicycle associations suggested that if an 
SNPA were to be published instead of a final rule, the FHWA should 
issue Interim Approvals for all new devices and applications in Part 9 
so that public agencies can begin installing them to improve conditions 
for bicyclists.
    The FHWA carefully reviewed and considered the concerns both for 
and against issuing an SNPA and decided that an SNPA is not necessary 
or appropriate. The FHWA determined that the seven specific statements 
cited by the NCUTCD in support of an SNPA do not justify delaying the 
finalization of a new edition of the MUTCD that will significantly 
improve the safety and efficiency of highway travel. Additionally, in 
making decisions in the final rule regarding the various technical 
issues cited in the letters from the NCUTCD and others who requested an 
SNPA, the FHWA has taken into consideration the concerns expressed. To 
address the concerns, in most cases the FHWA has revised certain 
provisions to make them less restrictive or has deleted from the final 
rule certain provisions that were proposed in the NPA, has reorganized 
and reformatted material to clarify it, and has eliminated specific 
target compliance dates or established long compliance periods 
consistent with service lives of the devices. In most cases the new 
provisions apply only to new installations or reconstructions of 
devices, and the provisions for systematic upgrading cited in Section 
655.603(d)(1) of title 23, Code of Federal Regulations \1\ allow 
existing noncompliant devices in good condition to remain in place 
until the end of their service lives, thus minimizing any impacts of 
new requirements on State or local highway agencies and owners of 
private roads open to public travel.
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    \1\ The Code of Federal Regulations can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/CFR/.
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    3. The FHWA received comments from three local agency DOTs, an 
association of counties, and a citizen suggesting that there are too 
many proposed changes to the MUTCD and that many of the changes are too 
complex. The FHWA believes that continuously updating the MUTCD is 
necessary in order to incorporate advances in technology, new research 
results, and state of the practice in traffic control devices. Since 
the MUTCD's purpose is to improve safety and efficiency, the MUTCD must 
be revised to remain current with these new technologies and 
applications.
    4. A State DOT, 10 local agency DOTs, an association representing 
local DOTs, and a traffic engineering consultant expressed concern that 
there were too many new STANDARD statements (or GUIDANCE statements 
elevated to STANDARD statements) in the proposed revisions, and that 
the large number of changes places an undue financial burden on 
agencies. The FHWA believes that the changes to the MUTCD will provide 
improved uniformity in traffic control device applications across the 
country, thereby increasing safety, and that the additional Standards 
will not result in undue financial burden on agencies. As discussed 
under Amendments to the MUTCD Introduction, in the vast majority of 
cases existing devices in good condition that are not in compliance 
with new standards can remain in place for the remainder of their 
service life, thus minimizing any impacts of new requirements on State 
or local highway agencies and owners of private roads open to public 
travel.
    5. The FHWA received comments from a State DOT and three city DOTs 
opposing the scope of the changes within the MUTCD and suggesting that 
many of the changes are more appropriate for a handbook, rather than 
the MUTCD. Several of the commenters expressed concern that the MUTCD 
was becoming more prescriptive in nature, thus limiting creativity, 
flexibility, and judgment. The FHWA believes that the widespread use of 
the MUTCD by State and local agencies and design professionals, and its 
importance as a Federal regulation for traffic control devices 
justifies the level of detail incorporated in the MUTCD. Further, the 
FHWA believes that sufficient justification has been provided for any 
new standards and that ample latitude for flexibility and judgment is 
provided in the application of Guidance and Options in the MUTCD.
    6. The FHWA adopts a new cover page for this edition of the MUTCD 
that maintains general consistency with covers of previous editions, 
but with changes to give it a distinctive appearance to minimize the 
possibility of confusion by users. The date of this edition, which is 
identified on the cover and elsewhere within the document, is the year 
in which the final rule is issued.
    7. The FHWA includes paragraph numbers in the margins for each 
paragraph of each section for the final page images of this edition of 
the MUTCD. The FHWA includes these paragraph numbers in order to aid 
practitioners in referencing the MUTCD, as well as to assist readers of 
future MUTCD notices of proposed amendments. The FHWA posted sample 
pages on its MUTCD Web site showing four possible methods for paragraph 
numbering and as part of the NPA asked interested persons to review the 
sample pages and provide comments to the docket on the paragraph 
numbering options. Based on comments, the FHWA numbers the paragraphs 
in the manner that was shown as Alternative 3, with dark 
numerals outside the margin, and in a font that is easy to read without 
being distracting.
    8. The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and a citizen provided comments 
regarding the format of MUTCD pages, print style, numbering of 
sections, etc. Based on a comment from the NCUTCD, the FHWA changes the 
font of GUIDANCE statements to italics to distinguish them from OPTION 
and SUPPORT statements. As part of this change, the FHWA eliminates 
italics from the titles of figures and tables.
    9. The FHWA received several comments regarding the use of metric 
units in the MUTCD. The NCUTCD, six State DOTs, ATSSA, an NCUTCD 
member, and two traffic engineering consultants suggested that the 
metric units be removed in their entirety or that the English units 
precede the metric units, and a traffic engineering consultant 
suggested that the MUTCD continue to be issued with both systems of 
measurement. Because metric units are not currently used in the U.S. 
for traffic control device applications, the FHWA determines that only 
English units are to be used in the MUTCD text, figures, and tables and 
places metric

[[Page 66732]]

equivalent values for all English unit values used in the MUTCD in a 
new Appendix A2 in this final rule. This preserves the soft conversions 
of the English to metric values in the MUTCD while also providing a 
document that is less cumbersome to read and apply. This change is 
consistent with an Informational Memorandum from FHWA's Executive 
Director, dated November 25, 2008,\2\ stating that use of metric 
measurements will now be optional in all FHWA documents, including 
letters, memoranda, publications, reports, and information on FHWA Web 
sites.
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    \2\ Informational Memorandum, ``Update on Metric Use 
Requirements for FHWA Documents,'' by Jeffrey Paniati, dated 
November 25, 2008, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/contracts/1108metr.cfm.
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    10. Throughout the MUTCD, the FHWA incorporates minor changes in 
text, figures, and tables for grammatical or style consistency, to 
improve consistency with related text or figures, to improve clarity, 
or to correct minor errors. Where the FHWA adds a new chapter within a 
part of the MUTCD, a new section within a chapter of the MUTCD, or a 
new item within a listing, the chapters or sections or items that 
follow the addition are renumbered or relettered accordingly. All 
Tables of Contents, Lists of Figures, Lists of Tables, and page headers 
and footers are revised as appropriate to reflect the changes.
    11. The FHWA modifies figures and tables to reflect changes in the 
text and adds figures and tables to illustrate new or revised text.
    12. In various sections of the Manual, the FHWA relocates 
statements or paragraphs in order to place subject material together in 
logical order, to provide continuity, or to improve flow. In addition, 
the FHWA changes the titles of some sections, figures, and tables in 
order to more accurately describe the content.
    13. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA removes the phrase 
``reasonably safe'' throughout the Manual because it cannot be easily 
defined, and as a result it is open to too much subjective 
interpretation. The FHWA received a comment from a local DOT opposed to 
this revision, stating that there are some circumstances in the MUTCD 
where the phrase ``reasonably safe'' reflects real-world conditions, 
and that removing the phrase could pose a liability problem to State 
and local agencies in civil litigation. The FHWA disagrees because of 
the subjectivity of the term and for each occurrence of the term either 
eliminates or replaces the term with suitable language that is more 
appropriate.
    14. The FHWA changes the references to the book previously titled 
``Standard Highway Signs'' to refer to the current title, ``Standard 
Highway Signs and Markings.'' This reflects FHWA's change of the title 
of that book to more accurately reflect its content, which includes 
information regarding pavement markings. The FHWA received a comment 
from ATSSA in support of this change. The FHWA also resolves the 
inaccuracies between the sign illustrations in the MUTCD and the 
``Standard Highway Signs and Markings'' (SHSM) book to the extent 
practical in the MUTCD figures.
    15. The FHWA conducted a comprehensive review of all of the sign 
codes used throughout the Manual, and revises sign codes in several 
places in order to provide more consistency and clarity. As part of 
this process, the FHWA revises the term ``sign code'' to ``sign 
designation'' to avoid confusion with other uses of the word ``code.'' 
The FHWA received a comment from ATSSA in support of this change. A 
State DOT opposed sign nomenclature changes, stating that these changes 
could be complex for agencies that catalog sign inventory databases 
based on the nomenclature. The FHWA understands the issues related to 
inventory databases but determines that the nomenclature changes are 
necessary for consistency. The FHWA received a comment from ATSSA 
suggesting that the suffix ``w'' be used for word message signs to 
avoid confusion with the ``a'' suffix being used for abbreviations in 
the route marker series (such as M4-1a and M4-7a). The FHWA disagrees 
and uses the ``a'' suffix in sign designations for word message signs 
that are alternatives to symbol signs, as presented in the NPA. The 
FHWA uses the ``P'' suffix for designations for plaques to clarify that 
these devices must accompany a sign and cannot be used alone. ATSSA 
supported this change. Also, based on a comment from a citizen, the 
FHWA adds a column to the sign size tables in Parts 6 and 9 to cite the 
applicable MUTCD Section for each sign so that MUTCD users can review 
the pertinent information for each sign. The sign size tables for other 
Parts of the MUTCD already have this column.
    16. Based on a comment from the NCUTCD that a single location 
should be provided where all definitions can be found, the FHWA places 
all definitions in Part 1 by relocating to Section 1A.13 all 
definitions that were previously contained or repeated in the MUTCD 
Introduction and in Parts 2 through 10 of the 2003 MUTCD and in the 
NPA.
    17. The FHWA adds information in the MUTCD regarding toll plaza 
applications, because toll facilities are becoming more common and 
there is a need to provide more consistent use of signs, signals, and 
markings in advance of and at toll plazas, in order to enhance safety 
and convenience for road users. The FHWA adds provisions on toll plaza 
traffic control devices to Parts 2, 3, and 4 that reflect the results 
of research studies on best practices for traffic control strategies at 
toll plazas,\3\ FHWA's policy on toll plaza traffic control devices,\4\ 
and FHWA's report on ``Strategies for Improving Safety at Toll 
Collection Facilities.'' \5\ The NCUTCD and 10 agencies that operate 
toll facilities suggested that the toll road related material be placed 
in a new, separate Part to facilitate the use of this material. The 
FHWA understands that the toll operators would like to have the 
information consolidated into one area, but disagrees with adding a 
separate Part. Instead, the FHWA creates new chapters for toll plazas 
within Parts 2, 3, and 4 and places the new toll-related material in 
those chapters.
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    \3\ ``State of the Practice and Recommendations on Traffic 
Control Strategies at Toll Plazas,'' June 2006, can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/rpt/tcstoll/index.htm.
    \4\ ``Toll Plaza Traffic Control Devices Policy,'' dated 
September 8, 2006, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/policy/tcstollmemo/tcstoll_policy.htm.
    \5\ ``Strategies for Improving Safety at Toll Collection 
Facilities,'' Report number FHWA-IF-08-005, May 2008, can be viewed 
at the following Internet Web site: http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/tolling_pricing/resources/report/toll_summary/index.htm.
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    18. The FHWA expands the provisions regarding preferential lanes 
and adds new provisions regarding managed lanes in various parts of the 
MUTCD to address the increasing complexity and use of these types of 
lanes. Although four agencies that operate toll facilities expressed 
support for the need for increased uniformity in traffic control 
devices on managed lanes for the purposes of improving traffic safety, 
eight agencies (including some of those who also supported the need for 
including toll facilities in the MUTCD) expressed concern that the 
changes will place a financial burden on their agency, and two of these 
agencies felt that the changes were too restrictive and should reflect 
recommendations, rather than requirements. The FHWA understands that 
changes in the MUTCD are often met with financial concerns; however, 
the FHWA believes that the provisions for systematic upgrading

[[Page 66733]]

cited in Section 655.603(d)(1) of title 23, Code of Federal Regulations 
\6\ will enable changes associated with the final rule to be 
accommodated without significant expense. The information on 
preferential and managed lanes is contained primarily in Parts 2 and 3 
and is intended to address specific signing and marking issues 
associated with High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes, variable tolls and 
other operational strategies on managed lanes, etc. To better 
facilitate user understanding, the FHWA creates new chapters for 
preferential and managed lanes in Parts 2 and 3 and places the new and 
existing material on those subjects in those chapters. In addition, as 
proposed in the NPA, the FHWA eliminates some information regarding 
preferential lanes that is too specific for the MUTCD because it deals 
with highway planning and programmatic matters rather than the traffic 
control devices for preferential lanes.
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    \6\ The Code of Federal Regulations can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/CFR/.
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    19. The FHWA received comments from a variety of commenters on 
subject material that was not included in the NPA. In some cases those 
comments pertain to existing subject matter in the 2003 Edition that 
was not proposed for change in the NPA, while in other cases the 
commenters suggest new material for the MUTCD such as new signs or 
different traffic control device applications from those included in 
the 2003 Edition or the NPA. Comments received during the comment 
period that were outside the scope of this rulemaking are neither 
discussed in this preamble nor addressed in the final rule. The FHWA 
appreciates these comments, and might consider some of these ideas for 
potential future rulemaking activities.

Discussion of Amendments Within the Introduction

    20. The FHWA revises paragraph 01 regarding the definition of 
traffic control devices to reflect that traffic control devices on 
private roads open to public travel are placed by authority of the 
private property owner or private official having jurisdiction. A State 
DOT commented that the existing language and that proposed in the NPA 
for this paragraph implied that public agencies have the authority to 
place traffic control devices on private roads open to public travel. 
The FHWA agrees that clarification is needed and revises the text 
accordingly.
    21. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed revisions and additions to the 
text regarding the locations where the MUTCD applies. Two city DOTs, an 
NCUTCD member, three transportation professionals, a traffic control 
device vendor, and two citizens all supported the changes, as proposed 
in the NPA and as currently provided in the CFR, to apply the MUTCD to 
private roads open to public travel. Two State DOTs, a local DOT, and 
an employee of a State DOT opposed applying the MUTCD to private roads, 
mostly because of concerns about enforcement of the provisions. The 
FHWA recognizes that enforcement can only occur when a State includes 
the requirement to comply with MUTCD in State ordinances, local 
building codes, development approvals, site plans, etc., and as a 
result of the potential tort liability to the owners of the private 
roads. The FHWA believes that public agency traffic engineers are not 
expected to enforce this provision for existing conditions on private 
roads open to public travel.
    Two State DOTs and two toll road operators suggested that the 
wording be revised to reflect that toll roads may be operated by 
public, quasi-public, or private entities and that toll roads are gated 
and restricted by tolling. The FHWA agrees and revises the language in 
this final rule and in 23 CFR 655.603(a),\7\ to clarify that, for the 
purpose of applicability of the MUTCD, toll roads under the 
jurisdiction of public agencies or authorities or of public-private 
partnerships are considered to be public facilities, and that ``open to 
public travel'' includes private toll roads and roads within shopping 
centers, airports, sports arenas, and other similar business and/or 
recreation facilities that are privately owned, but where the public is 
allowed to travel without access restrictions. To address the comments 
from two toll road operators, this final rule language further 
clarifies that except for gated toll roads, roads within private gated 
properties where public access is restricted at all times shall not be 
considered to be open to public travel.
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    \7\ The Federal Register Notice for the Final Rule, dated 
December 14, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 240, pages 75111-75115, can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2006_register&docid=fr14de06-6.pdf.
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    The FHWA received several comments from a major retail business 
operator suggesting that there are many items in the MUTCD that are not 
easily applicable to parking lots within shopping centers and the 
driving aisles within those parking lots. The FHWA agrees that, while 
MUTCD general principles and standard traffic control device designs 
should be used in parking lots, there are some MUTCD provisions that do 
not easily translate to conditions typically found in parking lots and 
parking garages. The FHWA believes that additional future consideration 
is needed to determine appropriate and feasible standards and guidance 
for the application of traffic control devices in parking lots. 
Therefore, the FHWA exempts parking spaces and driving aisles in 
parking lots, both privately and publicly owned, from MUTCD 
applicability in this final rule. The MUTCD continues to be applicable 
to ring roads, roads providing access to or egress from public roads, 
and circulation roads on private property open to public travel. 
Accordingly, throughout the MUTCD, where the term ``private property 
open to public travel'' was used in the NPA, the FHWA clarifies the 
term to be ``private road open to public travel'' and provides a 
precise definition of that term in Section 1A.13 in this final rule. 
The FHWA also incorporates these changes into 23 CFR 655.603(a).
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA also modifies the wording of 23 
CFR 655.603(a) to remove the exemption from MUTCD applicability for 
military bases, based on a request from the Military Surface Deployment 
and Distribution Command to include military bases, in order to 
facilitate road user safety through conformity and consistency with 
national standards.
    22. The FHWA adds SUPPORT paragraph 05 to clarify that pictographs 
embedded within signs are not in themselves considered traffic control 
devices and thus the pictographs are not subject to the provisions in 
paragraph 04 that prohibit patented, copyrighted, or trademarked items. 
This clarification is necessary to address frequent questions from 
users of the MUTCD on this subject.
    23. In concert with the change to show dimensions throughout the 
MUTCD in only English units, the FHWA revises the text in paragraphs 13 
and 14 to provide a reference to new Appendix A2 for tables converting 
each of the English unit numerical values to the equivalent Metric 
values and to recommend that if metric units are to be used in laying 
out distances or determining sizes of devices, such units should be 
specified on plan drawings and made known to those responsible for 
designing, installing, or maintaining traffic control devices.
    24. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to revise the paragraph regarding 
adoption of MUTCD revisions by the States or other Federal agencies, 
substantial conformance of State or

[[Page 66734]]

other Federal agency MUTCDs or Supplements, and compliance periods for 
new and existing devices to reflect the requirements of the Code of 
Federal Regulations applicable to the MUTCD that have been in effect 
since 2006.\8\ In this final rule, the FHWA further revises the text to 
make it clearer and more easily understood by users. The FHWA divides 
the single paragraph into several separate paragraphs containing 
applicable text on certain subjects that are presented in a more 
logical sequence. New text consistent with the CFR is added regarding 
compliance of new or reconstructed devices, and Option and Support text 
regarding replacement of existing noncompliant devices is revised for 
clarity and relocated from the end of the MUTCD Introduction to follow 
other related text.
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    \8\ The Federal Register Notice for the Final Rule, dated 
December 14, 2006, Vol. 71, No. 240, pages 75111-75115, can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2006_register&docid=fr14de06-6.pdf.
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    25. In the NPA, the FHWA asked for comments regarding the 
possibility of incorporating the phase-in target compliance periods 
into the body of the MUTCD text throughout the applicable parts and 
sections in this Final Rule. The FHWA considered this change because 
the list of target compliance periods is lengthy, and it might be more 
convenient and effective for practitioners to have target compliance 
periods embedded in the text, rather than in a different area of the 
Manual. The Minnesota DOT has incorporated the target compliance 
periods into its State MUTCD text, and the FHWA asked whether 
Minnesota's method is preferable to listing all the target compliance 
periods in the MUTCD Introduction. The NCUTCD, ATSSA, a State DOT, a 
toll facility operator, an NCUTCD member, and a traffic control device 
vendor favored placing the compliance periods within the sections to 
which that they pertain. The NCUTCD also suggested that a reference be 
placed in the Introduction to a list of all target compliance dates on 
the MUTCD Web site. The FHWA understands that there are advantages and 
disadvantages to placing the target compliance dates within the text. 
Placing the target compliance dates within the sections to which they 
apply might result in some agencies delaying action to comply with the 
provision until the compliance date approaches. As a result, the FHWA 
continues to provide the target compliance date information in the 
Introduction, and does not embed the dates within the section text. 
However, to consolidate and improve the clarity of this information, 
the FHWA relocates the listing of target compliance dates from the body 
of the MUTCD Introduction to a new Table I-2.
    In new Table I-2, FHWA includes the specific target compliance 
dates for those items whose dates were determined through previous 
rulemaking, now that the effective dates are known, and deletes from 
the listing any items for which the target compliance dates have passed 
by the date of the publication of this final rule.
    The FHWA deletes most of the large number of new target compliance 
dates that were proposed in the NPA. Section 655.603(d)(1) of title 23, 
Code of Federal Regulations, states that for 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 MUTCD.'' Although the FHWA may establish 
specific target compliance dates to achieve compliance with respect to 
specific devices, the systematic upgrade program allows public agencies 
and officials having jurisdiction to upgrade their existing 
noncompliant devices when the devices are no longer serviceable because 
they reach the end of their service life or otherwise need to be 
replaced, or when other events such as highway improvement or 
reconstruction projects occur, thus minimizing any impacts to State or 
local highway agencies and owners of private roads open to public 
travel. Target compliance periods shorter than expected service life 
have generally only been established in unusual cases when a new MUTCD 
requirement is deemed to be so critically important from a safety 
impact standpoint that it justifies earlier replacement of noncompliant 
existing devices. In some cases, the FHWA has adopted target compliance 
dates for certain provisions, such as a requirement to do a study or to 
evaluate the timing of traffic signal clearance intervals, that are not 
directly related to the service life of a device but which the FHWA 
believes can be reasonably accommodated within typical agency 
procedures and practices. The FHWA reviewed all the proposed target 
compliance dates in the NPA in the context of the CFR language, the 
general intents stated above, and the comments received, and the FHWA 
establishes only 12 new target compliance dates in this final rule. 
Each of these new target dates is discussed in detail under the 
appropriate item later in this preamble.
    Additionally, for new target compliance dates, the FHWA establishes 
specific dates (December 31 of a particular year) rather than the 
previous practice of setting target compliance dates as a certain 
number of years from the effective date of the final rule. The FHWA 
believes that specific end of calendar year target compliance dates 
will assist MUTCD users by making the dates clear without the need to 
determine what date a final rule became effective. It should also be 
noted that the target compliance dates define the end of the ``phase-in 
compliance period'' as discussed for various items in the remainder of 
this document.

Discussion of Amendments Within Part 1

    26. In Section 1A.07, Responsibility for Traffic Control Devices, 
the FHWA revises paragraphs 01 and 02 to be consistent with the 
language of 23 CFR 655.603 regarding the applicability of the MUTCD as 
the national standard for all traffic control devices installed on any 
street, highway, bikeway, or private road open to public travel. The 
FHWA adopts language for these paragraphs in this final rule that is 
consistent with terminology regarding private roads as discussed above 
under Introduction to the MUTCD.
    The FHWA received a comment from a citizen opposed to changing 
``bicycle trail'' to ``bikeways'' as proposed in the NPA. However, 
because the MUTCD defines bikeway as the generic term for any road, 
street, or shared-use path that is specifically designated for bicycle 
travel, the FHWA retains the word ``bikeways'' in this final rule.
    The FHWA received three comments from local agencies opposed to 
including the term ``private property'' because of their belief that 
the property owner should be responsible for maintaining traffic 
control devices on private property, not a public agency or other 
entity. As discussed previously, the FHWA revises the term ``private 
property'' to ``private roads.'' To respond to the comments from the 
local agencies, the FHWA modifies the language in this final rule to 
clarify that, in the case of private roads open to public travel, it is 
the property owner or the private official having jurisdiction who is 
responsible for traffic control device design, placement, maintenance, 
operation, and uniformity, consistent with language in the MUTCD 
Introduction.
    The FHWA adds a Support sentence in this final rule about adoption 
of the national MUTCD, supplements, or State

[[Page 66735]]

manuals by all States and a new GUIDANCE paragraph recommending that 
these State manuals or supplements should be reviewed for specific 
provisions relating to that State. The NCUTCD recommended these 
additions and the FHWA agrees that this is necessary to clarify that 
there is a need to review the specific State Manuals for local 
requirements.
    As requested by the U.S. Military Command, and supported by ATSSA, 
the FHWA expands paragraph 07 to add the U.S. Military Command to the 
list of Federal agencies that have adopted the national MUTCD.
    Two State DOTs opposed the proposed change of paragraph 08 to a 
GUIDANCE statement that would recommend that States adopt Section 15-
116 of the Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC) because the adoption of State 
laws is outside of the control of State DOTs and is in the hands of 
elected officials. The FHWA retains and adopts this change in this 
final rule and reiterates that this is GUIDANCE, a statement of 
recommended but not mandatory practice, and as a result the MUTCD is 
merely recommending the adoption of this section of the UVC by the 
States, in accordance with their laws and constitutions.
    27. In Section 1A.08 Authority for Placement of Traffic Control 
Devices, in the NPA the FHWA proposed adding a new SUPPORT statement 
describing certain signs and other devices that do not have any traffic 
control purpose that are placed with the permission of the public 
agency or official having jurisdiction and a new GUIDANCE statement 
that such signs and other devices should not be located where they will 
interfere with or detract from traffic control devices. The FHWA 
proposed this change to clarify that there are some signs and devices 
that are placed within the right-of-way for distinct purposes that are 
not traffic control devices. The FHWA received comments from the 
NCUTCD, five State DOTs, a local agency, a vendor, and an association 
agreeing with the proposed SUPPORT statement. A State DOT, a local DOT, 
and a traffic device vendor suggested that some of the items included 
in the SUPPORT statement, such as markers to guide snowplow operators, 
markers that identify fire hydrant locations, markers that identify 
underground utility locations, and design features such as speed humps 
are indeed traffic control devices and their application should be 
standardized by including them in the MUTCD. The FHWA disagrees with 
adding explicit standards for these devices in the MUTCD, noting that 
States may establish requirements for these devices and design features 
under their adopted policy for use of the public right-of-way. The FHWA 
adopts the SUPPORT statement, as proposed in the NPA but with minor 
editorial changes, in this final rule.
    Based on comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a toll road 
operator, the FHWA changes the proposed GUIDANCE statement to a 
STANDARD statement in this final rule to require, rather than just 
recommend, that such signs and other devices shall not be located where 
they will interfere with or detract from traffic control devices, since 
it is important that traffic control devices not be blocked or 
interfered with. This is also necessary for consistency with other 
provisions in the MUTCD about device placement, such as the 
requirements in Sections 2D.50 and 2H.08 that community wayfinding 
signs and acknowledgement signs shall not be installed in a position 
where they would obscure the road users' view of other traffic control 
devices. Signs and other devices that do not have any traffic control 
purpose that are placed within the highway right-of-way have even less 
importance than community wayfinding and acknowledgement signs.
    28. In Section 1A.09 Engineering Study and Engineering Judgment, 
the FHWA received comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, and two toll 
road operators recommending the removal of the existing STANDARD 
statement stating that the MUTCD shall not be a legal requirement for 
the installation of traffic control devices, because it is a general 
provision for all devices in the Manual that is inconsistent with 
numerous specific requirements elsewhere in the MUTCD that specific 
devices must be installed, and such requirements are ``legal 
requirements.'' The commenters also suggested that this Standard 
statement may not be consistent with the Guidance statement that 
immediately follows it. The FHWA agrees that this STANDARD statement is 
not easily understood by users of the MUTCD outside of the legal 
profession, but this statement has been the subject of important court 
interpretations regarding the applicability of the MUTCD and has legal 
significance beyond its plain meaning. The FHWA believes that, in the 
future, consideration should be given to removing or revising this 
statement, but additional legal study should be undertaken before doing 
so. Therefore, the FHWA decides to retain this STANDARD statement but 
cautions users of the MUTCD to consult with legal counsel before 
attempting to ascertain the meaning of the statement.
    The FHWA did not propose in the NPA a significant change to the 
second paragraph of the GUIDANCE statement as it appears in the 2003 
MUTCD. However, four Kansas counties, the Kansas Association of 
Counties, and an engineer from Kansas suggested revising the language 
that recommends that jurisdictions with responsibility for traffic 
control that do not have engineers on their staffs who are trained and/
or experienced in traffic control devices should seek engineering 
assistance from others. The commenters felt that many applications of 
the MUTCD are straightforward and well illustrated, and engineering 
assistance is not needed. As a result, the commenters felt that the 
language should be revised to recommend engineering assistance only if 
warranted due to the complexity of the situation. The commenters also 
recommended removing language about smaller agencies requesting 
assistance of larger agencies because of liability reasons. The FHWA 
disagrees with these comments and in this final rule adopts the 
revisions to the GUIDANCE statement as proposed in the NPA. However, to 
address the concerns, the FHWA also adds a SUPPORT statement noting 
that, as part of the Federal-aid Program, each State is required to 
have a Local Technology Assistance Program (LTAP) that provides 
technical assistance to local highway agencies and that requisite 
technical training in the application of the principles of the MUTCD 
and, as needed, engineering assistance, is available from the State's 
LTAP.
    The FHWA received a comment suggesting that the first paragraph of 
the GUIDANCE statement in the 2003 MUTCD be revised so that the phrase 
``this Manual should not be considered a substitute for engineering 
judgment'' cannot be used to ignore Standards based on ``engineering 
judgment,'' such as creating new sign symbols. The FHWA agrees that 
this language conflicts with other statements in the Manual regarding 
the intent and strength of Standards and in this final rule revises the 
GUIDANCE statement in Section 1A.09, the definition of the text heading 
``Standard'' in Section 1A.13, and the definitions of engineering 
judgment and engineering study in Section 1A.13, to resolve the 
conflict and to make these statements consistent with each other.
    29. In Section 1A.10 Interpretations, Experimentations, Changes, 
and Interim Approvals, in the NPA the FHWA proposed to revise paragraph 
03 to indicate that electronic submittals of

[[Page 66736]]

requests for interpretation, permission to experiment, interim 
approvals, or changes shall be submitted electronically rather than by 
standard mail, and proposed to include the e-mail address for such 
electronic submittals. As part of this change, the FHWA proposed to add 
an OPTION statement that includes the postal address for mailing of 
requests in the event that the submitter does not have access to e-
mail. The FHWA received comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT and two 
toll road operators recommending that the STANDARD statement be changed 
to GUIDANCE or SUPPORT as this might not be convenient for all 
agencies. The FHWA disagrees with these comments as adequate provision 
for submission by standard mail is provided in the OPTION statement. 
The FHWA is aware that some written requests that are submitted by 
standard mail are lost or damaged in the screening of all postal mail 
that is sent to FHWA headquarters. As a result, e-mail submittals are 
preferred but standard mail submittals are also allowed. The FHWA 
adopts in this final rule the STANDARD and OPTION as proposed in the 
NPA but with minor editorial changes.
    The FHWA in this final rule adopts the proposed change of paragraph 
20, regarding local jurisdictions informing their State DOT of 
locations where they are using devices under an Interim Approval, to a 
GUIDANCE statement (formerly a STANDARD statement in the 2003 MUTCD). 
The FHWA received comments from a State DOT and two toll road operators 
in support of the revision and a comment from another State DOT opposed 
to the revision because of their belief that the local jurisdiction 
should be required, rather than merely recommended, to notify the State 
DOT of locations where a traffic control device or application under an 
interim approval is being used. The FHWA disagrees with this comment as 
not all State DOTs believe that such notifications are needed and 
because State DOTs can require such notification when they adopt the 
MUTCD.
    The FHWA received a comment from a State DOT suggesting that a new 
STANDARD statement as proposed in the NPA be expanded to also require 
that jurisdictions check with their State DOT for official status of an 
Interim Approval in their State before requesting permission from the 
FHWA. The FHWA agrees with the concept and adopts a new GUIDANCE 
paragraph 21 in this final rule about requests for both experimentation 
and interim approvals, which recommends that local agencies be aware of 
any State requirements and policies that might apply to these 
processes.
    30. In Section 1A.11 Relation to Other Publications, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA to add four FHWA publications and a publication by 
the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The FHWA publications 
cover topics such as roundabouts, designing sidewalks and trails for 
access, older drivers, and ramp management and control. The ANSI 
publication discusses high-visibility public safety vests. In addition, 
the FHWA proposed revising the list to reflect current editions of the 
publications and adding Web site addresses to obtain the documents. The 
FHWA adopts these new publications and revisions in this final rule. In 
addition, based on comments from the NCUTCD, a utility commission, and 
an engineering consultant, the FHWA adds several other new publications 
that are useful sources of information. These publications include four 
FHWA documents covering topics in signal timing, signalized 
intersections, railroad-highway grade crossings, and changeable message 
signs and an AASHTO publication on pedestrian facilities.
    31. In Section 1A.12 Color Code, in the NPA the FHWA proposed 
adding to the STANDARD statement the assignment of the color purple to 
indicate facilities or lanes that are allowed to be used only by 
vehicles equipped with electronic toll collection (ETC) devices. ATSSA, 
a State DOT, four toll road operators, a traffic control device vendor, 
and a citizen all supported adding the color purple for signing and 
marking ETC facilities and lanes. A toll road operator in Florida 
stated that their past experience has shown that the color purple fades 
rapidly in Florida and will likely do so in other States with similar 
climates. A toll road operator in Texas questioned whether there were 
any purple materials for signs and markings that would meet Texas DOT 
durability and nighttime standards. The Illinois Tollway expressed a 
similar concern about challenges in design and application to ensure 
that effective color contrast is provided under all circumstances. The 
FHWA disagrees with comments that adequate materials do not exist, 
particularly with the adjustment in color values discussed below, and 
incorporates this change to readily identify such facilities or lanes 
using signs and pavement markings as discussed in the changes in Parts 
2 and 3. As a part of the change, in this final rule the FHWA revises 
the text to reflect the intended general use of the color purple for 
lanes restricted to use only by vehicles with registered electronic 
toll accounts, such as in ETC systems utilizing transponders or video/
license plate recognition systems to identify a vehicle with a 
registered toll account. Where a toll lane or facility is not 
restricted to specific vehicles and any vehicle without a toll account 
can use a toll lane or facility because a license plate recognition 
system sends the vehicle owner a bill for the toll, the use of the 
color purple is inappropriate.
    Color specifications for signing and marking materials are 
contained in title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 655, 
appendix to subpart F, Tables 1 through 6. The FHWA received a comment 
from a signing material manufacturer stating that the proposed values 
for the color coordinates in the NPA were too restrictive. Based on 
retroreflectivity evaluations, the commenter suggested that the daytime 
chromaticity coordinates for the purple colored sign sheeting be 
shifted to a redder shade, and that a new set of chromaticity 
coordinates be generated for a nighttime color that also allows for a 
redder shift and that might be different from the daytime requirements. 
A toll road operator suggested that the color purple designated by the 
chromaticity coordinates is not the same hue as the color their agency 
currently uses. The FHWA has reviewed the color properties of the 
purple signing materials available from a variety of manufacturers and 
adopts daytime and nighttime color coordinates for purple 
retroreflective sign material (Tables 1 and 2) that are slightly 
revised from the values that were proposed in the NPA. The adopted 
daytime color coordinates are based on a large series of measurements 
of various purple materials that are close to or match the Pantone 
color selected by the EZ-Pass consortium. With the minor adjustments as 
adopted, there are sufficient materials that meet the values to provide 
for competition, but without reducing color recognition. The adopted 
nighttime color coordinates are similar to the nighttime coordinates 
for purple pavement markings. The FHWA also adopts daytime and 
nighttime color coordinates and luminance factors for purple 
retroreflective marking material (Tables 5, 5A, and 6) as proposed in 
the NPA. The values for purple in the tables are as indicated below (no 
change in the existing values for luminance factors for purple as 
contained in Table 1A):

[[Page 66737]]



  Table 1--Daytime Chromaticity Coordinates for Purple Retroreflective
                              Sign Material
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 x                                    y
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  0.302                                0.064
                  0.310                                0.210
                  0.380                                0.255
                  0.468                                0.140
------------------------------------------------------------------------


 Table 2--Nighttime Chromaticity Coordinates for Purple Retroreflective
                              Sign Material
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 x                                    y
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  0.355                                0.088
                  0.385                                0.288
                  0.500                                0.350
                  0.635                                0.221
------------------------------------------------------------------------


  Table 5--Daytime Chromaticity Coordinates for Purple Retroreflective
                        Pavement Marking Material
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 x                                    y
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  0.300                                0.064
                  0.309                                0.260
                  0.362                                0.295
                  0.475                                0.144
------------------------------------------------------------------------


 Table 5A--Daytime Luminance Factors for Purple Retroreflective Pavement
                            Marking Material
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Minimum                              Maximum
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      5                                   15
------------------------------------------------------------------------


 Table 6--Nighttime Chromaticity Coordinates for Purple Retroreflective
                        Pavement Marking Material
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 x                                    y
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  0.338                                0.380
                  0.425                                0.365
                  0.470                                0.385
                  0.635                                0.221
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    32. In Section 1A.13 Definitions of Headings, Words and Phrases in 
This Manual, as discussed previously, the FHWA places all definitions 
in Part 1 by relocating to Section 1A.13 all definitions that were 
previously contained or repeated in the MUTCD Introduction and in Parts 
2 through 10. In regard to the definitions of the text headings 
``Standard'' and ``Guidance,'' the FHWA clarifies that the verb ``may'' 
is not used in STANDARD or GUIDANCE statements, based on comments from 
a State DOT. Also based on a State DOT comment, the FHWA further 
clarifies the definition of STANDARD statements by adding that such 
statements shall not be modified or compromised based on engineering 
judgment or engineering studies. This prohibition has always been 
inherent in the meaning of Standards, but the FHWA is aware of cases 
where the lack of explicit text to this effect has resulted in the 
misapplication of engineering judgment or studies. Some agencies 
believed that Standards could be ignored based on engineering judgment 
or an engineering study, which is not the case.
    Additionally, the FHWA revises the definitions for various words 
and phrases to better reflect accepted practice and terminologies and 
for consistency in the usage of these terms in one or more Parts of the 
MUTCD. Except as specifically discussed, there were a few comments of 
an editorial nature regarding some of these definitions that the FHWA 
incorporates in this final rule, as appropriate.
    The FHWA proposed in the NPA to specify that the height of a raised 
pavement marker is not to exceed approximately 1 inch above the road 
surface, rather than specifying a minimum height, in order to clarify 
that tubular markers and other similar devices that might be placed on 
or in the roadway are not raised pavement markers. Based on 
recommendations from the NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and a traffic control 
device manufacturer, the FHWA changes the height requirement of a 
raised pavement marker to not exceed 1 inch for a permanent marker or 2 
inches for a temporary flexible marker and references Part 6 for 
information on temporary flexible markers.
    The FHWA clarifies the definition of ``intersection'' to reflect 
comments from three State DOTs, two city DOTs, and an NCUTCD member 
suggesting that several of the items within the definition were 
confusing and needed clarification. The FHWA also clarifies the 
definition of ``special purpose road'' by deleting the phrase ``or that 
provides local access,'' because the definition in the 2003 MUTCD was 
overly broad. The FHWA received comments from two local DOTs in 
Washington State opposed to the FHWA's proposed clarification that 
neighborhood residential streets are not special-purpose roads and 
signing for such streets should be the same as that for other 
conventional roads. One of those commenters suggested that neighborhood 
residential streets should be treated differently from other 
conventional roads and suggested that there should be two classes of 
conventional roads: High-speed and low-speed. The FHWA disagrees with 
the commenters and retains the definition, as proposed in the NPA in 
Section 2A.01, and notes that neighborhood streets are two-lane 
conventional roads within the definition for ``conventional road.''
    The FHWA also adds definitions for a variety of new terms to the 
list of definitions because they are used in the MUTCD and need to be 
defined. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed using the term ``hybrid 
signal;'' however, based on comments from two State DOTs and three city 
DOTs, the FHWA changes the term ``hybrid signal'' to ``hybrid beacon'' 
throughout the MUTCD to emphasize that it is not intended that 
approaching vehicles stop at a dark beacon face as they are required to 
do at a dark traffic control signal in some States. To address comments 
from the NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and seven agencies that operate toll 
facilities, the FHWA adopts the definition for ``open road tolling 
(ORT),'' rather than ``open road electronic toll collection'' as 
proposed in the NPA, to match current use of the term. To reflect the 
changes discussed previously in the MUTCD Introduction, in this final 
rule the FHWA revises the term ``private property open to public 
travel'' to ``private road open to public travel'' and clarifies the 
definition to reflect that parking areas and driving aisles within 
parking areas are not included. The FHWA also adds a definition of 
``parking area'' since that term is used in the MUTCD. The FHWA also 
makes minor revisions to several definitions to improve clarity and 
consistency, as suggested by comments. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to 
include in the definition of the term ``school zone'' that it is an 
area where special law enforcement activity or increased fines for 
traffic violations are authorized. An NCUTCD member suggested that such 
enforcement is not required for the area to be considered a school 
zone. The FHWA agrees, and deletes that criterion from the definition 
in this final rule. The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, two toll road 
operators, and an NCUTCD member suggested that the proposed definition 
of ``worker'' be revised to include workers that are not on foot, such 
as equipment operators, toll collectors, etc. In addition, the NCUTCD, 
a State DOT, and a toll road operator suggested that ``pathway'' also 
be added to the definition of ``worker'' since workers on pathways are 
also subject to potential harm. The FHWA decides to add pathway to the

[[Page 66738]]

definition, but does not make the other suggested change, because this 
definition is general in nature and other specifics about workers are 
covered in Section 6D.03.
    The FHWA received many comments suggesting other new terms be added 
to the list of definitions. In response to the comments received, the 
FHWA decides not to add all of the terms suggested, but adds 
definitions for ``accessible pedestrian signal detector,'' ``altered 
speed zone,'' ``attended lane,'' ``average daily traffic (ADT),'' 
``downstream,'' ``dropped lane,'' ``ETC account only lane,'' ``exact 
change lane,'' ``grade crossing,'' ``lane drop,'' ``open road tolling 
point,'' ``overhead sign,'' ``plaque,'' ``post-mounted sign,'' 
``primary signal face,'' ``pushbutton information message,'' ``rail 
traffic,'' ``signing,'' ``statutory speed zone,'' ``supplemental signal 
face,'' ``toll booth,'' ``toll island,'' ``toll lane,'' ``toll plaza,'' 
``toll-ticket system,'' and ``upstream'' because they are used in the 
MUTCD and should be defined.
    33. The FHWA adds a new section following Section 1A.13. This new 
section is numbered and titled Section 1A.14 Meanings of Acronyms and 
Abbreviations in This Manual, and contains a STANDARD statement with 42 
acronyms and abbreviations and their meanings. The FHWA adds this new 
section to assist readers with the acronyms and abbreviations used 
throughout the Manual. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed 38 acronyms and 
abbreviations. The NCUTCD, ATSSA, and two State DOTs suggested several 
more acronyms and abbreviations. The FHWA conducted a review of terms 
used more than once in the MUTCD text and/or figures and adds five 
acronyms and their definitions in this final rule. For those terms used 
only once, the FHWA decides not to include their acronyms and their 
definitions in this final rule. The FHWA also deletes one of the 
abbreviations, km/h, that was proposed in the NPA, because of the 
deletion of metric values from the MUTCD.
    34. In Section 1A.15 (numbered Section 1A.14 in the 2003 MUTCD) 
Abbreviations Used on Traffic Control Devices, the FHWA adds paragraph 
02 indicating that when the word messages shown in Table 1A-2 need to 
be abbreviated on a Portable Changeable Message Sign (PCMS), the 
abbreviations shown in Table 1A-2 shall be used and that, unless 
indicated by an asterisk, these abbreviations shall only be used on 
PCMSs. The original research \9\ on abbreviations was based on the need 
to shorten words when used on portable changeable message signs because 
of the limited number of characters available, unlike fixed-message 
signs. Many of the abbreviations were developed for words that would 
not otherwise normally be abbreviated on signs, and the intent was not 
to abbreviate such words on fixed-message signs. A local DOT opposed 
adding abbreviations to the MUTCD, preferring instead to allow their 
use only on a case-by-case basis. The NCUTCD suggested that Table 1A-2 
be moved to Part 6 because PCMSs are covered in Chapter 6F; however, 
the FHWA decides not to relocate the table because PCMSs can be used 
outside of temporary traffic control zones and some of the 
abbreviations used on PCMSs apply to applications other than temporary 
traffic control.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Report number FHWA/RD-81/039 ``Human Factors Design of 
Dynamic Displays'' by C.L. Dudek and R.D. Huchingson, Final Report, 
May 1982, is available from the National Technical Information 
Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161, and at the Web 
site: http://www.ntis.gov.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    35. In Table 1A-1 Acceptable Abbreviations, the FHWA adds several 
additional abbreviations for various terms that are often used on signs 
or markings and for which a single abbreviation for each is needed to 
enhance uniformity. A traffic engineering consultant opposed the use of 
the abbreviation AM for two separate meanings (morning and AM radio); 
however, the FHWA retains the abbreviation for both meanings based on 
effective use of both abbreviations by several States and because 
context of use differentiates the meanings. Based on comments from a 
State DOT and a traffic engineering consultant regarding the use of the 
abbreviation ``LA'' for lane, the FHWA places the note ``see Table 1A-
2'' in the column for the abbreviation for lane, and makes subsequent 
changes in Table 1A-2 to clarify the use of the abbreviation ``LN'' for 
use with PCMSs. Another State DOT suggested adding several 
abbreviations and the FHWA agrees to add abbreviations for ``Saint,'' 
``Mount,'' and ``Mountain'' as ``ST,'' ``MT,'' and ``MTN,'' 
respectively. Although the FHWA proposed an abbreviation for township 
in the NPA, the FHWA removes this abbreviation from this final rule 
based on comments from a traffic engineering consultant. The FHWA also 
removes several abbreviations from Table 1A-1 that are symbols rather 
than abbreviations (such as ``D'' for diesel on general service signs) 
and revises several abbreviations based on accepted practice in the 
specific context of the manner in which fixed messages are developed. 
The FHWA removes from Table 1A-1 some words that should not be 
abbreviated on static signs or large permanent full-matrix changeable 
message signs.
    In concert with these changes to Table 1A-1, the FHWA revises the 
title of Table 1A-2 to ``Abbreviations That Shall Only Be Used on 
Portable Changeable Message Signs'' and adds to Table 1A-2 some of the 
abbreviations that were removed from Table 1A-1. The FHWA also revises 
the content of Table 1A-2 to specifically list the abbreviations (some 
of which can only be used with a prompt word) that are appropriate for 
use only on PCMSs. A local DOT opposed the abbreviations for downtown 
and slippery as being unclear. The FHWA disagrees, because the 
abbreviations are based on research and experience, and retains in this 
final rule the abbreviations for these terms that were proposed in the 
NPA. Three State DOTs suggested that the abbreviations for eastbound 
(and the other directions) be shortened to two letters. While the FHWA 
agrees that traffic engineers understand the two-letter abbreviations 
(EB, WB, NB, and SB), research has shown that those abbreviations are 
not well understood by the public. Two State DOTs suggested that there 
might be cases where abbreviations need to be used on static signs, and 
as a result, the FHWA reviewed the list of abbreviations and has added 
additional asterisks to items that are acceptable for use on permanent 
CMSs and static signs. As discussed above, the FHWA revises the prompt 
word for the abbreviation ``LN'' to include the roadway name and allows 
the use of the combination ``[roadway name] LN'' to be used on traffic 
devices other than PCMSs without the use of the prompt words ``Right,'' 
``Left,'' or ``Center.''

Discussion of Amendments Within Part 2--Signs --General

    36. In this final rule, the FHWA reorganizes the information 
regarding toll road signs and preferential and managed lane signs into 
two separate chapters. Although the information was not organized in 
the NPA in this manner, the FHWA received comments from several State 
and local DOTs, as well as toll road operators, suggesting that the 
information would be easier to find if it was contained in separate 
Parts of the MUTCD. As discussed above under General, the FHWA 
disagrees with adding new Parts but agrees with consolidating this 
information into new chapters and adopts new Chapters 2F Toll Road 
Signs and 2G Preferential and Managed Lane Signs in this final rule.

[[Page 66739]]

Discussion regarding specific elements of those chapters and comments 
submitted to the docket are contained in the appropriate sections 
below.

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 2A

    37. In Section 2A.03 Standardization of Application, in the NPA the 
FHWA proposed deleting paragraph 02, which recommends that signs should 
be used only where justified by engineering judgment or studies. 
Although ATSSA agreed with the proposal, three State DOTs, three local 
DOTs, and two associations suggested retaining the statement because 
determining the placement of signs is an engineering function. The FHWA 
agrees and retains the paragraph in this final rule. The FHWA notes 
that this statement is not a requirement for an engineering study for 
the determination to use each individual sign because the determination 
for the use of many regulatory signs is based upon State laws and local 
agency ordinances.
    38. In Section 2A.06 Design of Signs, as proposed in the NPA, the 
FHWA relocates a STANDARD paragraph regarding symbols on signs, and the 
associated OPTION paragraph, from Section 1A.03 to this section. The 
FHWA incorporates this change because Section 2A.06 is the most likely 
place for a reader to look for information regarding sign design.
    In addition, as proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds information 
regarding the use of e-mail addresses to paragraphs 14 and 16. The use 
of e-mail addresses on signs is to be the same as Internet Web site 
addresses. Five State DOTs opposed the provisions and suggested that 
Internet and e-mail addresses be allowed because they provide important 
information for travelers, including information about work zones, 
carpools, and toll facilities. The FHWA agrees that Internet 
information can be helpful, but adopts the changes as proposed based 
upon research\10\ that has identified the upper range of driver 
workload to be 4 bits of information (4 individual characters) before 
glancing back to the road. E-mail addresses are just as difficult to 
read and remember as Internet Web site addresses and constitute the 
same issues for a driver traveling at highway speeds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ ``Additional Investigations on Driver Information 
Overload,'' NCHRP Report 488, 2003, can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://www.trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=1324.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Lastly, the FHWA in this final rule relocates and consolidates 
existing and proposed text concerning the design of pictographs on 
signs from other sections in chapters 2D, 2E, and 2J to a new paragraph 
17 in Section 2A.06. This material on pictographs also incorporates the 
FHWA's Official Interpretation 2-646(I).\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ This official interpretation can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/2_646.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    39. The FHWA relocates the information in Section 2A.07 of the 2003 
MUTCD to new Chapter 2L in order to consolidate all information on 
changeable message signs into one chapter.
    40. In Section 2A.07 Retroreflectivity and Illumination (Section 
2A.08 in the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise the 
existing GUIDANCE statement to clarify that overhead sign installations 
on freeways and expressways should be illuminated unless an engineering 
study shows that retroreflection will perform effectively without 
illumination, and that overhead sign installations on conventional or 
special purpose roads should be illuminated unless engineering judgment 
indicates that retroreflection will perform effectively without 
illumination. ATSSA, an NCUTCD member, and a traffic control device 
manufacturer all supported the change. A State DOT and two local DOTs 
opposed the revision, because they felt that illumination of overhead 
signs, particularly on conventional roadways, is not necessary. In this 
final rule, the FHWA deletes the existing and proposed guidance about 
illumination of overhead signs, because the minimum maintained 
retroreflectivity levels for overhead signs that were adopted as 
Revision 2 of the 2003 MUTCD\12\ provide for adequate performance of 
these signs. Highway agencies can determine to illuminate overhead 
signs based on their own policies or on studies of specific problem 
areas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ Sign retroreflectivity final rule was published in the 
Federal Register at 72 FR 72574 on December 21, 2007 and can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a paragraph prohibiting the 
use of individual LED pixels and groups of LEDs within the background 
area of a sign, except for the STOP/SLOW paddles used by flaggers and 
the STOP paddles used by adult crossing guards. The FHWA's intent was 
to clarify that LEDs are to be used only in the border or in the 
legend/symbol and not in the background of signs. Although ATSSA 
supported the clarification, three State DOTs, a local DOT, and a 
traffic engineering consultant expressed confusion and possible 
contradiction between this statement and others in the MUTCD. To 
respond to the need to clarify the statement, and the desire to place 
all of the information related to LEDs and their application in one 
place, the FHWA adds paragraphs 07, 08, 11, and 12 to this section in 
this final rule.
    41. On January 22, 2008, after the NPA was published, the FHWA 
adopted revision Number 2 of the 2003 MUTCD to add minimum maintained 
retroreflectivity requirements for signs in Section 2A.09 (Section 
2A.08 in the NPA) and a new Table 2A-3 detailing minimum 
retroreflectivity values. The FHWA incorporates that text and table 
into Section 2A.08 in this final rule, with a minor editorial 
correction to the table to match the applicable text. The FHWA also in 
this final rule adds to the table the new Bold Symbol signs (W2-7, 8 
Double Side Roads and W11-16-22 Large Animals) that are adopted in 
Chapter 2C, for consistency and accuracy regarding minimum 
retroreflectivity values.
    42. In Section 2A.10 Sign Colors (Section 2A.11 in the 2003 MUTCD), 
the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add an OPTION statement that allows the 
use of fluorescent colors when the corresponding color is required. The 
NCUTCD, a State DOT, two local agencies, and an NCUTCD member all 
supported the use of fluorescent colors, while a traffic engineering 
consultant opposed the addition of fluorescent colors without guidance 
on when they should be used. The FHWA adopts this change in this final 
rule with minor editorial revisions in order to give jurisdictions the 
flexibility to use fluorescent colors when they determine they are 
needed in order to attract additional attention to the signs. As part 
of this change, the FHWA revises the color specifications in 23 CFR 
part 655, appendix to subpart F, Tables 3, 3A, and 4 to add the 
fluorescent version of the color red, as proposed in the NPA. The color 
specifications for fluorescent yellow, fluorescent orange and 
fluorescent pink are already included in those tables of the appendix 
to 23 CFR part 655, subpart F.
    43. The FHWA proposed in the NPA to make several changes to Table 
2A-5 Common Uses of Sign Colors, to correspond to proposed changes in 
the text. Specifically, the FHWA proposed to add the color purple for 
Electronic Toll Collection signs and to remove the use of the color 
yellow from school signs. The FHWA also proposed to add additional 
types of Changeable Message Signs and expand the table to include 
various legend and background colors for those signs, consistent with 
the

[[Page 66740]]

proposed text of proposed new Chapter 2M (numbered Chapter 2L in this 
final rule) as discussed below. In addition, the FHWA proposed to note 
that fluorescent versions of orange, red, and yellow background colors 
may be used. The NCUTCD and ATSSA supported these changes. The FHWA 
adopts the changes and, for consistency with Section 1A.12, the FHWA 
adds a footnote to Table 2A-5 to indicate that the color purple is only 
used on plaques or header panels mounted with other signs and only for 
lanes restricted to vehicles with registered toll accounts, and that 
purple is not used as a full sign background, nor is it used for toll 
lanes with video/license plate recognition that any vehicle without a 
registered toll account may use.
    44. In Section 2A.11 Dimensions (Section 2A.12 in the 2003 MUTCD), 
in this final rule the FHWA adds new provisions to the STANDARD and 
GUIDANCE statements regarding the appropriate use of the various 
columns in the tables throughout the MUTCD that describe sizes for 
signs on various classes of roads, as proposed in the NPA. While a 
traffic control device manufacturer supported the referenced tables, a 
State DOT, two city DOTs, and an NCUTCD member opposed the dimensions, 
stating that they are too prescriptive, no longer allow jurisdictions 
to use good engineering judgment in determining sign sizes, and could 
result in larger signs. The FHWA disagrees, because the sizes specified 
are appropriate to enable letter sizes sufficient to meet the 
legibility needs of all drivers, including older drivers. These sizes 
remain largely unchanged from the 2003 MUTCD and only a few specific 
sign sizes were increased. The FHWA adopts this language to clarify how 
the columns in the sign size tables are intended to be used. The FHWA 
also adds language in each of the sections throughout the MUTCD that 
refer to a sign size table, to refer back to this generally applicable 
text in Section 2A.11, and deletes repetitive text on use of the 
various columns in the size tables that appeared in other sections 
throughout the 2003 MUTCD.
    45. In Section 2A.12 Symbols (Section 2A.13 in the 2003 MUTCD), the 
FHWA adds a STANDARD statement and a corresponding OPTION statement at 
the end of the section prohibiting the use of symbols from one type of 
sign on a different type of sign, except in limited circumstances or as 
specifically authorized in the MUTCD. While a State DOT and a local DOT 
supported these revisions, two other State DOTs and another local DOT 
opposed the changes and suggested that it would be simpler to use the 
same symbols for recreational and cultural interest areas on other 
signs. The FHWA disagrees with the commenters because many approved 
symbols for recreational and cultural area guide signing are not 
appropriate for use on warning or regulatory signs. The colors and 
shapes of symbols are designed to have a specific impact depending on 
the intended use of that type of sign. Intermixing symbols from one 
type of sign to a different type of sign can affect the impact and can 
be potentially confusing, and therefore should be specifically 
prohibited. The FHWA adopts this change as proposed in the NPA, with 
minor editorial revisions.
    46. In Section 2A.13 Word Messages (Section 2A.14 in the 2003 
MUTCD), the FHWA revises the first GUIDANCE statement to recommend that 
the minimum specific ratio for letter height should be 1 inch of letter 
height per 30 feet of legibility distance. In conjunction with this 
proposed change, the FHWA deletes the SUPPORT statement that followed 
this paragraph in the 2003 MUTCD. The NCUTCD and ATSSA supported these 
changes. Four State DOTs, seven local DOTs, an NCUTCD member, a traffic 
engineering consultant, and a citizen all opposed the change, stating 
that the larger letter heights would create larger signs, and 
suggesting that there was a lack of significant research and 
justification. The FHWA notes that the majority of sign sizes remain 
the same as the 2003 MUTCD and only a few specific sign designs which 
had legends too small to be read from an appropriate distance were 
increased in size. Additionally, signs in good condition may remain in 
place as long as they are serviceable until they are replaced under the 
periodic maintenance program of each agency. The FHWA adopts these 
changes in order to be consistent with recommendations from the Older 
Driver Handbook \13\ that sign legibility be based on 20/40 vision. 
Most States allow drivers with 20/40 corrected vision to obtain 
driver's licenses, and with the increasing numbers of older drivers, 
the FHWA believes that 20/40 vision should be the basis of letter 
heights used on signs. This change will generally not impact the design 
of guide signs because the provisions in the 2003 MUTCD for guide sign 
letter heights already provided sufficient legibility distances for 20/
40 vision in most cases. The sizes of regulatory and warning signs used 
in some situations will need to be increased to provide for larger 
letter sizes. Specific changes to sign sizes resulting from the change 
in letter height are discussed below in the items pertaining to the 
sign size tables in other chapters in Part 2 and in certain other Parts 
of the MUTCD.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ ``Highway Design Handbook for Older Drivers and 
Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-103, May 2001, can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01103/coverfront.htm. Also see recommendation number 
II.A(1) in ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
which can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ATSSA, a State DOT, a research institute, and a traffic engineering 
consultant suggested that the FHWA add the positive contrast Clearview 
font into the SHSM and MUTCD based on the research done under the 
experimental use of the font demonstrating significant legibility 
enhancements for older drivers. The FHWA did not propose such an 
addition in the NPA and the FHWA disagrees with the commenters and does 
not add the font. Although the Clearview font received Interim Approval 
in September 2004 for positive-contrast guide sign legends only, some 
research to date has shown that negative contrast mixed-case Clearview 
legends are not as legible as standard SHSM alphabets. The practicality 
of maintaining two separate alphabet systems, one for positive-contrast 
and one for negative-contrast legends, has also been taken into 
consideration. Further, the alternative alphabet did not undergo any 
testing on numerals and special characters, which have been reported to 
be problematic from a legibility standpoint, nor has any testing been 
performed on a narrower series. It would be premature to categorically 
adopt the alternative alphabet for a marginal theoretical improvement 
in legibility where no supporting evidence of a demonstrable 
improvement has been reported by those agencies who have erected 
signing using the alternate alphabets. Highway agencies can continue to 
use the Clearview font for positive contrast legends on guide signs 
under the provisions of the FHWA's Interim Approval IA-5 dated 
September 2, 2004.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ Interim Approval IA-5 can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/res-ia_clearview_font.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ATSSA, a State DOT, a local agency, and a citizen supported the 
FHWA's proposal to eliminate the option to use all upper-case letters 
for names of places, streets, and highways and to require that such 
names be composed of a combination of lower-case letters with initial 
upper-case letters. However, 5

[[Page 66741]]

State DOTs, 10 local DOTs, an NCUTCD member, an association of local 
counties, and a traffic engineering consultant opposed the change and 
suggested that the use of all upper-case letters remain an option, or 
that the FHWA change the proposed STANDARD statement to a GUIDANCE 
statement. Many of the commenters expressed concern with cost and 
thought that while the mixed-case words might be easier to read, the 
amount of improvement in legibility did not justify the cost. The FHWA 
adopts the STANDARD requirement for mixed-case lettering for names of 
places, streets, and highways because published research \15\ supports 
the enhanced legibility of mixed-case legends in comparison to all 
upper-case legends. The FHWA also notes that under the systematic 
upgrading provisions of Section 655.603(d)(1) of title 23, Code of 
Federal Regulations, existing signs in good condition can remain for 
the remainder of their service life.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ Research on this topic is cited and discussed in ``Highway 
Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. 
FHWA-RD-01-103, May 2001, which can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01103/coverfront.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also adds text in Section 2A.13 regarding fractions, 
hyphens, and relationships of upper case to lower case letters in 
mixed-case words used in word messages in this final rule, for 
consistency with other MUTCD provisions in Chapters 2D and 2E, 
information in the SHSM book, and accepted sign design practices 
necessary for proper sign word message legibility.
    47. In Section 2A.14 Sign Borders (Section 2A.15 in the 2003 
MUTCD), the FHWA clarifies the GUIDANCE statement to indicate that the 
corner and border radii on signs should be concentric with one another. 
The FHWA received a comment from ATSSA in support of this revision and 
the FHWA adopts the proposed text with editorial revisions in this 
final rule to better facilitate the use of sign fabrication software 
with inset borders.
    48. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2A.15 
Enhanced Conspicuity for Standard Signs. This section contains an 
OPTION statement regarding the methods that may be used to enhance the 
conspicuity of standard regulatory, warning, or guide signs and a 
STANDARD statement prohibiting the use of strobe lights as a sign 
conspicuity enhancement method. The NCUTCD, ATSSA, and several State 
and local DOTs, NCUTCD members, and traffic engineering consultants 
commented on the various conspicuity enhancement methods proposed in 
the NPA. Some commenters felt that having a large variety of methods 
for sign conspicuity would not help with uniformity, and therefore the 
methods should be deleted altogether, or at least the number of items 
reduced. Other commenters provided comments about the specific methods. 
Several commenters suggested that a red strip (item F in the NPA) 
should only be permitted on signs indicating that a stop, yield, or 
prohibition is involved with the sign. To avoid confusion, the FHWA 
does not adopt item F in this final rule. The FHWA believes that adding 
specific methods for increasing sign conspicuity will actually result 
in more uniform use of conspicuity methods, because agencies will have 
access to a list of optional uses, rather than creating an unlimited 
number of their own methods. The methods contained in the OPTION 
reflect widespread and successful practices by State and local 
agencies, and as a result, the FHWA incorporates the methods, with 
minor editorial changes for consistency with other MUTCD sections, in 
this final rule.
    The New York State DOT opposed the FHWA's proposed prohibition of 
the use of strobe lights for conspicuity of highway signs, stating that 
there is no research indicating that their use is dangerous and that 
information about their use in New York shows that they can have a very 
positive effect on highway safety. The FHWA disagrees and notes that 
published reports \16\ on experimentation with the application of 
strobe lights to traffic signals have not demonstrated lasting safety 
effects and therefore it is unlikely that application of strobes to 
other traffic control devices would have lasting effects. The FHWA also 
notes that New York State has not provided any documentation of 
positive effects.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ ``Evaluation of Strobe Lights in Red Lens of Traffic 
Signals,'' by Benjamin H. Cottrell, Virginia Transportation Research 
Council, was published in 1995 in Transportation Research Record 
number 1495, which is available for purchase from the Transportation 
Research Board's bookstore, which can be accessed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://pubsindex.trb.org/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA incorporates this new section to provide improved 
uniformity of enhanced conspicuity treatments to benefit road users.
    49. The FHWA received several comments associated with Figure 2A-1 
Examples of Enhanced Conspicuity for Signs. Many of the comments were 
the same as those expressed for the written text in Section 2A.15. 
Based on comments from a State DOT, the FHWA adds two new drawings 
illustrating the use of the words ``NEW'' and ``NOTICE'' on the yellow 
sign panel and renumbers the drawings accordingly. The FHWA also adds 
that orange flags may be used on drawing B and deletes the drawing 
showing the use of a red strip of retroreflective sheeting on a 
regulatory sign panel.
    50. In Section 2A.16 Standardization of Location, the FHWA adds to 
paragraph 06 an additional recommended criterion for locating signs 
where they do not obscure the line of sight to approaching vehicles on 
a major street for drivers who are stopped on minor-street approaches. 
The FHWA received comments from two State DOTs and a local DOT 
supporting this proposed revision and the FHWA adopts this change in 
this final rule to reflect good engineering practice and improved 
safety.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds to paragraph 10 that the 
placement of community wayfinding and acknowledgment guide signs should 
have a lower priority than other guide signs. The FHWA received a 
comment from a State DOT and local DOT in support of this addition and 
incorporates it in this final rule to clarify the priority of sign type 
placement, reflecting the addition to the manual of new types of guide 
signs.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a paragraph to the last 
GUIDANCE statement to provide recommendations on the placement of STOP 
and YIELD signs at intersections, and to clarify that the dimension 
shown in Figure 2A-3 for the maximum distance of STOP or YIELD signs 
from the edge of the traveled way of the intersected roadway is 
GUIDANCE. A State DOT, a local DOT, and an NCUTCD member agreed with 
this statement. In this final rule the FHWA moves this statement to 
Section 2B.10 based on a comment, since the statement is more 
appropriately related to the content of that section.
    51. The FHWA received comments from the NCUTCD regarding proposed 
revisions to Figure 2A-2, and as a result, changes the title to 
``Examples of Heights and Lateral Locations of Sign Installations'' to 
indicate that these are examples and to be consistent with the text in 
Sections 2A.16, 2A.18, and 2A.19. Although a State DOT, an NCUTCD 
member, and a traffic engineering consultant opposed the use of the 12-
foot dimension between the edge of the pavement and the sign in 
drawings A and D, the FHWA disagrees and retains the 12-foot dimension 
in this final rule, because the guidance text in Section 2A.19 
recommends the 12-foot dimension, and therefore the figure should 
reflect the text. The FHWA received similar comments about the

[[Page 66742]]

lateral offset dimensions in Figure 2A-3; however, the FHWA retains the 
offsets as shown in the NPA, because the MUTCD text remains unchanged. 
The dimensions in the figure were merely corrected to maintain 
consistency with the text.
    52. In Section 2A.18 Mounting Height, the FHWA adopts the change of 
paragraph 01 to a STANDARD, as proposed in the NPA, to require that the 
provisions of this section apply to all signs and object markers, 
unless specifically stated otherwise elsewhere in the Manual. The FHWA 
incorporates this change to emphasize that the mounting heights in this 
section are mandatory, including in relation to pedestrian 
considerations.
    The FHWA also clarifies that mounting heights are to be measured 
vertically from the bottom of the sign to the level of the edge of the 
traveled way. The FHWA also adds text to clarify that a minimum height 
of 7 feet is to be used for signs installed at the side of the road in 
business, commercial, or residential areas where parking or pedestrian 
movements are likely to occur, or where the view of the sign might be 
obstructed, or where signs are installed above sidewalks. In concert 
with these changes, the FHWA adds that a sign shall not project more 
than 4 inches into a pedestrian facility if the bottom of a secondary 
sign that is mounted below another sign is mounted lower than 7 feet. 
The FHWA had proposed these provisions as a GUIDANCE statement in the 
NPA; however, based on comments from the Utah DOT and an advocacy group 
for the blind, the FHWA changes this to a STANDARD statement in this 
final rule to be consistent with requirements of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act as set forth in ADAAG provisions \17\ regarding signs 
in the vicinity of pedestrian activity and in order to make the 
mounting height language consistent throughout the Manual. In addition, 
the FHWA reorganizes the order of the text within the STANDARD 
statements in this section for clarity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ The Americans With Disabilities Accessibility Guidelines 
(ADAAG) can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.access-board.gov/ada-aba/index.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    53. In Section 2A.19 Lateral Offset, the FHWA received a comment 
from a State DOT expressing the need to reconcile the compliance date 
for the existing statement in this Section that requires post-mounted 
supports to be crashworthy if in the clear zone. The FHWA notes that 
there is an existing target compliance date of January 17, 2013, that 
was established with the final rule \18\ for the 2003 Edition of the 
MUTCD for crashworthiness of sign supports for roads with posted speed 
limits of 50 mph or higher. No specific target compliance date was 
established for roads with posted speed limits of 45 mph or less and 
for all roads with unposted speed limits. The FHWA believes that no 
target compliance date is needed for crashworthiness of sign supports 
on these lower speed roads and that systematic upgrading processes will 
suffice in ultimately achieving crashworthiness of all sign supports.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ The Federal Register Notice for this Final Rule, dated 
November 20, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 224, Page 65496-65583) can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/texts/2125-AE67.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 2B

    54. As proposed in the NPA, in Section 2B.02 Design of Regulatory 
Signs, the FHWA adopts the change of paragraph 01 to a STANDARD 
statement to clarify that regulatory signs are rectangular unless 
specifically designated otherwise. As part of this change, the FHWA 
also adds a reference to the Standard Highway Signs and Markings \19\ 
book for sign design elements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ The current edition of ``Standard Highway Signs and 
Markings,'' FHWA, 2004 Edition, can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/ser-shs_millennium.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also relocates the first two paragraphs of Section 2B.54 
of the 2003 MUTCD to a new OPTION statement in Section 2B.02, because 
the paragraphs contain information about regulatory word messages and 
symbols that is more relevant in this section.
    55. In Section 2B.03 Size of Regulatory Signs, the FHWA had 
proposed in the NPA to reference a new Table 2B-2 with minimum sizes 
for certain regulatory signs facing traffic on multi-lane conventional 
roads. Based on comments from the NCUTCD and an NCUTCD member, the FHWA 
instead adds a column to Table 2B-1 for multi-lane conventional roads 
in this final rule, rather than an entire new table. To address these 
comments, as well as those from two State DOTs, concerning specific 
regulatory signs identified in Table 2B-1 other than STOP signs, the 
FHWA also adds two exemptions to the requirement to use the larger sign 
sizes on multi-lane conventional roads: (1) For the size of signs 
mounted in the median on the left-hand side of the roadway that are in 
addition to the signs placed on the right-hand side and (2) for multi-
lane conventional roads with posted speed limits of 35 mph or less. The 
FHWA received comments in opposition to the larger sign sizes, 
primarily because of cost concerns, from three local DOTs and a traffic 
engineering consultant. The FHWA disagrees with these comments because 
any impacts are mitigated by the systematic upgrading provisions (23 
CFR 655.603(d)(1)) that enable highway agencies to upgrade to the 
larger sizes as the existing signs are replaced at the end of their 
service life. The FHWA believes that the new text and information in 
the table is necessary to provide signs on multi-lane approaches that 
are more visible and legible to drivers with visual acuity of 20/40. On 
multi-lane roads, increased legibility distances are also needed 
because of the potential blockage of signs by other vehicles.
    In the NPA, the FHWA also included a requirement that the minimum 
size of 36 inches x 36 inches shall be used for STOP signs that face 
multi-lane approaches. While ATSSA, the NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a 
local DOT supported the requirement, a State DOT and six city DOTs 
opposed the change, particularly as it related to STOP signs on low-
speed roads. The FHWA adopts the requirement to use larger STOP signs, 
because increased STOP sign sizes have been shown to reduce crashes by 
19%.\20\ However, the FHWA clarifies the minimum size requirement for 
STOP signs as 36 inches x 36 inches facing side roads (one or more 
lanes) where they intersect multi-lane highways that have speed limits 
of 45 mph or higher. For multi-lane highways or streets that have speed 
limits of 40 mph or less, the STOP signs on the side-road approaches 
shall follow the sizes shown for conventional roads in Table 2B-1. STOP 
signs that face traffic on the multi-lane highway shall be a minimum 
size of 36 inches x 36 inches.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ ``Crash Reduction Factors Desktop Reference,'' publication 
number FHWA-SA-07-015, September, 2007, can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://www.transportation.org/sites/scohts/docs/Crash%20Reduction%20Factors%20Desktop%20Reference%2012-19-07.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, based on a comment from a State DOT, the FHWA adds a 
GUIDANCE statement that the minimum size for regulatory signs facing 
traffic on exit and entrance ramps should be the size identified in 
Table 2B-1 for the mainline roadway classification listed for each of 
the columns.
    56. The FHWA received comments related to specific sign sizes in 
Table 2B-2 proposed in the NPA. As discussed above, the FHWA combines 
proposed Table 2B-2 into Table 2B-1 in this final rule. The NCUTCD, two 
State DOTs, two local DOTs, two NCUTCD

[[Page 66743]]

members, and a traffic engineering consultant opposed the larger sizes 
of various signs, including YIELD signs, DO NOT ENTER signs, ONE WAY 
signs, parking signs, and signs used on traffic signal mast arms. The 
FHWA adopts the larger sizes as proposed in the NPA because of the 
critical nature of the information conveyed by these signs. These 
larger sizes are more legible, especially to older drivers, and 
therefore these critical message signs merit larger sized legends.
    57. The FHWA makes several changes to Table 2B-1 Regulatory Sign 
and Plaque Sizes. These changes include adding more sizes in the 
``Minimum'' column for use in low-speed environments and adding several 
more signs and supplemental plaques to the table to correspond with 
other changes within Part 2. A local DOT opposed many of the minimum 
sizes shown in the table because they are larger than those used in 
that State's urban areas. The commenter believes that in urban areas 
the space available for signs along sidewalks and medians can often be 
very narrow, making it difficult to place larger signs without 
encroaching into the street, buildings, landscaping, utilities, 
signals, or pedestrian right-of-way. A traffic engineering consultant 
questioned the justification for the increased sizes and expressed 
concern about the wind loading on traffic signal mast arms because of 
the larger sign sizes. A State DOT and a local DOT also expressed the 
desire to use smaller sign sizes on traffic signal mast arms and for 
some other signs. The FHWA reiterates that the increase in sign and 
plaque sizes is to improve driver recognition and response time, with 
the intent of meeting the needs of road users with 20/40 visual acuity. 
Letter heights smaller than 6 inches become problematic in meeting the 
needs of drivers with 20/40 visual acuity, therefore the FHWA adopts in 
this final rule the proposed increases in the sizes of signs. The FHWA 
also received several comments from the NCUTCD and its members 
suggesting additional revisions beyond those shown in the NPA that the 
FHWA incorporates in this final rule. These revisions include adding 
signs to the table that were inadvertently not included in the NPA and 
adjusting the sizes of some of the signs to reflect the larger letter 
sizes associated with 20/40 visual acuity as discussed previously under 
Chapter 2A.
    58. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2B.04 
Right-of-Way at Intersections. This section contains information 
contained in Section 2B.05 of the 2003 MUTCD. In addition, as proposed 
in the NPA, the FHWA adds recommendations on the factors that should be 
considered in establishing intersection control and the use of STOP and 
YIELD signs. A State DOT and a city DOT supported these new criteria. A 
State DOT supported the majority of the criteria, but suggested that 
approach speeds should not be included in the conditions. The FHWA 
agrees and deletes that condition in this final rule. Two city DOTs 
suggested that the criteria, particularly item B, required too much 
data collection, which can be expensive and require resources beyond 
those available at the local level. The FHWA disagrees and adopts the 
remaining criteria, because the FHWA believes an engineering 
evaluation, which includes data collection, needs to be performed for 
STOP and YIELD sign applications, which are critical right-of-way 
controls. The additional guidance is intended to provide a more logical 
progression from least restrictive to more restrictive controls.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds paragraph 05, to the existing 
GUIDANCE statement that YIELD signs should not be used for speed 
control. The 2003 MUTCD already included the recommendation that STOP 
signs not be used for speed control. A local DOT supported the addition 
of YIELD signs to this recommendation; however, a State DOT and a local 
DOT suggested that the FHWA revise the statement to indicate that STOP 
and YIELD signs should not be used ``exclusively'' for speed control, 
because there are occasions where STOP and YIELD signs serve a 
secondary purpose as speed control measures. The FHWA disagrees with 
revising the language and notes that a system of alternating two-way 
stops remains allowable for neighborhood traffic control.
    The FHWA also adds a STANDARD statement that prohibits the use of 
STOP and YIELD signs in conjunction with other traffic control signal 
operation, except for the cases specified in the STANDARD. Much of this 
information was in Section 2B.05 of the 2003 MUTCD; however, the FHWA 
adds a specific case regarding channelized turn lanes to the list of 
cases where STOP or YIELD signs can be used, reflecting common 
practice.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds a STANDARD statement 
prohibiting the use of STOP signs and YIELD signs on different 
approaches to the same unsignalized intersection if those approaches 
conflict with or oppose each other, except as noted in Section 2B.09. 
Two State DOTs, a city DOT, and an NCUTCD member opposed this statement 
because they felt that there are circumstances where this practice 
should be allowed. The FHWA disagrees, because this prohibition is 
needed for consistency with the adopted STANDARD statement for use of 
STOP and YIELD signs in conjunction with traffic signal operation, and 
the FHWA notes that an EXCEPT RIGHT TURN R1-10P plaque is incorporated 
in this final rule in Section 2B.05 to address many of the situations 
cited by the commenters.
    Finally, the FHWA adds a STANDARD statement as proposed in the NPA 
for the use of folding STOP signs for traffic signal power outages by 
adding language to the MUTCD that corresponds to Official 
Interpretation 2-545.\21\ Although two city DOTs opposed this 
language, in part because of concerns about liability, three State DOTs 
and a city DOT supported the language, with editorial changes. Many of 
the comments pertained to incorporating additional information from the 
Official Interpretation into the MUTCD. The FHWA does not believe that 
the MUTCD is the appropriate location for this information. The FHWA 
does, however, revise the text in this final rule to clarify the 
language on how folding STOP signs are to be installed and manually 
retrieved in conjunction with signal operation upon restoration of 
electrical power.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ FHWA's Official Interpretation 2-545, April 9, 
2004, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/pdf/2_545.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    59. The FHWA renumbers and retitles Section 2B.04 of the 2003 MUTCD 
to Section 2B.05 STOP Sign and ALL WAY Plaque. As part of this change, 
the FHWA proposed to revise the STANDARD statement to require the use 
of the ALL-WAY supplemental plaque if all intersection approaches are 
controlled by STOP signs, to limit the use of the ALL-WAY plaque to 
only those locations where all intersection approaches are controlled 
by STOP signs, and to prohibit the use of supplemental plaques with the 
legend 2-WAY, 3-WAY, 4-WAY, etc., below STOP signs. ATSSA, a local DOT, 
a traffic engineering consultant, and a citizen supported the new 
requirements, while five State DOTs, four local DOTs and an association 
representing local DOTs, and a NCUTCD member opposed the proposed 
requirements. Many of the commenters felt that all or some of the 
existing 2-WAY, 3-WAY, or 4-WAY plaques should be retained because they 
are understood by road users, and to replace the signs would be 
unnecessarily expensive. The FHWA disagrees for two reasons: (1) The 
ALL-WAY plaque is the same size as the 2-

[[Page 66744]]

WAY, 3-WAY, and 4-WAY plaques and the required replacements can be 
accomplished through the systematic upgrading processes of Section 
655.603(d)(1) of title 23, Code of Federal Regulations; and (2) the 
word message ``ALL-WAY'' more clearly communicates that all approaches 
are required to stop, which is critical information for road users 
facing a STOP control at an intersection. The FHWA adopts the 
requirements, as proposed, to provide uniformity in the use of 
supplemental plaques with STOP signs, especially at locations where all 
approaches are controlled by STOP signs.
    The FHWA adds a GUIDANCE statement recommending the use of plaques 
with appropriate alternate messages, such as TRAFFIC FROM RIGHT DOES 
NOT STOP, where STOP signs control all but one approach to the 
intersection. A city DOT opposed this recommendation, suggesting that 
it should be either an Option, or eliminated from the MUTCD. The FHWA 
disagrees and adopts the change to encourage the use of these plaques 
at intersections that need increased driver awareness regarding an 
unexpected right-of-way control. A State DOT opposed the revision 
because the regulatory and warning signs should not be installed on the 
same post. The FHWA adds language to Section 2A.16 to clarify that 
these plaques may be posted below a STOP sign.
    Finally, as proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds an OPTION allowing 
the use of a new EXCEPT RIGHT TURN (R1-10P) plaque mounted below a STOP 
sign when an engineering study determines that a special combination of 
geometry and traffic volumes is present that makes it possible for 
right-turning traffic on the approach to be permitted to enter the 
intersection without stopping. ATSSA, a State DOT, and a local DOT 
supported this new plaque and associated language, while a State DOT 
and a local DOT opposed it, citing their beliefs that it might cause 
conflicts between vehicles that have to stop with those that do not 
have to stop and that it will reduce the integrity of the STOP sign. 
The FHWA disagrees and adopts this change to give agencies flexibility 
in establishing right-of-way controls for such special conditions. 
Since this is an optional use, agencies are not required to use this 
sign. The Sign Synthesis Study \22\ found that at least 12 States have 
developed 7 different sign messages for this purpose. The adopted sign 
provides for the uniform use of the simplest, most accurate legend.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 18, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    60. The FHWA relocates much of the information in Section 2B.05 
STOP Sign Applications of the 2003 MUTCD to Section 2B.04 Right-of-Way 
at Intersections. The FHWA adds additional language to the remaining 
GUIDANCE statement in Section 2B.06 STOP Sign Applications that lists 
conditions under which the use of a STOP sign should be considered. A 
State DOT supported the language with the criteria for STOP signs, and 
several commenters provided editorial comments or asked questions. The 
FHWA reiterates that the language in this section provides agencies 
with specific and quantitative guidance regarding the use of STOP signs 
only, while the guidance and criteria set forth in Section 2B.05 
encompass the need for right-of-way control in the form of YIELD and 
STOP conditions. The FHWA also received a comment from a retail owner 
suggesting that this section does not specifically address the use of 
STOP signs in parking areas. As discussed previously regarding the 
MUTCD Introduction, the FHWA exempts parking lots from MUTCD 
applicability.
    61. The FHWA deletes Section 2B.06 STOP Sign Placement from the 
2003 MUTCD because most of the text in this section is incorporated 
into Section 2B.10 of this final rule.
    62. In Section 2B.09 YIELD Sign Applications, as proposed in the 
NPA, the FHWA clarifies the STANDARD statement by adding that YIELD 
signs at roundabouts shall be used to control the approach roadways and 
shall not be used to control the circular roadway. Four State DOTs, two 
local DOTs, two NCUTCD members, five bicycle/pedestrian advocacy 
associations, and four citizens supported the changes to this section. 
A State DOT and a local DOT expressed concern about portions of the 
section that were removed that would allow YIELD signs to be used 
instead of STOP signs at some locations and the removal of the 
visibility requirement for YIELD sign installations. The FHWA disagrees 
with these commenters because the text changes in Section 2B.09 do not 
materially change the meaning of the provisions regarding where YIELD 
signs may be used. The FHWA adopts this change to provide uniformity in 
signing at roundabouts and to reflect the prevailing practices of 
modern roundabout design.
    Two traffic engineering consultants suggested that YIELD signs be 
prohibited to assign the right-of-way on all approaches to an 
intersection, other than for a roundabout intersection. The FHWA agrees 
and clarifies the proposed STANDARD statement in this final rule so 
that it is explicitly clear that YIELD signs shall not be used to 
control the right-of-way on all approaches to an intersection, other 
than for all approaches to a roundabout intersection, for consistency 
with requirements for traffic signal controlled intersections and STOP 
controlled intersections.
    63. The FHWA retitles Section 2B.10 to ``STOP Sign or YIELD Sign 
Placement'' to reflect the relocation of language regarding STOP sign 
placement from Section 2B.06 of the 2003 MUTCD to this section.
    In the NPA the FHWA proposed to delete the requirement from 
paragraph 01 that YIELD signs be placed on both the left-hand and 
right-hand sides of approaches to roundabouts with more than one lane 
and instead makes this a GUIDANCE statement in paragraph 16. In concert 
with this change, the FHWA also proposed to add an OPTION allowing 
similar placement of a YIELD sign on the left-hand side of a single 
lane roundabout approach if a raised splitter island is available. A 
local DOT and a traffic engineering consultant supported these changes, 
and the FHWA adopts this language to reflect current practice on 
signing roundabout approaches and to allow agencies additional 
flexibility.
    To address comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a local DOT, 
the FHWA relocates the GUIDANCE statement recommending that STOP and 
YIELD signs not be placed further than 50 feet back from the edge of 
the pavement of the intersected roadway to this section in this final 
rule. In the NPA, this statement was proposed in Section 2A.16.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed adding a paragraph to the STANDARD 
that prohibited the mounting of items other than retroreflective strips 
on the supports, official traffic control signs, sign installation 
dates, inventory stickers, anti-vandalism stickers, and bar codes on 
the fronts or backs of STOP or YIELD signs or on their supports. To 
address a comment from a State DOT suggesting that the FHWA clarify the 
intent of the language, the FHWA separates the information into three 
paragraphs in this final rule. Paragraph 04 details the placement of 
items on the fronts of STOP or Yield signs, paragraph 05 describes 
items placed on the backs of STOP or Yield signs, and paragraph 06 
describes the placement of items on the fronts or backs of STOP or 
YIELD signs supports.

[[Page 66745]]

    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to indicate that a sign that is 
mounted back-to-back with a STOP or YIELD sign should stay within the 
edges of the STOP or YIELD sign. While two DOTs and an NCUTCD member 
supported this language, four State DOTs, two local DOTs, and a citizen 
opposed this language, because they felt that DO NOT ENTER signs should 
be allowed to be mounted on the back of STOP signs without increasing 
the size of the STOP sign to the extent required. Two local DOTs and a 
citizen opposed the language in general, because they felt that a sign 
mounted on the back of a STOP or YIELD sign would show its bare 
aluminum side, which would serve to highlight or frame the STOP or 
YIELD sign. The FHWA disagrees with the commenters because it is 
critical to assure that the shape of these very important intersection 
right-of-way signs can be discerned from the opposite direction of 
approach. The FHWA adopts these changes to clarify the GUIDANCE 
statement that a sign that is mounted back-to-back with a STOP or YIELD 
sign should stay within the edges of the STOP or YIELD sign, and adds 
that, if needed, the size of the STOP or YIELD sign should be increased 
to accomplish this recommendation.
    The FHWA adds paragraph 16 recommending that an additional YIELD 
sign be placed on the left-hand side of the multi-lane roundabout 
approach if a raised splitter island is available. A State DOT and a 
traffic engineering consultant supported this recommendation, while a 
local agency felt that it should be an option, rather than a 
recommendation. The FHWA believes that the left-hand side YIELD sign is 
important for multi-lane approaches to roundabouts due to the curvature 
at the roundabout entry and this sign should be provided if a splitter 
island is present. The FHWA adopts the NPA language in this final rule.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds paragraph 19 prohibiting the 
placement of multiple STOP signs or multiple YIELD signs on the same 
support facing the same direction. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, and two 
local DOTs supported this change. The FHWA adopts this change to 
prohibit this practice, because there have been no studies or research 
documenting any safety benefits of this practice and it is potentially 
confusing, and there are many other acceptable and proven methods of 
adding emphasis, such as detailed in Section 2A.15.
    64. The FHWA retitles Section 2B.11 to ``Yield Here to Pedestrians 
Signs and Stop Here for Pedestrians Signs'' to reflect additional 
language in the STANDARD, GUIDANCE, and OPTION statement that FHWA adds 
to this section regarding the use of Stop Here for Pedestrians Signs. 
The language is consistent with similar language in Part 7 regarding 
the placement of these signs, as well as stop and yield lines. The FHWA 
proposed adding the Stop Here for Pedestrians sign because some State 
laws require motorists to come to a full stop for, rather than just 
yield to, pedestrians in a crosswalk. The NCUTCD, a local DOT, and a 
bicycle/pedestrian advocacy association supported the changes; however, 
a State DOT and an NCUTCD member opposed restricting the use of R1-5 
Yield (Stop) Here to Pedestrian signs to only multi-lane approaches. 
The FHWA adopts the changes as proposed and notes that these signs were 
developed as a countermeasure for the multiple threat situations for 
pedestrians and there is no need for advance yielding (stopping) on a 
single lane approach to a crosswalk.
    In addition, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add STANDARD and 
OPTION statements at the end of the section regarding the combination 
use of the Yield Here to (Stop Here for) Pedestrian (R1-5 series) sign 
in the vicinity of the Pedestrian Crossing warning (W11-2) sign. The 
FHWA received comments from the NCUTCD, three State DOTs, four local 
DOTs, and two traffic consultants who supported the concept, but found 
the wording confusing. As a result, the FHWA adopts a revised STANDARD 
statement in this final rule that restricts blocking the view of the 
W11-2 sign, or placing it on the same post as a R1-5 series sign. The 
FHWA also adopts paragraph 05 in the OPTION statement to allow 
Pedestrian Crossing signs to be mounted overhead where Yield Here to 
(Stop Here for) signs have been installed in advance of the crosswalk. 
The FHWA also allows the use of advance Pedestrian Crossing (W11-2) 
signs on the approach with AHEAD or distance plaques and In-Street 
Pedestrian Crossing signs at the crosswalk where Yield Here to (Stop 
Here for) Pedestrian signs have been installed. The FHWA adopts this 
new language to be consistent with similar language that is being 
adopted in Part 7, which is based on FHWA's Official Interpretation 
 2-566.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ FHWA's Official Interpretation 2-566(I), July 27, 
2005, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/2_566.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    65. In Section 2B.12 In-Street and Overhead Pedestrian Crossing 
Signs, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add STANDARD, GUIDANCE, and 
OPTION statements regarding the use of the new Overhead Pedestrian 
Crossing (R1-9 or R1-9a) sign that may be used to remind road users of 
laws regarding right-of-way at an unsignalized pedestrian crosswalk. 
ATSSA, an NCUTCD member, and a local DOT supported the inclusion of the 
Overhead Pedestrian Crossing signs and their design, while another 
NCUTCD member, two State DOTs, and a local DOT opposed the signs and/or 
their designs because they wanted more flexibility. The FHWA disagrees 
with the commenters and adds the text as proposed and this sign, with 
the design as proposed in the NPA, in this final rule. This is based on 
the Sign Synthesis Study,\24\ which revealed that some agencies use an 
overhead sign because it is needed in some applications. The FHWA adds 
this sign to Table 2B-1, Figure 2B-2, and to the appropriate text and 
figures in Part 7, for consistency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 19, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to insert new GUIDANCE and OPTION 
statements regarding conditions and criteria to be used in determining 
when In-Street Pedestrian Crossing signs should be used at unsignalized 
intersections. The NCUTCD, an NCUTCD member, 2 State DOTs, and 3 local 
DOTs opposed the recommended criteria, specifically the criteria to use 
the signs at crossing locations where there are 25 or more pedestrians 
per hour. The FHWA agrees and removes the criteria from this final 
rule, and adopts the OPTION statement allowing highway agencies to 
develop criteria for determining the applicability of In-Street 
Pedestrian Crossing signs.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA also adds paragraph 03 requiring 
that the In-Street Pedestrian Crossing sign, if used, be placed only in 
the roadway at the crosswalk location on the center line, on a lane 
line, or on a median island. While an NCUTCD member supported the 
language, two State DOTs and two local DOTs opposed the language, 
suggesting that locating this sign in the crosswalk was not the 
original intent of this device, and that doing so might actually pose a 
safety issue by distracting or obstructing the pedestrian's or driver's 
view. The FHWA received comments from a City DOT opposed to the 
proposed language restricting the location of overhead pedestrian 
crossing signs to over the roadway at the crosswalk location and

[[Page 66746]]

prohibiting the installation of the signs at signalized locations. The 
commenter felt that there are unique locations where the requirements 
need to be relaxed to allow flexibility. The FHWA disagrees with these 
comments, because the experimentation that led to the original 
inclusion of the R1-6 In-Street Pedestrian Sign in the MUTCD only 
involved signs located in the street itself, where it is highly visible 
to the approaching driver, and did not include any application of the 
R1-6 sign behind the curb. The FHWA does not have any information that 
would support placement of this sign at locations out of the roadway 
itself. The FHWA adopts the language in this final rule to be 
consistent with similar language proposed in Part 7, which is based on 
FHWA's Official Interpretation  7-64(1).\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ FHWA's Official Interpretation 7-64(I), July 23, 
2004, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/7_64.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, in the NPA the FHWA proposed revising paragraph 10 to 
specify that the In-Street Pedestrian Crossing sign shall have a black 
legend and border on a white background, surrounded by an outer 
fluorescent yellow-green background area, or by a yellow background 
area. The FHWA adopts this language, with editorial edits, based on 
comments from two State DOTs suggesting the need to clarify the color 
of the background area.
    The FHWA also proposed revising paragraph 11 to indicate that 
unless an In-Street Pedestrian Crossing sign is placed on a physical 
island, it is to be designed to bend over and then bounce back to its 
normal vertical position when struck by a vehicle. A local DOT and a 
traffic control device manufacturer supported this provision, while a 
State DOT opposed the language, stating that drums, cones, and other 
types of devices used within roadways are not required to have this 
ability. The FHWA adopts this language in this final rule because while 
all signs must be crashworthy, these in-street signs need to have 
special supports to minimize damage to vehicles and injuries to 
pedestrians if the signs are struck by a passing vehicle.
    Finally, the FHWA adds paragraph 13 that provides requirements for 
the mounting heights of In-Street Pedestrian Crossing signs. A traffic 
control device manufacturer opposed the mounting height requirements; 
however, FHWA adopts these requirements as proposed in the NPA to 
preclude incorrect mounting of this sign when it is on an island and to 
assure that the signs are crashworthy by not being mounted above 
vehicle windshield height .\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ Information on the FHWA's crash-testing of in-street signs 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadway%5Fdept/policy_guide/road_hardware/breakaway/signsupports.cfm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    66. In Section 2B.13 Speed Limit Sign, the FHWA proposed in the NPA 
to add to the STANDARD a statement that speed zones (other than 
statutory speed limits) shall only be established on the basis of an 
engineering study that includes an analysis of the current speed 
distribution of free-flowing vehicles. A State DOT and a local DOT 
supported this new language, while a State DOT, a local DOT, and an 
advocacy association opposed the language because they felt it was too 
restrictive. In addition, a State DOT, an association of local DOTs, 
and six local DOTs expressed concern that some roadways do not have 
volumes that are high enough to allow the collection of speed 
distributions, and there are some types of roads, such as residential 
streets and school zones, where the free-flow speed is actually the 
safety issue. The FHWA adopts this change in this final rule to clarify 
that consideration is to be given to the free-flow speed when 
determining altered speed zones, and to clarify that statutorily 
established speed limits, such as those typically established by State 
laws setting statewide maximum limits for various classes of roads 
(such as neighborhood roads and school zones), do not require an 
engineering study. The FHWA also proposed to add a new SUPPORT 
statement to provide additional information about the difference 
between a statutory speed limit and an altered speed zone. A citizen 
opposed the descriptions because he believes they offer a way to avoid 
doing a proper speed survey and thus enable jurisdictions to post 
unreasonably low speed limits. The FHWA disagrees, as this is only a 
SUPPORT statement that does not affect the other provisions regarding 
studies to establish speed limits, and the FHWA adopts the SUPPORT 
statement in this final rule to clarify the difference between 
statutory speed limits and altered speed zones.
    The FHWA also proposed to add a new OPTION statement to permit the 
use of several new plaques (R2-5P series) to be mounted with the Speed 
Limit Sign when a jurisdiction has a policy of installing speed limit 
signs only on the streets that enter from a jurisdictional boundary or 
from a higher-speed street to indicate that the speed limit is 
applicable to the entire city, neighborhood, or residential area unless 
otherwise posted. A State DOT, a local DOT, and a retired traffic 
engineer supported the new language; however, a State DOT opposed the 
language, because it felt that such plaques can be difficult to enforce 
and have the potential to be abused. The FHWA disagrees with the 
commenter and adopts this change in this final rule, with editorial 
clarification, to reflect common practice in some urban areas, as 
documented by the Sign Synthesis Study,\27\ and because it is often 
unnecessary and overly costly to install a speed limit sign on every 
minor residential street.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, pages 19-20, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also proposed to add paragraph 09 to recommend that a 
Reduced Speed Limit Ahead sign be used where the speed limit is being 
reduced by more than 10 mph, or where engineering judgment indicates 
the need for advance notice. One State DOT supported this new 
recommendation; however, another State DOT opposed this recommendation, 
stating that to install reduced speed limit signs in advance of every 
10 mph reduction in speed would be infeasible. A turnpike authority 
suggested that speed limit drops of more than 10 mph at a time should 
be discouraged. The FHWA adopts this change in this final rule because 
the practice of installing reduced speed signs in advance of speed 
zones with more than a 10 mph reduction has been in place in many 
States for decades. In addition, some States and local highway agencies 
have engaged in the practice of establishing speed limits more than 10 
mph lower than the rural statutory speed limit when entering a town or 
commercial area, and road users need to be warned of such situations. 
The FHWA also adopts this change in order to provide consistency with 
changes contained in Chapter 2C.
    The FHWA clarifies the STANDARD statement proposed in the NPA for 
the establishment of speed zones on the basis of an engineering study 
of the current speed distribution of free-flowing vehicles, by adding 
SUPPORT and OPTION statements in this final rule in response to 
comments from the NCUTCD. That organization suggested more 
clarification as to engineering studies that should be conducted to 
reevaluate non-statutory speed limits and the posting of altered speed 
zones. The FHWA believes these adopted changes will assist agencies 
with reevaluating non-statutory speed limits on segments of their 
roadways that have

[[Page 66747]]

undergone significant changes since the last review; such as the 
addition or elimination of parking, change in the number of travel 
lanes, changes in bicycle lane configuration, or signal coordination 
and in determining speed limits in speed zones.
    As discussed above, in the NPA the FHWA proposed to add in 
paragraph 01 of the STANDARD statement a requirement that the 
engineering study that is performed to determine a speed zone shall 
include an analysis of the current speed distribution of free-flowing 
vehicles. Based on a comment from the Regulatory and Warning Signs 
Technical Committee of the NCUTCD to include additional guidance and 
supporting information for the establishment of speed zones in the 
vicinity of signalized intersections, the FHWA adds paragraph 13 to the 
GUIDANCE statement to recommend that speed studies on signalized 
intersection approaches be taken outside the influence area of the 
traffic control signal, which is generally considered to be 
approximately \1/2\ mile, to avoid obtaining skewed results for the 
85th percentile speed. Following this GUIDANCE, the FHWA adds a SUPPORT 
statement regarding the use of advance warning signs in the vicinity of 
signalized intersections. The FHWA believes that this new text provides 
agencies with additional information that is useful in establishing 
speed zones and gaining motorists' awareness.
    Finally, the FHWA adds a new GUIDANCE statement to indicate that 
Speed Limit signs should not be used to warn of an advisory speed for a 
roadway condition, based on a comment from the NCUTCD that this is 
needed for consistency with the provisions of Section 2C.08 Advisory 
Speed Plaque. The FHWA also adds a reference to Section 2C.08 for 
information on advisory speed plaques for these conditions.
    67. In Section 2B.17 Higher Fines Signs and Plaque, the FHWA 
proposed changes to OPTION, GUIDANCE, STANDARD, and SUPPORT statements. 
In this final rule, the FHWA revises the existing and proposed text to 
be consistent with similar provisions in Chapter 6F and Chapter 7B for 
the application of Higher Fines signs and plaque.
    68. The FHWA relocates all of the text from Section 2B.18 Location 
of Speed Limit Sign of the 2003 MUTCD to Section 2B.13 Speed Limit Sign 
(see item 66 above).
    69. In Section 2B.18 (Section 2B.19 of the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA 
changes the title to ``Movement Prohibition Signs'' to incorporate the 
inclusion of the No Straight Through (R3-27) sign in the GUIDANCE 
statement in this section. The NCUTCD, ATSSA, a State DOT, two local 
DOTs, an association, and two citizens supported this new sign, 
although some of the commenters also suggested that the signs be 
allowed for other applications. A State DOT and two local DOTs opposed 
the new sign because they felt that it was unnecessary. The commenters 
suggested that the DO NOT ENTER (R5-1) sign serves the same purpose. 
The FHWA disagrees and adopts the symbolic No Straight Through sign as 
proposed in the NPA. The sign is most commonly used for traffic 
restrictions associated with traffic calming programs. The sign is 
useful at intersections having four approaches, where the through 
movement to be prohibited is onto a street or road that does not have a 
``Do Not Enter'' condition, such as when 90-degree turns into the 
roadway are allowed, but the straight ahead movement into the roadway 
is prohibited. This new sign uses the standard Canadian MUTCD RB-10 
sign as the basis of the design. The FHWA adds an illustration of this 
new sign to Figure 2B-4.
    The FHWA also changes paragraph 09 regarding the use of Turn 
Prohibition Signs adjacent to signal heads from an OPTION to a GUIDANCE 
statement. Although a local DOT opposed strengthening this language to 
a recommendation, the FHWA believes that for conspicuity reasons, these 
signs should be mounted near the appropriate signal face, and this 
reflects typical practice. Therefore, the FHWA adopts in this final 
rule the proposed changes to a recommended practice rather than an 
option.
    Additionally, the FHWA adds new STANDARD and SUPPORT statements at 
the end of this section to prohibit the use of No Left Turn, No U-Turn, 
and combination No U-Turn/No Left Turn signs at roundabouts in order to 
prohibit drivers from turning left onto the circular roadway of a 
roundabout. The language also indicates that Roundabout Directional 
Arrow and/or ONE WAY signs are the appropriate signs to indicate the 
travel direction for this condition. The NCUTCD and two of its members, 
a State DOT, two local DOTs, and a traffic engineering consultant 
supported the proposed language. Some comments in support of the 
proposal also indicated that there might be unique existing situations 
where the design of the roundabout is confusing and/or driver 
expectancy is such that a No Left Turn sign is needed to correct driver 
behavior at roundabout approaches. The FHWA disagrees with those 
comments and suggests that the Roundabout Directional Arrow and/or ONE 
WAY signs can be used to help in those situations. The FHWA adopts the 
language as proposed in the NPA to provide uniformity in signing at 
roundabouts and to reduce the possibility of confusion for drivers that 
intend to turn left by circumnavigating the roundabout.
    70. In Section 2B.19 (Section 2B.20 of the 2003 MUTCD) Intersection 
Lane Control Signs, the FHWA proposed to add to the GUIDANCE statement 
that overhead lane control signs should be installed over the 
appropriate lanes on signalized approaches where lane drops, multiple-
lane turns with shared through-and-turn lanes, or other lane-use 
controls that would be unexpected by unfamiliar road users are present. 
The NCUTCD, an NCUTCD member, a local DOT, and a citizen supported the 
language that lane control signs should be mounted overhead. Eight 
State DOTs and seven local DOTs, however, suggested that placing lane 
control signs overhead, as well as using oversized post-mounted signs, 
should be an option, rather than a recommendation, because of the costs 
involved. The FHWA adopts the recommendation to use overhead signs for 
the stated conditions, however to address the comments from the DOTs, 
the FHWA provides additional information in this final rule to clarify 
alternatives to mounting overhead signs when it is impractical to do 
so. These changes are adopted to enhance safety and efficiency by 
providing for more effective signing for potentially confusing 
intersection configurations.
    The FHWA also proposed to add a paragraph at the end of the OPTION 
statement regarding the types of arrows that may be used on 
Intersection Lane Control signs at roundabouts. ATSSA, the NCUTCD, an 
NCUTCD member, a State DOT, and two local DOTs supported the arrow 
shapes, while another NCUTCD member thought that including four 
different ways to show each movement lacked uniformity. A traffic 
engineering consultant supported the various options for arrows because 
he believes that road users understand and interpret normal lane 
control arrows better than fish hook arrows. A local DOT suggested that 
the left-turn arrow should be prohibited from use at roundabout 
intersections. The FHWA adopts the changes as proposed in the NPA along 
with ``Figure 2B-5 Intersection Lane Control Sign Arrow Options for 
Roundabouts'' illustrating the signs, to reflect current practice for 
roundabout signing and to correspond with similar options for pavement

[[Page 66748]]

marking arrows on roundabout approaches in Part 3. The FHWA notes that 
human factors research \28\ found that all of the arrow designs shown 
for roundabout movements were well understood by the public.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ ``Lane Restriction Signing and Marking for Double-Lane 
Roundabouts'', Final Report, October 2007, by John A. Molino, Vaughn 
W. Inman, Bryan J. Katz, and Amanda Emo, for the Traffic Control 
Devices Pooled Fund Study, can be viewed at the following Internet 
Web site: http://www.pooledfund.org/documents/TPF-5_065/FinalRoundaboutReport.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    71. In Section 2B.20 (Section 2B.21 in the 2003 MUTCD) Mandatory 
Movement Lane Control Signs, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise the 
first paragraph of the STANDARD statement to clarify that Mandatory 
Movement Lane Use Control signs shall indicate only the single vehicle 
movement that is required from each lane, and to clarify the placement 
of the signs. The FHWA also proposed to add that where three or more 
lanes are available to through traffic and Mandatory Movement Lane 
Control symbol signs are used, they shall be mounted overhead. A State 
DOT supported this requirement; however, four State DOTs, three local 
DOTs, two NCUTCD members, and a citizen opposed the requirement, 
suggesting that overhead installations are not always practical and 
that post-mounted R3-5 signs with plaques are sufficient and easily 
understood. The FHWA disagrees and notes that the intent is to prohibit 
post-mounted lane use control signs on approaches with three or more 
through lanes, because the needed lane use information is more visible 
overhead rather than off to the side where traffic in the adjacent 
lanes limits the visibility of post-mounted signs. In addition, lane 
use regulatory signing is to be placed over the lane to which it 
applies on approaches with three or more through lanes, and not just 
where one of the lanes changes to a mandatory turn lane or combination 
turn lane. This is crucial information for motorists and the lack of 
overhead lane use signing contributes to crashes on multilane 
approaches to intersections. The FHWA also adopts these changes for 
consistency with Section 2B.21.
    In this final rule, the FHWA changes paragraph 05 from a STANDARD 
statement to a GUIDANCE statement to recommend, rather than require, 
that R3-5 series supplemental plaques (LEFT LANE, TAXI LANE, etc.) for 
R3-5 series lane control signs on two-lane approaches be mounted above 
the associated R3-5 sign. Although these changes were not proposed in 
the NPA, the FHWA adopts these changes in response to comments from the 
NCUTCD and a citizen. The commenters suggested that this statement was 
more appropriate as a recommendation, and they also indicated that the 
supplemental plaques should be added above the sign, rather than below, 
since placing the information at the top of the sign assembly allows 
drivers to quickly determine if the sign applies to them. The FHWA 
agrees and incorporates these changes in this final rule.
    The FHWA also add paragraphs 06 and 07 in response to a comment 
from the NCUTCD to clarify the use of R3-7 LEFT (RIGHT) LANE MUST TURN 
LEFT (RIGHT) Mandatory Movement Lane Control signs, because they are 
being misused throughout the country. The FHWA agrees and adds these 
paragraphs in the final rule to clarify where these signs should and 
should not be used.
    Finally, as proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds an OPTION statement 
at the end of this section describing the optional use of the new BEGIN 
RIGHT TURN LANE (R3-20R) and BEGIN LEFT TURN LANE (R3-20L) signs at the 
upstream end of the turn lane taper of mandatory turn lanes. The FHWA 
adds this change to give agencies flexibility to use these new signs to 
designate the beginning of mandatory turn lanes where needed for 
enforcement purposes. The NCUTCD, ATSSA, and a local DOT supported this 
change. A State DOT and a NCUTCD member opposed the introduction of the 
R3-20 sign, because the R3-7 and R3-5 signs are available and therefore 
they believe that another sign is not needed and would reduce 
uniformity. The FHWA disagrees, because this new optional sign will 
provide road users additional information regarding mandatory turn 
lanes. The FHWA adopts the R3-20 sign, incorporating an editorial 
suggestion regarding its placement, in this final rule.
    72. In Section 2B.21 (Section 2B.22 in the 2003 MUTCD) Optional 
Movement Lane Control Sign, the FHWA revises the STANDARD statement, as 
proposed in the NPA, to clarify that, if used, Optional Movement Lane 
Control signs shall be located in advance of and/or at the intersection 
where the lane controls apply. This change also provides consistency 
with Section 2B.20 regarding placement of Mandatory Movement Lane 
Control Signs.
    The FHWA also adopts the proposed paragraph 05 requiring that 
Optional Movement Lane Control (R3-6) signs be mounted overhead if used 
on an approach where the number of lanes available to through traffic 
is three or more. Similar to the comments in Section 2B.20, a local DOT 
supported this change, while two State DOTs, two local DOTs, and two 
NCUTCD members opposed this change, suggesting that it should be 
optional rather than recommended. The FHWA disagrees because lane use 
regulation is critical information for drivers that can be obscured by 
other traffic on approaches of three or more through lanes when post-
mounted.
    Similar to comparable provisions in Section 2B.20, in this final 
rule the FHWA changes paragraph 06 from a STANDARD statement, as 
proposed in the NPA, to a GUIDANCE statement to recommend, rather than 
require, that R3-5 series supplemental plaques (LEFT LANE, TAXI LANE, 
etc) for R3-5 series lane control signs on two-lane approaches be 
mounted above the associated R3-6 sign, for consistency with a similar 
statement in Section 2B.20.
    The FHWA also adds paragraph 08, as proposed in the NPA, 
prohibiting the use of the word message ONLY when more than one 
movement is permitted from a lane. The FHWA adopts this change in this 
final rule to be consistent with other requirements in the MUTCD 
regarding the use of the term ONLY for lane use.
    73. In Section 2B.22 Advance Intersection Lane Control Signs 
(Section 2B.23 in the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add 
paragraph 05 prohibiting the overhead placement of Advance Intersection 
Lane Control (R3-8) signs where the number of lanes available to 
traffic on an approach is three or more. In such cases, overhead R3-5 
signs are used. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, three local DOTs, and a 
traffic engineering consultant pointed out confusing language in the 
statement proposed in the NPA. The FHWA clarifies the language in this 
final rule to refer to the total number of lanes, not just through 
lanes. This section pertains to advance lane use signs, while Section 
2B.19 addresses lane use control signs at the intersection.
    74. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2B.23 
RIGHT (LEFT) LANE MUST EXIT Sign. This section, as proposed in the NPA, 
contained an OPTION statement describing the use of this sign for a 
lane of a freeway or expressway that is approaching a grade-separated 
interchange where traffic in the lane is required to depart the roadway 
onto the exit ramp at the next interchange. As documented in the Sign 
Synthesis Study,\29\ at least 12 States currently use

[[Page 66749]]

this type of regulatory sign for freeway lane drop situations to 
establish the ``must exit'' regulation and make it enforceable where 
warning signs (such as the overhead ``Exit Only'' black-on-yellow 
warning plaque on guide signs) and markings alone have proven 
ineffective. ATSSA, an NCUTCD member, and a local DOT supported the new 
RIGHT (LEFT) LANE MUST EXIT (R3-33) sign; however, another NCUTCD 
member opposed the sign because he felt that there are similar signs in 
the MUTCD that can be used. The FHWA disagrees because there are no 
other post-mounted regulatory signs that adequately convey this 
message. The FHWA adopts this section in this final rule with revisions 
to indicate that this sign may be used to supplement an overhead EXIT 
ONLY guide sign, in response to a comment from a toll road operator 
that further clarification was needed to preclude unintended uses of 
the R3-33 sign.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 22, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    75. Although the FHWA did not propose in the NPA any significant 
changes to Section 2B.24 Two-Way Left Turn Only Signs, the FHWA 
received comments from three local DOTs suggesting that two-way left 
turn only signs are no longer necessary because this turn configuration 
has been in use for long enough that motorists are familiar with its 
operation. The commenters suggested that two-way left turn only signs 
be optional, rather than recommended. The FHWA disagrees because the 
operation of two-way left-turn lanes is a regulatory application 
requiring motorists to turn left out of the lane rather than using the 
lane as an auxiliary through lane. Lane markings alone regulate traffic 
only for NO PASSING zones; therefore two-way left turn only signs are 
needed. The FHWA retains this section, as it existed in the 2003 MUTCD, 
with minor editorial changes.
    76. Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds a new section 
numbered and titled Section 2B.25 BEGIN and END Plaques, consisting of 
an OPTION statement for the optional use of the BEGIN or END plaque and 
a STANDARD statement that, if the plaque is used, it is to be placed 
above a regulatory sign. The FHWA adds this new section in response to 
comments from the NCUTCD that the existing END plaques already 
contained in Section 2D.22 and the BEGIN plaque proposed in the NPA in 
Section 2D.23 should be made available for optional use with any 
regulatory sign. The NCUTCD based its suggestion on recommendation 
15 from the Sign Synthesis Study.\30\ The FHWA agrees and 
adopts this new section, along with an illustration of the plaques in 
Figure 2B-6, in this final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, pages 22-23, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    77. The FHWA adds a new section titled Section 2B.27 Jughandle 
Signs. As proposed in the NPA, this section contains SUPPORT, STANDARD, 
and OPTION statements regarding the use of regulatory signs for 
jughandles. A State DOT suggested that road users would be better 
served by advance guide signing for jug handles, rather than regulatory 
signing. The FHWA disagrees because regulatory signing is critical for 
jughandles since the geometry typically requires left turns and U-turns 
to be made via a right turn, either in advance of or beyond the 
intersection, and this is contrary to normal driver expectations. The 
Sign Synthesis Study \31\ found that jughandles are currently in common 
use in at least six States and the FHWA believes that jughandles are 
likely to see increasing use in the future in more States in order to 
improve intersection safety and operations. Therefore, in order to 
provide agencies with uniform signing practices for several of the most 
common geometric layouts of jughandles, the FHWA adds this new section 
along with several new signs and a figure to illustrate their use. 
ATSSA and a local DOT supported the regulatory signs illustrated in the 
figure. The NCUTCD suggested editorial changes to the text and to the 
arrows on some of the signs, which the FHWA adopts in this final rule. 
Although a local DOT opposed the use of ``U Turn and Left Turn'' 
language on the R3-24 signs, the FHWA incorporates the sign designs, as 
proposed in the NPA, because the sign designs and their applications 
have effectively been in use in several States for decades and are 
critical information for road user decisions for the condition of an 
indirect left turn.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 24, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    78. In Section 2B.28 DO NOT PASS Sign (Section 2B.29 of the 2003 
MUTCD), in the NPA the FHWA proposed a new symbol sign for the DO NOT 
PASS (R4-1) Sign. ATSSA, three local DOTs, and two citizens supported 
the new symbol signs. Although the proposed symbol sign has been in use 
and is well understood in Europe and Canada (the Canadian MUTCD RB-31 
sign) for many decades,\32\ the FHWA does not adopt the symbol sign in 
this final rule because of comments from the NCUTCD and two of its 
members, seven State DOTs, and five local DOTs suggesting that U.S. 
drivers would not understand its meaning. The FHWA agrees that 
additional human factors testing of the symbol is desirable before 
future consideration of adoption of this symbol.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 24, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    79. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a new section numbered and 
titled Section 2B.35 DO NOT PASS WHEN SOLID LINE IS ON YOUR SIDE sign, 
which contained an OPTION statement describing the use of this word 
message sign. ATSSA and two local DOTs supported this new sign. 
Although at least five States use signs to remind road users of the 
meaning of a solid yellow line for no-passing zones, the NCUTCD and two 
of its members, eight State DOTs, four local DOTs, and a local 
association of traffic engineers recommended deleting this section and 
the associated sign in its entirety because they felt that the proposed 
sign was not needed. Many stated that the No Passing Pennant (W14-3) 
warning sign may be used for this purpose. The FHWA agrees and does not 
adopt this section or the sign in this final rule.
    80. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to retitle Section 2B.31 of the 
2003 MUTCD to ``KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS Sign and SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP 
RIGHT Sign'' to reflect the proposed addition of a new KEEP RIGHT 
EXCEPT TO PASS sign in this section. The Sign Synthesis Study \33\ 
found that at least 19 States use a ``Keep Right Except to Pass'' sign 
to legally require vehicles to stay in the right-hand lane of a multi-
lane highway except when passing a slower vehicle, and the FHWA feels 
that a consistent message should be provided to road users. The NCUTCD, 
an NCUTCD member, ATSSA, and a local DOT supported the new KEEP RIGHT 
EXCEPT TO PASS sign. The NCUTCD also noted that the new KEEP RIGHT 
EXCEPT TO PASS sign is used for different situations than the SLOWER 
TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT sign. The FHWA agrees and adopts

[[Page 66750]]

revisions in this final rule to separate the applications of each of 
the signs, including placing the new KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS sign in 
its own Section, numbered Section 2B.30 in this final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 25, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    81. In Section 2B.31 (numbered Section 2B.32 in the 2003 MUTCD), as 
proposed in the NPA, the FHWA retitles the Section to ``TRUCKS USE 
RIGHT LANE Sign'' and revises the section to discontinue the use of the 
TRUCK LANE XXX FEET (R4-6) as a regulatory sign because the message is 
one of guidance information (distance to the start of the truck lane) 
rather than regulatory in nature. This is consistent with changes in 
Chapter 2D that add a new guide sign with this message. The FHWA also 
adds an OPTION statement, as proposed in the NPA, which describes the 
appropriate optional use of the TRUCKS USE RIGHT LANE sign on multi-
lane roadways to reduce unnecessary lane changing.
    82. In Section 2B.32 Keep Right and Keep Left Signs (numbered 
Section 2B.33 in the 2003 MUTCD) the FHWA adds a new narrow Keep Right 
(R4-7c) sign that may be installed on narrow medians where there is 
insufficient lateral clearance for a standard width Keep Right sign. 
ATSSA, a State DOT, two local DOTs, and a traffic engineering 
consultant supported this new sign. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed that 
this narrower sign may be installed on medians less than 6 feet in 
width; however, in this final rule the FHWA revises the permitted use 
of this sign to medians less than 4 feet wide based on a comment from 
ATSSA. The FHWA adopts this new sign, which is only 12 inches wide 
rather than the standard 24-inch wide R4-7 sign, to reflect current 
practice in some States and to provide other agencies with the 
flexibility to use this sign where applicable.
    83. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds three new sections 
following Section 2B.32. The first new section is numbered and titled 
Section 2B.33 STAY IN LANE Sign, and contains OPTION and GUIDANCE 
statements on the use of STAY IN LANE (R4-9) signs and the pavement 
markings that should be used with them. The second new section is 
numbered and titled Section 2B.34 RUNAWAY VEHICLES ONLY Sign, and 
contains a GUIDANCE statement regarding the use of the RUNAWAY VEHICLES 
ONLY sign near truck escape ramp entrances. Both the STAY IN LANE and 
RUNAWAY VEHICLES ONLY signs are existing signs illustrated in Figure 
2B-10 (Figure 2B-8 of the 2003 MUTCD), but not described in the text of 
the 2003 MUTCD. The third new section is numbered and titled Section 
2B.35 Slow Vehicle Turn-Out Signs, and contains SUPPORT, OPTION, and 
STANDARD statements regarding three new signs that may be used on two-
lane highways where physical turn-out areas are provided for the 
purpose of giving a group of faster vehicles an opportunity to pass a 
slow-moving vehicle. ATSSA and a local DOT supported the SLOW VEHICLES 
WITH XX OR MORE FOLLOWING VEHICLES MUST USE TURN-OUT (R4-12) sign; 
however, two State DOTs opposed the sign because of safety concerns. As 
documented in the Sign Synthesis Study,\34\ at least eight States, 
mostly in the west, use regulatory signs to legally require slow moving 
vehicles to use the turnout if a certain number of following vehicles 
are being impeded. Most of the eight States use similar wording on 
their signs, but there are some variations. The FHWA adds these new 
signs in this final rule to provide for uniformity of the message.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 25, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    84. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds a new section numbered 
and titled Section 2B.36 DO NOT DRIVE ON SHOULDER Sign and DO NOT PASS 
ON SHOULDER Sign, which contains an OPTION statement regarding the use 
of these two new signs to inform road users that use of the shoulder as 
a travel lane or to pass other vehicles is prohibited. ATSSA supported 
these two new signs. The FHWA adopts these 2 new signs in this final 
rule because the Sign Synthesis Study \35\ found that at least 19 
States are using some version of regulatory sign to prohibit driving, 
turning, and/or passing on shoulders and the FHWA feels that consistent 
and uniform messages for these purposes should be provided to road 
users.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 25, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    85. In Sections 2B.37 DO NOT ENTER Sign and 2B.38 WRONG WAY Sign 
(Sections 2B.34 and 2B.35 of the 2003 MUTCD) the FHWA adds SUPPORT 
statements, as proposed in the NPA. These statements reference Section 
2B.41, which allows lower mounting heights for Do Not Enter and Wrong 
Way signs as a specific exception when an engineering study indicates 
that it would address wrong-way movements at freeway/expressway exit 
ramps. The FHWA adopts this exception based on recommendations from the 
Older Driver handbook \36\ and positive experience in several States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \36\ ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm. Recommendation II.D(4d).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    86. In Section 2B.39 Selective Exclusion Signs (Section 2B.36 in 
the 2003 MUTCD), as proposed in the NPA, the FHWA changes the legend of 
several existing selective exclusion signs to use the word NO rather 
than PROHIBITED or EXCLUDED, to simplify the messages and make them 
easier to read from a distance. ATSSA, a State DOT, and a local DOT 
supported this change. The FHWA also adds the new No Skaters (R9-13) 
and No Equestrians (R9-14) signs to this list, as well as to Figure 2B-
11, based on comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, two NCUTCD members, 
and several pedestrian/bicycle associations.
    To respond to a comment from a State DOT, the FHWA adds paragraph 
06 to recommend that the NO PEDESTRIANS OR BICYCLES (R5-10b) sign, when 
used on a freeway or expressway exit or entrance ramp, should be 
installed in a location where it is clearly visible to any pedestrian 
or bicyclist attempting to enter the limited access facility from a 
street intersecting the exit ramp.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add two new regulatory signs, 
AUTHORIZED VEHICLES ONLY and FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY to the last OPTION 
statement to reflect current practice. While ATSSA and a local DOT 
supported both of these signs, an NCUTCD member suggested that their 
meaning was so similar that only one sign is needed. The FHWA agrees 
and adopts the AUTHORIZED VEHICLES ONLY (R5-11) sign in this final rule 
and deletes the FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY sign.
    87. In Figure 2B-26 (Figure 2B-18 in the 2003 MUTCD) Pedestrian 
Signs and Plaques, the FHWA in this final rule modifies the designs of 
the R10-3, R10-3a through R10-3e, R10-4 and R10-4a to include the 
Canadian MUTCD standard symbol for pushbuttons (in addition to the 
words), as proposed in the NPA, to begin the symbolization of the 
``pushbutton'' message. The FHWA adopts this change to provide better 
harmony in North American signing design, which is needed as a result 
of the increased travel between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico resulting 
from NAFTA. The FHWA is adopting this new pushbutton symbol on several 
signs throughout the MUTCD.

[[Page 66751]]

    88. As proposed in the NPA, in Section 2B.40 ONE WAY Signs (Section 
2B.37 of the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA changes paragraph 03 to a STANDARD 
to require, rather than recommend, that at an intersection with a 
divided highway having a median width of 30 feet or more, ONE WAY signs 
be placed on the near right and far left corners of each intersection 
with the directional roadways to reflect recommendations from the Older 
Driver handbook.\37\ In concert with these changes, and based on 
comments from a State DOT, the FHWA clarifies that, at an intersection 
with a divided highway that has a median width of less than 30 feet, 
Keep Right (R4-7) signs shall be installed, visible to traffic on the 
divided highway and each crossroad approach, and/or ONE WAY signs shall 
be placed, visible to each crossroad approach, on the near right and 
far left corners of the intersection. The FHWA also adds an OPTION 
statement allowing ONE WAY signs to also be placed on the far right 
corner of an intersection with a divided highway that has a median 
width of less than 30 feet. The FHWA revises Figures 2B-15 through 2B-
17 accordingly.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm. Recommendations I.E(4), 
I.K(2), and I.K(3).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also adds two STANDARD paragraphs as proposed in the NPA 
to require two ONE WAY signs for each approach for T-intersections and 
cross intersections, one on the near side and one on the far side. The 
FHWA adopts this change to reflect recommendations from the Older 
Driver handbook.\38\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38\ ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm. Recommendations I.K(4) and 
I.K(5).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA establishes a target compliance date of December 31, 2019, 
(approximately 10 years from the effective date of this final rule) for 
the installation of the additional ONE WAY and/or Keep Right signs 
required to achieve compliance with these provisions at existing 
locations. The FHWA establishes this target compliance date because of 
the demonstrated safety issues associated with wrong-way travel on 
divided highways and because the FHWA anticipates that installation of 
the required additional signs at existing locations will provide 
significant safety benefits to road users. State and local highway 
agencies and owners of private roads open to public travel can schedule 
the installation of the additional required signs in conjunction with 
their programs for maintaining and replacing other signs at existing 
locations that are worn out or damaged, thus minimizing any impacts.
    The FHWA also adds new OPTION, GUIDANCE, and SUPPORT statements at 
the end of the Section regarding the use of ONE WAY signs on central 
islands of roundabouts. The FHWA adopts this text to promote 
consistency in signing for roundabouts.
    Additionally, to respond to a comment from the NCUTCD and to 
provide highway agencies with a uniform method of communicating 
potentially important messages, in this final rule the FHWA adds BEGIN 
ONE WAY and END ONE WAY signs as optional signs that may be used to 
notify approaching road users of the beginning point or ending point of 
a one-way directional roadway. These new optional signs are consistent 
with existing sign designs. The Signs Synthesis Report \39\ indicates 
these signs are in use in some States. The FHWA adopts the signs in the 
text and includes them in Figure 2B-13, and notes that the impact of 
this addition is mitigated as the use of these signs is optional.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 26, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    89. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA relocates the information from 
Section 2E.50 of the 2003 MUTCD to a new section numbered and titled 
Section 2B.41 Wrong-Way Traffic Control at Interchange Ramps. The FHWA 
adopts this change because these types of signs are regulatory in 
nature, rather than guide signs.
    In addition, the FHWA adds paragraph 06 allowing the option to 
mount a DO NOT ENTER sign(s) and/or a WRONG WAY sign(s) along the exit 
ramp facing a road user at a lower mounting height under specific 
conditions. A local DOT supported this option, while two State DOTs and 
a local DOT expressed concerns about the crashworthiness of signs at 
this lower mounting height. Another local DOT suggested that a lower 
mounting height should not be allowed for signs, because other signs 
are restricted from being installed in this manner. The FHWA disagrees 
with the commenters and adopts this language in this final rule because 
of the effective application of this option in several States,\40\ 
research conducted by Texas Transportation Institute,\41\ and the 
results of crash testing of sign supports of various heights as 
documented in AASHTO's Roadside Design Guide.\42\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ ``Marking the Way to Greater Safety,'' Senior Mobility 
Series: Article 4, Public Roads Magazine, July/August 2006, page 55, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/pubrds/06jul/08.htm.
    \41\ ``Countermeasures for Wrong-Way Movement on Freeways: 
Overview of Project Activities and Findings,'' Report number FHWA/
TX-04/4128-1, January 2004, by Scott A. Cooner, A. Scott Cothron, 
and Steven E. Ranft, can be viewed at the following Internet Web 
site: http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/4128-1.pdf.
    \42\ ``Roadside Design Guide, 3rd Edition,'' 2002, is available 
for purchase from the American Association of State Highway and 
Transportation Officials, via the Internet Web site: https://bookstore.transportation.org/item_details.aspx?ID=148.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    90. In Section 2B.42 Divided Highway Crossing Signs (Section 2B.38 
in the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to change the first 
OPTION statement to a STANDARD statement to require the use of Divided 
Highway Crossing Signs for all approaches to divided highways in order 
to encompass recommendations from the Older Driver handbook.\43\ 
Although ATSSA supported this change, six State DOTs, eight local DOTs, 
three NCUTCD members, a traffic engineering consultant, and a citizen 
all opposed the change, suggesting that it was unrealistic in urban 
areas and would involve the installation of too many signs. As a result 
of the comments, the FHWA reevaluated this proposal and the underlying 
research and recommendations from the Older Driver Handbook. Based on 
that review, the FHWA revises the first STANDARD statement to require 
the installation of a Divided Highway Crossing sign on unsignalized 
minor-street approaches from which both left turns and through 
movements are permitted onto a divided highway having a median width at 
the intersection itself of 30 feet or greater. The FHWA notes that the 
operational and safety issues with side road approaches to divided 
highways is for left turns out of the side road approach onto the 
divided highway and for through crossing movements from the side road 
approach, rather than for right turn movements, and revises the 
STANDARD and OPTION statements accordingly. As part of this change, the 
FHWA also adopts an OPTION statement to allow the Divided Highway 
Crossing sign to be omitted if the divided road has average annual 
daily traffic less than 400 vehicles per day and a speed limit of 30 
mph or less. The FHWA also adopts an OPTION

[[Page 66752]]

statement permitting the use of the Divided Highway Crossing sign 
facing signalized minor-street approaches from which both left and 
right turns are permitted onto a divided highway having a median width 
of 30 feet or greater at the intersection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm. Recommendation I.K(1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to change the existing 2nd OPTION 
statement to a STANDARD statement in order to require that the Divided 
Highway Crossing sign be located on the near right corner of the 
intersection. The FHWA adopts this change as proposed. As part of this 
change, the FHWA also adds an OPTION statement to permit the 
installation of an additional Divided Highway Crossing sign on the 
left-hand side of the approach to supplement the sign on the near right 
corner of the intersection. The FHWA adopts these to implement 
recommendations from the Older Driver handbook.\44\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \44\ ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm. Recommendation I.K(1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    91. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds a new section numbered 
and titled Section 2B.43 Roundabout Directional Arrow Signs, containing 
STANDARD, GUIDANCE, and OPTION statements on the use of Roundabout 
Directional Arrow Signs. ATSSA, an NCUTCD member, a local DOT, and a 
traffic engineering consultant supported the use of these signs. Two 
State DOTs, three local DOTs, two traffic engineering consultants, an 
NCUTCD member, and a citizen commented about the design of the sign. 
The NCUTCD member supported the sign design. Many of the commenters 
suggested that the background color should be yellow rather than white. 
The FHWA disagrees, noting that the use of the black and yellow W1-8 
Chevron sign is reserved for application to warning of horizontal 
curvature. The FHWA notes that the regulatory sign for use at 
roundabouts is the Roundabout Directional Arrow and not the Chevron 
Alignment sign, which is a warning sign.
    The FHWA adopts the recommendation to mount the sign at least 4 
feet high when used on the central island of a roundabout, as proposed 
in the NPA. A traffic engineering consultant supported this 
recommendation, while a State DOT expressed concerns about the mounting 
height. The FHWA notes that information regarding crashworthiness of 
sign supports at various mounting heights is provided in AASHTO's 
Roadside Design Guide.\45\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ ``Roadside Design Guide, 3rd Edition,'' 2002, is available 
for purchase from the American Association of State Highway and 
Transportation Officials, via the Internet Web site: https://bookstore.transportation.org/item_details.aspx?ID=148.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    92. The FHWA adopts a new section numbered and titled Section 2B.44 
Roundabout Circulation Plaque, as proposed in the NPA, that contains 
GUIDANCE and OPTION statements regarding the use of the Roundabout 
Circulation Sign at roundabouts and other circular intersections. 
ATSSA, a local DOT, and a traffic engineering consultant supported this 
new section and the associated sign, while a State DOT and a local DOT 
suggested that more signs at roundabouts are not needed. Three local 
DOTs suggested that a supplemental YIELD TO TRAFFIC IN CIRCLE plaque 
under the YIELD sign be permitted. The FHWA disagrees and does not 
incorporate the supplemental plaque in this final rule, because the 
FHWA is not aware of any studies documenting the effectiveness of such 
a plaque, but the FHWA notes that the MUTCD provides agencies the 
flexibility to develop and use word message plaques at problem 
locations if they deem it necessary. The FHWA adopts this section and 
the associated sign as proposed in the NPA.
    93. The FHWA also adopts a new section numbered and titled Section 
2B.45 Examples of Roundabout Signing, as proposed in the NPA, that 
contains a SUPPORT statement referencing new Figures 2B-21 through 2B-
23 that illustrate examples of regulatory and warning signs for 
roundabouts of various configurations. The SUPPORT statement also 
references other areas in the Manual that contain information on guide 
signing and pavement markings at roundabouts. The FHWA adopts this new 
section in order to add valuable information regarding regulatory and 
warning signs at roundabouts to the MUTCD.
    An NCUTCD member supported the designs depicted in Figures 2B-21 
through 2B-23 on the basis of applied laboratory studies. A State DOT, 
a local DOT, and a traffic engineering consultant suggested that the 
Pedestrian Crossing signs shown in Figures 2B-21 and 2B-22 should be 
required, rather than optional. Two State DOTs suggested that the 
Roundabout Advance Warning sign should be required, rather than 
optional. The FHWA disagrees because the decision to place a warning 
sign is based upon engineering judgment and that the only mandatory 
warning signs are the advance railroad crossing warning sign and 
certain horizontal alignment warning signs in certain conditions.
    94. In Section 2B.47 Design of Parking, Standing, and Stopping 
Signs (Section 2B.40 in the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA adopts several 
changes to the colors of the borders of parking signs, as proposed in 
the NPA. The FHWA revises paragraph 03 to reflect that the Parking 
Prohibition signs R8-4 and R8-7 and the alternate design for the R7-
201aP plaque shall have a black legend and border on a white 
background, and the R8-3 sign shall have a black legend and border and 
a red circle and slash on a white background. A traffic engineering 
consultant supported the black border, while a local DOT opposed the 
use of a black border. The FHWA adopts the color changes to reflect the 
existing designs of these specific signs.
    Based on a comment from an NCUTCD member, the FHWA relocates the 
VAN ACCESSIBLE plaque from this section and Figure 2B-24 to Chapter 2I 
and Figure 2I-1. As part of this change, the FHWA changes its sign 
designation to D9-6a. The FHWA also changes paragraph 08 to a STANDARD 
to require that a VAN ACCESSIBLE plaque be installed below the R7-8 
sign where parking spaces that are reserved for persons with 
disabilities are designed to accommodate wheelchair vans. The FHWA 
adopts this change to reflect Section 502.6 of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act. A traffic engineering consultant opposed this 
requirement and questioned how agencies are to enforce the requirement 
on private property. As discussed previously under the MUTCD 
Introduction, the FHWA deletes the requirement for MUTCD applicability 
to parking lots.
    The FHWA also adds information in this STANDARD (paragraph 08) that 
specifies the required colors of the R7-8 sign and the R7-8P plaque to 
reflect the existing color schemes for this sign and plaque as 
illustrated in Figure 2B-24. A local DOT opposed the colors for the R7-
8 sign, because all of the signs in that State have white lettering on 
a blue background. The FHWA disagrees and notes that such signs do not 
conform to the MUTCD standard design of green legend and border with 
white on blue ADA symbol. The FHWA notes that it did not propose a 
change to the existing sign design in the NPA.
    Finally, the FHWA adds information, as proposed in the NPA, 
regarding the use of Pay for Parking and Parking Pay Station signs 
where a fee is charged for parking and a midblock pay station is used 
instead of individual parking meters. The FHWA adopts these signs to

[[Page 66753]]

reflect current practice in many areas where cities and towns are 
replacing individual parking space meters with a ``pay and display'' 
system. The FHWA adopts a design for the fee station sign that is very 
similar to a standard European symbol, because the results of the Sign 
Synthesis Study \46\ showed that several U.S. cities are using a sign 
very similar to the European design. ATSSA and a local DOT supported 
the addition of the Pay for Parking series of signs; however, an NCUTCD 
member suggested that the signs needed to be more standardized. The 
FHWA agrees and removes the signs designated as R7-21a and R7-22a from 
the text of this final rule and Figure 2B-24. Based on comments from 
the NCUTCD, the FHWA also adopts an OPTION statement regarding the 
color-coding of time limits to provide clearer and quicker recognition 
by the driver for different time limits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 27, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    95. In Section 2B.51 Pedestrian Crossing Signs (Section 2B.44 in 
the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a GUIDANCE 
statement to recommend that No Pedestrian Crossing signs be 
supplemented with detectable guidance, such as grass strips, 
landscaping, planters, fencing, rails or barriers, in order to provide 
pedestrians who have visual disabilities with additional guidance as to 
where not to cross. A local DOT supported the revision as proposed in 
the NPA. Three associations for the visually impaired, an orientation 
and mobility specialist, and seven citizens suggested that this 
statement be strengthened to a requirement because, without a physical 
restriction of the crossing, pedestrians who are visually impaired 
might cross at a location without realizing that crossing is 
prohibited, creating a dangerous situation. While the FHWA understands 
the concerns raised by the commenters, there are too many variables to 
make this action mandatory. Many sites cannot accommodate physical 
barriers, as evidenced by two local DOTs that requested that this 
statement be an option because they felt that the recommendation was 
too restrictive and unachievable in many instances, especially within 
already built environments. In addition, a State DOT and two local DOTs 
commented that the items proposed in the NPA for creating the physical 
barrier are not traffic control devices, and therefore should not be 
included in the MUTCD. The FHWA agrees that this statement is not 
appropriate for the MUTCD and does not adopt the language in this final 
rule.
    96. In the changes adopted in this final rule the FHWA separates 
the material proposed in the NPA for Section 2B.59 Traffic Signal Signs 
(Section 2B.45 of the 2003 MUTCD) into three separate sections. The 
FHWA believes that separating the material into three sections, based 
on the type of signs, will make it easier for practitioners to find 
information about the various types of signs. The new sections are 
adopted in this final rule as Section 2B.52 Traffic Signal Pedestrian 
Actuation Signs, Section 2B.53 Traffic Signal Signs, and Section 2B.54 
No Turn on Red Signs.
    97. In Section 2B.52 Traffic Signal Pedestrian and Bicycle 
Actuation Signs, the FHWA revises paragraphs 02 and 03 and the sign 
images in Figure 2B-26 to correspond with adopted changes in Chapter 4E 
requiring that signs for pedestrian pushbuttons clearly indicate which 
crosswalk signal is actuated by each pedestrian detector. The revisions 
eliminate the use of the R10-1, R10-3, and R10-4 sign designs (as shown 
in the 2003 MUTCD) because these do not identify a specific crosswalk, 
and therefore do not meet the requirements in Chapter 4E. ATSSA 
supported the new sign designs as proposed in the NPA; however, a State 
DOT and two traffic control device vendors opposed the creation of new 
pedestrian crosswalk signs. The commenters suggested that the multiple 
changes in signs place a costly burden on both the industry and local 
municipalities for new artwork, tooling, and mixed inventory of signs, 
which in turn compromises uniformity. The FHWA disagrees with the 
opponents' comments because it is important that pedestrians be given a 
clear indication of which crosswalk the pushbutton controls.
    A State DOT and two local DOTs opposed removal of the R10-4b sign, 
because they are using the sign and feel it is readily understood by 
the public. The FHWA disagrees and removes the existing R10-4b sign, 
because the new R10 series signs include an illustration of a hand with 
a finger touching the pushbutton. The NCUTCD, ATSSA, and a local DOT 
supported the new hand illustration. A traffic control device vendor 
and a citizen opposed the increase in size of pedestrian signs from 9 
inches x 12 inches to 9 inches x 15 inches to accommodate the finger 
symbol. The commenters felt that the existing size is sufficiently 
large enough and that the larger size will increase the cost of the 
sign and potentially encourage graffiti. A State DOT, three local DOTs, 
three NCUTCD members, four bicycle/pedestrian associations, two traffic 
control device vendors, and a citizen opposed the use of the hand 
illustration in the sign designs because of concerns about user 
understanding and the size and orientation of the hand illustration in 
relation to the arrow on the sign. The FHWA believes that, based on 
Canadian usage, the hand illustration will be understood by users and 
that addition of the symbol justifies the slightly larger sign size; 
however, in response to the comments, in this final rule the FHWA adds 
a GUIDANCE paragraph 05 to recommend that the orientation of the finger 
should point in the respective direction of the arrow on the signs, and 
revises the sign images in Figure 2B-26 accordingly.
    A local DOT suggested that the legend on the educational plaques 
for the R10-3e and R10-3i signs be revised to more accurately reflect 
the instructions that should be given to pedestrians at a crosswalk 
with countdown signals. As a result, the FHWA revises the legend to be 
consistent with the text of Section 4E.02. The FHWA adopts the new sign 
designs and revises the text in this section to clarify how to use the 
R10 series of pushbutton signs appropriately.
    The FHWA also adds paragraphs 07 and 08 regarding the use of new 
R10-24 and R10-26 signs, where a pushbutton detector has been installed 
exclusively to actuate a green phase for bicyclists, and a new R10-25 
sign, where a pushbutton detector has been installed for pedestrians to 
activate In-Roadway Warning Lights or flashing beacons. Bikes need less 
time to cross than pedestrians do, so the pushbuttons actuate timing 
specifically appropriate for bikes, which is an operationally efficient 
strategy. The FHWA received comments from the NCUTCD, two of its 
members, a State DOT, and four bicycle/pedestrian associations in 
support of the new R10-24 sign, but with suggestions to rephrase the 
wording to specify a ``green phase for bicyclists,'' rather than a 
``special bicycle phase.'' The FHWA agrees and adopts the new sign, and 
associated revised text, as well as an alternative design with an arrow 
designated R10-26, in this final rule. ATSSA and an association for the 
blind supported the new R10-25 sign to activate warning lights. The 
association for the blind suggested changing the text on the sign to 
``flashing lights'' to clarify the message. The FHWA adopts in this 
final rule these new signs to reflect current practice as documented by 
the

[[Page 66754]]

Sign Synthesis Study,\47\ and to provide consistent and uniform 
messages for these purposes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 29, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a new FOR MORE CROSSING TIME 
HOLD BUTTON DOWN FOR 2 SECONDS (R10-32P) sign to this section for use 
where an extended push button press is used to provide additional 
crossing time. Although two local DOTs were opposed to this sign, 
stating that it might lead to pedestrian confusion, or might be used 
inappropriately, the FHWA adopts this sign in this final rule, with a 
revised legend which more clearly communicates to pedestrians the 
meaning than the legend that was proposed in the NPA, to correspond 
with comparable provisions in adopted in Chapter 4E. The FHWA also 
illustrates the sign image in Figure 2B-26. The adopted sign legend is 
PUSH BUTTON FOR 2 SECONDS FOR EXTRA CROSSING TIME.
    98. In Section 2B.53 Traffic Signal Signs, the FHWA deletes the 
first GUIDANCE statement that appeared in the 2003 MUTCD. This 
statement, regarding the placement of Traffic Signal signs adjacent to 
traffic signal faces, was overly broad. Instead, in this final rule, 
the FHWA specifically recommends the locations of individual signs as 
appropriate.
    The FHWA removes the LEFT TURN SIGNAL YIELD ON GREEN (R10-21) sign 
in this final rule, because the provisions in Part 4 that are the only 
reason for using this sign have been removed in the adopted text for 
Part 4. The FHWA also adds paragraphs 03 and 04 regarding the location 
of LEFT ON GREEN ARROW ONLY and LEFT TURN YIELD ON GREEN signs, 
independently and with an AT SIGNAL supplemental plaque, as proposed in 
the NPA. The FHWA adopts this language based on recommendations from 
the Older Driver handbook.\48\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm. Recommendation I.H(4).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, to correspond with changes proposed in Part 4 to add a new 
Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon, the FHWA proposed a paragraph in the NPA that 
describes the use of a CROSSWALK STOP ON RED (R10-23) sign that is to 
be used in conjunction with pedestrian hybrid beacons. While ATSSA 
supported the new sign, four local DOTs opposed the new sign, primarily 
because they thought that it was not needed. Some commenters felt that 
road users should know to stop on a red signal and should not need a 
sign instructing them to do so. Other commenters felt that the sign 
would cause confusion, because road users are to stop on a solid red 
and then proceed on a flashing red after they stop, while other felt 
that they should have more flexibility to develop a better sign. The 
FHWA disagrees with the commenters because the extensive experience 
with the sign in Tucson, AZ has not indicated a problem with the sign 
being understood by road users and the sign is needed at pedestrian 
hybrid beacons to reinforce the regulatory requirements. To address a 
comment from a local DOT suggesting that the use of this sign be 
restricted to only locations with pedestrian hybrid beacons, but not 
required at all pedestrian hybrid beacons as proposed in the NPA, the 
FHWA adopts revised language in this final rule, to clarify that the 
sign is to be used only at locations with pedestrian hybrid beacons.
    99. In Section 2B.54 No Turn on Red Signs, in paragraph 03, the 
FHWA adds item F to the list of conditions where consideration should 
be given to the use of No Turn on Red signs. In the NPA, the FHWA 
proposed that this item refer to locations where the skew angle of the 
intersecting roadways creates difficulty for older drivers to see 
traffic approaching from their left. The FHWA proposed this change 
based on recommendations from the Older Driver handbook.\49\ A former 
NCUTCD member suggested that the specific criteria regarding skewed 
intersections should not be added, since sight distance to the left is 
covered under condition A. The FHWA disagrees with the commenter and 
retains item F in this final rule because the adequacy of sight 
distance is associated with the selection of adequate gaps for a right 
turn on red movement. Three State DOTs, two local DOTs, and an NCUTCD 
member suggested that turns at skewed intersections can be difficult 
for all drivers, not just older drivers, and suggested that FHWA delete 
the word ``older.'' The FHWA agrees and adopts item F in this final 
rule to indicate that skew angled intersections are difficult for all 
drivers, by deleting the word ``older.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \49\ ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm. Recommendations I.A(3) and 
I.I(3).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA adds paragraph 05 regarding the use of a blank-out sign 
instead of a NO TURN ON RED sign during certain times of the day or 
during portions of a signal cycle where a leading pedestrian interval 
is provided. An NCUTCD member supported this new information, and the 
FHWA adopts this new text to correspond to other changes in Part 4 
regarding the use of these signs. The FHWA also adds information 
regarding the use of a post-mounted NO TURN ON RED EXCEPT FROM RIGHT 
LANE sign and a NO TURN ON RED FROM THIS LANE (with down arrow) 
overhead sign that may be used on signalized approaches with more than 
one right-turn lane.
    100. Concerning Figure 2B-27 Traffic Signal Signs and Plaques 
(Figure 2B-19 in the 2003 MUTCD) proposed in the NPA, the FHWA received 
comments from ATSSA, a State DOT, a local DOT, an NCUTCD member, and a 
traffic engineering consultant supporting the design change of the 
TURNING TRAFFIC MUST YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS (R10-15) sign to a symbolic, 
rather than word message sign. An NCUTCD member, a State DOT, and a 
local DOT opposed the new design because of the use of yellow (normally 
reserved for warning signs) on the regulatory sign background and the 
symbols and sign layout. The sign design has been extensively and 
successfully used by the New York City DOT \50\ and was reviewed 
favorably by the Regulatory and Warning Sign Technical Committee and 
the full NCUTCD. The FHWA adopts this new design to reduce the number 
of words, give a more precise symbolized message, and make the sign 
more conspicuous to road users.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \50\ Information on New York City's experience with the adopted 
R10-15 sign design can be obtained from the New York City Department 
of Transportation, Division of Traffic Planning, Room 928, 40 Worth 
Street, New York, NY 10013, telephone 212-442-6641.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ATSSA and a local DOT supported the proposed LEFT TURN YIELD ON 
FLASHING RED ARROW AFTER STOP (R10-27) sign; however, a State DOT and 
an NCUTCD member opposed this new sign because they felt that road 
users should stop, rather than yield at a red signal. The FHWA 
disagrees and adopts the sign as proposed in the NPA, noting that the 
legend that begins with ``LEFT TURN YIELD * * *'' has been evaluated as 
the preferable text and it includes the words ``AFTER STOP.'' Another 
State DOT and a traffic engineering consultant suggested adding similar 
signs to alert road users to yield on flashing yellow arrows. The FHWA 
does not adopt this suggested addition,

[[Page 66755]]

because NCHRP Report 493 \51\ found that a regulatory sign is not 
needed to instruct drivers to yield on flashing yellow arrows.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \51\ NCHRP Report 493, ``Evaluation of Traffic Signal Displays 
for Protected/Permissive Left-Turn Control,'' 2003, can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_493.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    101. In Section 2B.55 Photo Enforced Signs and Plaques (Section 
2B.46 in the 2003 MUTCD) and Figure 2B-3, the FHWA adds to the word 
message PHOTO ENFORCED (R10-19) plaque (as it existed in the 2003 
MUTCD) the option to use a new symbol plaque for Photo Enforced. The 
FHWA retains the existing word message plaque as an alternate. In 
addition, the FHWA revises the design of the TRAFFIC LAWS PHOTO 
ENFORCED (R10-18) sign to add the symbolic camera. Although ATSSA and a 
local DOT supported the new camera symbol on the Photo Enforced signs 
and plaques, two NCUTCD members, two State DOTs, and two local DOTs 
opposed the addition of the new symbol because they did not think that 
road users would understand the symbol. The FHWA disagrees and adopts 
the new symbol based on road user understanding of the symbol 
documented in research results of the ``Evaluation of Selected Symbol 
Signs'' study \52\ conducted by the Traffic Control Devices Pooled Fund 
Study. To address comments from two toll road operators and a State 
DOT, the FHWA also adds an OPTION and a GUIDANCE regarding the optional 
use of the Photo Enforced symbol or word message plaques at toll plazas 
to address situations where video enforcement is in use at toll plazas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \52\ ``Design and Evaluation of Selected Symbol Signs,'' Final 
Report, May 2008, conducted by Bryan Katz, Gene Hawkins, Jason 
Kennedy, and Heather Rigdon Howard, for the Traffic Control Devices 
Pooled Fund Study, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://www.pooledfund.org/documents/TPF-5_065/symbol_sign_report_final.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    102. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2B.56 
Ramp Metering Signs. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a GUIDANCE 
statement describing the recommended use of new regulatory signs that 
should accompany ramp control signals. Based on comments from the 
NCUTCD and a State DOT, the FHWA adopts the language as an OPTION 
statement. This allows agencies to determine whether the use of the 
signs is appropriate for their conditions based on enforcement 
experience. The FHWA adds these new signs because ramp metering signals 
are used in several States, but there were no standard signs for them 
in the 2003 MUTCD, so States have developed a variety of signs, as 
documented by the Sign Synthesis Study.\53\ In this new Section, the 
FHWA adopts two new signs, X VEHICLES PER GREEN and X VEHICLES PER 
GREEN EACH LANE. ATSSA and a local DOT supported these new signs. 
Another local agency expressed concerns that allowing more than one 
vehicle per green might cause driver confusion, especially if they are 
behind a large vehicle on a ramp. The FHWA adopts these signs based 
upon effective application in many States and to provide uniformity in 
ramp meter signing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, pages 28-29, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    103. In Section 2B.60 Weigh Station Signs (Section 2B.50 of the 
2003 MUTCD), the FHWA changes the text of the R13-1 sign to ``TRUCKS 
OVER XX TONS MUST ENTER WEIGH STATION--NEXT RIGHT'' to reflect that the 
message is regulatory, rather than guidance. A local DOT supported this 
change. Although three State DOTs and two NCUTCD members suggested that 
either the original language be retained, or other revisions be made to 
the sign text, the FHWA adopts the text of the sign as proposed in the 
NPA. The FHWA notes that a State at the time of its adoption of the 
MUTCD may include appropriate additional information in its supplement. 
In addition, in Figure 2B-30, the FHWA illustrates the customary 
regulatory sign color of a black legend on a white background, rather 
than the allowable option of the reverse color pattern, for the TRUCKS 
OVER XX TONS MUST ENTER WEIGH STATION--NEXT RIGHT sign. ATSSA supported 
this change in the illustration.
    104. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2B.64 
Headlight Use Signs, containing GUIDANCE, SUPPORT, and OPTION 
statements that describe the use of several new signs that may be used 
by States to require road users to turn on their vehicle headlights 
under certain conditions. ATSSA and a local DOT supported the new 
signs, as proposed in the NPA. An NCUTCD member opposed this new 
section because he felt that the installation of these types of signs 
is already covered in other sections in the MUTCD, and that since 
wording of the signs is based on laws that vary from State to State, it 
is not appropriate to standardize a series of signs in the MUTCD. The 
Sign Synthesis Study \54\ found that there is a wide variation in the 
legends currently being used by States for this purpose and the FHWA 
adopts these new signs to provide increased uniformity of the messages 
for road users. Based on comments from two State DOTs and a traffic 
engineering consultant, the FHWA does not adopt the proposed TURN OFF 
HEADLIGHTS sign from this final rule, because commenters felt that it 
might communicate an inappropriate message to road users during 
nighttime conditions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 31, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    105. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2B.65 
FENDER BENDER Sign. This new section contains an OPTION statement 
regarding the use of a new FENDER BENDER MOVE VEHICLES FROM TRAVEL 
LANES sign that agencies may use to inform road users of laws or 
ordinances that require them to move their vehicles from the travel 
lanes if they have been involved in a minor non-injury crash. As an 
integral part of active incident management programs in many urban 
areas, an increasing number of States and cities are using signs 
requiring drivers that have been involved in relatively minor ``fender 
bender'' or non-injury crashes to move their vehicles out of the travel 
lanes. A variety of sign messages are in use for this purpose, as 
documented by the Sign Synthesis Study.\55\ Although ATSSA and a State 
and a local DOT supported the new sign, as proposed in the NPA, the 
NCUTCD and two of its members and three State DOTs provided comments 
about the sign design. Several of the commenters from Arizona suggested 
that the term ``Fender Bender'' be revised to reflect the wording of 
signs in their State. A few commenters suggested that the use of yellow 
and white backgrounds on the same sign is inappropriate, and many of 
the commenters opposed the symbol for fender bender, because they did 
not feel that it had been tested for road user comprehension. Based on 
the comments, the FHWA removes the symbol from the sign but is adopting 
the black on yellow header panel in the design, noting that the 
regulatory portion of the sign is a black legend and border on a white 
background. The FHWA adopts this sign because a standardized sign 
legend is needed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 31, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    106. In this final rule, the FHWA changes the number and title of 
Section

[[Page 66756]]

2B.54 Other Regulatory Signs, as it appeared in the 2003 MUTCD to 
Section 2B.66 Seat Belt Symbol. As discussed in item 54 above, the FHWA 
is relocating the OPTION statements that were in this section to 
Section 2B.02. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a FENDER BENDER 
MOVE VEHICLES FROM TRAVEL LANES sign to this section and retitle the 
section to ``Miscellaneous Regulatory Signs''; however, as noted above, 
the FHWA adopts a new Section 2B.65 for the Fender Bender sign in this 
final rule and the only remaining text in Section 2B.66 discusses the 
Seat Belt Symbol. Therefore, the FHWA revises the section title to 
``Seat Belt Symbol'' in this final rule.
    107. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a new chapter numbered 
and titled Chapter 2L Object Markers, Barricades, and Gates. In 
addition to containing information on object markers, this new chapter 
was to have contained information from Section 3F.01 of the 2003 MUTCD 
on barricades, without any significant changes. A State DOT, four local 
DOTs, and an NCUTCD member supported moving these items to Part 2. A 
State DOT opposed moving object markers and barricades to Part 2 
because it felt that they are used to mark obstructions and help in 
guidance and delineation of the roadway, the same as pavement markings. 
The FHWA agrees that barricades and gates are more appropriately 
related to Chapter 2B, and places Section 2B.67 Barricades and Section 
2B.68 Gates in this chapter.
    108. The FHWA adds a new Section 2B.68 Gates (numbered 2L.06 in the 
NPA) that contains provisions regarding the design and use of gates for 
a variety for traffic control purposes beyond the most common use at 
highway-rail grade crossings. Two local DOTs supported this new section 
and several agencies provided comments. The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and 
an NCUTCD member suggested that the FHWA provide clarification 
regarding whether one or both sides of gate arms and fences are to be 
reflectorized. The FHWA agrees and adds clarifying language in this 
final rule to indicate that both sides are to be reflectorized, with an 
option to reflectorize only the side facing moving traffic in the 
normal direction if used at ramps. Based on comments from the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, a State DOT, two toll road operators, and an 
NCUTCD member, the FHWA removes the crashworthiness and mounting height 
requirements for gate arms to better serve their application. The FHWA 
adds a requirement that gates be designed so that the gate arms are 
securely locked in either the open position or closed position, based 
on a comment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicating that it 
is appropriate to lock gates securely in either of these positions. The 
FHWA adopts this new section in order to provide for enhanced 
uniformity of gates, as they are used in a wide variety of traffic 
control applications.

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 2C--General

    109. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to move object markers from Part 
3 to a new chapter, titled Chapter 2L Object Markers. A State DOT, four 
local DOTs, and an NCUTCD member supported moving these items to Part 
2. A State DOT opposed moving object markers to Part 2 because it felt 
that they are used to mark obstructions and help in guidance and 
delineation of the roadway, the same as pavement markings. The FHWA 
disagrees with retaining object markers in the chapter with pavement 
markings because, although these devices can provide some delineation, 
the primary function of object markers is as a warning sign. Due to the 
warning function that object markers serve, in this final rule the FHWA 
moves object markers to Chapter 2C and revises the title of Chapter 2C 
to include object markers.
    110. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA removes the following word 
message signs from the MUTCD, because comparable symbol signs have been 
in use for 35 years, thereby making these word signs obsolete: HILL 
Sign (W7-1b), DIVIDED HIGHWAY (W6-1a) and DIVIDED ROAD (W6-1b), DIVIDED 
HIGHWAY ENDS (W6-2a) and DIVIDED ROAD ENDS (W6-2b), STOP AHEAD (W3-1a), 
YIELD AHEAD (W3-2a), and SIGNAL AHEAD (W3-3a). A State DOT opposed 
eliminating the use of many of these word signs, because it felt that 
the word message signs were added to and included in previous editions 
of the MUTCD to enable agencies to use the optional signs for the 
benefit of better understanding of signs. The commenter also suggested 
that since the word messages are fulfilling the purpose for signs, it 
is difficult to justify the cost of replacing the signs. The FHWA 
disagrees with the commenter and notes that the symbol designs for many 
of these signs have been in use for more than 35 years and that symbol 
warning signs are more readily recognized and comprehended by drivers 
with fewer driver errors. In addition, existing word message signs in 
good condition may remain in service until such point in time that they 
are replaced as part of the agency's periodic sign maintenance program.

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 2C--Specific

    111. In Section 2C.02 Application of Warning Signs, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA to remove paragraph 01 requiring the use of 
engineering studies or judgment in determining the use of warning 
signs. A State DOT and two local DOTs opposed the removal of this 
STANDARD because they felt that engineering studies or judgment are 
necessary. The FHWA agrees and retains the requirement in this final 
rule and adds a reference to Section 1A.09 regarding engineering 
studies and engineering judgment.
    112. In Section 2C.03 Design of Warning Signs, in place of the 
existing paragraph in the OPTION statement, the FHWA adds two new 
paragraphs that describe allowable changes in warning sign sizes and 
designs, as proposed in the NPA. The FHWA adopts these changes to 
provide agencies with flexibility in designing signs to meet field 
conditions. This includes allowing sign sizes larger than Oversized in 
Table 2C-2 to be rectangular or square and modifications to be made to 
the symbols shown on intersection warning signs in order to approximate 
the geometric configuration of the roadway. A State and two local DOTs 
supported these new paragraphs and offered an editorial change that the 
FHWA adopts in this final rule.
    Additionally, in the NPA the FHWA proposed to change paragraph 05 
to a GUIDANCE statement to recommend, rather than merely allow, a 
fluorescent yellow-green background for warning signs regarding 
conditions associated with pedestrians, bicyclists, and playgrounds. 
While ATSSA supported this change, the NCUTCD and one of its members, 
many State and local DOTs, and a traffic engineering consultant opposed 
changing the language to GUIDANCE, suggesting instead that it remain an 
OPTION. The commenters provided a variety of reasons, the most 
prominent being that some State and local DOTs reserve the use of the 
fluorescent yellow-green background for only school-related warning 
signs in order to add emphasis to those locations. A State and a local 
DOT, an NCUTCD member, a traffic engineering consultant, and a private 
citizen expressed concern about the lack of research supporting the 
effectiveness of the fluorescent yellow-green color that would justify 
elevating the provision to a recommendation, rather than an option. 
Some of the commenters suggested that an overuse of the fluorescent 
yellow-green would reduce the effectiveness of the color. In

[[Page 66757]]

addition, some commenters said that the color fades more quickly over 
time, and that it is significantly more expensive than yellow. Based on 
the comments, the FHWA decides to retain the language as an OPTION in 
this final rule, allowing the use of a fluorescent yellow-green 
background for warning signs regarding conditions associated with 
pedestrians, bicyclists, and playgrounds.
    The FHWA also adopts a new STANDARD statement requiring that 
warning signs associated with schools and school buses have a 
fluorescent yellow-green background, as proposed in the NPA. The FHWA 
also revises similar wording in other sections in Chapter 2C and in 
Part 7. In the intervening years since the use of fluorescent yellow-
green background color was introduced as an option in the MUTCD, most 
highway agencies have adopted policies to use this color for school 
warning signs. This predominant usage is because of the enhanced 
conspicuity provided by fluorescent yellow-green, particularly during 
dawn and twilight periods. ATSSA and two local DOTs supported this 
change, while a State DOT, a State association of counties, and a local 
DOT suggested that the school bus sign should not be included in the 
requirement. As discussed in the preceding paragraph, a State DOT, 
three local DOTs, and an NCUTCD member oppose any requirement to use 
fluorescent yellow-green. These commenters feel that there is not 
sufficient research demonstrating that the color modifies behavior and 
the high cost, along with the tendency to fade more quickly than 
yellow, does not justify requiring its use. The FHWA disagrees and 
notes that in-place evaluation of fluorescent yellow-green by State 
DOTs has identified acceptable durability and sheeting life and the 
FHWA also adopts this background color for school bus warning signs for 
consistency with the requirement for other school warning signs.
    113. In Section 2C.04 Size of Warning Signs, the FHWA proposed in 
the NPA to add a STANDARD paragraph to establish a minimum size of 36 
inches x 36 inches for all diamond-shaped warning signs facing traffic 
on multi-lane conventional roads. This is consistent with other changes 
adopted in Section 2A.13 and discussed previously in this preamble, 
concerning basing sign size dimensions on the letter sizes needed for a 
visual acuity of 20/40, which results in larger sign sizes. Although 
ATSSA and two local agencies supported the language as proposed, four 
State DOTs, six local DOTs, an NCUTCD member, and a traffic engineering 
consultant expressed concern about installing 36 inch x 36 inch signs 
on low-speed roads and on roads in urban areas where there is limited 
space for signs. Many of those commenters suggested that the larger 
size signs be optional for such roadways. Four additional local DOTs 
opposed the requirement for larger signs specifically because of 
insufficient space in urban areas. On multi-lane roads, increased 
legibility distances are needed because of the potential blockage of 
signs by other vehicles, but the FHWA agrees in part with the 
commenters and adopts revisions to this section in this final rule that 
are consistent with similar revisions to Section 2B.03 by adding two 
exceptions to the requirement to use the larger sign sizes on multi-
lane conventional roads for: (a) The size of the left-hand side signs 
mounted in the median to supplement the right-hand side placement, and 
(b) multi-lane conventional roads with posted speed limits of 35 mph or 
less.
    Finally, the FHWA adds a GUIDANCE statement that the minimum size 
for warning signs facing traffic on exit and entrance ramps should be 
the size identified in Table 2C-2 for the mainline roadway 
classification listed for each of the columns, in response to a comment 
from Utah DOT suggesting that this language be added for consistency 
with other sections of the MUTCD. This language is consistent with 
similar guidance that the FHWA adds in Section 2B.03 as discussed 
previously.
    114. The FHWA revises Table 2C-2 Warning Sign and Plaque Sizes to 
incorporate additional sign series and to specify that, for several 
diamond-shaped signs, the minimum size required for signs facing 
traffic on multi-lane conventional roads is 36 inches x 36 inches. 
Based on comments from the NCUTCD (and to be consistent with a similar 
change in Table 2B-1), the FHWA adds a column to Table 2C-2 for multi-
lane conventional roads in this final rule. The FHWA also adopts 
additional changes in Table 2C-2 to address comments from the NCUTCD 
and one of its members, and to provide consistency between the table 
and other changes within the chapter. These include adding additional 
sizes for signs and plaques, adding new signs while deleting signs no 
longer used, and clarifying the note at the bottom of the table 
regarding exceptions to the requirement to use the larger sign sizes on 
multi-lane conventional roads (as discussed above). The FHWA adopts the 
increases in sign sizes to provide signs on multi-lane approaches that 
are more legible to drivers with visual acuity of 20/40 and to be 
consistent with and incorporate other changes adopted in Chapter 2C.
    115. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA revises in Section 2C.05 
Placement of Warning Signs the SUPPORT and GUIDANCE statements to refer 
to the use of Perception-Response Time (PRT), rather than Perception, 
Identification, Emotion, and Volition (PIEV) Time, in determining the 
placement of warning signs. The older terminology of PIEV Time has been 
replaced with PRT, which has come into common use and is the 
terminology used in the current policies of the AASHTO. The Traffic 
Control Devices Handbook \56\ addresses both terms, but correctly 
identifies PRT as the terminology now in common use. Accordingly, it is 
appropriate to update the MUTCD using the common terminology PRT. The 
NCUTCD and a local DOT supported these changes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \56\ The Traffic Control Devices Handbook, 2001, is available 
for purchase from the Institute of Transportation Engineers, at the 
following Internet Web site: http://www.ite.org. PIEV and PRT are 
discussed on pages 34 to 39.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to the changes adopted in Section 2C.05, the FHWA is 
also revising the notes for Table 2C-4 by replacing ``PIEV time'' with 
``PRT,'' as well as other changes in the notes and values in Table 2C-4 
in order to provide adequate legibility of warning signs for 20/40 
visual acuity. Two State DOTs, four local DOTs, two traffic engineering 
consultants, and an NCUTCD member commented about the values as well as 
the notes in Table 2C-4. As a result, in this final rule the FHWA 
further refines the notes in this final rule regarding the legibility 
distance for Condition A. The FHWA notes that increasing the minimum 
legend size to 6 inches causes the table values to change from those in 
the 2003 MUTCD, and that the distances and associated notes in the 
table are guidance, which by its nature allows flexibility.
    116. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2C.06 
Horizontal Alignment Warning Signs, containing SUPPORT, STANDARD, and 
OPTION statements regarding the use of the new Table 2C-5 Horizontal 
Alignment Sign Selection, in which the FHWA establishes a hierarchal 
approach to use of these signs and plaques and defines required, 
recommended, and optional warning signs. A State DOT and four local 
DOTs supported the overall intent of the proposed new section and 
associated table, but felt that FHWA should modify the language to 
allow the use of engineering judgment rather than

[[Page 66758]]

require the use of Table 2C-5 and should clarify that actual prevailing 
speeds should be used when determining the need for horizontal 
alignment warning signs. Several of these agencies also commented in 
opposition to the requirement to place warning signs on arterials and 
collectors with average annual daily traffic (AADT) of over 1,000. To 
address some of the concerns, the FHWA revises the STANDARD statement 
in this final rule to clarify that alignment warning signs shall be 
used in accordance with Table 2C-5 based on the speed differential 
between the roadway's posted or statutory speed limit or 85th 
percentile speed, whichever is higher, and the horizontal curve's 
advisory speed. This change is consistent with the methodology on 
application of posted or statutory speed limit or 85th percentile speed 
is consistent with FHWA's ``Program Memorandum on Consideration and 
Implementation of Proven Safety Countermeasures,'' Measure 7, 
Yellow Change Intervals.\57\ As part of this change, the FHWA also 
includes in the STANDARD statement the use of the prevailing speed in 
determining the speed differential to the horizontal curve's advisory 
speed along with posted and statutory speed and 85th percentile speed. 
Regarding the requirement to place warning signs on functionally 
classified arterials and collectors over 1,000 AADT, the FHWA believes 
that this is appropriate because these road classifications represent 
higher-volume roadways, which have a larger percentage of unfamiliar 
drivers, and have the potential to yield the largest safety benefits in 
reducing crashes resulting from road users' lack of awareness of a 
change in horizontal alignment, as documented in a recent NCHRP 
study.\58\ The FHWA retains the option to use Horizontal Alignment 
Warning signs on other roadways or on arterial and collector roadways 
with less than 1,000 AADT based on engineering judgment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \57\ FHWA's Program Memorandum on Consideration and 
Implementation of Proven Safety Countermeasures, dated July 10, 2008 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/memo071008/.
    \58\ NCHRP Report 500, Volume 7, ``A Guide for Reducing 
Collisions on Horizontal Curves,'' can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_500v7.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Nine State DOTs, six local DOTs, two NCUTCD members, and a citizen 
opposed the inclusion of Table 2C-5 in the MUTCD, or suggested that the 
some or all of the values in the table be recommended, rather than 
required, because they felt that engineering experience and judgment 
are superior to prescribing values. The FHWA disagrees and notes that 
fatalities at horizontal curves account for 25 percent of all highway 
fatalities even though horizontal curves are only a small portion of 
the nation's highway mileage. The past and current basis of the 
application of engineering judgment for determination of horizontal 
curve signing has not sufficiently improved the safety performance of 
horizontal curves. Therefore, the FHWA adopts Table 2C-5 with revisions 
as a STANDARD statement to improve the safety performance of horizontal 
curves. Six State DOTs, five local DOTs, a State association of 
counties, and two traffic engineering consultants suggested that the 
row concerning Chevron signs should be deleted, that the wording be 
reverted to that used in the 2003 Edition of the MUTCD, and that the 
use of Chevron signs not be required. The FHWA disagrees and adopts in 
this final rule the Chevron signs and their values, as proposed in the 
NPA based upon research regarding their safety effectiveness \59\ and 
because Chevron signs are a key element in the hierarchy of horizontal 
alignment warning signs in that Chevron signs provide positive guidance 
to a road user entering a curve as to alignment of the road and the 
sharpness of the curve. However, based on comments from the NCUTCD, 
five State DOTs, five local DOTs, a State association of counties, and 
a traffic engineering consultant expressing concerns that application 
of the speed differential in proposed Table 2C-5 to freeway ramps would 
have resulted in the placement of Truck Rollover warning signs on the 
majority of the loop ramps on the nation's highway system which would 
be a financial burden to highway agencies, the FHWA deletes the Truck 
Rollover warning sign from Table 2C-5. The incidence of truck rollover 
crashes is more specific to individual freeway ramp geometry than to 
speed differential.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \59\ The FHWA Roadway Departure Crash Reduction Factors can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/tools/crf/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    117. In concert with the changes adopted in the previous item, the 
FHWA adopts several changes to Section 2C.07 Horizontal Alignment Signs 
(Section 2C.06 of the 2003 MUTCD) to incorporate the material in Table 
2C-5 and to provide agencies with additional information on the 
appropriate use of horizontal alignment signs. In the NPA, the FHWA 
proposed to add a GUIDANCE statement recommending the use of a Turn 
(W1-1) sign instead of a Curve sign in advance of curves that have 
advisory speeds of 30 mph or less. A State DOT, two local DOTs, and a 
NCUTCD member suggested that the statement be changed to a STANDARD to 
promote uniformity. The FHWA agrees and adopts the requirement in this 
final rule. In the 2003 MUTCD, a GUIDANCE statement indicated that 
Table 2C-5 should be used, and Note 1 of the table stated that 
``Engineering judgment should be used to determine whether the Turn or 
Curve Sign should be used.'' In the NPA the FHWA proposed to delete 
this table and its notes and replace it with a completely new Table 2C-
5 referenced in the text in a STANDARD that the table shall be used. 
Inherent in new Table 2C-5 is a definitive choice, either required 
(STANDARD), or recommended (GUIDANCE), or Option (OPTION); an option to 
choose either the TURN or the CURVE for the same advisory speed and 
speed difference is no longer possible within the STANDARD statement. 
Hence, the addition of the STANDARD statement is consistent with the 
STANDARD in Table 2C-5 rather than carrying forward a note from the old 
table. The FHWA also revises the language regarding the use of the 
Winding Road sign to allow its use to be optional, rather than 
recommended, based on comments from the NCUTCD and a local DOT. The 
FHWA also adds Figure 2C-2 to illustrate an example of the use of 
warning signs for a turn, and modifies Figure 2C-3 (Figure 2C-7 in the 
2003 MUTCD) to illustrate horizontal alignment signs for a sharp curve 
on an exit ramp.
    118. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA relocates Section 2C.46 of 
the 2003 MUTCD Advisory Speed Plaque so that it appears earlier in the 
Chapter as Section 2C.08 because of its predominant application with 
horizontal alignment warning signs. In addition, the FHWA adopts 
several revisions to the section to incorporate new Table 2C-5, and to 
require that Advisory Speed plaques be used where it is determined to 
be necessary on the basis of an engineering study that follows 
established traffic engineering practices. A State DOT and several 
local DOTs in that State supported using engineering judgment, rather 
than engineering studies, for determining advisory speeds. The FHWA 
disagrees, noting that the application of engineering judgment that is 
implicit in the determination of an appropriate advisory speed should 
be documented in writing as an engineering study. A State DOT, a local 
DOT, and a traffic

[[Page 66759]]

engineering consultant suggested that eliminating references to ball-
bank indicators, as proposed in the NPA, should be reconsidered, 
because it might cause agencies to unnecessarily believe that a more 
extensive engineering study is needed. The FHWA agrees and adopts in 
this final rule a SUPPORT statement identifying appropriate engineering 
practices for determining advisory speeds. This includes the use of an 
accelerometer, design speed evaluation, or a ball-bank indicator.
    119. In Section 2C.09 Chevron Alignment Sign (Section 2C.10 of the 
2003 MUTCD), the FHWA changes paragraph 01 to a STANDARD to require the 
use of the Chevron Alignment sign in accordance with the hierarchy of 
use as listed in Table 2C-5 and to be consistent with Section 2C.06. 
Similar to the discussion above in item 116, several commenters were 
opposed as they prefer to retain the choice to use Chevron Alignment 
signs based upon engineering judgment. The FHWA disagrees and adopts 
the STANDARD Table 2C-5 requiring the use of Chevron Alignment signs, 
because application of Chevron Alignment signs can reduce crashes on 
horizontal curves by 35 percent.\60\ As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA 
also adds information to paragraph 04 regarding the minimum 
installation height of these signs. A local DOT and an NCUTCD member 
supported the minimum 4-foot mounting height, while two local DOTs 
suggested allowing even lower mounting heights, in part because they 
felt it would enable chevron signs to be better illuminated by 
headlights. The FHWA disagrees and adopts a minimum mounting height of 
4 feet as an exception to the normal minimum mounting height for signs, 
consistent with provisions in Section 3F.04 for delineator placement. 
The FHWA also adds a reference in the GUIDANCE statement to Table 2C-6 
Approximate Spacing of Chevron Alignment Signs on Horizontal Curves. 
The spacing criteria are based on research.\61\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \60\ The FHWA Roadway Departure Crash Reduction Factors can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/tools/crf/.
    \61\ FHWA/TX-04/0-4052-1, ``Simplifying Delineator and Chevron 
Applications for Horizontal Curves,'' dated March 2004, can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/0-4052-1.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also adds a new STANDARD statement at the end of the 
section specifying the conditions when the Chevron Alignment sign shall 
not be used, as proposed in the NPA. Although a local DOT supported the 
revision, three State DOTs, a local DOT, and an NCUTCD member opposed 
the prohibition of Chevron Alignment signs at T-intersections to warn 
drivers that a through movement is not physically possible. The FHWA 
disagrees and adopts the prohibition on the use of the Chevron 
Alignment sign for this purpose, because this is the function of a Two-
Direction (or One-Direction) Large Arrow sign. A State DOT supported 
the prohibition of Chevron Alignment signs to mark obstructions within 
or adjacent to the roadway, and the FHWA adopts in this final rule 
expanded text to also prohibit the use of the Chevron Alignment sign to 
mark the beginning of adjacent guard rail or barrier to address a 
comment from a local DOT. The FHWA adopts this text to preclude 
possible misinterpretations of the appropriate use of this sign.
    120. In Section 2C.10 Combination Horizontal Alignment/Advisory 
Speed Signs (Section 2C.07 of the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA amplifies the 
existing STANDARD statement in order to clarify how these signs are to 
be used. Although a local DOT supported the revised language, a State 
DOT, a local DOT, an NCUTCD member, and a traffic engineering 
consultant opposed the language. Some of the commenters felt that there 
are some locations where the combination Horizontal Alignment/Advisory 
Speed sign serves the purpose better than the other advance horizontal 
alignment warning signs, and therefore should be used alone, as a 
substitute for the advance horizontal alignment warning signs. The FHWA 
disagrees because it is inherent in the application of warning signs 
that they be located in advance of the hazard in order to provide the 
time and distance for a road user to reduce speed and act in a timely 
manner. The FHWA also notes that the combination Horizontal Alignment/
Advisory Speed sign shall only be used to supplement advance horizontal 
alignment warning signs. Furthermore, the advance horizontal alignment 
warning signs are placed in advance of the curve and the combination 
Horizontal Alignment/Advisory Speed sign is placed at the beginning of 
the curve. The FHWA adopts the revisions with minor editorial changes 
in this final rule.
    121. In Section 2C.12 One-Direction Large Arrow Sign (Section 2C.09 
in the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA adds a STANDARD statement as proposed in 
the NPA prohibiting the use of a One-Direction Large Arrow sign in the 
central island of a roundabout, as proposed in the NPA. A traffic 
engineering consultant supported this change, and the FHWA adopts this 
change in this final rule in conjunction with other changes in Chapters 
2B and 2D to provide consistency in signing at roundabouts.
    122. In Section 2C.13 Truck Rollover Warning Sign (Section 2C.11 of 
the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA had proposed in the NPA to add a STANDARD 
statement requiring the use of the Truck Rollover Warning sign on 
freeway and expressway ramps in accordance with the new Table 2C-5. Two 
State DOTs, an association of local DOTs, and an NCUTCD member opposed 
the required use of Truck Rollover warning signs because of concerns as 
noted above in Section 2C.06. The FHWA agrees and removes in this final 
rule that requirement from this section, as well as from Table 2C-5, as 
the incidence of truck rollover crashes is more specific to individual 
freeway ramp geometry than to speed differential.
    In this final rule, the FHWA reverts to the optional use of the 
Truck Rollover warning sign (as in the 2003 Edition of the MUTCD) and 
adds the use of an engineering study to determine the need for the 
sign. As part of this change, the FHWA adds a SUPPORT statement 
describing appropriate engineering practices for determining 
recommended curve speeds.
    123. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA relocates Section 2C.36 of 
the 2003 MUTCD so that it appears earlier in the chapter as new Section 
2C.14 to consolidate all sections relating to horizontal alignment in 
one area of the chapter for ease of reference and consistency. In 
addition, the FHWA revises the title of the section to ``Advisory Exit 
and Ramp Speed Signs'' and revises the text to remove the optional 
Curve Speed sign, as proposed in the NPA. Although a local DOT 
supported deleting the Curve Speed Advisory sign, a citizen opposed its 
removal. The Curve Speed sign has had only limited usage and, with the 
new hierarchal approach to warning sign usage for horizontal curves, 
this sign is no longer needed. The FHWA believes it is desirable to 
broaden the consistent usage of a few signs providing better driver 
communications rather than adding potential driver confusion with a 
mixed application of several signing options.
    124. For all of the changes in applications of warning signs and 
plaques for horizontal curves in Sections 2C.06 through 2C.14 and in 
Table 2C-5, the FHWA establishes a target compliance date of December 
31, 2019 (approximately 10 years from the effective date of this final 
rule) for the installation of the additional signs and revisions in 
advisory speed values

[[Page 66760]]

required to achieve compliance with these provisions at existing 
locations. The FHWA establishes this target compliance date because of 
the demonstrated safety issues associated with run-off-the road crashes 
at horizontal curves. As noted above, fatalities at horizontal curves 
account for 25 percent of all highway fatalities, yet horizontal curves 
are only a small portion of the nation's highway mileage. The FHWA 
anticipates that installation of the required additional signs at 
existing locations will provide significant safety benefits to road 
users. State and local highway agencies and owners of private roads 
open to public travel can schedule the installation of the additional 
required signs in conjunction with their programs for maintaining and 
replacing other signs at existing locations that are worn out or 
damaged, thus minimizing any financial impacts.
    125. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2C.15 
Combination Horizontal Alignment/Advisory Exit and Ramp Speed Signs. As 
proposed in the NPA, the FHWA incorporates these new signs for optional 
use where ramp or exit curvature is not apparent to drivers in the 
deceleration or exit lane or where the curvature needs to be 
specifically identified as being on the ramp rather than on the 
mainline. ATSSA, two local DOTs, an NCUTCD member, and a citizen 
supported these new signs. The FHWA adopts the design and the use of 
this sign based on the Sign Synthesis Study,\62\ which found that at 
least four States have developed signs for this purpose, but with 
varying designs. The FHWA adopts a uniform design for this type of 
sign, to provide consistency for road users.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \62\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 43, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    126. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to relocate Section 2C.13 of the 
2003 MUTCD Truck Escape Ramp Signs to Chapter 2F (Chapter 2I in this 
final rule), to reflect the proposed new classification and design of 
these signs as general service signs. As discussed in detail under 
Amendments to Chapter 2I, the FHWA retains Truck Escape Ramp signs as 
Section 2C.17 in this final rule. The FHWA also retains the warning 
sign designations for the associated signs, and retains the color of 
the background of these signs as yellow and the color of the legend, 
border, and arrows as black. The sign images for these signs are shown 
in Figure 2C-4 in this final rule.
    127. In Section 2C.19 ROAD NARROWS Sign (Section 2C.15 in the 2003 
MUTCD) the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise the language describing 
the situations under which a ROAD NARROWS sign should be used. A local 
DOT and a State association of counties and several of its members 
suggested that the proposed language actually changed the intent of the 
section. As a result, the FHWA clarifies the language in this final 
rule to state that the ROAD NARROWS sign should be used in advance of a 
transition on two-lane roads where the pavement width is reduced 
abruptly to a width such that vehicles traveling in opposite directions 
cannot simultaneously travel through the narrow portion of the roadway 
without reducing speed. The FHWA also adds a SUPPORT statement to 
describe the optional use of this sign on low-volume local streets with 
speed limits of 30 mph or less.
    128. In Section 2C.22 Divided Highway Sign (Section 2C.18 in the 
2003 MUTCD), the FHWA adds a STANDARD that the Divided Highway (W6-1) 
sign shall not be used instead of a Keep Right (R4-7 series) sign in 
the median island, as proposed in the NPA. The FHWA adopts this change 
to reflect accepted signing practices and prevent misuse of the W6-1 
sign.
    129. In Section 2C.23 Divided Highway Ends Sign (Section 2C.19 of 
the 2003 MUTCD), as proposed in the NPA, the FHWA changes the OPTION 
statement to a GUIDANCE statement, recommending that the Two-Way 
Traffic (W6-3) sign should also be used to warn of the transition to a 
two-lane, two-way section. The FHWA adopts this change in this final 
rule in order to be consistent with the GUIDANCE in Section 2C.44 that 
the W6-3 sign should be used for this condition.
    130. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2C.24 
Freeway or Expressway Ends Signs (numbered Section 2C.23 in the NPA) 
containing OPTION and GUIDANCE statements regarding the use of these 
new signs. The FHWA adopts these new signs because there are many 
locations where a freeway or expressway ends by changing to an 
uncontrolled access highway, and it is important to warn drivers of the 
end of the freeway or expressway conditions. In other cases, the need 
for this type of warning might be generated by other conditions not 
readily apparent to the road user, such as the need for all traffic to 
exit the freeway or expressway on exit ramps. The Sign Synthesis Study 
\63\ found that at least 21 States have developed their own standard 
warning signs for this purpose, but with varying legends and designs. 
The FHWA adopts uniform designs for these signs, to provide consistency 
for road users.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \63\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, pages 43-44, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    131. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to change the title of Section 
2C.31 (Section 2C.26 of the 2003 MUTCD) to ``Shoulder and Uneven Lanes 
Signs.'' The FHWA proposed to incorporate a new symbolic Shoulder Drop 
Off sign and a plaque, as well as a new UNEVEN LANES plaque, to warn 
road users of either a low shoulder or uneven lanes. The FHWA proposed 
these new signs and plaques as a result of the Sign Synthesis 
Study,\64\ which found that symbol signs and/or different word messages 
are being used in at least 13 States to convey these or similar 
messages, with a wide variety of legends and symbol designs. The States 
are not consistent in how the symbol signs are used, with some being 
used for uneven lanes and some for low shoulder or shoulder drop-off 
conditions. The Canadian MUTCD prescribes a single standard symbol 
warning sign (TC-49) for use to warn of either a low shoulder or uneven 
lanes. The NCUTCD, one of its members, and a local DOT commented that 
an UNEVEN LANES word message warning sign is more appropriate than 
using a Shoulder Drop Off symbol with a supplemental UNEVEN LANES 
plaque to depict uneven lanes. The FHWA agrees that the proposed symbol 
sign tends to convey a meaning of shoulder drop off more than it does 
of uneven lanes and revises the language in this final rule to allow 
the use of an UNEVEN LANES word message sign to warn of a difference in 
elevation between lanes. Further, the FHWA relocates the text regarding 
the word message UNEVEN LANES sign to Section 2C.32 Surface Condition 
Signs in this final rule, because it is more appropriately located 
there. As part of this change, the FHWA does not adopt the UNEVEN LANES 
supplemental plaque, since the use of this plaque to supplement a 
Shoulder Drop Off symbol sign is not adopted. The FHWA retains the 
Shoulder Drop Off symbol sign to depict an unprotected shoulder drop-
off, as stated in the 2003 Edition of the MUTCD.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \64\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 37, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the FHWA also proposed to add an optional use of the NO

[[Page 66761]]

SHOULDER sign to allow agencies to use a sign of uniform legend that 
would warn road users that shoulders do not exist along the roadway. 
This sign and its design are based on the ``Sign Synthesis Study,'' 
\65\ which found inconsistencies in the legends of signs currently in 
use by the States for this purpose. The NCUTCD suggested that road 
users would be better served by two signs, one indicating that there is 
no shoulder and another indicating that a shoulder ends. The FHWA 
agrees and adopts in this final rule two optional signs, the NO 
SHOULDER sign to warn of the lack of a shoulder on a short segment of a 
roadway without a shoulder, as proposed in the NPA, and a new SHOULDER 
ENDS sign to provide advance warning that a shoulder is ending. 
Although not proposed in the NPA, use of the new SHOULDER ENDS sign is 
optional, and the FHWA believes that some agencies may find it 
appropriate to use this sign.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \65\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 37, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    132. The FHWA changes the title of Section 2C.32 to ``Surface 
Condition Signs'' (Section 2C.27 in the 2003 MUTCD) and incorporates 
several additional signs and supplemental plaques into this section, as 
proposed in the NPA. The FHWA adds information in the OPTION regarding 
the use of supplemental plaques with legends such as ICE, WHEN WET, 
STEEL DECK, and EXCESS OIL with the W8-5 sign to indicate the reason 
that the slippery conditions might be present.
    The FHWA also adds information in the OPTION regarding the LOOSE 
GRAVEL and ROUGH ROAD word signs, as proposed in the NPA. These signs 
and plaques have been illustrated in the MUTCD and the SHSM book, but 
had not previously been discussed in the MUTCD text.
    In addition, the FHWA incorporates the information from Section 
2C.28 BRIDGE ICES BEFORE ROAD sign of the 2003 MUTCD into this section, 
as proposed in the NPA, in order to maintain cohesiveness of 
information.
    Finally, in the NPA the FHWA proposed adding a new symbolic Falling 
Rocks sign and an educational plaque to this section to reflect common 
practice in many States to warn road users of the frequent possibility 
of rocks falling (or already fallen) onto the roadway. The Sign 
Synthesis Study \66\ found a lack of consistency in the sign legends or 
symbols currently in use by States for this purpose. To provide 
consistency in sign design, the FHWA proposed to add a symbol sign 
(along with an educational plaque for use if needed) that may be used 
to warn road users of falling or fallen rocks, slides, or other similar 
situations. Although the most common sign currently used in the U.S. is 
a word sign, Canadian, Mexican, European, and international standards 
use symbols, all of which are very similar, for this message. The FHWA 
proposed to adopt the standard Mexican MUTCD symbol, because its design 
appeared to offer the best simplicity and legibility. Although ATSSA 
and a local DOT supported this new sign and plaque, the NCUTCD and one 
of its members opposed the symbol on the sign and the plaque because 
they felt that it would not be well understood by the travelling public 
and that a word sign would be more appropriate. The FHWA believes that 
additional human factors testing of alternative symbols for this 
message would be desirable prior to future consideration of adopting a 
symbol and therefore the FHWA does not adopt the symbol sign or plaque 
in this final rule. Instead, the FHWA adopts a FALLEN ROCKS word 
message sign.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \66\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, pages 37-38, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    133. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds a new section numbered 
and titled Section 2C.33 Warning Signs and Plaques for Motorcyclists, 
that contains SUPPORT and OPTION statements regarding the use of two 
new warning signs and an associated symbolic plaque that may be 
specifically placed to warn motorcyclists of road surface conditions 
that would primarily affect them, such as grooved or brick pavement and 
metal bridge decks. The FHWA adds the new signs to promote needed sign 
uniformity, based on the results of the Sign Synthesis Study,\67\ which 
found a variety of different messages in use by the States for these 
purposes. Subsequently, a study \68\ evaluated several different 
motorcycle symbols and arrangements of such symbols both within the 
primary warning sign and as a supplemental plaque. The study found that 
the best legibility distance is provided by depicting a motorcycle on a 
supplementary plaque and that one particular style of motorcycle 
provides the best comprehension of the intended message. ATSSA, the 
Motorcycle Safety Foundation, a State DOT, a local DOT, and a citizen 
supported these new signs and plaques. As a result, the FHWA adopts 
word message signs with standardized legends of GROOVED PAVEMENT and 
METAL BRIDGE DECK and a new supplementary plaque featuring a side view 
of a motorcycle. Based on comments from three NCUTCD members, a traffic 
engineering consultant, and a citizen suggesting edits to the symbol 
and flexibility in the mounting of the plaque, the FHWA also clarifies 
the text and Figure 2C-6 in this final rule to show the motorcyclist on 
the plaque facing left and to allow the Motorcycle plaque to be mounted 
either above or below the sign if the warning is intended to be 
directed primarily to motorcyclists.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \67\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, pages 39-40, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
    \68\ ``Design and Evaluation of Selected Symbol Signs,'' Final 
Report, May, 2008, conducted by Bryan Katz, Gene Hawkins, Jason 
Kennedy, and Heather Rigdon Howard, for the Traffic Control Devices 
Pooled Fund Study, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://www.pooledfund.org/documents/TPF-5_065/symbol_sign_report_final.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    134. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed adding a new section numbered 
and titled Section 2C.34 NO CENTER STRIPE Sign. The FHWA adopts this 
new section based on a review of the 2003 MUTCD and 2004 SHSM book that 
revealed that the MUTCD did not contain language about this existing 
sign, which is illustrated in Figure 2C-6. However, in this final rule 
the FHWA revises the legend of the sign to NO CENTER LINE to reflect 
current terminology, and revises the title and text of Section 2C.34 
accordingly.
    135. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds a new section numbered 
and titled Section 2C.35 Weather Condition Signs, containing OPTION and 
STANDARD statements regarding the use of four new signs to warn users 
of potential adverse weather conditions. The FHWA based the proposed 
signs on results of the Sign Synthesis Study \69\ that showed that 
signs for various weather conditions were in very common use in many 
parts of the country, but with widely varying legends. In the NPA, the 
FHWA proposed to use the legend WATCH FOR FOG. Although ATSSA supported 
the proposed legend, the NCUTCD and one of its members and a local DOT 
suggested that ``WATCH FOR'' is unnecessary text on a warning sign. The 
FHWA agrees and adopts the legend FOG AREA in this final rule. ATSSA 
supported the GUSTY WINDS sign, while a State DOT, a local DOT, and an

[[Page 66762]]

NCUTCD member suggested alternate wording or questioned the need for 
the sign. The FHWA adopts the wording GUSTY WINDS, as proposed in the 
NPA as this message is simpler and clearer than any alternate wordings. 
ATSSA, a State DOT, a local DOT, and a citizen supported the new ROAD 
MAY FLOOD and Depth Gauge signs. The NCUTCD and a State DOT suggested 
revisions to clarify the placement of these optional signs to indicate 
the depth of the water at the deepest point on the roadway. The FHWA 
agrees with the suggested revisions and adopts them in this final rule 
because they provide clearer and less ambiguous information to road 
users. The FHWA adopts uniform designs for these signs to provide road 
users with consistent messages.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \69\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, pages 38-39, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    136. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds a new section numbered 
and titled Section 2C.37 Advance Ramp Control Signal Signs, containing 
OPTION, GUIDANCE, and STANDARD statements regarding the use of two new 
signs. ATSSA and two local DOTs supported the addition of these signs 
to the MUTCD. The NCUTCD and a State DOT suggested clarifying the 
placement of the RAMP METERED WHEN FLASHING sign to allow flexibility 
in where it is placed. The FHWA agrees and revises the language 
accordingly in this final rule to clarify the GUIDANCE statement as to 
the placement of the sign in advance of the ramp control signal near 
the entrance to the ramp or on the arterial on the approach to the 
ramp. The FHWA also adopts the RAMP METER AHEAD and RAMP METERED WHEN 
FLASHING signs to provide uniformity of signing at ramp metering 
locations, especially because the practice of ramp metering continues 
to grow. The common existing use of these signs is documented in the 
Sign Synthesis Study \70\ and is recommended in the FHWA's Ramp 
Management and Control Handbook.\71\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \70\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 34, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
    \71\ ``Ramp Management and Control Handbook,'' FHWA, January 
2006, page 5-29, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/ramp_mgmt_handbook/manual/manual/pdf/rm_handbook.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    137. The FHWA changes the title of Section 2C.38 to ``Reduced Speed 
Limit Ahead Signs'' (Section 2C.30 of the 2003 MUTCD) to reflect the 
change of the sign name to be consistent with the Stop Ahead, Yield 
Ahead, and Signal Ahead warning sign names. A State DOT and a citizen 
supported the use of these signs.
    As proposed in the NPA, and to correspond to changes adopted in 
Section 2B.13, the FHWA revises the GUIDANCE statement to recommend 
that a Reduced Speed Limit Ahead sign be used where the speed limit is 
being reduced by more than 10 mph, or where engineering judgment 
indicates the need for advance notice. A local DOT supported this 
revision. Two State DOTs suggested that it is infeasible to install 
reduced speed signs in advance of every 10 mph reduction in speed. The 
FHWA reiterates that the Reduced Speed Limit Ahead warning sign should 
be used for speed limit drops in excess of 10 mph and would remain only 
an option, rather than a recommendation, for a 10 mph difference in 
posted speed limits. The FHWA believes that reductions in speed limit 
of more than 10 mph are unexpected by road users and might require 
special actions to reduce speed before reaching the start of the lower 
speed zone, and thus justify the use of a warning sign. The FHWA adopts 
this change in order to provide consistency for determining where speed 
reduction signs should be placed.
    138. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2C.39 
DRAW BRIDGE Sign, as proposed in the NPA, that contains a STANDARD 
statement and a figure regarding the use of this sign. The FHWA adopts 
this new Section in this final rule because Section 4J.02 Design and 
Location of Moveable Bridge Signals and Gates (Section 4I.02 of the 
2003 MUTCD) requires the use of the DRAW BRIDGE sign in advance of all 
drawbridges. Because the W3 series is used for advance warning signs 
and this sign is required in advance of the condition, it is 
appropriate to include the text and a figure in Chapter 2C, which 
covers Warning Signs. ATSSA supports the required use of this sign at 
drawbridges. Based on a comment from a local DOT, the FHWA revises the 
design of the W3-6 sign to be a two line legend warning sign with DRAW 
as the first line and BRIDGE as the second line, as Draw Bridge is two 
words rather than one in the dictionary and a two-line legend allows 
for larger letters that are more legible to road users, and deletes 
AHEAD from the legend, since the shape and color of the sign implies 
that the condition listed is ahead.
    139. As proposed in the NPA, in Section 2C.40 Merge Signs (Section 
2C.31 of the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA adds an OPTION statement at the end 
of the section to incorporate the new NO MERGE AREA supplemental plaque 
that may be mounted below a Merge sign, an Entering Roadway Merge sign, 
a Yield Ahead sign, or a YIELD sign. The purpose of this plaque is to 
warn road users on an entering roadway or channelized right-turn 
movement that they will encounter an abrupt merging situation at the 
end of the ramp or turning roadway. ATSSA, two State DOTs, and a local 
DOT supported the new plaque. Two local DOTs opposed its use, 
suggesting that it might be misinterpreted. The FHWA believes that when 
there are only a few entrance ramps or channelized right turns in an 
area that do not have acceleration lanes, those few locations do not 
meet driver expectations. Therefore, the FHWA adopts this plaque in 
this final rule based on the results of the Sign Synthesis Study,\72\ 
which indicated that some States routinely use this plaque to provide 
road users with important warning information for these conditions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \72\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 34, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    140. In Section 2C.42 Lane Ends Signs (Section 2C.33 of the 2003 
MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to allow the use of the W4-7 THRU 
TRAFFIC MERGE RIGHT (LEFT) sign, as a supplement to other signs, to 
warn road users in the right or left lane that their lane is about to 
become a mandatory turn or exit lane. ATSSA and the NCUTCD supported 
this new sign; however, a local DOT suggested that an additional sign 
is not needed, because the existing W9-1 and W9-2 Series signs already 
serve this purpose. The FHWA agrees and does not adopt the proposed use 
of this sign in this final rule. The FHWA believes this sign legend can 
be confusing when there are more than two through lanes. Instead, the 
FHWA adds a GUIDANCE statement in Section 2C.42 in this final rule to 
recommend the use of the RIGHT (LEFT) LANE ENDS (W9-1) adjacent to the 
Lane-Reduction Arrow pavement markings. The FHWA also clarifies the 
application of the W4-2, W9-1, and W9-2 warning signs in this final 
rule by adding a STANDARD statement prohibiting their use where a thru 
lane is designated as a mandatory turning lane approaching an 
intersection. The FHWA adopts these changes to be consistent with 
changes adopted in Sections 2B.20 and 3B .04. The FHWA retains the 
current use of the W4-7 sign for temporary conditions in Part 6.
    141. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2C.43 
RIGHT (LEFT) LANE EXIT ONLY AHEAD Sign. This section contains OPTION, 
STANDARD, GUIDANCE, and SUPPORT statements regarding the use

[[Page 66763]]

of this new sign to provide advance warning of a freeway lane drop. 
ATSSA and two local DOTs supported this sign, while the NCUTCD and two 
of its members opposed the addition of this warning sign, because they 
felt that the sign should be a regulatory sign, since it is used when 
traffic is required to depart the roadway. The FHWA notes that this 
warning sign is for post-mounted application in advance of the RIGHT 
LANE MUST EXIT supplementary regulatory sign to the overhead guide sign 
EXIT ONLY where physical constraints prevent overhead signing of the 
EXIT ONLY sign. Several of the commenters suggested that the word 
``AHEAD'' be deleted from the sign, because warning signs already imply 
that the condition is ahead. The FHWA retains the ``AHEAD'' legend in 
this final rule, because it warns of an exit requirement, which is 
different from many other warning signs. The FHWA adopts this sign 
based on the results of the Sign Synthesis Study \73\ that showed 
several States use a similar warning sign for these conditions, 
particularly when overhead guide signs are not present on which to use 
EXIT ONLY plaques.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \73\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 35, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    142. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed adding a new section numbered 
and titled Section 2C.46 Two-Way Traffic on a Three-Lane Roadway Sign. 
The proposed sign was a variant of the existing W6-1 two-way traffic 
warning sign. ATSSA and two local DOTs supported the sign; however, an 
NCUTCD member and a citizen expressed concern that the sign might 
convey inaccurate information to drivers if the sign rotated to an 
upside down position as the result of vandalism or sign damage. The 
FHWA agrees and does not adopt this section or the associated signs in 
this final rule.
    143. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA relocates the information 
from Section 2C.36 of the 2003 MUTCD Advisory Exit, Ramp, and Curve 
Speed Signs, to Section 2C.14 in order to place all horizontal 
alignment warning signs in the same area of Chapter 2C.
    144. In Section 2C.46 Intersection Warning Signs (Section 2C.37 of 
the 2003 MUTCD), as proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds an OPTION 
allowing an educational plaque with a legend such as TRAFFIC CIRCLE or 
ROUNDABOUT to be mounted below a Circular Intersection symbol sign. 
ATSSA and a local DOT supported this new plaque.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to delete from the GUIDANCE statement 
the recommendation that Circular Intersection symbol warning signs 
should be installed on the approaches to a YIELD sign controlled 
roundabout. Based on a comment from a traffic engineering consultant 
suggesting that advance notice of a circular intersection needs to be 
given on higher speed approaches, the FHWA decides not to delete the 
existing GUIDANCE statement in the 2003 MUTCD and instead retains the 
GUIDANCE statement with a modification that recommends installing the 
Circular Intersection (W2-6) symbol sign in advance of a roundabout if 
the approach has a statutory or posted speed limit of 40 mph or higher 
The FHWA also adds new Offset Side Roads and Double Side Roads symbols 
for use on Intersection Warning Signs to the GUIDANCE statement, as 
proposed in the NPA. ATSSA and a local DOT supported these symbol 
signs, while the NCUTCD and a traffic engineering consultant provided 
comments about the design of the Offset Side Road intersection warning 
sign. As a result, the FHWA adds two GUIDANCE statements providing 
recommendations that the Double Side Roads W2-8 symbol sign should be 
used instead of the Side Road symbol sign where two closely spaced side 
roads are on the same side of the highway, that no more than two side 
road symbols should be displayed on the same side of the highway on a 
W2-7 or W2-8 symbol sign, and no more than three side road symbols 
should be displayed on a W2-7 or W2-8 symbol sign. The FHWA adopts 
these new symbols to address the results of the Sign Synthesis 
Study,\74\ which showed that variants of the W2-2 sign depicting offset 
side roads or two closely spaced side roads are used in many States, 
but the relative distance between the two side roads and the relative 
stroke widths of the roadways varies significantly. As a result, the 
FHWA adopts uniform designs in this final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \74\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 33, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    145. In Section 2C.47 Two-Direction Large Arrow Sign (Section 2C.38 
of the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA adopts the STANDARD statement as proposed 
in the NPA that the Two-Direction Large Arrow sign shall not be used in 
the central island of a roundabout. A traffic engineering consultant 
supported this restriction, while a local DOT suggested that this 
restriction was not needed, because no one would use the sign for that 
application. The FHWA notes that the Two Direction Large Arrow warning 
sign is frequently used inappropriately in the central island of a 
roundabout intersection. The FHWA adopts this change in this final rule 
in conjunction with other changes in Chapters 2B and 2D to provide 
consistency in signing at roundabouts.
    146. In Section 2C.48 Traffic Signal Signs (Section 2C.39 of the 
2003 MUTCD), as proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts text clarifying 
the STANDARD statement that W25-1 and W25-2 signs are to be vertical 
rectangles. Two local DOTs and an NCUTCD member opposed the existing 
provisions of requiring the use of the W25-1 and W25-2 signs to warn 
drivers of extended green signal indications in the opposite direction. 
The commenters felt that the sign text should be revised to improve the 
understanding of the legend, or should be eliminated. The FHWA notes 
that the provisions for their use are clearly indicated in the text 
referred to in Part 4, and that they are not required for all 
permissive left-turn applications, only for those few where a ``yellow 
trap'' signal sequence is operated.
    147. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed adding a new Combined Bicycle/
Pedestrian sign and TRAIL X-ING supplemental plaque in Section 2C.49 
(Section 2C.40 of the 2003 MUTCD) Vehicular Traffic Warning Signs. With 
the increasing mileage of shared-use paths in the U.S., the number of 
places where shared-use paths, used by both bicyclists and pedestrians, 
cross a road or highway is also increasing. To provide advance warning 
of these crossings and to indicate the location of the crossing itself, 
the provisions of the STANDARD statements of the 2003 MUTCD made it 
necessary to use both the supplementary application of the W11-1 
(bicycle) and W11-2 (pedestrian) crossing warning signs, mounted 
together on the same post at the crossing when used to supplement the 
advance warning placement, or sequentially along the road The Sign 
Synthesis Study \75\ revealed that several States have developed 
combination signs to simplify and improve the signing for shared-use 
path crossings, using either a single sign with combined bicycle and 
pedestrian symbols or a word message sign with a variety of different 
legends. As a result, the FHWA proposed in the NPA a new Combined

[[Page 66764]]

Bicycle/Pedestrian sign and TRAIL X-ING supplemental plaque. ATSSA, a 
State DOT, and three local DOTs supported the Combined Bicycle/
Pedestrian sign application and the design of the sign as proposed in 
the NPA. The NCUTCD and three of its members, four State DOTs, three 
local DOTs, an association representing local DOTs, five associations 
representing bicyclists and/or pedestrians, and three citizens 
supported the use of the Combined Bicycle/Pedestrian sign, but 
suggested that the design proposed in the NPA was confusing, tested 
poorly in research studies, or was unclear. As a result of those 
comments, the FHWA revises the sign design adopted in this final rule 
to show a bicycle symbol at the top of the sign and a pedestrian symbol 
at the bottom, as suggested by the NCUTCD. The FHWA also adds a TRAIL 
CROSSING word message alternative sign in this final rule because it 
agrees with a comment from the NCUTCD that such a sign might be needed 
in locations where the recreational path includes equestrians or 
snowmobiles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \75\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 42, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ATSSA, a State DOT, two NCUTCD members and a traffic engineering 
consultant commented that the color of the Combined Bicycle/Pedestrian 
sign and TRAIL X-ING plaque shown in Figure 2C-10 should be changed to 
reflect that the standard background color is yellow, and that the 
fluorescent yellow-green color is optional. The FHWA agrees and revises 
the sign illustrations in this final rule accordingly, consistent with 
adopted revisions in Section 2A.10.
    Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds an OPTION statement 
that the Combination Pedestrian/Bicycle symbol sign and TRAIL CROSSING 
word message sign may be supplemented with plaques with the legend 
AHEAD, XX FEET, or NEXT XX MILES when used in advance of a pedestrian 
and bicycle crossing. The FHWA adds this language in this final rule to 
provide consistency with other sections in the MUTCD involving the use 
of plaques with Vehicular Traffic Warning signs.
    In addition, the FHWA adds a STANDARD to clarify that post-mounted 
Bicycle (W11-1), Golf Cart (W11-11), Combined Pedestrian/Bicycle (W11-
15), and TRAIL CROSSING (W11-15a) signs shall be supplemented with a 
diagonal downward pointing arrow (W16-7P) plaque when used at a 
crossing. Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds this 
requirement to be consistent with the current STANDARD in the 2003 
MUTCD (included in Section 2C.51 in this final rule) that requires the 
use of the W16-7P plaque at crossings.
    148. In Section 2C.50 Non-Vehicular Warning Signs (Section 2C.41 of 
the 2003 MUTCD) the FHWA changes the 2nd OPTION statement in the 2003 
Edition of the MUTCD to a GUIDANCE statement. Although not proposed in 
the NPA, the FHWA adopts this change to recommend the use of warning 
signs supplemented with plaques with the AHEAD or XX FEET legend when 
they are used with or in advance of a pedestrian, snowmobile, or 
equestrian crossing to inform road users that they are approaching a 
point where crossing activity might occur. The FHWA adopts this change 
in this final rule to be consistent with the use of these plaques at 
crossings, as required throughout the MUTCD. Application of the Non-
Vehicular Warning signs without the plaques stating distance or AHEAD 
or downward sloping arrow at the crossing can be confusing to road 
users as to the location of the crossing. FHWA notes the serious 
consequences to a pedestrian or wheel chair bound user if the operator 
of a much heavier vehicle operator is confused as to the location where 
to expect them to enter the highway.
    The FHWA also revises the existing STANDARD in paragraph 04 to 
clarify that the placement of a supplemental downward pointing arrow 
plaque shall be below post-mounted Non-Vehicular Warning signs, and to 
prohibit the use of the diagonal downward pointing arrow on overhead-
mounted Non-Vehicular Warning signs. Although not proposed in the NPA, 
the FHWA adopts these clarifications in response to a comment from a 
State DOT suggesting that an arrow on an overhead sign would not be 
pointing to the appropriate location. The resulting STANDARD in this 
final rule specifies that the diagonal downward sloping arrow (W16-7P) 
plaque shall not be used with an overhead mounting of the W11-6, W11-7 
or W11-9 Non-Vehicular Warning symbol signs. This is necessary so that 
the application of the W16-7 downward sloping arrow uniquely identifies 
the location of the crossing.
    The FHWA adds STANDARD and OPTION statements regarding the 
combination use of the Yield Here To (Stop Here For) Pedestrian sign in 
the vicinity of the Pedestrian Crossing (W11-2) sign in this final rule 
that restricts blocking the view of the W11-2 sign, or placing it on 
the same post as a R1-5 series sign. These additional statements are 
necessary for consistency with the STANDARD and OPTION statements in 
Sections 2B.11 and 2B.12. The FHWA also adopts the OPTION statement to 
allow Pedestrian Crossing signs to be mounted overhead where Yield Here 
To (Stop Here For) signs have been installed in advance of the 
crosswalk. The FHWA also allows the use of advance Pedestrian Crossing 
(W11-2) signs on the approach with AHEAD or distance plaques at the 
crosswalk where Yield Here To (Stop Here For) Pedestrian signs have 
been installed. The FHWA adopts this new language to be consistent with 
similar language that is adopted in Part 7, which is based on FHWA's 
Official Interpretation  2-566.\76\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \76\ FHWA's Official Interpretation 2-566(I), July 27, 
2005, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/2_566.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a STANDARD statement that 
required school signs and their related supplemental plaques to have a 
fluorescent yellow-green background with a black legend and border to 
be consistent with changes in Chapter 2A and in Part 7. In this final 
rule, the FHWA relocates this statement to Section 2A.10 Sign Colors, 
based on comments from an NCUTCD member, a State DOT, a local DOT, and 
a traffic engineering consultant, suggesting that Section 2A.10 is a 
more appropriate location for the information, since that section 
discusses the color of signs.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to change paragraph 09 to a GUIDANCE 
statement to recommend, rather than merely permit, the use of 
fluorescent yellow-green for pedestrian, bicycle, and playground Non-
Vehicular Warning signs and their supplemental plaques. The NCUTCD and 
two of its members, three State DOTs, and two local DOTs opposed 
including the Bicycle (W11-1) warning sign in this statement that 
elevates the use of the fluorescent yellow-green background to a 
recommendation (rather than an option as in the 2003 MUTCD), because 
Bicycle warning signs are not always school related. Because bicycles 
are defined as vehicles, the Bicycle W11-1 warning sign is a Vehicular 
Traffic Warning sign, and therefore the FHWA moves it to Section 2C.49 
in this final rule. As discussed above in 2C.49, the use of fluorescent 
yellow-green is an option for Vehicular Traffic Warning signs, 
including the W11-1 sign. To be consistent with changes adopted in 
Section 2C.03 and discussed therein, in this final rule the FHWA adopts 
an OPTION to use fluorescent yellow-green for non-school Non-Vehicular 
Warning signs and their associated plaques.

[[Page 66765]]

    149. In both Section 2C.49 Vehicular Traffic Warning Signs and 
Section 2C.50 Non-Vehicular Warning Signs (Sections 2C.40 and 2C.41 of 
the 2003 MUTCD), in the NPA the FHWA proposed to add OPTION statements 
regarding the use of Warning Beacons and supplemental WHEN FLASHING 
plaques to indicate specific periods when the condition or activity is 
present or is likely to be present. A local DOT supported this 
additional information; however, an NCUTCD member suggested that the 
language was confusing. The FHWA revises the language in this final 
rule to clarify the application of a supplemental WHEN FLASHING (W16-
13P) plaque. The FHWA adopts these changes to clarify the allowable use 
of this plaque, for consistency with provisions regarding warning 
beacons contained in Part 4 of the 2003 MUTCD and in the adopted 2009 
MUTCD.
    150. In Figure 2C-11 (Figure 2C-12 in the NPA) Non-Vehicular 
Warning Signs, the FHWA adds images of new symbolic warning signs for 
moose, elk/antelope/caribou, wild horses (horse without a rider), 
burros/donkeys, sheep, bighorn sheep, and bears, as proposed in the 
NPA. The 2003 MUTCD included only three signs to warn of the possible 
crossings of large animals--deer crossing (W11-3), cattle crossing 
(W11-4), and equestrian crossing (horse with rider, W11-7). The 
prevalence of other types of large animals that might cross roads (and 
which might cause significant damage or injury if struck by a vehicle) 
has caused at least 16 States to develop signs (usually symbolic) for 
warning of one or more different animal crossings, as documented in the 
Sign Synthesis Study.\77\ ATSSA supported the new large animal symbol 
signs, however a State DOT and a local DOT suggested that there is not 
sufficient research to show that the existing animal warning signs are 
effective, so there is no reason to add considerably more animal symbol 
warning signs. The NCUTCD and two of its members provided comments 
about the design of the bear, sheep, elk, moose, and wild horse 
symbols. Based on those comments, the FHWA revises the moose symbol in 
this final rule to show the animal with its head up and removes the 
grass from beneath the elk's feet. The FHWA adopts the new signs 
because the new animal symbols look significantly different from the 
three animal symbols in the 2003 MUTCD and the standard signs do not 
provide accurate meaning and adequate warning. The FHWA also adopts the 
uniform symbol designs to address the lack of consistency in the signs 
currently being used for this purpose by the States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \77\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, pages 41-42, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    151. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2C.52 
NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN AHEAD Sign, containing OPTION and GUIDANCE 
statements regarding the use of this sign to provide advance warning of 
a change in traffic patterns, such as revised lane usage, roadway 
geometry, or intersection control. ATSSA, an NCUTCD member, and a local 
DOT supported this sign as presented in the NPA. A State DOT, an NCUTCD 
member, two local DOTs, a traffic engineering consultant, and a citizen 
either opposed the message because they felt that it was not clear or 
suggested that alternate legends be added for this sign. A State DOT 
suggested deleting the sign and allowing agencies to develop a specific 
sign to indicate what is different. A State DOT, two local DOTs, and an 
NCUTCD member suggested that the background of the sign be orange, 
since it represents a temporary situation, and that the sign should be 
in Part 6, rather than in Part 2. The FHWA declines removing the 
proposed sign from Part 2 because it is a warning sign for a change in 
conditions that may not be associated with temporary traffic control. 
However, the FHWA also adds this sign in this final rule (with an 
orange background) in Chapter 6F. The FHWA understands that some 
agencies are using different legends; however, the FHWA declines adding 
additional legends to the MUTCD in order to establish a uniform design 
and most importantly a uniform meaning to road users. The FHWA adopts 
in this final rule the legend as shown in the NPA to reflect existing 
practices in many States and numerous local jurisdictions as documented 
in the Sign Synthesis Study \78\ and to provide a uniform legend for 
this purpose, consistent with similar adopted changes in Part 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \78\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 33, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    152. In Section 2C.58 Advance Street Name Plaque (Section 2C.49 of 
the 2003 MUTCD), as proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds a requirement 
that the lettering on Advance Street Name plaques shall be composed of 
a combination of lower-case letters with initial upper-case letters. 
ATSSA and a citizen supported this change. Two State DOTs, two local 
DOTs, and an NCUTCD member supported the use of mixed-case letters, but 
suggested that their use not be mandatory. The commenters felt that 
there is not enough evidence to support the change to mandate the use 
of mixed-case letters and that the cost of replacing the signs is 
disproportionate to the benefit to be received by changing the letters. 
The FHWA disagrees that there are significant cost impacts, as existing 
Advance Street Name plaques in good condition may remain in service 
until such point in time that they are replaced as part of the agency's 
periodic sign maintenance program. The FHWA retains the requirement for 
mixed-use letters based on published research \79\ that demonstrates 
the improved recognition and legibility distances for place names and 
destinations that are comprised of an upper-case first letter followed 
by lower-case lettering.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \79\ Research on this topic is cited and discussed in ``Highway 
Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. 
FHWA-RD-01-103, May 2001, which can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01103/coverfront.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Consistent with the current design requirements in Chapter 2D for 
the application of directional arrows to Street Name signs and Advance 
Street Name signs, the FHWA adds a requirement that directional arrows 
be used adjacent to street names when two street names are used on the 
Advance Street Name plaque. The FHWA adopts this requirement in this 
final rule based on a comment from the NCUTCD suggesting the need to 
account for side roads that have different names, and to provide 
consistency for road users. The added text reflects common practice by 
highway agencies and MUTCD principles for arrows on guide signs.
    The FHWA adds a GUIDANCE statement, and an accompanying figure, 
that recommends the order in which street names should be displayed on 
an Advance Street Name plaque, as proposed in the NPA. ATSSA and a 
local DOT supported this recommendation.
    153. In Section 2C.59 CROSS TRAFFIC DOES NOT STOP Plaque (Section 
2C.50 of the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA adds a GUIDANCE statement as 
proposed in the NPA that plaques with appropriate alternative messages, 
such as TRAFFIC FROM LEFT DOES NOT STOP, be used at intersections where 
STOP signs control all but one approach to the intersection. ATSSA and 
a local DOT supported the plaques. Similar to comments about Chapter 2B 
proposals regarding ALL-WAY plaques with STOP signs, two local DOTs 
opposed using

[[Page 66766]]

these plaques because they feel that the existing plaques are 
effective. The FHWA disagrees that the meaning and understanding of 
these types of supplemental plaques by road users has confused drivers 
facing a STOP sign as to which other approaches are required to stop. 
The FHWA believes to the contrary, that these plaques are helpful for 
informing and warning road users, and the FHWA adopts these plaques in 
this final rule to be consistent with changes adopted in Chapter 2B.
    154. In Section 2C.60 SHARE THE ROAD Plaque (Section 2C.51 of the 
2003 MUTCD), the FHWA adds a new STANDARD statement that requires that 
the SHARE THE ROAD plaque be used only as a supplement to a Vehicular 
Traffic or Non-Vehicular sign. ATSSA and a State DOT supported this 
standard, while a local DOT suggested that prohibiting the use of this 
plaque alone is not justified. The FHWA disagrees because road users 
need more clarity on the type of vehicle or nonvehicle that might be 
present, and because plaques are not intended for independent use. The 
FHWA adopts this change in this final rule as proposed in the NPA. The 
FHWA proposed in the NPA to require the use of fluorescent yellow-green 
background for all school, pedestrian, and bicycle applications. As 
discussed above in Section 2C.03, in this final rule the FHWA revised 
Section 2C.03 to make the mandatory application of fluorescent yellow-
green apply only to School area signs and adopted an OPTION statement 
that the background color of Non-Vehicular Warning signs may be either 
yellow or fluorescent yellow-green consistent with Table 2A-5. Based on 
a comment from a State DOT, a local DOT, two NCUTCD members, and a 
traffic engineering consultant suggesting the need for consistency with 
Section 2C.03, FHWA adds a STANDARD statement to Section 2C.60 to 
provide for the consistent application of the appropriate background 
color to the SHARE THE ROAD plaque.
    155. In Section 2C.61 Photo Enforced Plaque (Section 2C.53 of the 
2003 MUTCD), the FHWA replaces the ``PHOTO ENFORCED'' word message 
plaque with a new symbol plaque depicting a camera and designated as 
W16-10P, as proposed in the NPA. The existing word message plaque is 
retained as an alternate to the new symbol plaque and its sign 
designation reassigned as W16-10aP. ATSSA supported the addition of the 
symbol sign, while a State DOT, a local DOT, and two NCUTCD members 
opposed the symbol sign, primarily because they felt that its meaning 
was not clear. The FHWA disagrees and adopts the new symbol sign in 
this final rule, noting that the results of the ``Design and Evaluation 
of Symbol Signs'' study \80\ found that subjects in a human factors 
study demonstrated excellent correct understanding of the symbol when 
displayed with a Signal Ahead warning sign as meaning a warning of Red 
Light Enforcement Cameras.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \80\ ``Design and Evaluation of Selected Symbol Signs,'' Final 
Report, May, 2008, conducted by Bryan Katz, Gene Hawkins, Jason 
Kennedy, and Heather Rigdon Howard, for the Traffic Control Devices 
Pooled Fund Study, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://www.pooledfund.org/documents/TPF-5_065/symbol_sign_report_final.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    156. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a section numbered and 
titled Section 2C.66 METRIC Plaque. The FHWA does not adopt this 
section in this final rule, reflecting the removal of metric signs from 
the MUTCD.
    157. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2C.62 
NEW Plaque (numbered Section 2C.67 in the NPA) that describes the use 
of this optional plaque that may be mounted above a regulatory sign 
when a new traffic regulation takes effect or above an advance warning 
sign for a new traffic control condition. ATSSA, the NCUTCD, a State 
DOT, a local DOT, and a traffic engineering consultant supported the 
plaque and its design as proposed in the NPA. Two local DOTs and two 
NCUTCD members suggested that the design of the plaque be changed to a 
black legend on a yellow background. A State DOT, two local DOTs, and 
an NCUTCD member opposed the new plaque because of its design and the 
fact that Section 2A.15 addresses other ways to enhance sign 
conspicuity. The FHWA revises the design of the plaque in this final 
rule to be the black legend ``NEW'' and a black border on a yellow 
background without the black and white sunburst graphic. Although not 
opposed to the plaque, a local DOT expressed concern that that the 
addition of this supplemental plaque to the MUTCD might result in 
overuse of the plaques by agencies being pressured to ``do more by 
adding this plaque to many signs'' for a particular situation, 
regardless of whether the plaque's effectiveness is demonstrated. The 
FHWA understands this concern, and notes that in response to a comment 
from the NCUTCD, the FHWA adopts language in this final rule 
restricting the use of the NEW plaque so that it cannot be used alone. 
The FHWA adopts this new plaque based on the Sign Synthesis Study,\81\ 
which showed that some States and Canadian provinces are using similar 
plaques and signs for this purpose, and to provide a uniform plaque 
design for consistency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \81\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 33, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the FHWA also proposed in a GUIDANCE statement that the 
use of this plaque be limited to the first 6 months after the traffic 
regulation has been in effect. A State and a local DOT supported this 
time limitation, while another local DOT suggested that its use be 
limited to 3 months. To address a comment from the State DOT suggesting 
that if the plaque remains in place for a long time (possibly years) it 
would degrade the effect of the same sign at a location that has a new 
restriction, the FHWA revises the statement to a STANDARD in this final 
rule, thereby limiting its use to a maximum 6-month time period. The 
FHWA believes that timely removal of this plaque is essential, 
warranting mandatory language.
    158. In Section 2C.63 Object Marker Design and Placement Height 
(Section 3C.01 of the 2003 MUTCD, numbered Section 2L.01 of the NPA), 
the FHWA adopts several revisions in this final rule based on comments 
submitted by the NCUTCD suggesting the need to clarify the design of 
object markers due to their relocation into Part 2 signs to avoid 
inconsistencies with existing and proposed revisions to the MUTCD. The 
resulting changes clarify existing standards that object markers do not 
have a border in their design, that Type I object markers are diamond 
shaped, that retroreflectors are in fact retroreflective devices, and 
providing information regarding the design of the Type 4 object marker 
that is used to mark the end of a roadway. These revisions will not 
have a significant impact on agencies; rather they provide 
clarification and combine similar information all in one location, 
which the FHWA believes will be beneficial to practitioners.
    159. In Section 2C.64 Object Markers for Obstructions Within the 
Roadway (Section 3C.02 of the 2003 MUTCD, Section 2L.02 of the NPA), 
the FHWA proposed in the NPA adding an OPTION statement regarding the 
placement of Type 1 or Type 3 markers on the nose of a median island. 
The NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a local DOT, supported the concept, but 
suggested editorial changes that the FHWA adopts in this final rule. A 
local DOT suggested including the option to install Type 2

[[Page 66767]]

markers in the same manner; however the FHWA disagrees because the 
approach end of a median island is in the roadway, not adjacent to the 
roadway, therefore only Type 1 and 3 markers are appropriate.
    160. In Section 2C.65 Object Markers for Obstructions Adjacent to 
the Roadway (Section 3C.03 of the 2003 MUTCD, Section 2L.03 of the 
NPA), as proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds to the STANDARD statement 
to specify that Type 1 and Type 4 object markers shall not be used to 
mark obstructions adjacent to the roadway. The FHWA relocates the 
STANDARD statement from Section 2C.64 Object Markers for Obstructions 
Within the Roadway to Section 2C.65 Object Markers for Obstructions 
Adjacent to the Roadway, because the STANDARD statement applies to 
objects adjacent to the roadway. In this final rule the FHWA also 
revises the STANDARD statement to clarify the application of Type 3 
object markers to the approach ends of guardrail and other roadside 
appurtenances to address a comment from a State DOT suggesting the need 
to address the required size where the ends of the guardrail or 
roadside appurtenances are of a size other than 12 inches x 36 inches, 
for consistency with existing STANDARD requirements for Type 3 Object 
Markers. The FHWA adopts this clarification to provide for the 
predominant practice by highway agencies.
    161. In Section 2C.66 Object Markers for Ends of Roadways (Section 
3C.04 of the 2003 MUTCD, Section 2L.04 of the NPA), the FHWA adds a 
STANDARD statement as proposed in the NPA, to require that if an object 
marker is used to mark the end of a roadway, a Type 4 object marker 
shall be used. The FHWA adopts this change to provide clarity that the 
Type 4 object marker is the only type of object marker to be used to 
mark the end of a roadway.
    To address a comment from the NCUTCD to place design information 
for all types of object markers in the same section, the FHWA relocates 
the information regarding the design of the Type 4 marker to Section 
2C.63 in this final rule.

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 2D--General

    162. As proposed in the NPA, in Section 2D.30 Junction Assembly 
(Section 2D.28 of the 2003 MUTCD), Section 2D.31 Advance Route Turn 
Assembly (Section 2D.29 of the 2003 MUTCD), and Section 2D.40 Location 
of Destination Signs (Section 2D.35 of the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA 
revises the requirements and recommendations for the locations of these 
signs. In Section 2D.30, the FHWA proposed to change the sign placement 
distances in advance of an intersection from STANDARD to GUIDANCE, to 
recommend, rather than require, that the signs be installed at the 
distances stated therein. In Sections 2D.31 and 2D.40, the FHWA 
proposed to add new recommendations regarding the distances between 
signs to provide consistency with the sign placement distances included 
in Section 2D.30. In this final rule the FHWA adopts these changes as 
proposed in the NPA, in order to provide more flexibility for the 
placement of these various signs, particularly as it relates to rural 
areas, and to indicate that the dimensions shown on Figure 2D-7 are 
recommendations.

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 2D--Specific

    163. In Section 2D.04 Size of Signs, the FHWA adds a requirement, 
as proposed in the NPA, that the sizes of conventional road guide signs 
that have standardized designs shall be as shown in Table 2D-1, except 
as noted in Section 2A.11. Although a local DOT supported this change, 
two State DOTs and an NCUTCD member opposed this change, suggesting 
that States needed to have flexibility in sign size when the need 
arises, and to exercise engineering judgment, rather than needing to 
follow requirements at all times. The FHWA disagrees that signs with 
standard legends need not conform in overall size and believes that 
non-conformance to the standard sign sizes results in smaller letter 
sizes that cannot be read at distances adequate to react to the 
message. Signs listed in Table 2D-1 that have legends that might vary 
in length are adequately addressed by the footnote allowing for an 
appropriate adjustment in size for an atypical sign. The FHWA adopts 
the proposed language in this final rule.
    164. In Section 2D.05 Lettering Style, the FHWA proposed a 
requirement in the NPA to use a combination of lower-case letters with 
initial upper-case letters for names of places, streets, and highways 
on conventional road guide signs. A transportation research institute, 
a traffic engineering consultant, and a citizen all supported this 
requirement, while two State DOTs, a local DOT, and an NCUTCD member 
suggested that the use of a combination of lower-case letters with 
initial upper-case letters be a recommendation, and that all upper-case 
letters be allowed as well. The commenters suggested that there is not 
enough convincing evidence to support making the change to upper-case 
and lower-case letters as a mandatory condition. The FHWA disagrees 
because the change to mixed-case alphabets is based directly on the 
outcome of a research study \82\ that demonstrated improved recognition 
of familiar destinations on guide signs when displayed using mixed-case 
lettering. In this final rule the FHWA revises the language in this 
section from what was proposed in the NPA to clarify that the nominal 
loop height of the lower-case letters shall be three-quarters the 
height of the initial upper-case letter. The FHWA also adds clarifying 
language to help users of the MUTCD determine the appropriate letter 
height when a mixed-case legend letter height is specified referring 
only to the initial upper-case letter or when only to a lower-case 
letter is referred to. The FHWA adopts this language in this final rule 
to address comments in several sections of the NPA from various 
commenters suggesting that more information was needed to determine the 
appropriate letter heights for mixed-case legends.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \82\ Research on this topic is cited and discussed in ``Highway 
Design Handbook for Older Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. 
FHWA-RD-01-103, May 2001, which can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01103/coverfront.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also adds a STANDARD at the end of this section in this 
final rule to clarify that the distortion of unique letter forms of the 
Standard Alphabet series is prohibited, and provides a reference to the 
provisions in Section 2D.04 regarding the prescribed methods to modify 
the length of a word for a given letter height and series. Although the 
referenced provisions exist in Section 2D.04 of the 2003 MUTCD, and 
state that the letter designs shall be as detailed in the ``Standard 
Highway Signs'' book, the FHWA has noticed that with the advancement 
and use of electronic technologies for sign design and fabrication, 
such distortion of letter forms to fit word legends on signs has become 
increasingly prevalent. The FHWA believes that this distortion 
compromises legibility, and adds this specific requirement in this 
final rule as a reiteration of the existing provision.
    165. In Section 2D.07 Amount of Legend, the FHWA proposed in the 
NPA to revise the GUIDANCE statement to clarify that guide signs should 
be limited to no more than three lines of destinations and that action 
and distance information should be provided on guide signs in addition 
to the destinations, where appropriate. ATSSA and an NCUTCD member 
supported this change, whereas two State DOTs suggested that the 
language allow for more flexibility, such as when

[[Page 66768]]

a destination name occupies more than one line, or at a location where 
four destinations are needed, such as a ramp terminal. The FHWA 
disagrees with this suggestion due to concerns about increasing the 
cognitive load imposed on a driver and adopts in this final rule the 
language as proposed in the NPA, with the addition of language to refer 
to exceptions noted elsewhere (such as in Section 2D.37 Destination 
Signs), that provide information on how to accommodate four 
destinations where necessary. FHWA adopts this language to reduce 
confusion regarding the number of lines on a guide sign and to address 
the results of recent NCHRP research on driver information 
overload.\83\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \83\ NCHRP Report 488, ``Additional Investigations on Driver 
Information Overload'' 2006, page 65, can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_488c.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to revise the OPTION regarding the 
use of pictographs on guide signs. Because the information contained in 
this OPTION provides general provisions and applies to all cases in 
which pictographs are allowed, the FHWA relocates the information to 
Chapter 2A in this final rule, as discussed previously in this 
preamble.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a STANDARD statement 
specifying the maximum dimension of a pictograph on a guide sign. The 
proposed language stated that a pictograph shall not exceed the size of 
the route shield on the guide sign, and that if the guide sign does not 
include a route shield, the maximum size of the pictograph shall not 
exceed two times the letter height of the destination legend. ATSSA, a 
local DOT, and a toll road operator supported this language. A State 
DOT and two toll road operators suggested exempting ETC system 
pictographs from adhering to the width dimension requirements, because 
ETC pictographs are often rectangular, rather than square, in shape. 
Two toll road operators suggested that there be no limit on the size of 
ETC pictographs. The FHWA understands that there is a need for some 
flexibility with regard to ETC system pictographs because of their 
unique designs and the critical information conveyed by their use, 
unlike other pictographs that only complement and not replace an 
associated word legend. As a result, the FHWA adopts specific 
provisions on the size of ETC-system pictographs in Chapter 2F. In 
addition, the FHWA relocates specific provisions on pictographs to the 
relevant Sections where a pictograph is allowed to better group related 
information. The FHWA adopts these changes in order to incorporate 
information regarding pictographs in the MUTCD, to reflect FHWA's 
Official Interpretation number 2-646(I) \84\ and to provide information 
on the maximum size of certain pictographs so that they do not detract 
from the primary legend of the signs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \84\ This official interpretation can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/2_646.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    166. In Section 2D.08 Arrows, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to make 
several revisions to this section to clarify the use and design of 
arrows on guide signs. The first STANDARD statement required that down 
arrows on overhead signs shall always be vertical and positioned 
directly over the approximate center of the applicable lane. ATSSA and 
a local DOT supported this language; however three State DOTs opposed 
it, stating that the location of arrows on the sign should be GUIDANCE, 
not a STANDARD statement. The FHWA disagrees with the opposing 
commenters and retains the language in this final rule in order to 
reduce uncertainty and confusion by providing positive guidance in sign 
legends. The FHWA also proposed to add a requirement that no more than 
one down arrow shall point to a lane on a single overhead sign (or on 
multiple overhead signs on the same sign structure). ATSSA, a State 
DOT, and a local DOT supported this requirement, while three State DOTs 
opposed it because their States use multiple down arrows to point to a 
single lane. The FHWA believes that allowing one more arrow than the 
number of lanes present creates conflicting information for the road 
user to process and that adopting this language will substantially 
increase positive guidance and eliminate driver confusion and late lane 
changes, thereby improving highway safety. The FHWA adopts the language 
as proposed in the NPA in this final rule.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add an OPTION permitting the use 
of diagonal arrows pointing diagonally downward on overhead guide signs 
only if each arrow is located directly over the center of the lane and 
only for the purpose of emphasizing a separation of diverging roadways. 
ATSSA and a local DOT supported this new OPTION, while one State DOT, 
an NCUTCD member and a citizen opposed this use of diagonally pointing 
arrows. The commenters believe that the arrows are unlikely to convey 
meaningful and consistent information to the driver, as there are no 
guidelines identifying the circumstances that would justify placing the 
arrows at an angle, and that there is a likely potential for 
inconsistent application, an implication of a lane change, and an 
overall practice that is not consistent with the use of upward-pointing 
arrows at similar locations. The FHWA agrees with the commenters and 
does not adopt this OPTION for overhead signs in this final rule.
    The FHWA adopts the proposed OPTION statement to permit the use of 
curved-stem arrows that represent the intended driver paths to 
destinations involving left-turn movements on guide signs on approaches 
to roundabouts or circular intersections. ATSSA and an NCUTCD member 
supported this new OPTION. The FHWA clarifies through a STANDARD that 
the use of a curved-stem arrow on any sign not associated with a 
circular intersection is prohibited, because such use would be 
confusing and is not the intended use of this type of arrow. The FHWA 
adds this statement to clarify application of curved-stem arrows on 
guide signs.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed adding GUIDANCE and OPTION statements 
regarding the use of various arrow types, including curved-stem and 
Types A through D arrows. ATSSA, a local DOT, and an NCUTCD member 
supported including this information; however, one of the commenters 
felt that the level of detail included in the GUIDANCE and the 
following OPTION was too much and that a reference to the SHSM book 
would suffice. Two State DOTs and another NCUTCD member suggested that 
some of the information regarding specific arrow types be deleted, or 
changed from a GUIDANCE to an OPTION, because their State was using a 
different arrow type. The FHWA disagrees and adopts in this final rule 
the statements as proposed in the NPA, because the selection of the 
arrow type and placement are critical to the overall appearance and 
legibility of the sign. A local DOT supported the NPA language 
recommending that the arrowheads for the Types A, B, and C directional 
arrows should be 1.5 to 1.75 times the height of the largest letter on 
the sign, while a State DOT opposed the revision because it felt that 
there was no value in providing that information. The FHWA disagrees 
and adopts the recommendation in the MUTCD because the GUIDANCE on 
arrow size ensures that the arrow is kept in relative proportion to the 
entire legend, preserving legibility.
    167. In Section 2D.11 Design of Route Signs, the FHWA proposed in 
the NPA to change paragraph 07 to a GUIDANCE statement to recommend, 
rather than just allow, the use of a white square or

[[Page 66769]]

rectangle behind the Off-Interstate Business Route sign when it is used 
on a green guide sign. The FHWA proposed this change to enhance the 
conspicuity of the Off-Interstate Business Route sign in this usage, 
since the green route sign alone blends into the green guide sign 
background. ATSSA supported the proposed change; however, two State 
DOTs, two NCUTCD members, and a citizen opposed this change or 
suggested modifications. Many of the commenters suggested that if there 
is a problem with conspicuity of Off-Interstate Business Route signs, 
then they should be redesigned. The FHWA agrees with the commenters and 
does not adopt the proposed revision in this final rule, retaining the 
use of a white-square or rectangle as an option rather than as a 
recommendation. To address concerns with conspicuity of the route sign 
when used on a guide sign, the FHWA might consider modifications to the 
sign to enhance its conspicuity in a future rulemaking and/or a 
revision to ``Standard Highway Signs and Markings'' book.
    Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA relocates a paragraph 
from Section 2D.14 to this section regarding the use of U.S. or State 
Route signs as components of guide signs. The FHWA adopts this change 
in this final rule to place similar information together in the same 
location.
    168. In Section 2D.12 Design of Route Sign Auxiliaries, the FHWA in 
this final rule revises paragraph 02 by deleting the first sentence 
related to the size of auxiliary signs carrying word messages and 
mounted with 30 inch x 24 inch Interstate Route signs. Although not 
proposed in the NPA, the FHWA deletes the sentence in this final rule 
to reflect the consistent practice of determining the size of the 
auxiliary sign based on the height of the route sign rather than its 
width, maintaining a consistent letter height for the auxiliary message 
as it relates to the numeral height within the route sign.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a GUIDANCE statement and 
corresponding STANDARD statement to clarify that if a route sign and 
its auxiliary signs are combined in a single sign, the background color 
of the sign should be green. Along with this GUIDANCE, the FHWA 
proposed adding a corresponding STANDARD that on such a sign the 
auxiliary messages shall be white legends placed directly on the green 
background and that auxiliary signs shall not be mounted directly to a 
guide sign. The FHWA proposed these changes to provide consistency for 
background colors, because the background colors currently in use for 
this application are not consistent across the country. Green is the 
appropriate background color for a directional guide sign, and the 
FHWA's intent is to preclude the incorrect use of auxiliary signs on 
green guide signs. ATSSA and a local DOT supported the STANDARD 
language as proposed in the NPA; however, an NCUTCD member suggested 
that the proposal in the NPA was too restrictive, because it implied 
that green backgrounds would be required for the signs. FHWA disagrees 
with the comment because the GUIDANCE statement specifically addresses 
the combination of route and auxiliary signs to form a guide sign as 
provided in the preceding OPTION and the prescribed background color of 
a guide sign is green. To address the specific concern raised by the 
NCUTCD member, the FHWA instead revises the STANDARD statement in 
paragraph 06 in this final rule to clarify that the intent is to apply 
an auxiliary message directly to the sign background, rather than 
display it as an auxiliary sign panel mounted to another sign when 
route signs and auxiliary messages are used as legend components on 
signs other than guide signs. Additionally, to provide consistency with 
Sections 2D.10 and 2D.29 and clarification regarding independently 
mounted route sign assemblies, in this final rule the FHWA also adds a 
GUIDANCE statement to indicate that the background, legend, and border 
of a route sign auxiliary should have the same colors as those of the 
route sign with which the auxiliary is mounted in a route sign 
assembly.
    169. In Section 2D.13 Junction Auxiliary Sign, the FHWA revises 
this STANDARD to clarify that placement of the Junction (M2-1) 
auxiliary sign above a Cardinal Direction auxiliary sign where access 
is available only to one direction of the intersected route is one of 
the possible mounting locations. Although not proposed in the NPA, the 
FHWA includes this revision in this final rule to clarify the existing 
provision, which was overly restrictive in that it required the display 
of misleading information to the road user in such situations.
    170. In Section 2D.14 Combination Junction Sign, as proposed in the 
NPA, the FHWA deletes the second paragraph of the OPTION statement that 
permitted the use of other designs to accommodate State and county 
route signs, implying that the basic requirements for the sign, such as 
legend and background colors, were appropriate. In concert with this 
change, in the NPA the FHWA proposed to revise the first paragraph of 
the GUIDANCE to clarify that only the unique outline of the official 
route marker should be used on guide signs and not the contrasting 
rectangular backplate for independent mounting in a directional 
assembly. Rather than include this design-related information in this 
section, in this final rule the FHWA relocates this information to 
Section 2D.11, incorporating comments from an NCUTCD member to clarify 
the intent, providing a reference accordingly in Section 2D.14.
    171. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds a new section numbered 
and titled Section 2D.23 BEGIN Auxiliary Sign, containing OPTION, 
STANDARD, and GUIDANCE statements regarding the use of this new sign 
where a numbered route begins. The FHWA proposed this sign in the NPA 
based on the Sign Synthesis Study \85\ that revealed that several 
States use an auxiliary BEGIN sign above the confirming route marker at 
the start of a route to provide additional helpful information to road 
users. To address comments from the New York State DOT, the FHWA 
revises the language in this final rule to allow the use of the BEGIN 
auxiliary sign in any route assembly, rather than just for numbered 
routes as proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \85\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 52, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    172. In Section 2D.26 Advance Turn Arrow Auxiliary Signs (Section 
2D.28 of the NPA), the FHWA adds a paragraph to the STANDARD statement 
and adds a corresponding GUIDANCE to reflect that the use of the 
curved-stem Advance Turn Arrow auxiliary (M5-3) sign on the approach to 
a circular intersection would be appropriate when curved-stem arrows 
are used on corresponding regulatory lane-use signs, Destination signs, 
and pavement markings. Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds 
this information in this final rule to provide consistency with similar 
provisions in Section 2D.38 that are also added in this final rule to 
address a comment from a State DOT suggesting if the curved-stem arrows 
are used, they should be used consistently for a particular destination 
or movement. This language will ensure consistent use of the curved-
stem arrow, when used.
    173. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2D.27 
Lane Designation Auxiliary Signs (numbered Section 2D.33 in the NPA). 
In the NPA, the proposed section contained an OPTION statement 
regarding the use of these optional signs that may be used as a method 
to tell road users which lane

[[Page 66770]]

to use to access a particular numbered route and direction. In this 
final rule, the FHWA adds a STANDARD statement to clarify that these 
Lane Designation auxiliary signs shall be used only where the 
designated lane is a mandatory movement lane, due to road user 
confusion exhibited when such a message is used at locations where a 
lane is not a mandatory movement lane, causing unnecessary lane 
changes. The FHWA adopts these new signs based on the results of the 
Sign Synthesis Study,\86\ which found that at least seven States use M6 
auxiliary signs stating ``Left Lane,'' ``Center Lane,'' or ``Right 
Lane'' below route signs in route sign assemblies. This can be an 
effective, economical alternative to one or more guide signs in certain 
situations. The FHWA also adds an additional illustration in Figure 2D-
5 to illustrate the use of these auxiliary signs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \86\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 53, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    174. In Section 2D.28 Directional Arrow Auxiliary Signs (Section 
2D.26 of the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a 
STANDARD statement indicating that a Directional Arrow auxiliary sign 
that displays a double-headed arrow shall not be mounted below a route 
sign in advance of or at a circular intersection. The FHWA proposed 
this change to eliminate any possible confusion that would be created 
by the use of this sign in the proximity of a circular intersection, 
where direct left turns are not allowed. The NCUTCD and a traffic 
engineering consultant supported this revision. To further clarify the 
language, in this final rule the FHWA adopts language to indicate that 
a Directional Arrow auxiliary sign that displays a double-headed arrow 
shall not be mounted in a directional assembly in advance of or at a 
circular intersection.
    Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds an OPTION and 
corresponding STANDARD to describe the optional use of the downward 
pointing diagonal arrow auxiliary (M6-2a) sign. The FHWA adds this 
language in this final rule for consistency with provisions adopted in 
Section 2D.46 Freeway Entrance signs.
    175. In Section 2D.32 Directional Assembly (2D.34 in the NPA), the 
FHWA deletes the requirement that the end of a route shall be marked by 
a Directional assembly with an END auxiliary sign. Although not 
proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts this change in this final rule to 
remove a conflict with Section 2D.22, as suggested by a State DOT. In 
this final rule the FHWA also revises the language of Item C (numbered 
Item D(1) in the 2003 MUTCD) of the STANDARD statement to clarify the 
application of Directional assemblies where the intersected route is 
designated on both legs of the crossroad and adds a new item D to 
clarify the use of Directional assemblies where the intersected route 
is designated only on one of the legs. Although not proposed in the 
NPA, the FHWA adds this information to reduce the possibility of 
conflicting information being displayed to road users.
    176. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2D.33 
Combination Lane Use/Destination Overhead Guide Sign (Section 2D.35 in 
the NPA). In the NPA the FHWA proposed OPTION and GUIDANCE statements, 
as well as a figure, describing the use of these optional signs for 
dedicated lanes at complex intersection approaches involving multiple 
turn lanes and destinations. The FHWA proposed this new section, and 
the associated signs, based on the Sign Synthesis Study.\87\ At complex 
intersections involving multiple turn lanes, multiple destinations, 
service roads, and/or various constraints often found in urban areas 
that can limit the ability to use a series of advance signs, many 
States have found it necessary to combine regulatory lane use 
information with destination information onto a single guide sign or 
sign assembly, especially to assist unfamiliar drivers in determining 
which lane or lanes to use for a particular destination. However, there 
is no consistency or uniformity in the colors used, the sign design 
layouts, or other aspects of these signs. A State DOT and a citizen 
supported this new section, while two other State DOTs and a local DOT 
opposed the proposed language. One of the commenters felt that the 
Combination Lane Use/Destination (D15-1) overhead guide sign is too 
large for retrofitting on span wires, and suggested a smaller sign. The 
FHWA disagrees with the commenters' proposed smaller sign, because it 
would be too small for viewing at a distance. The FHWA revises the 
proposed GUIDANCE statement regarding the design of the sign to a 
STANDARD in this final rule, to preclude conflict with other provisions 
for the design of guide signs and because the basic principles of guide 
sign design do not provide for flexibility in the sign design elements. 
In this final rule, the FHWA also adds that the Combination Lane Use/
Destination (D15-1) overhead guide sign shall be used only where the 
designated lane is a mandatory movement lane (as illustrated in the 
corresponding figure), and shall not be used for lanes with optional 
movements, because such use would not be possible given the design 
criteria and would present a confusing message to road users. The FHWA 
notes that this sign is optional and adopts a uniform design for this 
type of sign, to provide consistency for road users.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \87\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, pages 45-46, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    177. Although not proposed in the NPA, in Section 2D.34 Confirming 
or Reassurance Assemblies (Section 2D.31 of the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA 
adds to the STANDARD statement that where the Confirming or Reassurance 
assembly is for an alternative route, the appropriate auxiliary sign 
for an alternative route shall also be included in the assembly. Though 
not explicitly stated, this method is the only way in which to provide 
a correct message to a road user. The FHWA adds this requirement in 
this final rule to be consistent with the existing provisions of 
Section 2D.16.
    178. In Section 2D.35 Trailblazer Assembly (Section 2D.32 of the 
2003 MUTCD), the FHWA adds to the STANDARD statement that where the 
Trailblazer assembly is for an alternative route, the appropriate 
auxiliary sign for an alternative route shall also be included in the 
assembly. Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds this 
requirement in this final rule to be consistent with the existing 
provisions of Section 2D.16 and with the adopted changes in Section 
2D.34.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a GUIDANCE statement to 
recommend that if shields or other similar signs are used to provide 
route guidance in following an auto tour route, they should be designed 
in accordance with the sizes and other design principles for route 
signs, such as those described in Sections 2D.10 through 2D.12. 
Although a local DOT and an NCUTCD member supported this language, 
another NCUTCD member suggested that this information is better suited 
for Section 2H.07 Auto Tour Route Signs. The FHWA agrees and in this 
final rule adopts and relocates this recommendation to Section 2H.07.
    179. In Section 2D.36 Destination and Distance Signs (Section 2D.33 
of the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA clarifies the GUIDANCE statement to 
recommend a minimum height of a Route shield when used on Destination 
signs should be at least two times the height of the upper-case letters 
of the principal legend and

[[Page 66771]]

not less than 18 inches. Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA 
adopts this change, as suggested by two State DOTs, in this final rule 
to provide consistency with existing related provisions in Chapters 2D 
and 2E.
    180. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2D.38 
Destination Signs at Circular Intersections (Section 2D.40 in the NPA). 
In the NPA the proposed section contained STANDARD, OPTION, and SUPPORT 
statements, as well as figures, regarding the use of destination signs 
at circular intersections. In particular, the Section included 
information regarding Exit destination signs, and associated arrows and 
diagrammatic signs for roundabouts. The NCUTCD and one of its members, 
a State DOT, a local DOT, and a traffic engineering consultant 
supported this section. The State DOT suggested that the difference 
between the arrows used on the junction assembly and the destination 
signs may be confusing. To address this comment and reflect the use of 
the optional curved-stem arrow on destination signs, the FHWA adds a 
GUIDANCE statement in this final rule recommending that if they are 
used, they should also be used on corresponding regulatory lane-use 
signs, Directional assemblies, and pavement markings for a particular 
destination or movement. The FHWA adds this information in this final 
rule to facilitate consistent use of the optional curved-stem arrow, 
when used.
    The FHWA also adds a STANDARD statement in this final rule 
prohibiting diagrammatic signs for circular intersections from 
depicting the number of lanes within the intersection circulatory 
roadway, or on its approaches or exits. Although not proposed in the 
NPA, the FHWA adds this statement in this final rule to reflect the 
provisions illustrated in the accompanying figures and to provide 
clarification due to the restoration in this final rule in Chapter 2E 
of the provisions for freeway and expressway diagrammatic signs 
(proposed for deletion in the NPA), on which the number of lanes is 
depicted.
    181. In Section 2D.43 Street Name Signs (Section 2D.38 of the 2003 
MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a new OPTION statement to 
allow the use of a route shield on Street Name signs to assist road 
users who might not otherwise be able to associate the name of the 
street with the route number. Two State DOTs supported this new 
language. The FHWA adopts the OPTION for the use of these signs based 
on the results of the Sign Synthesis Study,\88\ which showed that 
several agencies incorporate route shields into Street Name signs on 
streets that are part of a U.S., State, or county numbered route. 
Typically, route sign assemblies are only provided on intersecting 
roads that are also numbered routes, and on some very major unnumbered 
streets within cities. Including a route shield within the Street Name 
sign provides additional information for traffic on the cross streets 
that intersect the numbered route.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \88\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 47, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts in this final rule a 
STANDARD requiring lettering for names of streets and highways on 
Street Name signs to composed of a combination of lower-case letters 
with initial upper-case letters. This requirement is consistent with 
the requirements adopted in Section 2A.13. As described above in the 
discussion of Section 2A.13 comments, several State and local DOTs 
opposed this requirement, while ATSSA and a citizen supported this 
requirement. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts in this final rule 
revisions to paragraphs 04 through 07 to clarify the letter heights for 
Street Name signs, based on the adopted use of mixed-case letters. 
These letter heights are based on the legibility index of 1 inch of 
letter height for 30 feet of viewing distance as discussed above in the 
General amendments to the MUTCD. While the requirement for the format 
and display of lettering is changed, the letter heights are unchanged 
from the 2003 MUTCD. ATSSA and several local DOTs supported this 
language, while other State and local DOTs opposed the language because 
they felt the letters were too large. The FHWA notes that the letter 
heights are based on the legibility distance for older drivers and that 
agencies may use narrower letter series for longer names and use 
reduced letter heights for auxiliary destinations (such as ``Pkwy'') to 
manage sign sizes.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to revise paragraph 13 to recommend 
that a pictograph used on a Street Name sign to identify a governmental 
jurisdiction or other government-approved institution should be 
positioned to the right, rather than the left, of the street name. The 
FHWA proposed this change because the name of the street is the primary 
message on the sign and the pictograph is secondary, and the primary 
message should be read first by being on the left. The NCUTCD, two 
State DOTs, three local DOTs, a transportation research institute, and 
a traffic engineering consultant opposed the revision and two State 
DOTs suggested that the pictograph should be allowed to be positioned 
to either the left or the right of the street name. The commenters 
cited the cost of replacing the signs and lack of research regarding 
the proposed change in pictograph location as their reasons for 
opposing the change. The FHWA agrees and does not adopt the proposal in 
this final rule, retaining the placement of the pictograph to the left 
of the street name, consistent with the 2003 MUTCD. Two State DOTs 
opposed using pictographs on Street Name signs; however, the FHWA 
allows their use based on the existing provisions of the 2003 MUTCD.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed adding new OPTION, STANDARD, and 
GUIDANCE statements regarding the use of alternative background colors 
for Street Name signs where a highway agency determines that this is 
necessary to assist road users in determining jurisdictional 
orientation for roads. The FHWA proposed these new statements because, 
even though the background color for guide signs in general is 
specified as green, the MUTCD has contained a GUIDANCE statement that 
the background color ``should'' be green and the text has not 
explicitly limited the alternate colors for Street Name sign 
backgrounds, and as a result, there is wide variation in practice among 
jurisdictions. Sometimes inappropriate colors are being used that are 
reserved for other traffic control device messages, or the colors used 
have poor contrast ratio between legend and background. In the NPA, the 
FHWA proposed that the only acceptable alternative background colors 
for Street Name (D3-1 or D3-1a) signs are blue, brown, or black. To 
address a comment from ATSSA, a State DOT, and a traffic control device 
vendor, the FHWA eliminates the reference to black backgrounds in this 
final rule, because as a non-retroreflective background color, it is 
not as visible at night, especially to older drivers. ATSSA suggested 
that blue and brown not be allowed as background colors, because no 
minimum maintained levels of retroreflectivity have been established 
for these colors. The FHWA disagrees and allows the use of blue and 
brown backgrounds, as these colors are currently allowed for certain 
classes of guide signs and the FHWA anticipates that a future 
rulemaking process will propose the establishment of minimum maintained 
retroreflectivity levels for these colors. The FHWA adds the color

[[Page 66772]]

white as a permissible background color when used with a black legend 
in this final rule. The FHWA adopts these revisions in this final rule 
to address comments from four State DOTs, four local DOTs, and a 
citizen that more flexibility in Street Name sign backgrounds is 
needed. The FHWA also adopts the OPTION that the border may be omitted 
on Street Name signs, as proposed in the NPA. A local DOT supported 
this change, while another local DOT felt that the border helps 
recognition and legibility. The language in the 2003 MUTCD Edition of 
this section implies, but does not specifically state, that the border 
may be omitted. The FHWA believes that the practice of eliminating the 
border on Street Name signs can minimize the crowding of the legend 
resulting from reduced edge spacing and that the recognition of the 
sign under nighttime conditions is accomplished primarily by the 
combination of the contrasting background color and legend color of the 
signs and their typical and expected placement at intersections. As 
part of the revision in this final rule that allows the use of the 
color white as an alternative background color on Street Name signs, 
the FHWA adds to the STANDARD that the legend (and border, if used) 
shall be black, for consistency with other provisions regarding sign 
legends.
    182. In the NPA the FHWA proposed to add a new table numbered and 
titled, ``Table 2D-2 Recommended Minimum Letter Heights on Street Name 
Signs'' that contains information regarding the letter sizes to be used 
on Street Name signs based on the mounting type, road classification, 
and speed limit. A State DOT and two local DOTs opposed the new table, 
either providing comments on the specific letter heights or suggesting 
it be deleted in its entirety. The comments were commensurate with 
those related to larger letter heights and/or the use of mixed-case 
legends, which are discussed elsewhere. The FHWA adopts Table 2D-2 in 
this final rule, reflecting existing and adopted provisions in the text 
of Section 2D.43 and providing additional clarification by 
distinguishing between letter heights for the name of the street and 
for any supplemental lettering or auxiliary designations, such as 
``Ave'' and ``St,'' consistent with the OPTION in Section 2D.43.
    183. In Section 2D.44 Advance Street Name Signs (Section 2D.39 of 
the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a GUIDANCE 
statement at the end of the section recommending the order in which 
street names should be displayed on an Advance Street Name plaque. A 
State DOT and two local DOTs supported this text; however, the State 
DOT suggested that the language and figure illustrating the full 
assembly should be in Chapter 2C. The FHWA deletes this information 
from this Section in this final rule, as the same information is 
provided in Chapter 2C. Instead, the FHWA adds a SUPPORT statement 
providing the appropriate reference to Section 2C.58.
    184. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA relocates the information 
from Section 2E.49 of the 2003 MUTCD to Chapter 2D as a new section 
numbered and titled Section 2D.45 Signing on Conventional Roads on 
Approaches to Interchanges. The FHWA adopts this proposed change in 
this final rule because the information in this section, and the 
associated figures, are about guide signing on conventional road 
approaches to a freeway, rather than signing on the freeway itself.
    In the relocated section, the FHWA also proposed to add a STANDARD 
statement to require, rather than merely recommend, that on multi-lane 
conventional road approaches to a freeway interchange, guide signs 
shall be provided to identify which direction of turn is to be made for 
ramp access and/or which specific lane to use to enter each direction 
of the freeway. This information is critical for drivers on a multi-
lane approach to an interchange because it allows drivers to choose the 
proper lane in advance and reduces the need to make last-second lane 
changes close to the entrance ramp. ATSSA and a local DOT supported 
this change. A State DOT and an NCUTCD member suggested that the 
language be retained as a recommendation, rather than a requirement. 
The FHWA adopts this statement as a STANDARD because the FHWA believes 
that the GUIDANCE statements in the 2003 MUTCD are not strong enough 
for this very important need and that this signing needs to be 
mandatory. To address comments from the NCUTCD and three local DOTs, in 
this final rule the FHWA adds a SUPPORT statement referring to existing 
figures in which overhead signs for this purpose are illustrated.
    Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds SUPPORT and 
STANDARD at the end of the section to describe the appropriate optional 
use of Advance Entrance Direction diagrammatic guide signs. The FHWA 
adds this information in response to a comment from a State DOT 
recommending that consistency in signing of freeway entrance ramps in 
proximity to the intersection of a frontage roadway is needed. The FHWA 
agrees that consistency in use of this optional sign is critical to 
deterring wrong-way movements at freeway entrance ramps and assisting 
road users in safely making any lane changes needed to enter the 
freeway in the correct direction.
    185. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to relocate the information from 
Section 2E.50 of the 2003 MUTCD to Chapter 2D as a new section numbered 
and titled Section 2D.46 Freeway Entrance Signs. A local DOT supported 
this change. The FHWA adopts this change in this final rule so that all 
guide signing on conventional roads at and in advance of interchanges 
with freeways is located in the same chapter of the Manual.
    Although not proposed in the NPA, in this final rule the FHWA adds 
two paragraphs to the OPTION statement to describe the permitted use of 
alternate legends, such as PARKWAY, in place of FREEWAY and the 
optional use of Directional assemblies at the corner of an intersection 
with a freeway or expressway entrance ramp. The FHWA adopts these 
paragraphs to provide consistency with provisions in Sections 2D.28 and 
2D.32 and flexibility in signing the immediate point of entry to a 
freeway or expressway to discourage wrong-way entries on adjacent exit 
ramps at the same intersection.
    186. In Section 2D.47 Parking Area Guide Sign (Section 2D.40 of the 
2003 MUTCD) the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a new sign to be an 
alternative to the Parking Area directional sign. This sign 
incorporated a white letter P in a blue circle symbol at the top of the 
sign. Although the proposed sign was consistent with the widespread use 
of the blue background and white P as a parking wayfinding symbol 
throughout Europe and at many airports and institutional sites in the 
United States, and was supported by MISA and an NCUTCD member, the 
NCUTCD opposed the use of the color blue, because they were concerned 
that it would be confused with ``police'' signs. Because of this 
potential inconsistency, FHWA does not adopt this proposal in this 
final rule.
    187. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA relocates Sections 2D.42 Rest 
Area Signs, 2D.43 Scenic Area Signs, and 2D.45 General Service Signs of 
the 2003 MUTCD to a new chapter titled Chapter 2I General Service 
Signs, in order to combine information regarding similar type signs in 
to one chapter of the Manual. The FHWA received no substantive comments 
on this proposal.
    188. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA relocates Sections 2D.46 
Reference Location Signs and Intermediate Reference Location Signs, 
2D.47 Traffic Signal Speed Sign, 2D.48

[[Page 66773]]

General Information Signs, the first four paragraphs of 2D.49 Signing 
of Named Highways, and 2D.50 Trail Signs of the 2003 MUTCD to a new 
chapter titled Chapter 2H General Information Signs. The FHWA received 
no substantive comments on this proposal.
    189. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2D.50 
Community Wayfinding Signs (numbered Section 2D.52 in the NPA). 
Although the FHWA proposed adding this section in the NPA, in this 
final rule the FHWA reorganizes and revises its content to reflect 
comments from ATSSA, six State DOTs, two local DOTs, a research 
institute, and two citizens. The general comments about this new 
section included both support for the NPA proposal as written or with 
minor changes and opposition to community wayfinding signs in general. 
Commenters expressed concerns that the NPA proposal was too restrictive 
or that it was not detailed enough. Some commenters suggested that the 
information was so exhaustive that it justified a separate rulemaking 
activity or that community wayfinding signs need not be governed by the 
MUTCD. The FHWA adopts this new section with SUPPORT, STANDARD, 
GUIDANCE, and OPTION statements, as well as new figures illustrating 
typical usage, to provide practitioners with information regarding the 
use of community wayfinding guide signs to direct tourists and other 
road users to key civic, cultural, visitor, and recreational 
attractions and other destinations within a city or a local urbanized 
or downtown area.
    The FHWA notes that many of the cities currently using community 
wayfinding signs are using different colors, design layouts, fonts, and 
arrows, and many of these signs are not well designed to properly serve 
road users. The FHWA believes that providing criteria for community 
wayfinding guide signing is important to address issues of legibility, 
placement, and excessive amounts of information displayed, and because 
of the extreme lack of uniformity among and proliferation of such 
signs. Many of the non-conforming installations have occurred without 
official experimentation as required by Section 1A.10. The following 
paragraphs in this item describe the significant differences between 
the proposed language in the NPA and the language adopted in this final 
rule.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed recommending in a GUIDANCE statement 
that wayfinding signs be used only on conventional roads. Various 
agencies commented that community wayfinding signs are not appropriate 
for freeways and expressways due to the cognitive overload of 
information that can be displayed on this type of sign. To address 
these comments, the FHWA changes the proposed statement to a STANDARD 
in this final rule to clarify that community wayfinding guide signs 
shall be limited to conventional roads and not installed on freeway or 
expressway mainlines or ramps. For similar reasons, the FHWA also adds 
to the STANDARD that community wayfinding guide signs shall not be 
overhead-mounted. These changes are consistent with the experience 
gained in official experimentations that FHWA has approved to date, on 
which the MUTCD provisions are based, and which have only included 
conventional roads and post-mounted signs.
    The FHWA adds a GUIDANCE statement in this final rule recommending 
that if used, a community wayfinding guide sign system should be 
established on a local, municipal, or equivalent jurisdictional level 
or for an urbanized area of adjoining municipalities, or equivalent, 
that form an identifiable geographic entity conducive to a cohesive and 
continuous system of signs. The FHWA adopts this recommendation because 
community wayfinding guide signs are not appropriate for use on a 
regional or statewide basis where infrequent or sparse placement does 
not contribute to a continuous or coordinated system of signing that is 
readily identifiable as such to the road user. In such cases, existing 
MUTCD provisions indicate that Destination or other guide signs should 
be used to direct road users to an identifiable area.
    Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds SUPPORT and 
corresponding GUIDANCE statements to clarify that the provisions 
contained in this section apply to vehicular community wayfinding guide 
signs, not pedestrian wayfinding guide signs, and to provide 
recommendations regarding the placement of pedestrian wayfinding signs. 
The FHWA adopts these statements in this final rule because many 
jurisdictions use pedestrian wayfinding guide signs, and it is 
important that they not be confused with signing for vehicles because 
of the high potential for vehicles to reduce speed or stop unexpectedly 
to read signs that are not adequately sized for roadway applications 
and the potential to direct a motorist the wrong way on a one-way 
street when the message is actually intended only for pedestrians or 
other users of a sidewalk or roadside area.
    In this final rule the FHWA revises the adopted language to clarify 
that color-coding of community wayfinding is an option, rather than a 
requirement, as implied in the NPA, and that only one boundary sign is 
used at each boundary crossing.
    Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds information 
regarding the use of pictographs of the identification enhancement 
marker to paragraph 15, since many jurisdictions use pictographs and 
need regulations regarding their use. As part of this STANDARD, the 
FHWA expands the language adopted in this final rule to provide 
additional detail about the placement of color coded panels on the face 
of informational guide signs.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts a prohibition on the use of 
red, orange, and yellow as background colors on wayfinding signs. In 
addition, FHWA also prohibits the use of fluorescent yellow-green and 
fluorescent pink as background colors for community wayfinding signs in 
this final rule to be consistent with existing MUTCD provisions that 
reserve these colors for critical Non-Vehicular Warning signs and for 
incident management signs.
    Additionally, as proposed in the NPA the FHWA adds a GUIDANCE 
statement recommending that community wayfinding guide signs be 
rectangular in shape to prevent unusual shapes of wayfinding signs. The 
FHWA notes that only the identification enhancement marker may form a 
non-rectangular shape.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to allow the use of white or black 
horizontal lines to separate destinations from each other. In this 
final rule, the FHWA adopts more flexibility to the color of the 
separator line by allowing it to be of a contrasting color that meets 
the minimum contrast requirements, rather than limiting it to just 
black or white. As part of this change, the FHWA changes the use of 
this horizontal separator line from an OPTION to a GUIDANCE to 
encourage the use of the line to separate between groups of 
destinations by direction, consistent with the GUIDANCE provisions for 
a multi-line destination sign elsewhere in Chapter 2D.
    In this final rule the FHWA adopts revised fifth STANDARDS in 
paragraphs 27 through 30 to provide more specificity as to the height, 
spacing, and style, of lettering on community wayfinding guide signs 
than was proposed in the NPA, consistent with official experimentations 
approved to date and with other changes adopted in Chapter 2D for 
general provisions for guide signs.

[[Page 66774]]

    The FHWA also clarifies the STANDARD in paragraph 32 of this final 
rule so that the provision allowing the use of Internet and e-mail 
addresses applies to bicyclists that are stopped or parked out of the 
traffic flow, since bicyclists in the flow of traffic have the same 
legibility and comprehension issues as other vehicle operators. This 
change also is consistent with existing and adopted provisions in 
Section 2A.06.
    Because arrows on existing wayfinding signs are often not 
appropriately located, the FHWA revises the language in this final rule 
to require, rather than recommend, arrow location and priority order of 
destinations, as well as arrow designs to follow specific provisions in 
the MUTCD. This change is consistent with official experimentations 
that have been approved to date and eliminates a conflict with general 
provisions for guide signs in Chapters 2D and 2E.
    Finally, the FHWA adds a GUIDANCE in paragraph 42 at the end of the 
section to clarify that the area of the identification enhancement 
marker shall not exceed one-fifth of the area of the community 
wayfinding guide sign with which it is mounted in the same sign 
assembly. This revision is consistent with experimentation experience 
with this type of sign and provides consistency with general guide sign 
design principles and assures that the non-critical enhancement message 
does not overpower the more important destination messages.
    The FHWA adopts this section to provide a uniform set of provisions 
for the designs and locations of these signs based on accepted sign 
design principles, to achieve consistency for road users.
    190. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts in this final rule two 
new sections numbered and titled Section 2D.51 Truck, Passing, or 
Climbing Lane Signs, and Section 2D.52 Slow Vehicle Turn-Out Sign. The 
FHWA adopts Section 2D.51 to be consistent with the elimination of 
regulatory truck lane signs from Section 2B.39 (Section 2B.32 of the 
2003 MUTCD). These types of signs convey guidance information, rather 
than regulation. The FHWA adds Section 2D.52 based on the results of 
the Sign Synthesis Study,\89\ which found that these signs are being 
used by a number of States. A State DOT suggested that the Slow Vehicle 
Turn-Out signs should be regulatory, rather than guide signs. The FHWA 
disagrees (see discussion under Chapter 2B above) and adopts these 
signs as guide signs, as proposed in the NPA. The FHWA also adds a new 
Figure 2D-21 to illustrate these signs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \89\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 46, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 2E--General

    191. Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA revises the 
terminology to separate ``Overhead Arrow-per-Lane'' guide signs from 
traditional ``diagrammatic'' guide signs to better describe the type of 
guide sign being used. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, a toll road operator, 
and a toll road operator association recommended the change and the 
FHWA agrees. The FHWA makes this same terminology change wherever it 
appears throughout the MUTCD.

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 2E--Specific

    192. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts in this final rule a 
new section, numbered and titled Section 2E.09 Signing of Named 
Highways, with a SUPPORT statement to refer to new Sections 2D.53 and 
2M.10 where appropriate information is provided about the use of 
highway names on signing of unnumbered highways and memorial signing of 
routes, bridges, or highway components.
    193. In Section 2E.10 (Section 2E.09 in the 2003 MUTCD) Amount of 
Legend on Guide Signs, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise the 
GUIDANCE statement to state that sign legends should not exceed three 
lines of copy, including route numbers and exit instructions. The 
NCUTCD, four State DOTs, a toll agency, and an NCUTCD member opposed 
the use of the word ``including'' that was proposed in the NPA. The 
FHWA agrees that this was an inadvertent error and replaces the word 
``including'' with ``excluding'' in the section adopted in this final 
rule, which is consistent with the provisions of Section 2D.07. The 
GUIDANCE statement now states that sign legends should not exceed three 
lines of copy, excluding route numbers and exit instructions.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed new OPTION and STANDARD statements 
regarding the use and maximum dimensions of pictographs on freeway and 
expressway signs. The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and a toll agency agreed 
with the use of pictographs ATSSA agreed with the proposed maximum 
dimensions, while two State DOTs and three toll road operators opposed 
the restrictions on the dimensions of the pictograph. The FHWA 
relocates the provisions related to pictographs to the specific 
sections of the Manual to which they apply in this final rule, the 
provisions of which are based on Official Ruling No. 2-646(I) \90\. 
Further, to address the comments, the FHWA provides an exception and 
further guidance on the size of pictographs for electronic toll 
collection systems whose display does not accompany a duplicate word 
message and relocates the statement to Section 2F.04.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \90\ This Official Interpretation can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/pdf/2_646.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    194. In Section 2E.11 (Section 2E.10 in the 2003 MUTCD) Number of 
Signs at an Overhead Installation and Sign Spreading, a State DOT 
recommended modifying the existing GUIDANCE to place an Advance Guide 
sign on the overcrossing structure when the crossroad goes over the 
mainline. Although this was not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA agrees 
that added flexibility is needed by highway agencies and adopts in this 
final rule an expanded paragraph 04 to also recommend placing the 
Advance Guide sign directly in front of the overcrossing structure on 
an independent support as an alternative to placing the sign directly 
on the overcrossing structure.
    195. In Section 2E.14 (Section 2E.13 in the 2003 MUTCD) Size and 
Style of Letters and Signs, the FHWA proposed in the NPA a new STANDARD 
which requires freeway and expressway guide signs that have 
standardized designs to match the sizes shown in Table 2E-1, except as 
noted in Section 2A.11. A State DOT and an NCUTCD member opposed the 
change because it prohibits the use of at least one of the State DOT's 
standard sizes for guide signs. The FHWA disagrees because standard 
signs will, by virtue of a standard design, have predictable 
dimensions. The FHWA adopts this section in this final rule as proposed 
in the NPA. The FHWA also removes the sentence in GUIDANCE paragraph 08 
regarding loop height of lower-case letters and adds a comparable 
sentence in STANDARD paragraph 04 for consistency with requirements 
adopted in Section 2D.05 and to eliminate the conflict between sections 
2A.13 and 2D.05.
    196. In Table 2E-1 Freeway or Expressway Guide Sign and Plaque 
Sizes, the FHWA proposed in the NPA minimum sizes for a variety of 
guide signs and plaques. Based on comments from two State DOTs, the 
FHWA in this final rule does not adopt the proposed entries for the 
Interchange Advance and

[[Page 66775]]

Exit Direction signs because, due to the variation in the amount, size, 
and length of allowable legends, the sizes will vary and it is not 
practical to standardize this information in the table. The FHWA notes 
further that the information will be covered as standardized guide sign 
layout in the ``Standard Highway Signs and Markings'' book.
    The FHWA received an anonymous comment that the information about 
the use of fractions on guide signs is contradictory and does not 
provide highway agencies with sufficient criteria for proper use, 
resulting in reduced legibility of sign messages. The FHWA agrees and 
clarifies criteria for the proper display of fractions on guide signs 
in this final rule and places this information in Section 2A.13 (see 
discussion above under that section).
    197. In Section 2E.17 (Section 2E.16 in the 2003 MUTCD) 
Abbreviations, the FHWA adopts new GUIDANCE as proposed in the NPA, 
which states that periods, apostrophes, question marks, ampersands, or 
other punctuation or characters that are not letter or numerals should 
not be used on signs. A State DOT agreed with the change. Another State 
DOT opposed the restriction of ampersands because they are a way to 
shorten messages and reduce the cost of signs. As previously discussed 
in Section 2A.13, the FHWA disagrees and notes that ampersands are 
frequently confused with the numeral ``8'' and are less conspicuous 
than the use of the word ``AND.''
    Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts in the first 
GUIDANCE statement a recommendation that longer commonly used words 
that are not a part of a proper name and are readily recognizable 
should be abbreviated, to reduce the amount of information displayed on 
the sign and expedite recognition and processing time. The FHWA also 
adds a new GUIDANCE statement that a solidus is reserved for fractions 
only and should not be used to separate words on the same line of a 
legend. The FHWA makes these changes for consistency with existing 
recommendations on limiting the amount of legend on signs and to 
reflect current practice.
    198. In Section 2E.19 (Section 2E.18 in the 2003 MUTCD) Arrows for 
Interchange Guide Signs, in the NPA the FHWA proposed to revise 
existing STANDARD and OPTION statements as well as add new OPTION and 
STANDARD statements to this section to clarify the style and placement 
of arrows on guide signs. Comments regarding the proposed language and 
the resulting language adopted in this final rule are described in the 
following paragraphs.
    The FHWA proposed a new STANDARD in the NPA requiring down arrows 
on overhead signs to be positioned approximately over the center of the 
lane. The NCUTCD, four State DOTs, a toll road operator, a city, and a 
toll road operators association opposed the proposed requirements and 
recommended that the statements be GUIDANCE or OPTION. The FHWA 
disagrees and notes that non-conforming designs have been ineffectively 
employed in field applications, which demonstrates the need for the 
requirement. The FHWA adopts the new STANDARD in this final rule with 
editorial revisions to further clarify the new provision.
    The FHWA also proposed a new STANDARD to explicitly prohibit the 
use of more than one down arrow on an overhead sign structure pointing 
to the same lane. Four State DOTs opposed the change and recommended 
allowing more flexibility in the application of the down arrows where 
an option lane is present. The FHWA disagrees with these comments 
because there had not been a provision in the MUTCD allowing such use 
and because this practice has been demonstrated to cause uncertainty to 
motorists on the approach to a decision point when the number of arrows 
displayed is greater than the number of lanes present. The Overhead 
Arrow-per-Lane signs adopted in Section 2E.21 have been shown to be a 
clearer, positive method of conveying lane use where an option lane is 
present at a decision point. Therefore, the FHWA adopts this new 
STANDARD in this final rule. Based on a comment from a State DOT, the 
FHWA provides a reference to the appropriate provisions for addressing 
the geometric conditions of an option lane.
    In the NPA, the FWHA proposed the OPTION of using a directional 
arrow to point diagonally downward to emphasize the departure of 
diverging roadways. One State DOT, an NCUTCD member, and a citizen 
opposed this revision because of the potential for inconsistent 
application, the implication of a lane change, and because it would be 
an overall practice that is not consistent with the use of upward-
pointing arrows at similar locations. The FHWA agrees and does not 
adopt this provision for overhead guide signs.
    199. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed significant changes to Section 
2E.19 of the 2003 MUTCD regarding Diagrammatic Signs. The changes 
proposed in the NPA included requiring a specific design for 
diagrammatic signs (now called the Overhead Arrow-per-Lane sign) for 
multi-lane exits that have an optional exit lane that also carries the 
through road, and for splits that include an optional lane. Several 
State DOTs expressed a concern that the proposed requirements were not 
practical in urban areas with closely spaced interchanges. The FHWA 
agrees and as a result adopts new and revised sections in this final 
rule to address provisions related to interchange signing with optional 
exit lanes. The resulting sections are: Section 2E.20 Signing for 
Splits and Multi-Lane Exits with an Option Lane, Section 2E.21 Design 
of Overhead Arrow-Per-Lane Guide Signs, Section 2E.22 Design of Freeway 
and Expressway Diagrammatic Guide Signs, and Section 2E.23 Signing for 
Intermediate and Minor Interchange Multi-Lane Exits with an Option 
Lane. These sections are discussed in the following items.
    200. Section 2E.20 Signing for Option Lanes at Splits and Multi-
Lane Exits, as adopted in this final rule, contains SUPPORT, STANDARD, 
and GUIDANCE statements regarding signing for freeway and expressway 
splits or multi-lane exit interchanges where an interior option lane 
serves two movements in which traffic can either leave the route or 
remain on the route, or choose either destination at a split, from the 
same lane. The FHWA is adopting this separate section in this final 
rule to provide an overview of the types of signing to be used for 
interchanges with optional lanes. The NPA would have required Overhead 
Arrow-per-Lane signs for all locations with an interior option lane. 
The adopted Section 2E.20 distinguishes that there are two types of 
signs, ``Overhead Arrow-per-Lane'' signs and ``Diagrammatic'' signs, 
and provides the general provisions that apply to the three Sections 
that follow, all of which provide for more flexibility in the signing 
of locations with interior option lanes. As part of this change, the 
FHWA relocates a STANDARD statement from Section 2E.21 as proposed in 
the NPA to Section 2E.20, where it is more appropriately located.
    201. In Section 2E.21 Design of Overhead Arrow-per-Lane Guide Signs 
for Option Lanes (numbered and titled Section 2E.20 Diagrammatic Signs 
in the NPA), the FHWA adopts provisions for Overhead Arrow-per-Lane 
signs. As proposed in the NPA, the Overhead Arrow-per-Lane design 
features an upward arrow for each lane and is consistent with the 
recommendations of

[[Page 66776]]

the Older Driver handbook \91\ and a recent study \92\ that confirmed 
that the up arrow for each lane diagrammatic design is significantly 
superior to the existing diagrammatic design or enhancements thereto in 
terms of providing a longer decision sight distance and higher rates of 
road user comprehension. The FHWA believes that the Overhead Arrow-per-
Lane style, including the appropriate use of EXIT ONLY sign panels, is 
the clearest and most effective method of displaying to road users the 
essential information about the proper and allowable lanes to use to 
reach their destinations where an ``option lane'' is used for at an 
exit. The existing diagrammatic sign design that attempts to illustrate 
optional lane use via dotted lane lines on a single arrow shaft is too 
subtle to be easily recognized and understood by many road users, 
especially older drivers. A State DOT, a city, and a citizen agreed 
with the sign designs as proposed in the NPA, although the State DOT 
questioned the required size of the arrows on the signs. The NCUTCD, 13 
State DOTs, 5 toll road operators, an NCUTCD member, and a citizen 
opposed the required use of the Overhead Arrow-per-Lane sign and argued 
for the continued allowable use of the diagrammatic signs recommended 
in the 2003 MUTCD. Several of the commenters also recommended changing 
the design of the existing diagrammatic signs if retained in the MUTCD. 
In this final rule the FHWA adopts the new style of Overhead Arrow-per-
Lane signs proposed in the NPA and also decides to retain the 
provisions for the existing diagrammatic sign design as an alternative 
to the Overhead Arrow-per-Lane signs. The FHWA also adopts a SUPPORT 
statement at the beginning of the section to state that the Overhead 
Arrow-per-Lane design has been shown to be superior to diagrammatic 
signs and to encourage the use of that design. The FHWA also adopts 
modified figures within the section to illustrate the use of both the 
Overhead Arrow-per-Lane and existing diagrammatic signs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \91\ ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm. Recommendation II.A(3).
    \92\ ``Evaluation of Diagrammatic Freeway Guide Signs,'' Final 
Report, May, 2008, conducted by Gary Golembiewski and Bryan Katz for 
the Traffic Control Devices Pooled Fund Study, can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://www.pooledfund.org/documents/TPF-5_065/Diagrammatic_Freeway_Guide_Sign_Design_rev4_final.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a city recommended additional changes 
to the proposed list of design criteria in the STANDARD statement for 
Overhead Arrow-per-Lane signs. The FHWA agrees that additional 
clarification will provide uniformity in sign design and, based on the 
comments, the FHWA adds items G, H, and I in this final rule to clarify 
the design and placement of distance messages on signs, the number of 
lanes displayed on signs, and the use of exit plaques.
    202. The FHWA adopts a new section in this final rule numbered and 
titled Section 2E.22 Design of Freeway and Expressway Diagrammatic 
Guide Signs for Option Lanes, to describe the criteria under which 
diagrammatic signs are allowed to be used. The FHWA adopts a SUPPORT 
statement at the beginning of the section recognizing that diagrammatic 
signs have been shown to be less effective than conventional or 
Overhead Arrow-per-Lane guide signs at conveying the destination or 
direction(s) that each approach lane serves, whether dedicated or 
option lanes are present. However, based on comments submitted on the 
NPA, the FHWA recognizes that in some cases a diagrammatic sign is most 
practical, and therefore adopts in this final rule criteria for their 
use and design based on the 2003 MUTCD provisions for diagrammatic 
signs.
    203. The FHWA adopts a new section in this final rule numbered and 
titled Section 2E.23 Signing for Intermediate and Minor Interchange 
Multi-Lane Exits with an Option Lane, to provide recommendations on the 
types of signing to be used at intermediate and minor multi-lane exits 
where there is an operational need for the presence of an option lane 
for only the peak period, during which excessive queues might otherwise 
develop if the option lane were not present. The text proposed in the 
NPA (in Section 2E.19) would have required diagrammatic (now called 
Overhead Arrow-per-Lane) signs for these locations in a STANDARD 
statement and the 2003 MUTCD recommended diagrammatic signs for these 
locations in a GUIDANCE statement. The FHWA understands, based on past 
experience and comments on Section 2E.19 of the NPA, that in such 
cases, the Overhead Arrow-per-Lane or Diagrammatic guide signing 
described for option lanes in Sections 2E.21 and 2E.22 might not be 
practicable, depending on the need for and level of use of the option 
lane and the spacing of nearby interchanges, particularly in non-rural 
areas. The adopted provision provides flexibility and guidance on the 
signing for such locations where the Overhead Arrow-per-Lane or 
diagrammatic signs are not practicable due to various considerations.
    204. In Section 2E.24 Signing for Interchange Lane Drops (Section 
2E.21 of the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to require the 
use of the EXIT ONLY (down arrow) sign panel on signing of lane drops 
on all overhead advance guide signs for exits that do not have an 
``option lane,'' and to provide design requirements for the bottom 
portion of Exit Direction signs. A citizen agreed with the proposed 
changes. Four State DOTs opposed the proposed requirements and 
requested that the STANDARD statements be changed to GUIDANCE or 
OPTION. The FHWA disagrees and notes that existing GUIDANCE has 
resulted in improper and ineffective methods of signing of option 
lanes. The FHWA believes that, for freeway splits and other interchange 
configurations that include a lane drop but do not involve ``option 
lanes,'' the use of down arrows and EXIT ONLY sign panels over each 
lane on the advance guide signs provide the clearest and most effective 
method of displaying to road users the essential information about the 
lane drop and about the proper lane(s) to use to reach their 
destinations. The FHWA also believes that the use of upward diagonal 
black arrows within an EXIT ONLY panel at the bottom of the Exit 
Direction signs for such interchanges more clearly reinforces the lane 
drop while still providing upward diagonal arrows in the direction of 
the exit. The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, a toll road operator, a toll road 
operators association, and a city agreed with the section, but 
recommended text changes. The FHWA adopts the language as proposed in 
the NPA in this final rule with revisions based on adopted changes to 
Sections 2E.22 and 2E.23 concerning the continued use of diagrammatic 
signs and the new Overhead Arrow-per-Lane signs.
    A toll road operator opposed the proposed GUIDANCE that recommended 
the use of the Advance Guide sign with a distance message where the 
dropped lane is an auxiliary lane between successive entrance and exit 
ramps and the distance is less than 1 mile. The FHWA adopts a revision 
to paragraph 08 to clarify that the provision recommends displaying the 
distance in addition to the EXIT ONLY message.
    205. Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts a new 
section in this final rule numbered and titled Section 2E.28 Eisenhower 
Interstate System Signs. This section contains OPTION, GUIDANCE, and 
STANDARD

[[Page 66777]]

statements regarding the use of Eisenhower Interstate System (M1-10 and 
M1-10a) signs that may be used on Interstate highways at periodic 
intervals and in rest areas, scenic overlooks, or other similar 
roadside facilities on the Interstate system. This sign was adopted in 
an August 11, 1993 memorandum, subject ``Eisenhower Interstate System 
Sign,'' from the FHWA Executive Director to the Regional Federal 
Highway Administrators and the Federal Lands Highway Program 
Administrator. The sign was contained in the 2003 MUTCD by being 
included in a figure illustrating various guide signs and the sign 
design has also been in the Standard Highway Signs and Markings Book. 
However, there was no text in the 2003 MUTCD describing the sign or its 
intended use. The FHWA adds this section in this final rule to 
incorporate language regarding the optional use of this sign and, if 
used, GUIDANCE on where it should be located and a STANDARD on where it 
shall not be used. These provisions are consistent with adopted 
provisions for signing of Auto Tour Routes in Section 2H.07 and are 
necessary to assure that highway agencies that elect to use the sign do 
so properly in accordance with the 1993 FHWA direction and with adopted 
provisions for similar types of signs.
    206. In Section 2E.31 (Section 2E.28 in the 2003 MUTCD) Interchange 
Exit Numbering, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise paragraph 02 to 
clarify an existing provision that if suffix letters are used for exit 
numbering at a multi-exit interchange, the suffix letter shall be 
included on the exit number plaque and shall be separated from the exit 
number by a space having a width of at least half of the height of the 
suffix letter. This will enhance the legibility of the exit number and 
help avoid confusion, especially between the letter ``B'' and the 
numeral ``8.'' This provision was included in the 2003 MUTCD requiring 
a space between the number and the suffix, but the width of the space 
was not specified, implying that the space is equal to the letter 
height. Three State DOTs, a city, and an NCUTCD member opposed the 
revision because research has not been performed to justify the new 
requirement and because of concerns that adding the space between the 
suffix letter and exit number will cause confusion, increase the size 
of the signs, and add expenses to agencies because of the increased 
wind load. The FHWA disagrees because the new provision actually 
modifies an existing requirement and reduces the amount of space 
required between the number and letter. In this final rule the FHWA 
adopts the provision and specifies a space width of one-half to three-
quarters of the letter height. This revision should have a minimal 
impact on agencies because Exit Number plaque widths are commonly 
standardized rather than customized fit to the exact legend, therefore 
the revision does not introduce a new requirement that did not exist in 
the 2003 MUTCD. Further, a Narrow Exit Gore sign is adopted in Section 
2E.37 that will ameliorate issues regarding extra sign width for the 
space between the exit number and the suffix on Exit Gore signs. The 
FHWA adopts this change in this final rule in order to provide 
practitioners with clearer direction on the space between the exit 
number and the suffix than was previously provided in the MUTCD or the 
Standard Highway Signs and Markings book.
    In addition, the FHWA proposed in the NPA a new STANDARD to make it 
clear that if suffix letters are used for exit numbering, an exit of 
the same number without a suffix letter cannot be used. The NCUTCD, two 
State DOTs, a toll road operator, a local DOT, a toll road operator 
association, and a citizen agreed with the proposal and suggested 
clarifying for situations where an interchange has multiple exits in 
one direction, but only a single exit in the opposite direction, 
suggesting that the provision should allow the use of an exit number 
without a suffix in the direction with only one exit. The FHWA agrees 
and adopts the proposal in this final rule with the suggested revision.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA replaces an OPTION with a STANDARD 
stating that interchange exit numbering shall use the reference 
location exit numbering method and that the consecutive exit numbering 
method shall not be used. The FHWA adopts this change because only 8 of 
the 50 States still use consecutive exit numbering and, based on past 
public comment and inquiries, the vast majority of road users now 
expect reference location exit numbering. The FHWA believes that road 
users will be better served by nationwide uniformity of exit numbering 
using the reference location method. Two local agencies and ATSSA 
agreed. Two State DOTs, a local DOT, and a county opposed the revision 
and suggested reducing the statement to GUIDANCE since their experience 
has shown consecutive exit numbering has not compromised safety or 
convenience. The commenters also had concerns about a potentially large 
cost associated with replacing all signs along the freeway with minimal 
benefit. The FHWA disagrees because uniform exit numbering is important 
for road user navigation and for the reporting of incidents to 
facilitate expedient and accurate emergency response and warrants 
consistency across the United States. It is expected that the 
conversion to reference-location based exit numbering would be 
accomplished on a systematic route-by-route basis, as has been done in 
many other States that have undergone such conversions over the past 
several decades.
    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to change a GUIDANCE statement in 
the 2003 MUTCD to a STANDARD statement to require that a left exit 
number (E1-5bP) plaque be used at the top left edge of the sign for 
numbered exits to the left to alert road users that the exit is to the 
left, which is often not expected. This change also required that the 
``LEFT'' portion of the message be black on a yellow background. A 
State DOT agreed with the change. Another State DOT also agreed and 
suggested adding an example of an optional left exit scenario with a 
black on yellow LEFT LANE plaque below the parent guide sign. The FHWA 
disagrees, as the message display suggested by that State DOT is 
frequently misinterpreted as an indication of a dedicated lane with a 
mandatory exit movement and does not promote consistency of the message 
for similar situations. Two State DOTs, a city, and two NCUTCD members 
opposed the revision because they believe that the new provisions will 
not add a significant improvement from the provisions for diagrammatic 
signs in the 2003 MUTCD and suggested reducing the statement to 
GUIDANCE. The FHWA disagrees because the direction of the exit is 
better communicated by the positive sign legend and placement of the 
sign over the roadway. The FHWA adopts the proposed changes in this 
final rule for consistency of message to drivers and for consistency 
with other parts of the manual regarding left-side exits.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed a target compliance period of 10 
years for the implementation of LEFT (E1-5aP) and Left Exit Number (E1-
5bP) plaques at left-side exits. In this final rule the FHWA adopts a 
target compliance date December 31, 2014 (approximately 5 years from 
the effective date of this final rule) for the requirements in Sections 
2E.31, 2E.33, and 2E.36 to install LEFT (E1-5aP) or Left Exit Number 
(E1-5bP) plaques at all existing numbered and non-numbered left exits 
on freeways and expressways. The FHWA adopts this target compliance 
date to address a recent recommendation (Safety Recommendation H-08-7) 
by the

[[Page 66778]]

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). \93\ The NTSB developed 
this recommendation as a result of an imminent safety concern exhibited 
with left-side freeway exits. The FHWA believes that the installation 
of these plaques at all existing left-side exits within 5 years is 
necessary to achieve critical safety improvements at left-side exits 
and that reliance on the systematic upgrade provisions of Section 
655.603(d)(1) of title 23, Code of Federal Regulations is not 
appropriate in this case. The installation of these plaques would 
generally not require replacement of the existing sign or sign supports 
and this change affects relatively few locations throughout the 
country. The FHWA anticipates that installation of the required plaques 
at existing locations will provide significant safety benefits to road 
users.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \93\ NTSB Safety Recommendation H-08-7 is contained within 
NTSB's letter dated August 18, 2008, which can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://www.ntsb.gov/recs/letters/2008/H08_3_7.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    207. In Section 2E.33 (Section 2E.30 in the 2003 MUTCD) Advance 
Guide Signs and in Section 2E.36 (Section 2E.32 in the 2003 MUTCD) Exit 
Direction Signs, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a STANDARD 
statement to require that a left exit number (E1-5bP) plaque be used at 
the top left edge of the sign for numbered exits to the left and that a 
LEFT (E1-5aP) plaque be added to the top left edge of the sign for non-
numbered exits to the left. In this final rule the FHWA adopts this 
proposed statement to be consistent with the changes in Section 2E.31. 
A State DOT suggested reducing the statement to GUIDANCE because they 
believe it is not necessary to have the LEFT plaque in all cases. The 
FHWA disagrees because the suggestion would not provide a consistent, 
uniform message to road users. An NCUTCD member suggested changing the 
plaque message to LEFT EXIT instead of LEFT. The FHWA disagrees as non-
numbered exits contain the word EXIT within the distance message and 
the word EXIT on the plaque would be redundant. As noted above in item 
206, the FHWA also adopts a target compliance date of December 31, 2014 
for the requirements for E1-5aP and E1-5bP plaques at left-side exits.
    The NCUTCD, a State DOT, a toll road operator, and a toll road 
operator association suggested deleting paragraph 06 regarding the use 
of Advance Guide signs for multi-lane exits because the information is 
contained in other locations in Chapter 2E. The FHWA disagrees because 
the provision pertains specifically to Advance Guide signs. A State DOT 
suggested changing the statement to GUIDANCE. Another State DOT opposed 
the revision because Section 2E.33 states that diagrammatic signs can 
serve as Advance Guide signs. The FHWA disagrees with the commenters 
because uniformity in the display of messages regarding multi-lane 
exits is critical and the FHWA adopts the language as proposed in the 
NPA in this final rule.
    208. The FHWA relocates the OPTION and STANDARD statements 
regarding the use of pictographs as proposed in Section 2E.10 of the 
NPA to Section 2E.35 (Section 2E.32 in the 2003 MUTCD) Other 
Supplemental Guide Signs in this final rule. As part of this change, 
the FHWA clarifies the provisions for the display of pictographs in 
this final rule. See Section 2E.10 discussion above for additional 
information.
    209. In Section 2E.36 (Section 2E.33 in the 2003 MUTCD) Exit 
Direction Signs, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise the second 
STANDARD statement to clarify the appropriate signing for exits where a 
through lane is being terminated and for multi-lane exits having an 
optional exit lane that also carries the through route or for a split 
with an option lane. The NCUTCD suggested replacing Figures 2E-5, 2E-6, 
and 2E-8 through 2E-10 with alternate Figures provided in their comment 
and updating the corresponding references in this section. A State DOT 
suggested deleting references to Figures 2E-5 and 2E-6 because the 
Overhead Arrow-per-Lane signs must be placed at the point of divergence 
of the outside lane and not at the theoretical gore. Another State DOT 
also suggested revising the text to require Exit Direction signs 
overhead at the theoretical gore where there is a through lane being 
terminated and to require a diagrammatic sign near the point where the 
outside edge of the dropped lane begins to diverge from the mainline 
where there is a multi-lane exit with an optional exit lane. A State 
DOT and a toll road operator suggested changing the STANDARD statements 
to GUIDANCE. A State DOT opposed the revisions. The FHWA agrees with 
the comment regarding the inaccurate reference to the figures and 
references the appropriate figures in this final rule. The FHWA 
disagrees with changing the STANDARD statements to GUIDANCE and adopts 
the provisions as proposed in the NPA to promote uniformity in the 
application of signing at similar locations and to be consistent with 
other changes in the Manual regarding Overhead Arrow-per-Lane 
diagrammatic signs and plaques for exits.
    A State DOT suggested changing paragraph 10 regarding the use of 
the LEFT plaque at non-numbered exits from STANDARD to GUIDANCE. The 
FHWA disagrees with the comment because it would conflict with similar 
provisions adopted in Section 2E.31 requiring the use of the left exit 
number plaque and is necessary for consistency in sign legends. In this 
final rule the FHWA adopts the requirements for E1-5aP or E1-5bP 
plaques at left-side exits. As noted above in item 206, the FHWA also 
adopts a target compliance date of December 31, 2014 for the 
requirements for E1-5aP and E1-5bP plaques at left-side exits.
    Finally, the FHWA adopts the OPTION, as proposed in the NPA, to 
permit the use of an EXIT XX MPH (E13-2) sign panel at the bottom of 
the Exit Direction sign to supplement, but not to replace, the exit or 
ramp advisory speed warning signs where extra emphasis of an especially 
low advisory ramp speed is needed. This may be done by adding an EXIT 
XX MPH (E13-2) sign panel to the face of the Exit Direction sign near 
the bottom of the sign or by making the EXIT XX MPH message a part of 
the Exit Direction sign. The Sign Synthesis Study \94\ found that at 
least four States have found it necessary to use similar advisory speed 
panels with Exit Direction signs to provide even more advance notice 
and emphasis of a very low ramp speed, typically because of curvature. 
The NCUTCD, a State DOT, a toll road operator, and a toll road operator 
association agreed and suggested text revisions to eliminate repetitive 
wording. The FHWA agrees with the suggested revision and rewords the 
provision to simplify and eliminate redundant language.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \94\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 51, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    210. In Section 2E.37 (Section 2E.34 in the 2003 MUTCD) Exit Gore 
Signs, the FHWA adopts the revision to the STANDARD statement, as 
proposed in the NPA, to clarify that the space between the exit number 
and the suffix letter on an Exit Gore Sign shall be the width of one-
half to three-quarters of the height of the suffix letter. This change 
correlates to a similar change in Section 2E.31 Interchange Exit 
Numbering.
    The FHWA also adopts an additional paragraph in the OPTION 
statement, as proposed in the NPA, allowing the use of Type 1 object 
markers on sign supports below the Exit Gore sign to improve the 
visibility of the gore for exiting drivers. The FHWA adopts this

[[Page 66779]]

based on recommendations from the Older Driver handbook.\95\ A city and 
ATSSA agreed. A toll road operator opposed the revision because they 
believe that the object marker will not serve a useful purpose and will 
add to sign clutter. The FHWA disagrees because the object markers 
serve to visually tie the sign to the ground, which enhances nighttime 
visibility and depth perception of the physical gore.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \95\ ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm. Recommendation II.A(4b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, as proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts an OPTION 
paragraph allowing the use of a vertical rectangular shaped Exit Gore 
sign for certain narrow gore areas an OPTION paragraph allowing the use 
of an Exit Number (E5-1bP) plaque above existing Exit Gore (E5-1) signs 
only when non-numbered exits are converted to numbered exits, and a 
STANDARD paragraph requiring the use of the Exit Gore (E5-1a) sign for 
a numbered exit when replacement of existing assemblies of the E5-1 and 
E5-1bP signs becomes necessary. The FHWA adopts these changes in this 
final rule to provide for more uniform design of Exit Gore signs. An 
NCUTCD member noted that the E5-1a sign is prohibited based on text 
elsewhere in Chapter 2E and Table 2E-1. The FHWA disagrees because an 
OPTION is provided in this Section for a vertically arranged Exit Gore 
sign and the FHWA adds the standard sizes for these signs into Table 
2E-1 in this final rule for clarification. A State DOT suggested 
allowing a narrow version of the E5-1a sign at non-numbered exits. The 
FHWA disagrees because the E5-1a unnumbered Exit Gore signs are 6 feet 
wide, which should fit in most narrow gore situations and because in 
this final rule the FHWA also provides an OPTION allowing the mounting 
height of any Exit Gore sign to be 14 feet or more to address narrow 
gore situations.
    211. In Section 2E.40 (Section 2E.37 in the 2003 MUTCD) Interchange 
Sequence Signs, a toll road operator opposed the proposed revisions to 
the STANDARD in the NPA regarding the LEFT EXIT or LEFT sign panel use 
where the exit direction is to the left. The commenter was concerned 
that left exits create driver expectancy issues and should therefore 
warrant individual guide sign panels from the one mile advanced sign 
through the exit direction assembly. The FHWA disagrees because the 
LEFT or LEFT EXIT message addresses the expectancy issues raised by the 
commenter. The FHWA adopts a revised provision in this final rule to 
retain the LEFT sign panel, but does not adopt the LEFT EXIT sign 
panel, because the intended use of both sign panels is identical and 
allowing two different messages for the same purpose does not promote 
uniformity in sign legends.
    212. In Section 2E.44 (Section 2E.41 in the 2003 MUTCD) Freeway-to-
Freeway Interchange, the FHWA proposed to add a STANDARD statement in 
the NPA requiring the use of the left exit number plaque at splits 
where the off-route movement is to the left. The NCUTCD, two State 
DOTs, a local DOT, and two toll road operators supported this 
requirement, while two State DOTs opposed it. One of the State DOTs 
stated that there is not enough justification for doing so, and that 
the practice of installing exit panels left justified for left exits 
and right justified for right exits is meant to orient motorists to the 
lane they will use to exit. The FHWA disagrees with the comment because 
left-side exits continue to violate driver expectancy and just placing 
the exit number plaques on the left is too subtle and does not convey a 
positive message to the motorist. The FHWA also adopts provisions in 
this section requiring the use the use of Overhead Arrow-per-Lane or 
diagrammatic signs for freeway splits with an option lane and for 
multi-lane freeway-to-freeway exits having an option lane, consistent 
with provisions adopted for Sections 2E.20 through 2E.22. The NCUTCD, a 
State DOT, and two agencies that operate toll facilities felt that this 
requirement duplicates language elsewhere in Chapter 2E and therefore 
should be removed from this section. The FHWA disagrees with the 
comment and includes the language in this section because the provision 
applies to the specific geometric condition and interchange type 
described in this section. A local DOT supported this requirement, 
while two State DOTs felt that the use of diagrammatic signs should be 
a recommendation, rather than a requirement. The FHWA disagrees and 
adopts the proposed changes to be consistent with other adopted changes 
in the Manual regarding signing for option lanes.
    213. In Section 2E.48 (Section 2E.45 in the 2003 MUTCD) Diamond 
Interchange, the FHWA adopts the proposed removal of the second 
sentence of the first STANDARD statement regarding the prohibition of 
cardinal initials on exit numbers. This sentence is not applicable for 
a diamond interchange, because it has a single exit ramp. Section 2E.31 
Interchange Exit Numbering already contains a prohibition on the use of 
cardinal directions as the suffix of exit numbers. The FHWA also 
rewords the STANDARD statement to clarify that the singular message 
EXIT shall be used as a part of either the distance message or the exit 
number plaque on the Advance Guide signs for non-numbered exits. This 
revision is made to clarify the specific application of the existing 
STANDARD.
    214. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA moves the information from 
Section 2E.52 (Section 2E.49 in the 2003 MUTCD) Signing on Conventional 
Road Approaches and Connecting Roadways to Section 2D.45 in this final 
rule, and leaves a SUPPORT statement to refer readers to the 
appropriate section. The FHWA adopts this change because the section 
and figures are about guide signing on conventional road approaches to 
a freeway, and therefore, are more appropriate for Chapter 2D.
    215. The FHWA moves a majority of the information from Section 
2E.53 (Section 2E.50 in the 2003 MUTCD) Wrong-Way Traffic Control at 
Interchange Ramps to Section 2B.41, as proposed in the NPA, and leaves 
a SUPPORT statement to refer readers to the appropriate section. The 
FHWA adopts this change in this final rule because the section and 
figure relate more to regulatory signs than guide signs, and therefore, 
are more appropriate for Chapter 2B.
    The FHWA also adds a reference in this final rule to Section 2D.46 
on the use of guide signs and Directional assemblies to mark the point 
of entry to a freeway or expressway. Although not proposed in the NPA, 
the FHWA adds this reference in this final rule to assist users of the 
Manual by providing additional information related to freeway and 
expressway entrance ramp signing.
    216. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA relocates Sections 2E.51 
General Service Signs, 2E.52 Rest and Scenic Area Signs, 2E.53 Tourist 
Information and Welcome Center Signs, 2E.56 Radio Information Signing, 
and 2E.57 Carpool and Rideshare Signing (as numbered in the 2003 MUTCD) 
to a new Chapter in this final rule titled Chapter 2I General Service 
Signs (numbered 2F in the NPA).
    217. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA relocates Sections 2E.54 
Reference Location Signs and Enhanced Reference Location Signs and 
2E.55 Miscellaneous Guide Signs (as numbered in the 2003 MUTCD) to a 
new Chapter in this final rule titled Chapter 2H General Information 
Signs (numbered 2I in the NPA).

[[Page 66780]]

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 2F--Toll Road Signs--General

    218. In this final rule, the FHWA adopts a new chapter numbered and 
titled, Chapter 2F Toll Road Signs. Although not proposed as a separate 
chapter in the NPA, this new chapter consolidates information proposed 
in the NPA related to toll road signing to address comments from 
practitioners that a separate chapter on toll road signing would be 
helpful.
    219. In several sections of the NPA, the FHWA proposed adding a new 
symbol to denote that a toll facility's ETC payment system is 
nationally interoperable with all other ETC payment systems. The NCUTCD 
and a State DOT opposed this new symbol, because they felt that it is 
premature to address interoperability, especially with an untested 
symbol. Since efforts to achieve this interoperability have not made as 
much progress as previously anticipated, the FHWA does not adopt in 
this final rule the proposed interoperable symbol or requirements for 
its use.

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 2F--Toll Road Signs--Specific

    220. In this final rule the FHWA adopts a new section, Section 
2F.01 Scope, to respond to comments suggesting that toll road and 
managed lane signing be separated in the MUTCD. This new section 
includes a SUPPORT statement that clarifies that Chapter 2F applies to 
a route or facility on which all lanes are tolled, while Chapter 2G 
applies to the signing of managed lanes within an otherwise non-toll 
facility that employs tolling or pricing as an operational strategy to 
manage congestion levels, and to explain the scope of Chapter 2F in 
relation to other signing provisions elsewhere in Part 2. In this 
section, the FHWA also includes a STANDARD statement that, except where 
specifically indicated in this chapter, the provisions of other 
chapters in Part 2 shall apply to toll roads. The FHWA adopts this 
STANDARD to reflect the relocation of this material from Chapter 2E, as 
suggested by commenters who wanted a separate chapter for toll roads.
    221. In Section 2F.02 Sizes of Toll Road Signs, the FHWA adopts 
STANDARD, SUPPORT, and OPTION statements referring to Section 2A.11 and 
Table 2F-1 in the MUTCD for information on sign sizes. Although not 
proposed as a separate section in the NPA, the FHWA adopts this 
consolidation of information from Chapters 2B, 2C, 2D, and 2E of the 
NPA into one section to provide uniformity in sign sizes.
    222. The FHWA adds a new section in this final rule numbered and 
titled Section 2F.03 Use of Purple Backgrounds and Underlay Panels with 
ETC Account Pictographs. The FHWA adds this STANDARD and SUPPORT 
information to assure consistency with adopted requirements regarding 
the use of the color purple on signs as contained in Sections 1A.12, 
2A.10, 2F.12, and 2F.16.
    223. The FHWA adds a new section in this final rule numbered and 
titled Section 2F.04 Size of ETC Pictographs. The FHWA adds this 
STANDARD and GUIDANCE information to assure consistency with adopted 
requirements and recommendations regarding pictographs in Chapter 2A 
and in Section 2F.15 and to provide for adequate conspicuity and 
legibility of ETC pictographs on the approaches to toll plazas, where 
this information is critical.
    224. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a new section numbered and 
titled Section 2F.05 Regulatory Signs for Toll Plazas. In the NPA, the 
FHWA proposed to number this Section 2B.31; however, the section number 
changes due to the reorganization of information in this final rule. 
The FHWA adopts this section to provide consistency and uniformity in 
signing practices for these types of facilities, which are becoming 
increasingly common and for which uniform signing provisions were not 
provided in the 2003 MUTCD.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed GUIDANCE and OPTION statements 
regarding the recommended placement of optional Toll Rate Schedule 
signs in the vicinity of toll plazas. A local DOT suggested that the 
name of the sign be changed to ``Toll Rate sign,'' omitting the word 
``schedule,'' because some toll road operators vary the toll amount by 
time of day. The FHWA agrees and revises the name of the sign to ``Toll 
Rate sign'' in this final rule. Three State DOTs and five toll road 
operators opposed the recommended sign placement (100 to 200 feet in 
advance of the toll plaza), suggesting that toll road operators need 
more flexibility to place the signs in a location where they can be 
easily read and understood by road users. One commenter suggested that 
the site characteristics of toll plazas vary so widely that a universal 
distance requirement for this sign may create unnecessary complications 
for some toll facilities, and could lead to the sign being placed in a 
less than desirable location. To address these comments, the FHWA 
adopts revised GUIDANCE in this final rule to recommend that the signs 
be placed between the toll plaza and the first advance sign informing 
traffic of the toll plaza. This revised language allows the information 
to be outside the immediate influence of the toll plaza area, at which 
driver attention is more appropriately focused on signs designating the 
appropriate lanes based on payment method, and there is often little 
space available for additional signing. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed 
recommending that the Toll Rate sign be limited to three lines of text. 
Three State DOTs and three toll road operators opposed the recommended 
limit of three lines of text because there are several methods that a 
toll agency can use in assessing rates, and that often requires more 
than three lines of text. The FHWA adopts the recommended limit of 
three lines of text in this final rule because it is consistent with 
existing provisions in the MUTCD regarding the number of lines of 
legend that are based on the maximum information load that a road user 
approaching a sign can read and process. To address the need to provide 
more detailed information, the FHWA also adds an OPTION in this final 
rule allowing the use of a more detailed toll rate schedule at attended 
toll booths where vehicles must stop to pay the toll.
    225. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a new section numbered and 
titled Section 2F.06 Pay Toll Advance Warning Sign (numbered and titled 
in the NPA as Section 2C.44 Stop Ahead Pay Toll Sign). The FHWA revises 
the title of the section in this final rule to reflect the revised sign 
legend, based on comments as discussed herein. ATSSA, a toll road 
operator, and a local DOT supported the signs and their design, as 
proposed in the NPA. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, and nine toll road 
operators suggested that the proposed wording be changed to delete the 
words ``STOP AHEAD'' from the sign and its application, because the 
message ``Stop Ahead'' is not appropriate in advance of locations with 
ETC capabilities and because these advance signs are located at 1 mile 
and \1/2\ mile in advance of the location where some or all lanes are 
required to stop at a toll plaza. The commenters also suggested that 
there be more flexibility in the wording of the sign. The FHWA agrees 
that STOP AHEAD is not appropriate on these advance signs that are so 
far from the condition requiring traffic to stop and modifies the 
design of the sign and the text in the section adopted in this final 
rule to reflect that this is a Pay Toll Advance Warning sign. However, 
as discussed below under Sections 2F.08 and 2F.09, the FHWA adopts 
similar

[[Page 66781]]

signs and plaques that do bear the words ``STOP AHEAD'', for use closer 
to the toll plaza than \1/2\ mile.
    Except for suggesting the words ``STOP AHEAD'' be removed, as 
discussed above, the NCUTCD supported the W9-6 sign as proposed in the 
NPA and shown in proposed Figure 2C-9, but suggested that the W9-6P 
plaque be removed. A State DOT suggested that the signs and plaques be 
black text on a white background instead of on a yellow background, 
because payment is a requirement and is enforceable on toll facilities. 
The FHWA disagrees with both commenters, retaining the W9-6P plaque 
(and adopting a new Section 2F.07 in this final rule describing its 
use) and the yellow background color of the signs and plaques as 
proposed in the NPA, but reflecting the change of the sign text and 
plaque to Pay Toll Advance Warning. These signs and plaques are in 
advance of the toll collection point and are therefore warning, not 
regulatory. Three toll road operators commented on the proposed 
recommendations for advance placement of the signs. Although one of the 
commenters supported the proposed language, the other two suggested 
that there needed to be more flexibility, based on volumes of traffic 
and whether or not the lanes accepted cash payment. The FHWA notes that 
the placement of the signs is GUIDANCE, which allows adjustment in the 
location placement. The FHWA adopts this section regarding the use of 
these new signs on toll facilities to provide for consistency and 
uniformity of signing for messages and to implement the signing 
portions of FHWA's ``Toll Plaza Traffic Control Devices Policy.'' \96\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \96\ ``Policy on Traffic Control Strategies for Toll Plazas,'' 
dated October 12, 2006 can be viewed at the following Internet Web 
site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/policy/tcstollmemo/tcstoll_policy.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    226. The FHWA adopts a new section numbered and titled Section 
2F.07 Pay Toll Advance Warning Plaque (numbered and titled in the NPA 
as Section 2C.69 Stop Ahead Pay Toll Plaque). The FHWA revises the 
title of the section it adopts in this final rule to reflect a revised 
plaque legend, adopted in response to comments, as discussed above 
under Section 2F.06. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed including ``Stop 
Ahead'' on the Pay Toll plaque, however, similar to Section 2F.06, the 
FHWA removes ``Stop Ahead'' in this final rule to address comments from 
two toll road operators and a State DOT who suggested that message 
``Stop Ahead'' is not appropriate in advance of locations with ETC 
capabilities.
    Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adds a requirement that 
the legend PAY TOLL be replaced with a suitable legend such as TAKE 
TICKET for toll plazas where road users entering a toll-ticket facility 
are issued a toll ticket. The FHWA adopts this change in this final 
rule based on comments from toll road operators on the need to provide 
an appropriate sign legend that will accommodate toll-ticket 
facilities.
    Finally, the FHWA adopts an OPTION at the end of the section 
allowing the toll for passenger or 2-axle vehicles to be omitted from 
the W9-6P plaque if the toll information is displayed on the guide sign 
that the plaque accompanies. Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA 
adds this OPTION to address a comment from a toll road operator 
suggesting that incorporating a changeable message element into the W9-
6P plaque should not be required if the information can be displayed on 
the accompanying guide sign. The FHWA adopts the use of this plaque to 
provide for consistency and uniformity of signing for these messages 
and to implement the signing portions of FHWA's ``Toll Plaza Traffic 
Control Devices Policy.'' \97\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \97\ ``Toll Plaza Traffic Control Devices Policy,'' dated 
September 8, 2006, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/policy/tcstollmemo/tcstoll_policy.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    227. The FHWA adopts in this final rule two new sections numbered 
and titled Section 2F.08 Stop Ahead Pay Toll Warning Sign, and Section 
2F.09 Stop Ahead Pay Toll Warning Plaque. As discussed above under 
Section 2F.06, the FHWA adopts this sign and plaque for use at 
locations less than \1/2\ mile in advance of mainline toll plazas, and 
adopts these new sections to clarify their use.
    228. The FHWA adopts a new section numbered and titled Section 
2F.10 LAST EXIT BEFORE TOLL Warning Plaque (numbered section 2C.68 in 
the NPA). This section describes the use of this new plaque, as 
proposed in the NPA. ATSSA and a toll road operator supported this new 
plaque. Two State DOTs, a toll road operator, and an NCUTCD member 
suggested that alternate messages, such as LAST FREE EXIT be allowed on 
the sign. The FHWA declines to change the message on the plaque, 
because the message LAST FREE EXIT could be misinterpreted to mean that 
the limited access roadway was ending or that it is the last exit off 
the route. To maintain uniformity in the messages, the FHWA adopts the 
plaque as proposed in the NPA, in this final rule.
    229. The FHWA adopts a new section numbered and titled Section 
2F.11 Toll Auxiliary Sign (Section 2D.25 in the NPA) to require the use 
of this sign above the route sign of a numbered toll facility, in any 
route sign assembly providing directions from a non-toll highway to the 
toll facility or to a segment of a highway on which the payment of a 
toll is required. The Signs Synthesis Study \98\ found that some States 
are using these signs to provide road users useful information that a 
numbered route is a toll facility. The proposed section was supported 
in concept by most commenters, but the NCUTCD and some toll facility 
operators suggested that provision should be included to allow the 
continued use of unique toll facility route shield designs that 
incorporate the word ``TOLL'' into the route shield itself, rather than 
as an auxiliary sign, and that pictographs be allowed in the TOLL 
auxiliary sign. The FHWA disagrees because a very wide variety of 
unique toll route shield designs are currently in use, and many do not 
conform to basic principles of sign design. Further, the TOLL sign is 
an auxiliary sign, not a route marker, and therefore the incorporation 
of a pictograph is not appropriate. The FHWA believes that uniformity 
in the display of similar messages is important for directional 
guidance and adopts a uniform provision for notifying road users of a 
toll route.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \98\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 52, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the M4-15 sign was proposed with black legend on a 
white background, similar to other auxiliary signs, such as cardinal 
directions, JCT, BYPASS, etc., that are used with route signs. Because 
this particular auxiliary sign is different in function from others, in 
that it also serves to provide a warning to road users that the route 
is a toll road, the FHWA believes that a black legend on a yellow 
background is appropriate for this sign. The FHWA received comments 
from several toll road operators expressing concerns that a white 
background is needed to make this a regulatory sign in order to enforce 
the requirement to pay the toll. The FHWA disagrees with those comments 
in relation to this particular auxiliary sign because there are many 
other signs associated with toll payment on a toll road that are 
designed as black-on-white regulatory signs or plaques and thereby 
enable enforcement. The FHWA adopts in this final rule this auxiliary 
sign with

[[Page 66782]]

a yellow background and includes comparable text on this sign in 
Section 2F.13.
    In the NPA, the FHWA also proposed to require the use of the TOLL 
(M4-15) auxiliary sign above all route signs of a numbered toll 
facility when a parallel or nearby free facility has the same route 
number. However, it was not the FHWA's intent to endorse the practice 
of duplicate route numbering for non-toll and toll routes, because it 
could not be consistently applied as an alternate route. The FHWA does 
not believe that such a non-uniform practice is helpful in road user 
guidance and navigation. As a result, the FHWA does not adopt this 
requirement in this final rule. This is different from the practice of 
assigning alternative routes, such as business, truck, or bypass 
designations on different alignments where there is always a primary 
numbered route, which is acceptable.
    230. The FHWA adopts a new section numbered and titled Section 
2F.12 Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) Account-Only Auxiliary Signs 
(Section 2D.26 in the NPA). The FHWA proposed these auxiliary signs in 
the NPA to complement and be consistent with signs in this chapter and 
in Chapter 2G that inform road users that a highway is restricted to 
use only by vehicles having a registered ETC payment account. Two toll 
road operators supported this new section. The NCUTCD and a State DOT 
suggested that the word ONLY be omitted when an ETC facility accepts 
multiple ETC payment systems. The FHWA disagrees, because the intent is 
to notify road users that only vehicles that have registered toll 
accounts can use the highway, and includes the word ONLY in the section 
adopted in this final rule.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts in this final rule an 
option to use the NO CASH auxiliary sign in a route sign assembly 
directly below the ETC Account-Only auxiliary sign. The NCUTCD opposed 
this option because of confusion that can result at toll plazas where 
lanes are segregated by different payment methods; however, the FHWA 
retains the OPTION in this final rule because the application of this 
sign is not for toll plazas and the FHWA believes that the option of a 
NO CASH message might be helpful at the entry point to a toll road to 
inform road users in areas where ETC is not well established.
    231. The FHWA adopts a new section numbered and titled Section 
2F.13 Toll Facility and Toll Plaza Guide Signs--General (Section 2E.55 
in the NPA). In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to adopt new symbols to 
denote exact change and attended lanes and proposed to require their 
use in toll plaza signing. The FHWA believed that symbols for these 
messages would help road users to more quickly identify the proper 
lane(s) to choose for the type of toll payment they will use. The 
proposed symbols were similar to those already in use for these 
purposes on some toll facilities in the U.S. The NCUTCD, two State 
DOTs, a local DOT, and four toll road operators opposed the requirement 
to use the proposed symbols because of their belief that the symbols 
had not been adequately tested and would not convey a clear, simple 
message at freeway speed. The FHWA adopts the symbols in this final 
rule, but agrees that the use of these symbols should not be required 
at this time, and therefore adopts an OPTION to use the symbols. As 
part of this change in this final rule, the FHWA adopts requirements to 
use word messages such as FULL SERVICE, CASH, CHANGE, or RECEIPTS on 
signs for attended lanes at toll plazas, and to use the word message 
EXACT CHANGE and the amount of the toll for passenger vehicles on signs 
for Exact Change lanes at toll plazas. The FHWA refines the designs and 
enlarges the minimum size of the symbols to enhance their legibility 
when used with accompanying word legends, and adds clarifying language 
in this final rule to indicate that these symbols are to be used only 
as panels within guide signs that accompany the required word messages, 
not as an independent sign or within a sign assembly.
    ATSSA and a toll road operator supported the standardization of 
placement of signing for ETC facilities. Three State DOTs and nine toll 
road operators opposed some of the details that FHWA proposed in the 
NPA, particularly those related to the proposed ETC (pictograph) ONLY--
NO CASH (R3-16) regulatory lane-use sign. Most of the commenters 
opposed the use of the term ``NO CASH'' because they felt that it might 
be misinterpreted to mean that payment may be made by other means, such 
as credit card, ticket, or video. To address these comments, in this 
final rule the FHWA revises the sign design, deleting the NO CASH text, 
and adopts this sign as a guide sign, rather than a regulatory sign.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed requirements for the design of signs 
to be used on lanes or facilities that are open only to use by ETC 
device-equipped vehicles. Two State DOTs and two toll road operators 
opposed the language. One State DOT opposed the requirement to use a 
purple background, while the other commenters opposed using the word 
``ONLY,'' unless there is only one accepted ETC system. The FHWA adopts 
the use of the color purple, because the intent is to use purple as an 
identifier of a requirement for vehicles to have a registered ETC 
account. However, to address the concerns of the commenter, the FHWA 
revises the requirements in this final rule to accommodate ETC 
pictographs whose predominant background color is purple. The FHWA 
retains the word ONLY because the word is intended to identify that the 
facility excludes vehicles without registered ETC accounts. To address 
the concerns expressed by the commenters, the FHWA adopts an OPTION 
allowing agencies to display information on a separate sign notifying 
road users that the facility will accept payments from other systems' 
transponders or devices in addition to its primary ETC-device payment 
system.
    Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts a STANDARD at the 
end of the section requiring signing to conform to the provisions of 
paragraphs 04 and 05 of this section for entrances to toll highways 
where ETC is employed only through license plate character recognition, 
such that road users are not required to establish a registered toll 
account, and thus any vehicle can use the facility without restriction. 
The FHWA adds this requirement to assure that the color purple and the 
provisions associated with signing where a registered ETC account is 
required are limited to facilities that are not unrestricted and are 
not misused on toll facilities where any vehicle can use the facility, 
consistent with adopted STANDARDS regarding the color purple in Section 
1A.12 and 2F.03.
    232. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts a new section numbered 
and titled Section 2F.14 Advance Signs for Conventional Toll Plazas 
(Section 2E.56 in the NPA) as proposed in the NPA. The NCUTCD and three 
toll road operators supported the NPA language. One toll road operator 
suggested changing the proposed text in this section from GUIDANCE to 
OPTION. The FHWA disagrees, and adopts the text as GUIDANCE because 
there is sufficient flexibility in the GUIDANCE statements to address 
special situations. Another toll road operator suggested that the 
proposed recommended use of overhead signs is most pertinent to 
mainline toll plazas, and that additional language was needed regarding 
signing for ramps. The FHWA disagrees that additional information is 
needed, because signing for ramps is already included in the provision, 
as proposed in the NPA. Three toll road operators

[[Page 66783]]

opposed the language regarding placement distances for guide signs with 
lane information for the toll payment types, suggesting that the 
recommended distances were not appropriate. The FHWA disagrees because 
a minimum distance is given and is adequately qualified as being 
related to the approach geometry and visibility of the toll plaza 
canopy signs. The FHWA adopts the language in this final rule, as 
proposed in the NPA.
    233. The FHWA adopts a new section numbered and titled Section 
2F.15 Advance Signs for Toll Plazas on Diverging Alignments from Open-
Road ETC Account-Only Lanes (Section 2E.57 in the NPA). Three toll road 
operators supported the intent of the guidance language in this 
section; however, they provided comments reflecting their own 
experience. The significant comments are discussed herein. In the NPA, 
the FHWA proposed to recommend that the ETC (pictograph) ONLY--NO CASH 
(R3-16) regulatory sign with a downward pointing arrow over the center 
of each lane that will become an Open-Road ETC lane be installed 1 mile 
and 0.5 miles in advance of the point where a separate alignment 
leading to the toll plaza diverges from mainline-aligned Open-Road ETC 
Account-Only lanes. Two toll road operators suggested that down arrows 
may be inappropriate at the one mile location depending on lane 
arrangement and traffic volume. In addition, they suggested that down 
arrows convey a more forceful and definitive message that action should 
be taken by the driver at that location. The commenters felt that one 
mile may be too far in advance of the plaza to begin traffic separation 
by payment method. The FHWA disagrees, because positive communication 
of lane use information is necessary for efficient segregation of 
traffic on the approach to an Open-Road ETC/toll plaza bifurcation, 
just as it is for any other major bifurcation or split. Since these 
provisions are recommendations, there is sufficient flexibility to use 
diagrammatic signing (as one toll road operator suggested) or Arrow-
per-Lane signs as adopted in Chapter 2E, and there is no restriction on 
posting a distance message to convey the distance over which the lane 
changes can be made. As a result, the FHWA adopts in this final rule 
the language as proposed in the NPA.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed recommending an additional set of 
overhead advance signs with lane information for the toll payment types 
800 feet in advance of the toll plaza. Two toll road operators opposed 
this recommendation because the provisions already include three sets 
of guide signs in advance of the plaza, and locating a fourth set close 
to the plaza would interfere with the visibility of canopy signing. The 
FHWA disagrees because the mainline signing typically has far fewer 
lanes in which to display lane-specific information as it relates to 
the toll plaza lanes. Because this provision is guidance, deviations 
based on geometric constraints in which the distance specified is not 
available can be made. The FHWA adopts the provision in this final rule 
as proposed in the NPA. The FHWA notes that the recommendation suggests 
that these signs be placed at a location that avoids or minimizes any 
obstruction of the toll plaza canopy signs and lane-use control 
signals, as proposed in the NPA.
    234. The FHWA adopts a new section numbered and titled Section 
2F.16 Toll Plaza Canopy Signs (numbered Section 2E.58 in the NPA). This 
section contains STANDARD, OPTION, and SUPPORT statements regarding 
signs over the center of the lanes on the toll canopy, display of the 
toll fee, and lane-use control signals. A toll road operator supported 
the provisions as proposed in the NPA. Several other toll road 
operators submitted comments opposed to the language or recommending 
specific changes.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed a requirement to provide a sign above 
the center of each lane that is not an Open-Road ETC Account-Only lane, 
mounted on or suspended from the toll plaza canopy, or on a separate 
structure immediately in advance of the plaza, indicating the payment 
type(s) accepted in the lane and any restrictions or prohibitions of 
certain types of vehicles that apply to the lane. A State DOT suggested 
that requiring a sign above the center of each lane that is not an 
Open-Road ETC Account-Only lane was excessive, and that their 
experience showed that signs on the columns over ETC lanes have been 
very successful. The FHWA disagrees, because signs on the columns or 
booths alone do not adequately relate this critical information to 
individual travel lanes approaching and through the toll plaza. The 
NCUTCD and a State DOT suggested clarifying these signing requirements 
to more clearly indicate that Open-Road ETC Account-Only lanes are 
excluded from the requirement. The FHWA believes that the language, as 
proposed in the NPA, clearly indicates that Open-Road ETC Account-Only 
lanes are excluded, however the FHWA clarifies the provision in this 
final rule to require the overhead signing, when mounted on a structure 
rather than the canopy, be located such that each sign be clearly 
associated with an individual toll lane. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed 
including a requirement that the toll fee for passenger or 2-axle 
vehicles be included on the canopy sign or on a separate sign mounted 
on the upstream side of the toll booth. The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and 
a toll road operator opposed this requirement for ticketed systems. The 
FHWA agrees and excludes toll-ticket systems from this requirement in 
this final rule.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed an OPTION and associated STANDARD 
regarding the optional use of supplementary flashing yellow beacons at 
ETC Account-Only canopy lanes. The NCUTCD and two toll road operators 
opposed this language, because they felt that the beacons would 
interfere with or detract from the lane-use control signals. The FHWA 
disagrees because the beacons are optional, but their placement, if 
used, needs to be a STANDARD to assure that they are not 
inappropriately located so close to lane-use signals that they would be 
confusing. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed prohibiting the use of lane-
use control signals to call attention to a lane for a specific toll 
payment type such as ETC Account-Only lanes. A State DOT and a toll 
road operator suggested that the flashing of a standard circular yellow 
signal indication within a lane-use control signal face has become 
widely recognized as an indicator of an open ETC Account-Only lane, and 
its use should be continued. The FHWA disagrees with the use of a 
standard circular traffic signal or beacon indications to display lane 
status, since red X and downward green arrow lane-use control signals 
are the appropriate displays for this use.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to allow the use of lane-use control 
signals above the center of Open-Road ETC Only lanes to indicate the 
open or closed status of the lane. Similar text was proposed in Part 4, 
and is adopted there in Section 4K.02 this final rule with revisions 
based on comments. The FHWA does not adopt the text in Section 2F.16 
regarding lane-use signals with Open-Road ETC Only lanes and instead 
adds a reference to Section 4K.02 in this final rule.
    In Section 2C.08 of the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add paragraphs 
describing the use of Advisory Speed plaques at toll plazas. The 
NCUTCD, three State DOTs, two local DOTs, and two NCUTCD members 
suggested changes to the wording to clarify the use of Advisory Speed 
plaques in relation to other signs at toll plazas. The FHWA decides to 
not allow the use of Advisory Speed Plaques at toll plazas

[[Page 66784]]

independent of other warning signs. Instead, the FHWA adopts text in 
Section 2F.16 describing the allowable display of an advisory speed 
within a horizontal rectangular panel with a black legend and yellow 
background within the bottom portion of a canopy sign for an ETC 
Account-Only toll plaza lane in which a regulatory speed limit is not 
posted and in which vehicles are not required to stop.
    235. The FHWA adopts a new section numbered and titled 2F.17 Guide 
Signs for Entrances to ETC Account-Only Facilities (Section 2E.59 in 
the NPA). This section contains SUPPORT and STANDARD statements 
regarding the use of guide signs at entrances to facilities that are 
restricted to use only by vehicles with a registered ETC account. In 
the NPA, the FHWA proposed to include managed lanes in the provisions; 
however, in this final rule the FHWA removes the provisions for managed 
lanes from this section because FHWA adopts a new Chapter 2G in this 
final rule with provisions for managed lanes. A toll road operator 
supported the language as proposed in the NPA. The NCUTCD, two State 
DOTs and two toll road operators suggested removing specific references 
to ``transponder,'' as proposed in the NPA, and changing the language 
to account for other devices. The FHWA agrees and adopts revised 
language in this final rule to clarify that the section is intended to 
apply to a variety of electronic toll collection systems.
    236. The FHWA adopts a new section numbered and titled Section 
2F.18 ETC Program Information Signs (Section 2E.60 in the NPA). In the 
NPA, the FHWA proposed allowing signs that inform road users of 
telephone numbers, Internet addresses, and e-mail addresses for 
enrolling in an ETC program of a toll facility or managed lane, 
obtaining an ETC transponder, and/or obtaining ETC program information, 
but only in rest areas, in parking areas, or on low speed roadways. The 
NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and several toll road operators suggested that 
the proposed prohibition of signs in areas other than rest areas, 
parking areas, and low speed roadways was excessive and that some 
mechanism should be allowed to display this information in other areas. 
The FHWA understands that road users benefit from knowing how to obtain 
information about ETC programs, and as a result adopts an OPTION 
statement in this final rule allowing the use of ETC Program 
Information signs with telephone numbers of four or fewer numerals in 
certain other areas under certain specific conditions.
    237. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a section numbered and 
titled Section 2C.43 Toll Road Begins Signs, which, if adopted as a 
part of the consolidation of toll-related signing information into a 
separate chapter, would be located in Chapter 2F. Although ATSSA, a 
local DOT, and two toll road operators supported the sign, the NCUTCD, 
two other toll road operators, and a State DOT opposed the section and 
its associated signs because there is no consensus on whether the 
beginning of a toll road should be designated with a regulatory, 
warning, or guide sign because of variations in State laws. The FHWA 
believes that the signing before the toll road begins addresses this 
issue (see Sections 2F.10, 2F.11 and 2F.13) and adequately address 
notification to road users of the last exit before entering a toll 
facility and the entrance to a toll facility. As a result, the FHWA 
does not adopt this proposed section and the associated signs in this 
final rule.

Discussion of Amendments to Chapter 2G--Preferential and Managed Lane 
Signs

    238. The FHWA adopts a new chapter numbered and titled Chapter 2G 
Preferential and Managed Lane Signs. Although not proposed as a 
separate chapter in the NPA, the FHWA adopts a separate chapter with 18 
sections in this final rule to consolidate information that was 
proposed in other sections in the NPA related to preferential and 
managed lanes. As discussed previously in this preamble under General 
Amendments to the MUTCD, the FHWA creates this separate chapter to 
address comments from practitioners that a separate chapter would be 
helpful.
    239. In Section 2G.01 Scope, the FHWA adopts relocated SUPPORT 
information from 2003 MUTCD Sections 2B.26 and 2B.27 describing 
operational considerations for preferential and managed lanes and 
additional SUPPORT text providing cross-references to other pertinent 
information in the MUTCD.
    240. In Section 2G.02 Sizes of Preferential and Managed Lane Signs, 
the FHWA includes STANDARD, SUPPORT, and OPTION statements referring to 
other sections in the MUTCD for information on sign sizes, consistent 
with similar provisions in the chapters from which the provisions of 
this new chapter were relocated. The FHWA adopts this section to 
provide uniformity in Preferential and Managed Lane Sign sizes.
    241. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to edit and relocate paragraphs 
within and between existing Sections 2B.26 through 2B.28, and to 
reorganize the text into five sections (Sections 2B.26 through 2B.30) 
to improve the consistency and flow of information and improve its 
usability by readers. As adopted in this final rule, the FHWA relocates 
those proposed sections to new Chapter 2G, since they are related to 
preferential and managed lanes. The sections are numbered and titled 
Section 2G.03 Regulatory Signs for Preferential Lanes--General, Section 
2G.04 Preferential Lane Vehicle Occupancy Definition Regulatory Signs, 
Section 2G.05 Preferential Lane Periods of Operation Regulatory Signs, 
Section 2G.06 Preferential Lane Advance Regulatory Signs, and Section 
2G.07 Preferential Lane Ends Regulatory Signs.
    242. The FHWA in this final rule adopts Section 2G.03 Regulatory 
Signs for Preferential Lanes--General (Section 2B.26 proposed in the 
NPA). Two toll road operators expressed concern that the proposed 
language would now classify toll plaza lanes that segregate traffic by 
payment method as preferential lanes and that there is a lack of 
research or justification for applicability to non-HOV preferential 
lanes, such as toll plaza lanes. The operators suggested that text 
regarding non-HOV preferential lanes should be limited to OPTION 
conditions until further research on safety and applicability is 
available. The FHWA disagrees with the suggested revision as an OPTION 
and adopts the language proposed in the NPA in this section but 
provides clarification in Section 2G.01 to address these concerns, 
explicitly stating that lanes that segregate traffic based on payment 
method are not considered to be preferential lanes.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add GUIDANCE and OPTION statements 
regarding the installation of a post-mounted regulatory sign applicable 
only to a preferential lane on a median barrier where lateral clearance 
is limited. Based on comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a toll 
road operator expressing concerns that wider signs are not legible when 
installed at a skew relative to the approaching traffic and to resolve 
a conflict with an existing STANDARD statement in Section 2A.18, the 
FHWA revises the GUIDANCE statement in this final rule regarding signs 
mounted on median barriers. As part of this change, in this final rule, 
the FHWA adds a new STANDARD statement requiring that where lateral 
clearance is limited, Preferential Lane regulatory signs that are post-
mounted on a median barrier and that are wider than 72 inches shall be 
mounted with a vertical clearance that complies with the provisions of 
Section 2A.18 for

[[Page 66785]]

overhead mounting. This revision is also consistent with identical 
provisions in Sections 2G.08 and 2G.10.
    In this final rule, the FHWA adopts a STANDARD statement that is 
relocated from Section 2B.32 as proposed in the NPA. This STANDARD is 
in regard to applying provisions for regulatory signs for preferential 
lanes to non-priced managed lanes that are operated by varying vehicle 
occupancy requirements (HOV) or by using vehicle type restrictions as a 
congestion management strategy. This includes provisions for the use of 
changeable message elements when certain types of vehicles are 
prohibited from using a managed lane or when a managed lane is 
restricted to use by only certain types of vehicles during certain 
operational strategies, and when the vehicle occupancy required for use 
of an HOV lane is varied as a part of a managed lane operational 
strategy.
    243. The FHWA in this final rule adopts Section 2G.04 Preferential 
Lane Vehicle Occupancy Definition Regulatory Signs (Section 2B.27 
proposed in the NPA). This section contains STANDARD, GUIDANCE, 
SUPPORT, and OPTION statements regarding the use of regulatory signs.
    The FHWA adopts a revised STANDARD statement in paragraph 07 to 
clarify that the requirement for an overhead Vehicle Occupancy 
Definition sign in advance of the beginning of or the initial entry 
point to HOV lanes is applicable only to barrier- and buffer-separated 
or contiguous preferential lanes, where access between the preferential 
and general-purpose lanes is restricted to designated locations. The 
FHWA adopts this clarification to address comments from a State DOT and 
two toll road operators that correctly pointed out that the statement 
as proposed in the NPA was too broad and needed to be limited to only 
certain conditions. The FHWA agrees and adopts the revised STANDARD in 
this final rule.
    244. The FHWA in this final rule adopts Section 2G.05 Preferential 
Lane Periods of Operation Regulatory Signs (Section 2B.28 proposed in 
the NPA). Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts a STANDARD 
statement in this final rule requiring that for preferential lanes on 
which regulations are in effect on a full-time basis, either the full-
time Periods of Operation (R3-11b and R3-14b) signs shall be used, or 
the legends of the part-time Periods of Operations (R3-11, R3-11a, R3-
14, R3-14a) signs shall be modified to display the legend 24 HOURS. In 
addition this STANDARD prohibits the use of a full-time Periods of 
Operation (R3-14b) sign where the preferential lane is in effect only 
on a part-time basis. The FHWA adopts these changes in this final rule 
to provide clarification of an existing requirement, based on comments 
from the NCUTCD, three State DOTs, and three toll road operators.
    Finally, the FHWA in the final rule adopts a GUIDANCE statement 
recommending that overhead (R3-14 series) or post-mounted (R3-11 
series) Periods of Operation signs should be installed at periodic 
intervals along the length of a contiguous or buffer-separated 
preferential lane where continuous access with the adjoining general-
purpose lanes is provided. Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA 
adopts this recommendation in this final rule to provide more 
flexibility in the placement of these signs by clarifying that signs 
need not be installed at periodic intervals on facilities where access 
is restricted to designated locations and is not continuous with the 
adjoining general-purpose lanes.
    245. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2G.06 
Preferential Lane Advance Regulatory Signs (Section 2B.29 in the NPA). 
This section contains GUIDANCE and OPTION statements regarding the use 
of these regulatory signs, as proposed in the NPA.
    246. The FHWA adds a new section numbered and titled Section 2G.07 
Preferential Lane Ends Regulatory Signs (Section 2B.30 in the NPA). 
This section contains STANDARD and OPTION statements regarding the use 
of these regulatory signs, as proposed in the NPA.
    247. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a new section numbered and 
titled Section 2G.08 Warning Signs on Median Barriers for Preferential 
Lanes (Section 2C.55 as proposed in the NPA). This section contains 
OPTION, STANDARD, and GUIDANCE statements regarding the use of warning 
signs applicable only to preferential lanes on median barriers. In the 
NPA, the FHWA proposed GUIDANCE and OPTION statements regarding the 
installation of a post-mounted warning sign applicable only to a 
preferential lane on a median barrier where lateral clearance is 
limited. Based on comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a toll 
road operator expressing concerns that wider signs are not legible when 
installed at a skew relative to the approaching traffic and to resolve 
a conflict with an existing STANDARD statement in Section 2A.18, the 
FHWA adopts a revised GUIDANCE statement in this final rule regarding 
signs mounted on median barriers. As part of this change, the FHWA 
adopts a new STANDARD statement requiring that where lateral clearance 
is limited, Preferential Lane warning signs that are post-mounted on a 
median barrier and that are wider than 72 inches shall be mounted with 
a vertical clearance that complies with the provisions of Section 2A.18 
for overhead mounting. This revision is also consistent with identical 
provisions in Sections 2G.03 and 2G.10.
    248. In this final rule, the FHWA relocates an existing provision 
to Chapter 2G in Section 2G.09 High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Plaque 
(Section 2C.64 proposed in the NPA). This section contains OPTION and 
SUPPORT statements from the 2003 MUTCD regarding the use of these 
plaques and there are no substantive changes to the information.
    249. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts four sections in this 
final rule that include the existing material in Section 2E.59 of the 
2003 MUTCD and substantially edits the contents to improve consistency 
and understanding by grouping similar material together. The resulting 
sections are numbered and titled Section 2G.10 Preferential Lane Guide 
Signs--General, Section 2G.11 Guide Signs for Initial Entry Points to 
Preferential Lanes, Section 2G.12 Guide Signs for Intermediate Entry 
Points to Preferential Lanes, and Section 2G.13 Guide Signs for Egress 
from Preferential Lanes to General-Purpose Lanes. These four sections 
were proposed in the NPA as Sections 2E.51 through 2E.54 respectively. 
In conjunction with these changes, the FHWA adopts a variety of changes 
in the technical provisions, sign designs, and figures for preferential 
lane guide signing, as described in the following items, to reflect the 
state of practice for enhanced sign conspicuity and legibility, and to 
reflect recent FHWA policy guidance \99\ regarding traffic control 
devices for preferential lane facilities.
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    \99\ The FHWA's policy guidance can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/policy/tcdplfmemo/index.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    250. The FHWA in this final rule adopts Section 2G.10 Preferential 
Lane Guide Signs--General (Section 2E.51 as proposed in the NPA). This 
section contains SUPPORT, GUIDANCE, STANDARD, and OPTION statements 
regarding preferential lane signing. Although not proposed in the NPA, 
the FHWA clarifies in a STANDARD statement in this final rule that HOV 
lanes that are managed by varying the occupancy requirements in 
response to changing conditions are also governed by the provisions in 
this section. The FHWA adds this statement to

[[Page 66786]]

distinguish that such HOV lanes are not governed by the provisions of 
subsequent sections that deal with managed lanes that also use pricing 
as a management strategy.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to prohibit showing occupancy 
requirements for preferential lanes on guide signs. A local DOT 
supported this provision, while a State DOT opposed it. The FHWA adopts 
this prohibition because the occupancy requirements are most 
appropriately displayed on regulatory signing.
    To address comments from the NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and two toll 
road operators, the FHWA adopts reorganized and expanded provisions in 
this final rule to establish signing criteria for the initial and 
intermediate entry points into a preferential lane from the general-
purpose lanes.
    Although proposed as a GUIDANCE statement in the NPA, the FHWA 
adopts a STANDARD statement regarding the mounting of post-mounted 
Preferential Lane guide signs where lateral clearance is limited, to be 
consistent with revisions in Sections 2A.18, 2G.03, and 2G.08 for 
clearance to light fixtures and sign supports.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts the STANDARD requirement to 
use a LEFT plaque on top left edge of the Advance Guide and 
Preferential Lane Entrance Direction signs where the entry point is on 
the left-hand side of the general-purpose lanes. Two State DOTs opposed 
this requirement for similar reasons discussed in Sections 2E.36 and 
2E.40; however, the FHWA adopts the requirement to maintain uniformity 
and enhance road user understanding as described in Chapter 2E.
    251. The FHWA in this final rule adopts Section 2G.11 Guide Signs 
for Initial Entry Points to Preferential Lanes (Section 2E.52 as 
proposed in the NPA). This section contains STANDARD, GUIDANCE, OPTION, 
and SUPPORT statements regarding guide signing for initial entry points 
to preferential lanes.
    252. The FHWA in this final rule adopts Section 2G.12 Guide Signs 
for Intermediate Entry Points to Preferential Lanes (Section 2E.53 as 
proposed in the NPA). This section contains STANDARD, GUIDANCE, OPTION, 
and SUPPORT statements regarding guide signing for intermediate entry 
points to preferential lanes, as proposed in the NPA. Although not 
proposed in the NPA, in this final rule the FHWA relocates the 
information from the last STANDARD and SUPPORT statements regarding 
signing for direct access ramps to a new Section 2G.15.
    253. The FHWA in this final rule adopts Section 2G.13 Guide Signs 
for Egress from Preferential Lanes to General-Purpose Lanes (Section 
2E.54 as proposed in the NPA). In the NPA, the FHWA proposed a 
different title for this section, as well as additional content that 
included signing for egress from preferential lanes to another highway. 
In this final rule, the FHWA adopts a separate Section 2G.15 for that 
information. Section 2G.13 as adopted contains STANDARD, SUPPORT, and 
GUIDANCE statements regarding guide signing for egress from 
preferential lanes to general-purpose lanes, as proposed in the NPA.
    The FHWA adopts the recommendation to use Pull-Through signs with 
the Egress Direction sign at exits to direct access ramps, as proposed 
in the NPA. A State DOT and two toll road operators suggested that 
Pull-Through signs should only be used when warranted, such as for left 
exits. The FHWA disagrees because of the ambiguity between single-lane 
preferential lanes and direct exits, whether left-hand or right-hand 
side.
    Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts a GUIDANCE 
statement to recommend that consideration be given to the use of 
overhead guide signs to display the information related to egress from 
the preferential lanes, where two or more adjoining preferential lanes 
are present in a single direction. The FHWA adds this provision in 
conjunction with other changes to address comments regarding the 
visibility of signs installed on median barriers.
    254. The FHWA in this final rule adopts Section 2G.14 Guide Signs 
for Direct Entrances to Preferential Lanes from Another Highway. 
Although not proposed as a separate section in the NPA, this section 
contains STANDARD and SUPPORT statements from proposed Section 2E.53 in 
the NPA, related to guide signing for direct access ramps to 
preferential lanes.
    255. The FHWA in this final rule adopts Section 2G.15 Guide Signs 
for Direct Exits from Preferential Lanes to Another Highway. Although 
not included as a separate section in the NPA, as discussed above under 
Section 2G.13, this section contains STANDARD, GUIDANCE, and SUPPORT 
statements related to guide signing for direct exits from preferential 
lanes to another highway. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed the use of a 
black and white header panel on a Pull-Through sign. A State DOT and 
two toll road operators opposed the color, stating that preferential 
lanes are assigned other colors, such as purple and white. The FHWA 
disagrees, as the purple header is reserved for priced or tolled 
facilities and is not assigned to the lane; rather, it conveys 
information and the requirement for a vehicle to be registered in an 
ETC account program to enter a priced managed lane. Once within the 
lane, this requirement is not displayed as the lanes are not named for 
or branded by the ETC account program. The FHWA adopts the use of a 
black and white sign panel for a Pull-Through sign in this final rule 
for a preferential lane and addresses similar signing for priced 
managed lanes in Section 2G.18.
    The FHWA also adopts the recommendation to use Pull-Through signs 
with the Exit Direction sign at exits to direct access ramps, as 
proposed in the NPA. A State DOT and two toll road operators suggested 
that Pull-Through signs should only be used when warranted, such as for 
left exits. The FHWA disagrees because of the ambiguity between single-
lane preferential lanes and direct exits, whether left-hand or right-
hand side.
    256. The FHWA in this final rule adopts ``2G.16 Signs for Priced 
Managed Lanes--General.'' Although not proposed as a separate section 
in the NPA, the FHWA adopts this section that contains SUPPORT and 
STANDARD statements that were proposed in Section 2E.61 of the NPA and 
significantly expands background information on the signing needs for 
managed lanes based on possible combinations of operational strategies 
employed, such as tolling or pricing, either alone or combined with an 
occupancy requirement for non-toll travel, and whether eligibility for 
non-toll travel requires registration in a local program. To address 
comments from a traffic engineering consultant, the FHWA provides a 
SUPPORT statement referring to the figures illustrating the advance 
signing sequence for priced lanes to begin 2 miles from the initial 
entry point due to the additional informational needs of road users to 
decide whether to use the lane and whether they are eligible to use the 
lane under certain operational strategies.
    257. The FHWA in this final rule adopts ``2G.17 Regulatory Signs 
for Priced Managed Lanes'' (Section 2B.32 proposed in the NPA). This 
section contains STANDARD and OPTION statements regarding regulatory 
signing for priced managed lanes and includes new signs that are 
modified versions of similar preferential lane signs in response to 
comments from the NCUTCD and a toll road operator that specific signs 
should be provided instead of merely providing a reference to a 
provision for a different application.

[[Page 66787]]

    258. The FHWA in this final rule adopts Section 2G.18 Guide Signs 
for Priced Managed Lanes (Section 2E.61 proposed in the NPA). This 
section provides STANDARD, SUPPORT, GUIDANCE, and OPTION statements 
related to guide signing for priced managed lanes with operational 
strategies such as tolls, vehicle occupancy requirements, and vehicle 
type restrictions that are variable and put into effect on a real-time 
basis to respond to changing conditions. The FHWA adopts this separate 
section to further clarify and specifically address the various 
combinations of operational strategies for managed lanes that include 
pricing or tolling as a congestion management strategy, as suggested in 
a comment by the NCUTCD. This new section also provides for consistency 
with other adopted provisions regarding signing for preferential lanes, 
and addresses the state of the practice in priced managed lanes.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed a requirement that guide signing for 
priced managed lanes strictly comply with the provisions in Sections 
2G.10 through 2G.15. A toll road operator suggested that this 
requirement was too restrictive, and recommended adding options that 
would allow more flexible use of the purple background color. The FHWA 
disagrees because the use of the color purple is reserved for sign 
legends associated with the display of information for ETC account 
program registration requirements and information and is not intended 
to be used indiscriminately as an overall sign background for other 
uses. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the requirement to comply with 
the provisions of Sections 2G.10 through 2G.15 except as otherwise 
noted in this section.
    The FHWA adopts the proposed GUIDANCE recommending the display of 
comparative travel times for managed lanes that are an alternative to 
general purpose lanes. The NCUTCD and a State DOT suggested that this 
recommendation be removed and replaced with a more general provision 
since it has had no prior use or testing. The FHWA disagrees and 
believes that including an abstract provision would result in widely 
non-uniform practices and therefore adopts in this final rule the 
language as proposed, but revises the sign design to be in conformance 
with accepted sign layout practices and the requirements for guide 
signs for minimizing the overall amount of information displayed on the 
sign.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed the use of the word ``EXPRESS'' on 
guide signs for managed lanes. The NCUTCD and a State DOT opposed the 
use of the word ``EXPRESS,'' because they felt that it would imply 
limited access or limited stops. The FHWA disagrees with removing the 
use the term ``EXPRESS,'' but does revise the provision as adopted in 
this final rule to clarify that the signs are intended for the managed 
lanes of a freeway on which a toll is charged but which are available 
as an alternative to non-tolled lanes of the freeway. In addition, FHWA 
retains the designation of ``Express Lane'' because, by their nature of 
management strategies, such facilities further limit access to 
intersecting routes and the adjacent general-purpose lanes, and the 
designation, therefore, is appropriate. The FHWA also believes that, 
given the complexity of management strategies that could be employed on 
such facilities, specific terms strictly tied to the individual 
management strategies would become unwieldy and excessive for motorists 
to comprehend and that the various management strategies applied are 
more appropriately communicated by the regulatory signing and messages. 
In concert with similar changes elsewhere in Part 2, the FHWA adopts in 
this final rule revised provisions to reserve the diamond symbol 
exclusively for HOV lanes.
    259. The FHWA adds several new sign images and revises several 
existing sign images in Figure 2G-1 Examples of Preferential Lane 
Regulatory Signs (Figure 2B-8 in the NPA) to illustrate the various 
regulatory signs used to designate HOV and bus preferential lanes. A 
local DOT supported the addition of several of the signs and plaques. 
The FHWA revises the figure from what was illustrated in the NPA to 
reflect comments regarding the design of certain signs. As part of 
these changes, the FHWA revises the designs illustrated for the R3-12 
series signs. A local professional organization suggested that the 
design of the Bus Lane Ahead and HOV Lane Ahead signs be revised to 
include a diagonal arrow, similar to the BEGIN RIGHT (LEFT) TURN LANE 
(R3-20 series) signs. Two toll road operators and a State DOT suggested 
that the R3-14 design does not provide desirable information for 
preferential lanes that operate continuously. The FHWA disagrees with 
the commenters and adopts in this final rule Figure 2G-1, with some 
revisions, to reflect the state of the practice for improved 
conspicuity and legibility of Preferential Lane regulatory signs for 
HOV Lanes, and to reflect recent FHWA policy guidance on traffic 
control devices for preferential lane facilities.\100\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \100\ This August 3, 2007 FHWA policy memorandum can be viewed 
at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/policy/tcdplfmemo/index.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    260. The FHWA adopts Figure 2G-17 Regulatory Signs for Managed 
Lanes (Figure 2B-10 in the NPA) to illustrate examples of signs 
described in Section 2G.17. ATSSA and a local DOT supported the sign 
illustrations, whereas the NCUTCD suggested that the price signs shown 
in the figure should be researched prior to placing them in the MUTCD. 
The NCUTCD, two toll road operators, and a State DOT opposed the R3-31 
sign illustrating the toll rate on a per-mile basis. Based on these and 
other comments, the FHWA deletes the sign illustrating the rate per 
mile and otherwise adopts the figure as proposed in the NPA, 
incorporating additional signs that are similar to those for 
preferential lanes, but with the legends modified to accommodate priced 
managed lanes because to provide consistency and uniformity in signing 
practices for priced managed lanes, which are becoming increasingly 
common, and for which uniform signing provisions are not currently 
contained in the MUTCD.

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapters 2H Through 2N

    261. The FHWA adopts a new chapter numbered and titled Chapter 2H 
General Information Signs. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to number this 
Chapter 2I; however, the chapter number changed due to the 
reorganization of the chapters adopted in this final rule. This chapter 
contains several sections from Chapters 2D and 2E of the 2003 MUTCD in 
order to group similar sign types in the same area of the Manual. A 
State DOT supported this new chapter. The new chapter includes Section 
2H.01 Sizes of General Information Signs and Table 2H-1 (Section 2I.01 
and Table 2I-1 proposed in the NPA) that establish the sizes of General 
Information signs. The FHWA also adopts Sections 2H.02 General 
Information Signs (I Series), 2H.03 Traffic Signal Speed Sign (I1-1), 
2H.04 Miscellaneous Information Signs, 2H.05 Reference Location Signs 
and Intermediate Reference Location Signs, 2H.06 Enhanced Reference 
Location Signs, 2H.07 Auto Tour Route Signs, and 2H.08 Acknowledgement 
Signs, which contain information from Sections 2D.46, 2D.47, 2D.48, 
2D.49, 2D.50, 2E.54, and 2E.55 of the 2003 MUTCD. The FHWA adopts these 
sections in Chapter 2H in a sequence

[[Page 66788]]

that presents the information in the most logical order.
    262. The FHWA adopts in this final rule Section 2H.03 Traffic 
Signal Speed Sign (Section 2D.47 of the 2003 MUTCD and Section 2I.04 in 
the NPA) with a revised paragraph 04 that increases the minimum size of 
the Traffic Signal Speed sign from 12 x 18 inches to 24 x 36 inches to 
provide for suitable letter sizes, as proposed in the NPA. ATSSA and a 
local DOT supported the increased sign size. Another local DOT 
suggested that it might be too large for urban conditions, given the 
narrow space for signs due to landscaping, utility poles, etc., and 
might present structural problems when replacing existing signs on 
existing signal structures. The FHWA disagrees because the current size 
is too small to be read by road users with 20/40 visual acuity, even in 
urban situations, and notes that the adopted sign is actually smaller 
than a standard lane-use sign used on signal structures and is no 
larger than other signal-related regulatory signs that are commonly 
installed on mast arms or span wires.
    263. In this final rule the FHWA adopts Section 2H.04 (Section 
2E.55 of the 2003 MUTCD and Section 2I.06 in the NPA) with a revised 
title of ``Miscellaneous Information Signs'' and associated text to 
reflect the relocation of this section into the new Chapter 2H.
    264. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to retain the title ``Trail 
Signs'' for Section 2H.07 (numbered Section 2D.50 in the 2003 MUTCD and 
Section 2I.08 in the NPA). However, to address a comment from the 
NCUTCD and one of its members, in this final rule the FHWA titles 
Section 2H.07 as ``Auto Tour Route Signs'' to better reflect the 
content of this section. In the adopted section, all occurrences of the 
word ``trail'' have been replaced with ``auto tour route.'' In the NPA, 
the FHWA proposed to add a STANDARD statement prohibiting the use of 
trail signs on freeways or expressways because trail signs were often 
misinterpreted to mean walking trails, rather than marked vehicular 
routes. The NCUTCD and one of its members, eight State DOTs, the 
National Park Service, numerous trail associations, and citizens 
opposed the restriction of trail signs on freeways and expressways. The 
FHWA agrees that there are some situations where it is necessary to 
install Auto Tour Route signs on freeways or expressways in order to 
provide continuity between discontinuous segments of conventional 
roadways that are designated as auto tour routes and for which a 
freeway or expressway provides the only connection. As a result, the 
FHWA adopts in this final rule a revised STANDARD and information 
regarding the circumstances under which Auto Tour Route signs may be 
installed on freeways and expressways, and information about the types 
of signs and assemblies to be used.
    265. The FHWA adopts in this final rule Section 2H.08 
Acknowledgement Signs (Section 2I.09 in the NPA.) As proposed in the 
NPA, this section contains SUPPORT, GUIDANCE, STANDARD, and OPTION 
statements regarding the placement and design of the signs that can be 
used as a way of recognizing a company, business, or volunteer group 
that provides a highway-related service. Although the Motorist 
Information Services Association (MISA), an NCUTCD member, and a local 
DOT supported this section, another NCUTCD member opposed this new 
section, stating that acknowledgement signs are not traffic control 
devices and do not belong in the MUTCD. Five State DOTs and a local DOT 
opposed the requirements related to the sign design and placement, 
including the restriction on telephone numbers and Internet addresses, 
stating that more flexibility is needed. The FHWA disagrees with 
allowing more flexibility and adopts the proposed provisions in this 
final rule to address the existing extreme variability in 
acknowledgement sign design and placement practices. The FHWA notes 
that the restriction on telephone numbers and Internet addresses is 
consistent with other sections of the MUTCD and that that some 
agencies' current practices have prioritized acknowledgement signs over 
more critical traffic control devices, which the FHWA discourages. As a 
result, the FHWA believes it is important to include sign design and 
placement regulations in the MUTCD. In this final rule, the FHWA adopts 
additional information about the design of the signs, including the 
location of the sponsor acknowledgment logo, the maximum size of the 
sign display, and a restriction on external and internal illumination. 
This information is based on the FHWA policy memo ``Optional Use of 
Acknowledgment Signs on Highway Rights-of-Way,'' dated August 10, 
2005.\101\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \101\ FHWA's Policy Memo can be viewed at the following Internet 
Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/res-mem_ack.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    266. The FHWA adopts in this final rule Chapter 2I General Service 
Signs. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to number this Chapter 2F. This 
chapter contains several sections from Chapters 2D and 2E of the 2003 
MUTCD in order to group similar sign types in the same area of the 
Manual. The FHWA received a comment from a local DOT supporting the 
creation of this new chapter.
    267. The FHWA adopts in this final rule Section 2I.01 Sizes of 
General Service Signs, and a new Table 2I-1 to establish the minimum 
sizes of General Service signs and plaques. ATSSA supported the 
addition of Table 2I-1, while a State DOT and an NCUTCD member opposed 
establishing requirements for minimum sign sizes for General Service 
signs. Those in opposition felt that the requirements will no longer 
allow good engineering judgment in specifying signs that will perform 
well, but are smaller than the minimum dimensions in the new table. The 
FHWA disagrees and believes that consistency in sizes of standardized 
sign legends is intrinsic to the concept of uniformity and adopts the 
provisions as proposed in the NPA. In response to a comment from the 
NCUTCD suggesting that many of the sign sizes in Table 2I-1 appear to 
be larger than necessary, the FHWA notes that the signs have been 
designed and sized according to conventional design principles.
    268. The FHWA adopts in this final rule Section 2I.02 General 
Service Signs for Conventional Roads that contains information from 
Section 2D.45 and 2B.10 of the 2003 MUTCD in the NPA, no significant 
changes were proposed to the information that is adopted in this 
section.
    269. As proposed in the NPA, in Section 2I.03 General Service Signs 
for Freeways and Expressways (Section 2E.51 of the 2003 MUTCD), the 
FHWA changes the design of the Truck Parking (D9-16) sign, as 
illustrated in Figure 2I-1. ATSSA supported the new symbol for the 
Truck Parking sign. A recent study \102\ tested several symbols for 
this message and found that the message can be successfully symbolized. 
The FHWA adopts in this final rule the symbol that was found to be the 
easiest to comprehend and that provides the greatest legibility 
distance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \102\ ``Design and Evaluation of Selected Symbol Signs,'' Final 
Report, May, 2008, conducted by Bryan Katz, Gene Hawkins, Jason 
Kennedy, and Heather Rigdon Howard, for the Traffic Control Devices 
Pooled Fund Study, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://www.pooledfund.org/documents/TPF-5_065/symbol_sign_report_final.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    270. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts in this final rule a 
new section numbered and titled Section 2I.04 Interstate Oasis Signing, 
containing SUPPORT, GUIDANCE, STANDARD, and OPTION statements regarding 
signing for facilities that have been designated by a State as having

[[Page 66789]]

met the eligibility criteria of FHWA's Interstate Oasis Policy.\103\ 
Although the MISA supported this new section, a State DOT opposed it 
because it felt that the Interstate Oasis program is not needed. The 
State DOT suggested that sufficient information is provided through the 
use of general service signs, specific service signs, and rest area 
signing. The FHWA adopts the section as proposed to comply with the 
requirements of SAFETEA-LU regarding the establishment of designation 
criteria and signing requirements for these facilities. The language of 
this section is based on the signing provisions of the FHWA's 
Interstate Oasis Policy.\104\
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    \103\ FHWA's Interstate Oasis Policy, dated October 18, 2006, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2006_register&docid=E6-17367.
    \104\ FHWA's Interstate Oasis Policy, dated October 18, 2006, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2006_register&docid=E6-17367.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also adopts a unique symbol for use on separate Interstate 
Oasis signs in conjunction with the word message. ATSSA and a local DOT 
supported the design of the Interstate Oasis (D5-12) sign, while a 
State DOT and an NCUTCD member suggested that the sign be classified as 
a D9 series services sign, not a D5 series sign. The FHWA disagrees and 
classifies the sign as a D5 series sign because it gives direction to a 
specific facility that is not an individual service. Other D5 series 
signs are for roadside facilities, such as Rest Area and Scenic 
Overlook. Based on a comment from a State DOT, the FHWA removes the 
sign image from the adopted Figure 2I-1, since the panel is not used on 
its own, and retains the image in Figure 2I-4.
    271. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts Section 2I.05 Rest 
Area and Other Roadside Area Signs, that combines the text from 
Sections 2D.42, 2D.43, and 2E.52 of the 2003 MUTCD, so that similar 
information is located in one section. The FHWA adopts text revisions 
to clarify the types of signs to be used at rest areas and at scenic 
and other roadside areas. Section 2D.42 of the 2003 MUTCD can be 
misinterpreted as meaning that restrooms are required in order to use 
the Parking Area, Roadside Table, Roadside Park, and Picnic Area signs, 
which was not FHWA's intent. Restrooms are only required at locations 
designated as rest areas. An NCUTCD member supported this revision.
    A State DOT and an NCUTCD member suggested that the requirements 
for installing advance roadside area signs were too restrictive. The 
FHWA agrees and in this final rule adopts the placement information as 
a GUIDANCE statement, rather than a STANDARD, consistent with the 
provisions in Section 2E.29.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts two paragraphs at the end 
of this section to allow the use of the Telecommunications Devices for 
the Deaf (TDD) symbol sign and the Wireless Internet Services (Wi-Fi) 
symbol sign, to supplement advance guide signs for rest areas if such 
amenities are available. The FHWA adopts the TDD symbol based on the 
results of the Sign Synthesis Study \105\ that showed that several 
States are using a similar sign, and because this sign design is 
specified by the Americans With Disabilities Act to indicate facilities 
that are equipped with TDD. The FHWA adopts the Wi-Fi symbol sign 
because many rest areas are being equipped with wireless Internet 
service for road users visiting these areas and many States are using 
word message or symbol signs to indicate the availability of this 
service in the rest area. A State DOT suggested that there be a 
requirement to install supplemental plaques identifying the Wi-Fi 
symbol; however, the symbol was evaluated and exhibited an acceptable 
level of comprehension.\106\ The FHWA believes that a uniform symbol is 
needed for this rapidly expanding signing practice and the human 
factors testing indicates that the proposed symbol provides optimum 
comprehension, conspicuity, and legibility. MISA supported this new 
section.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \105\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, page 48, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
    \106\ ``Design and Evaluation of Selected Symbol Signs,'' Final 
Report, May 2008, conducted by Bryan Katz, Gene Hawkins, Jason 
Kennedy, and Heather Rigdon Howard, for the Traffic Control Devices 
Pooled Fund Study, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://www.pooledfund.org/documents/TPF-5_065/symbol_sign_report_final.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    272. The FHWA adopts in this final rule two new sections numbered 
and titled Section 2I.06 Brake Check Area Signs, and Section 2I.07 
Chain Up Area Signs, as proposed in the NPA as Sections 2F.10 and 
2F.11. The FHWA adopts these new types of signs based on the results of 
the Sign Synthesis Study \107\ that revealed that some States use signs 
for these specific purposes. Some States provide off-road areas (on the 
shoulder or in a physically separated rest area type of facility) for 
drivers to install and remove tire chains during winter weather 
conditions. Some States also provide similar areas for trucks and other 
heavy vehicles to check their brakes in advance of the start of a long 
downhill grade. The NCUTCD and four State DOTs opposed placing these 
signs in Chapter 2I, because they felt that these signs are not guide 
signs, rather they are warning signs. The FHWA does not consider these 
to be warning signs, rather it considers these types of areas to be 
roadside facilities and the signs should be consistent in color and 
legend with those for other roadside facilities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \107\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, pages 46-47, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    273. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts a new Section 2I.08 
Tourist Information and Welcome Center Signs (Section 2F.06 in the NPA) 
that contains the information from Section 2E.53 of the 2003 MUTCD. The 
FHWA adopts this change, to group like material in the same chapter. 
MISA supported this new section. Additionally, as proposed in the NPA, 
the FHWA adopts a revised design of the Tourist Information (D9-10) 
sign, as illustrated in Figure 2I-1. A recent study \108\ found that 
the meaning of the existing ``question mark'' symbol for this service 
is poorly understood by road users. The abbreviation ``INFO'' was fully 
understood by 96 percent of the participants in the human factors 
testing. Further, the FHWA believes that the term INFO is 
understandable in most languages. Although the legibility distance of 
the tested version of ``INFO'' was less than that of the symbol, the 
FHWA adopts a design featuring larger and bolder letters to provide 
legibility that is expected to be comparable to the question mark 
symbol, consistent with minimum letter heights for guide signs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \108\ ``Design and Evaluation of Selected Symbol Signs,'' Final 
Report, May 2008, conducted by Bryan Katz, Gene Hawkins, Jason 
Kennedy, and Heather Rigdon Howard, for the Traffic Control Devices 
Pooled Fund Study, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://www.pooledfund.org/documents/TPF-5_065/symbol_sign_report_final.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    274. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts in this final rule a 
new Section 2I.09 Radio Information Signing (Section 2F.07 in the NPA) 
that contains information from Section 2E.56 of the 2003 MUTCD. In the 
last OPTION statement, the FHWA adopts a revised legend for the D12-4 
sign using the word ``CALL'' rather than ``DIAL'' in order to be 
consistent with the terminology used on the adopted D12-2 Carpool 
Information and D12-5 Travel Information signs and to reflect current 
terminology. ATSSA and a local DOT supported this change in legend 
text.

[[Page 66790]]

    275. The FHWA adopts in this final rule Section 2I.10 TRAVEL INFO 
CALL 511 Signs (Section 2F.08 in the NPA) that incorporates text from 
Section 2D.45 of the 2003 MUTCD associated with these signs. MISA 
supported this proposed new section. A State DOT suggested that the 
FHWA allow alternate designs of the sign that would eliminate the 
duplicate message ``511'' by incorporating a larger scale pictograph. 
The FHWA disagrees, because the suggested pictograph (the trademarked 
511 pictograph) has not undergone legibility testing to determine 
whether it can be used independently.
    276. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts in this final rule a 
new Section 2I.11 Carpool and Ridesharing Signing (Section 2F.09 in the 
NPA) that contains information from Section 2E.57 of the 2003 MUTCD. 
The FHWA adopts this change because this material relates to the 
content in Chapter 2I.
    277. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to relocate the information from 
Section 2C.13 of the 2003 MUTCD to a new section numbered and titled 
Section 2F.12 Truck Escape Ramp Signs. With the chapter reorganization 
adopted in this final rule, it would have been Section 2I.12. The FHWA 
proposed this change to clarify that these types of signs convey 
information on a form of roadside facility (similar to rest areas, 
brake check areas, etc.), rather than warnings. Although a local DOT 
supported this change, the NCUTCD and one of its members, six State 
DOTs, two local DOTs, and a citizen opposed truck escape ramp signs 
being reclassified, suggesting that this section and the associated 
signs remain in Chapter 2C. Based on the comments, FHWA agrees that 
truck escape ramp signs are only intended to communicate information in 
an emergency situation and the escape ramp is not to be entered except 
under such a condition, and thus a warning classification for the signs 
is more appropriate. The FHWA does not adopt proposed Section 2F.12 in 
this final rule, and retains the truck escape ramp signs in Chapter 2C 
with black legends on yellow backgrounds.
    278. In this final rule the FHWA adopts Chapter 2J Specific Service 
Signs that contains the provisions of Chapter 2F of the 2003 MUTCD. 
This chapter was numbered Chapter 2G in the NPA. Significant proposed 
and adopted changes to provisions of 2003 MUTCD Chapter 2F are 
discussed below.
    279. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to revise the STANDARD statement 
in Section 2J.02 Application (Section 2F.02 of the 2003 MUTCD) to 
indicate that a service type is allowed to appear on up to two Specific 
Service signs, rather than only on one. MISA and an NCUTCD member 
supported this change. A State DOT opposed limiting the number to two, 
while a State travel information council opposed allowing more than one 
sign per service type because they felt that the overflow of service 
types onto two signs at one interchange would further complicate the 
signing. The FHWA disagrees that signing would be further complicated, 
based on the fact that the total number of signs allowed has not 
changed. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the change as proposed in 
the NPA to reflect FHWA's Interim Approval (IA-9) to Display More than 
Six Specific Service Logo Panels for a Type of Service, dated September 
21, 2006,\109\ which allows for up to 2 Specific Service signs 
containing up to 12 logos for a given type of service. As part of this 
change, the FHWA also adopts a paragraph 06 indicating that when a 
service type is displayed on two signs, the signs for that service type 
should follow one another in succession. MISA, a State DOT, and an 
NCUTCD member supported this provision. Two State DOTs felt that it 
would not be practical for the signs to follow one another in 
succession, because their existing sign panels would have to be removed 
and relocated. The commenters suggested that the wording allow 
installation of additional service signs as space allows. The FHWA 
declines revising the language as suggested because it is important 
that the signs be in succession to aid the driver in recollection and 
decision making.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \109\ FHWA's Interim Approval IA-9, dated September 21, 2006, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interim_approval/pdf/ia_9_logopanels.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    280. In Section 2J.03 Logos and Logo Sign Panels (Section 2F.03 of 
the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add to the first 
GUIDANCE statement a recommendation that the letter heights for word 
message logos should have the minimum letter heights described in 
Section 2J.05. A State DOT and a State travel information council 
commented that the minimum letter heights referenced in Section 2J.05 
are in a STANDARD statement. Therefore, to avoid conflicts created by 
referencing a STANDARD statement in a GUIDANCE statement, the FHWA does 
not adopt the GUIDANCE as proposed in the NPA. Instead, in this final 
rule the FHWA adopts a SUPPORT statement referencing Section 2J.05 for 
minimum letter heights for logo sign panels.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA also adopts OPTION, STANDARD, 
GUIDANCE, and SUPPORT statements in this section regarding the use and 
design of supplemental messages within the logo sign panel. To enhance 
recognition of the presence of a supplemental message, the figures 
depict the logo sign panels with the supplemental messages on a yellow 
background. The FHWA adopts this new text to incorporate messages, such 
as DIESEL and 24 HOURS that are helpful to road users. ATSSA, a State 
travel information council, MISA, an NCUTCD member, and a traffic 
signing vendor supported the proposed language. In the NPA, the FHWA 
also proposed restricting the number of supplemental messages on a logo 
panel to just one. A State DOT opposed this restriction but the FHWA 
disagrees because the recommendation of a maximum of one supplemental 
message is based on driver information processing capabilities. An 
agency may, through engineering judgment based on applicable design 
considerations and human factors, display more than one supplemental 
message if it deems it to be essential to motorist direction.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add recommendations regarding the 
specific minimum letter heights for the supplemental message for logo 
sign panels on Specific Service signs for various roadway 
classifications. A State DOT and an NCUTCD member suggested that the 
proposed letter height of only 4 inches on a mainline freeway or 
expressway sign is too small, and recommended a minimum letter height 
of 6 inches. The FHWA notes that 4 inches represents the minimum letter 
height, and agencies can use larger letter heights. The 4-inch 
supplemental legend was balanced with the recommendation for an 8-inch 
business name. In order to provide consistency and to avoid repeating 
language, the FHWA does not adopt the recommendation as proposed in the 
NPA. Instead, in this final rule the FHWA adopts a STANDARD statement 
that references Table 2J-1 for minimum height requirements for letters 
and numerals on supplemental messages displayed within the logo sign 
panel.
    The FHWA adopts a new supplemental message for use with logo sign 
panels that may be used by businesses that are designed with facilities 
to accommodate the on-site movement and parking of recreational 
vehicles (RVs). As proposed in the NPA, the language was developed 
based on the conditions listed in Interim Approval IA-8, dated 
September 6,

[[Page 66791]]

2005,\110\ as well as additional criteria deemed necessary, such as 
alternate RV Access supplemental message design and placement, and the 
need for an engineering study to demonstrate that a U-turn can be made 
by RVs, if U-turns are needed to access the RV accessible site desiring 
to be signed as such. The proposed language created a significant 
amount of interest, particularly within the RV community. The FHWA 
received over 1,150 letters from RV owners, many of whom are members of 
the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). All of those commenters 
supported the concept of RV signing. Only one RV owner commented that 
RV accessible sites should not be signed because there are too many 
signs along the highway already and that special interest groups should 
not be candidates for additional signing. The large number of members 
of the FMCA who submitted letters, as well as a few additional 
citizens, suggested that the FHWA retain the existing sign designs 
contained in the Interim Approval, primarily because the program has 
already been implemented in 15 States, and they are concerned about the 
costs that those States would incur if they were forced to change their 
signs. These commenters felt that the 15 States that are already using 
these signs might abandon the RV accessible program instead of 
upgrading the signs. ATSSA, a State DOT, MISA, an NCUTCD member, a 
traffic engineering consultant, and three citizens supported the design 
proposed in the NPA for several reasons. Many thought that the design 
in the Interim Approval produced a cluttered appearance that was 
alleviated in the NPA design by keeping the RV Access supplemental 
message within the logo sign panel. The FHWA adopts the design proposed 
in the NPA, because the FHWA believes it is important to contain the RV 
symbol within the borders of the business logo to make it easier for 
the travelling public to determine which service accommodates RVs and 
to simplify the overall sign design. The FHWA points out to the RV 
owners who submitted comments that, due to the systematic upgrade 
provisions of Section 655.603(d)(1) of title 23, Code of Federal 
Regulations, the 15 States that have signs in place do not need to 
spend any funds on immediately upgrading their existing signs since 
they can keep their existing signs in place until they need to be 
replaced, at which time replacement with a sign that is compliant with 
the MUTCD would occur. In addition, although not proposed in the NPA, 
the FHWA adopts a GUIDANCE statement in this final rule recommending 
that agencies using the RV Access supplemental message should have a 
policy on the site requirements needed to qualify for such a 
designation. This incorporates additional information from the Interim 
Approval regarding the need for States to develop a policy on site 
requirements, as suggested in a comment from a citizen.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \110\ Interim Approval IA-8 can be viewed at the following Web 
site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/res-interim_approvals.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also adopts a new OPTION statement allowing the use of the 
supplemental message OASIS within the logo panel of a business that has 
been designated as an Interstate Oasis facility. As proposed in the 
NPA, the FHWA adopts this additional supplemental message to reflect 
the Interstate Oasis Program and Policy that was published in the 
Federal Register on October 18, 2002.\111\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \111\ The Interstate Oasis Program and Policy can be viewed at: 
http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/res-policy.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, in the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add STANDARD, OPTION, and 
GUIDANCE statements regarding the use of dual logo panels (two smaller 
logos on the same panel) on Specific Service signs. The FHWA based this 
proposal on the results of research in Texas \112\ which found that 
mixing food and gas logos in a dual logo panel did not significantly 
impact their effectiveness. Although a local DOT supported this 
proposal, the NCUTCD and one of its members, eight State DOTs, a State 
travel information council, MISA, and a traffic signing vendor opposed 
it. Further review by the FHWA indicates that the research in Texas was 
a simulation only. In addition, the FHWA has not received results from 
field experimentation underway in Texas and Kentucky to support 
inclusion of dual logos at this time. As a result, the FHWA does not 
adopt in this final rule the proposed use of dual logo sign panels on 
Specific Service signs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \112\ ``Effects of Adding Dual-Logo Panels to Specific Service 
Signs: A Human Factors Study,'' by H. Gene Hawkins and Elisabeth R. 
Rose, 2005, published in Transportation Research Record number 1918, 
is available for purchase from the Transportation Research Board at 
the following Internet Web site: www.trb.org. A brief summary of the 
research results can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://pubsindex.trb.org/document/view/default.asp?lbid=772254.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    281. The FHWA adopts in Section 2J.04 Number and Size of Signs and 
Logo Sign Panels (Section 2F.04 of the 2003 MUTCD) OPTION and STANDARD 
statements to permit the use of, and provide the associated 
requirements for, additional logo sign panels of the same specific 
service type when more than six businesses of a specific service type 
are eligible for logo sign panels at the same interchange. ATSSA, MISA, 
a local DOT, and an NCUTCD member supported this new provision as 
proposed in the NPA, while three State DOTs and a State travel 
information council expressed opposition. Those in opposition suggested 
that the additional logo sign panels of the same service type, beyond 
six, would lead to sign proliferation, potentially causing driver 
confusion. Some of the commenters stated that the purpose of the logo 
panels is to inform motorists of the specific services available at a 
particular interchange so that they can make informed decisions about 
essential motorist services before exiting the highway, and the fact 
that one sign would have the full complement of six specific service 
providers for a single type is a clear indication that the motorist 
will have a number of choices for that service type at that 
interchange. Thus, these commenters felt it is not necessary to 
identify each provider at that location. The FHWA understands the 
purpose of the program and notes that States may develop policies 
regarding the scope and use of Specific Service signing and might elect 
to use only General Service signing. The FHWA adopts this provision as 
proposed in the NPA, based on the Interim Approval to Display More than 
Six Specific Service Logo Panels for a Type of Service (IA-9), dated 
September 21, 2006.\113\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \113\ FHWA's Interim Approval IA-9, dated September 21, 2006, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interim_approval/pdf/ia_9_logopanels.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    282. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed adding a STANDARD statement in 
Section 2J.05 Size of Lettering (Section 2F.05 of the 2003 MUTCD), 
specifying minimum letter heights for logo sign panels consisting only 
of word legends that are displayed on the mainlines of freeways and 
expressways and on conventional roads and ramps. ATSSA and a local DOT 
supported the letter heights as proposed in the NPA. Four State DOTs 
opposed the proposed sizes because they felt that the legend size on 
word-only logo sign panels should not be mandated and should be 
consistent with how trademarks are handled. The FHWA disagrees because 
the purpose of a minimum letter height is for legibility of legends 
that do not have recognition value by virtue of a unique graphic 
representation. Trademarked word graphic business representations

[[Page 66792]]

constitute logos and are not subject to this provision. The NCUTCD, one 
of its members, and MISA supported the letter heights, with the 
exception of the letter heights on ramps, which they felt should be 
changed to 4-inch upper-case and 3-inch lower case to reflect that ramp 
panels are half the size of mainline panels. The FHWA disagrees because 
of the need to maintain legibility, regardless of panel size. In this 
final rule, the FHWA adopts a reference in the STANDARD to a new Table 
2J-1 with minimum letter and numeral sizes for Specific Service signs 
according to sign type, rather than repeating the detailed requirements 
in the STANDARD statement. The FHWA adopts the minimum letter heights 
in Table 2J-1 to provide letter heights that will enhance legibility 
for older drivers. This new table includes the sizes for Specific 
Service signs, logo panels, and logo panel supplemental messages.
    283. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts Section 2J.08 Double-
Exit Interchanges (Section 2F.08 of the 2003 MUTCD) with a GUIDANCE 
paragraph 03 to recommend that where a service type is displayed on two 
Specific Service signs at a double-exit interchange, one of the signs 
should display the logo panels for the service type of the businesses 
that are accessible from one of the two exits, and the other sign 
should display the logo panels for the service type of the businesses 
that are accessible from the other exit. MISA and an NCUTCD member 
supported the intent of this section, but suggested revisions to allow 
for a ``split-service'' sign format where two services would be 
displayed for one exit. The commenters suggested that ``split-service'' 
signs where the top section displays FOOD--EXIT 5A and the bottom 
section displays LODGING--EXIT 5A would not comply with the proposed 
text. The FHWA disagrees, noting that the purpose of this provision is 
to avoid situations where one sign is split between each exit, not 
service category. An example would be one sign displaying ``FOOD--EXIT 
5A'' and ``FOOD--EXIT 5B'' followed by a second Food sign that also 
applies to both exits with the same headings. The FHWA's intent is that 
one sign should read ``FOOD--EXIT 5A'' while the other reads ``FOOD--
EXIT 5B''. This provision does not preclude the display of two services 
on one sign. The FHWA adopts paragraph 03, as proposed in the NPA, to 
provide consistency in logo signing for double-exit interchanges when a 
service type is displayed on two signs.
    284. The FHWA adopts Section 2J.09 Specific Service Trailblazer 
Signs, containing SUPPORT, STANDARD, GUIDANCE, and OPTION statements 
regarding these guide signs that are required along crossroads for 
facilities that have logo panels displayed along the main roadway and 
ramp, and that require additional vehicle maneuvers to reach. ATSSA 
supported this section as proposed in the NPA, while two DOTs and a 
State travel information council opposed the new section in its 
entirety, specifically the mandating of the use of Specific Service 
trailblazer signs, as indicated in paragraph 02. Two additional State 
DOTs suggested that more flexibility be provided to allow other 
official signs and legal outdoor advertising signs to serve as 
substitutes for Specific Service trailblazer signs, where it is not 
feasible or practical to install these signs. The FHWA disagrees 
because highway agencies do not control the content, format, or 
continued presence of off-premise signs and therefore reliance on off-
premise signs is not advisable. The NCUTCD suggested relaxing the 
requirement that facilities shall not be considered eligible for 
signing from the ramp and main roadway where it is not feasible or 
practical to install Specific Service trailblazer signs. The FHWA 
disagrees, because the continuity of the system of signs is essential 
to motorist guidance. The FHWA adopts this new section and an 
associated new figure, as proposed in the NPA, to enhance the 
uniformity of this signing practice, which is being used by many 
States.
    285. The FHWA adopts Section 2J.10 Signs at Intersections (Section 
2F.09 of the 2003 MUTCD) and expands paragraph 05, as proposed in the 
NPA, to require that the action message or the directional arrow shall 
all be on the same line as the type of service or below the logo sign 
panels. A State DOT opposed changing this to a requirement, because 
many of their signs do not meet this requirement and would need to be 
replaced. The FHWA disagrees and adopts the requirement in this final 
rule. The 2003 MUTCD language required the action message or 
directional arrow to be on the same line as the type of service, which 
was required to be above the logo(s), but provided an optional 
alternative to display the action message or directional arrow below 
the logo(s). The text adopted in this final rule merely consolidates 
the 2003 OPTION and STANDARD statements, and the consolidated STANDARD 
continues to allow the action message or directional arrow to be either 
(1) above the logos on the same line as the service type, or (2) below 
the logos. Further, under the systematic upgrade provisions of Section 
655.603(d)(1) of title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, States can keep 
their existing signs in place until they need to be replaced, at which 
time replacement with a sign that is compliant with the MUTCD would 
occur.
    286. In this final rule the FHWA adopts Chapter 2K Tourist-Oriented 
Directional Signs that contains the provisions of Chapter 2G of the 
2003 MUTCD. The FHWA did not propose any significant changes to this 
chapter in the NPA (numbered 2H therein), nor does the FHWA adopt any 
significant changes to the text in this chapter in this final rule.
    287. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a new Chapter 2L Changeable 
Message Signs (Chapter 2M in the NPA.) The NPA contained information 
from Sections 2A.07 and 2E.21 of the 2003 MUTCD as well as additional 
new information, organized into seven sections, specifically pertaining 
to the description, application, legibility and visibility, design 
characteristics, message length and units of information, installation, 
and display of travel times on changeable message signs. Five State 
DOTs, a local DOT, a local association, and two toll road operators 
suggested that FHWA clarify the terms Changeable Message Sign (CMS), 
Dynamic Message Sign (DMS), and Variable Message Sign (VMS), since the 
terms are used differently throughout the traffic engineering and the 
ITS/electronics industry. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the term 
Changeable Message Sign (CMS) as it is the standard nomenclature in the 
traffic engineering profession, and clarifies that this term is 
synonymous with signs referred to as DMS and VMS. The FHWA adopts this 
new chapter to consolidate all information about CMSs into one location 
in the Manual and to reflect the recommendations of extensive research 
on changeable message sign legibility, messaging, and operations 
conducted over a period of many years by the Texas Transportation 
Institute.\114\ A State DOT, a traffic control device vendor, and a 
legal firm supported the creation of a consolidated chapter, whereas a 
local ITE chapter suggested that there needed to be clarification on 
what types of CMSs are covered by this chapter. The FHWA agrees and 
adopts clarifying text in this final rule to distinguish between 
various

[[Page 66793]]

types of CMS and the applicability of these provisions to each type.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \114\ Information on the many research projects on changeable 
message signs conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) 
can be accessed via TTI's Internet Web site at: http://tti.tamu.edu/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    288. The FHWA adopts Section 2L.01 Description of Changeable 
Message Signs (Section 2M.01 in the NPA). ATSSA and a local DOT 
supported the proposed prohibition of advertising messages on CMSs. A 
law firm suggested that States need to have an opportunity to allow 
advertising on CMSs under controlled circumstances to assist with 
funding, thereby enabling modern CMS technology, which is a vital 
element of the ITS program. The FHWA disagrees, as advertising in the 
highway right of way is not permitted, and the FHWA believes it is a 
distraction from traffic conditions, official traffic control devices, 
and the driving task in general. ATSSA also supported the description 
of CMSs and the design language.
    Although not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts a GUIDANCE 
statement in this final rule to consolidate and clarify existing 
provisions stating that blank-out signs that display only single-phase, 
predetermined electronic-display legends that are limited by their 
composition and arrangement of pixels or other illuminated forms in a 
fixed arrangement (such as a blank-out sign indicating a part-time turn 
prohibition, a blank-out or changeable lane-use sign, or a changeable 
OPEN/CLOSED sign for a weigh station), should conform to the provisions 
of the applicable section for the specific type of sign, provided that 
the letter forms, symbols, and other legend elements are duplicates of 
the static messages, as detailed in the ``Standard Highway Signs and 
Markings'' book. The FHWA adopts this language in this final rule to 
provide information regarding these types of signs, allowing greater 
flexibility in the use of such signs.
    289. The FHWA adopts Section 2L.02 Applications of Changeable 
Message Signs (Section 2M.02 in the NPA), which allows the use of CMSs, 
both permanent and portable, by State and local highway agencies to 
display emergency, homeland security, and America's Missing: Broadcast 
Emergency Response (AMBER) alert messages, in addition to safety or 
transportation-related messages already included in the 2003 MUTCD. The 
FHWA also adopts a GUIDANCE statement, as proposed in the NPA, that 
States have a policy regarding the display of these types of messages. 
ATSSA and a State DOT supported these changes. Another State DOT 
suggested that additional messages be allowed when used in a temporary 
traffic control zone. The FHWA believes that this information should be 
considered in the State's policy on the use of CMSs and not included in 
the MUTCD. Based on a comment from a State DOT, the FHWA also adopts in 
this final rule a GUIDANCE statement that when multiple CMSs are used 
to address a specific situation, the message displays should be 
consistent to the driver along the roadway corridor and adjacent 
corridors, and that different operating agencies should coordinate 
their messages accordingly.
    290. In Section 2L.03 Legibility and Visibility of Changeable 
Message Signs (Section 2M.03 in the NPA), the FHWA had proposed adding 
a recommendation in the NPA regarding care and maintenance of the 
protective material on the front face of a CMS. Two State DOTs opposed 
this language, stating it was too prescriptive and that specific 
details regarding maintenance should not be included in the MUTCD. The 
FHWA agrees and does not adopt the proposed language in this final 
rule.
    291. The FHWA adopts Section 2L.04 Design Characteristics of 
Changeable Message Signs (Section 2M.04 in the NPA), as proposed in the 
NPA, which expands the elements that are prohibited on CMSs to include 
advertising, exploding, scrolling, or other dynamic elements. Two State 
DOTs, three local DOTs, and an association of local ITS partners 
suggested that sequencing arrows be allowed. The FHWA disagrees because 
sequencing arrows are not appropriate for CMSs that can accommodate 
word legends that are comparable to static signs when installed at the 
roadside or in an overhead location. However, to address this issue, in 
this final rule the FHWA adopts a reference to Part 6 regarding the use 
of flashing arrow boards for lane closures that are placed in the 
closed portion of a lane.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts a recommendation that 
except in the case of a limited-legend CMS (such as a blank-out or 
electronic-display changeable message regulatory sign) that is used in 
place of a static regulatory sign or an activated blank-out warning 
sign that supplements a static warning sign at a separate location, 
changeable message signs should be used as a supplement to, and not as 
a substitute for, conventional signs and markings. ATSSA, a State DOT, 
a local DOT, and a local chapter of ITE supported this language.
    As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts provisions for spacing 
between characters, words, and message lines, as well as letter heights 
and width-to-height ratios of the sign characters, in this section. 
ATSSA, a State DOT, three local DOTs, a traffic control device vendor, 
and a local ITE section suggested revisions to the proposed language or 
suggested that it be deleted because it was too prescriptive. The FHWA 
adopts the language as proposed, based on research evaluations \115\ 
that support the provisions. The FHWA understands that CMS technology 
is continuing to develop and will consider those developments in future 
rulemaking and/or policy guidance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \115\ Information on the many research projects on changeable 
message signs conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) 
can be accessed via TTI's Internet Web site at: http://tti.tamu.edu/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA adopts a requirement that CMSs automatically adjust their 
brightness under varying light conditions to maintain legibility. ATSSA 
supported this language. A State DOT suggested that additional 
clarification be provided. The FHWA notes that Table 2A-5 provides 
information for the use of a white legend on a black background for the 
colors of regulatory electronic changeable displays.
    The FHWA proposed in the NPA to recommend that the front face of a 
CMS be covered with protective material. A State DOT, a local DOT, and 
a local ITE chapter suggested that this recommendation be removed, 
since there might be signs that do not need a protective front 
material. The FHWA agrees and does not adopt the reference to 
protective material in this final rule.
    In GUIDANCE paragraph 11, the FHWA decides to remove the specific 
recommended minimum values of luminance for CMSs because such precise 
information is more appropriately contained in other reference 
materials. Instead, the FHWA adopts the GUIDANCE statement as a 
recommendation that the luminance should meet industry criteria for 
CMS. The FHWA adopts the recommended range of luminance contrast as 
proposed in the NPA.
    The remaining paragraphs that were proposed in this section are 
related to color messages and backgrounds on CMSs. ATSSA supported the 
proposed language, while several State and local DOTs, traffic control 
device manufacturers, and an NCUTCD member suggested changes to the 
text or suggested that the language be deleted. Some agencies felt that 
the language indicated that all CMSs are to be in color. The FHWA 
disagrees, as only the sign legend is required to be in color, not the 
background. Some commenters did not know that the capability exists for 
displaying the colors indicated in the NPA. The capability does exist 
and

[[Page 66794]]

some agencies have begun to use signs that employ more advanced 
technologies, however; FHWA believes that agencies have not specified 
the use of the colors because of the lack of standards and apparent or 
implied acceptance of existing technologies in use. Based on the 
availability and effective use of signs that have the capabilities to 
display full color the FHWA adopts the language as proposed in the NPA. 
Based on a comment from a local ITE section, the FHWA also adopts 
information on the use of symbols regarding resolution and replication 
of static versions of signs.
    292. The FHWA adopts Section 2L.05 Message Length and Units of 
Information (Section 2M.05 in the NPA), with revisions to the STANDARD 
to clarify that each message on a CMS shall consist of no more than two 
phases. Two State DOTs, seven local DOTs, an association of local DOTs, 
and a traffic engineering consultant opposed this language, stating 
that it was overly restrictive and that a third phase should be 
allowed. The FHWA disagrees, because messages composed of more than two 
phases exceed driver information processing capabilities and adopts the 
language as proposed in the NPA. Some of the commenters, as well as an 
NCUTCD member, suggested that the language conflicted with the last 
GUIDANCE statement in the section recommending an additional CMS to be 
used if the message required more than two phases. To address this 
comment, in this final rule the FHWA adopts a revision the last 
GUIDANCE statement to clarify that the display of information that 
would otherwise necessitate more than two phases would be handled by 
the use of two CMSs at separate locations, each with distinct, 
independent messages with a maximum of two phases each. In this final 
rule the FHWA also adds to the GUIDANCE statement an additional 
principle that the duration between the displays of two phases should 
not exceed 0.3 seconds, to clarify the issue of how long an interval 
between successive phases should be.
    The FHWA adopts a requirement, as proposed in the NPA, that each 
phase of a message shall be understood by itself regardless of the 
sequence in which it is read. A State DOT, two local DOTs, and a toll 
road operator suggested that this language be changed to a 
recommendation, or be applicable only to permanent CMS. The FHWA 
disagrees and believes that the logical display of messages is critical 
to their comprehension and subsequent action by road users to promote 
effective traffic operation. The FHWA adopts the language as proposed 
in the NPA, in this final rule.
    The FHWA adopts a requirement that techniques of message display 
such as animation, rapid flashing, dissolving, exploding, scrolling 
that travels horizontally or vertically across the face of the sign, or 
other elements, shall not be used. This language is similar to the 
requirements in Sections 2L.04 and 6F.60. The Minnesota DOT and a local 
ITE section suggested that there needed to be more guidance, 
particularly related to moving arrows. The FHWA disagrees with allowing 
the use of moving arrows on permanent CMSs. However, to address this 
issue, the FHWA adopts a reference to Part 6 regarding the use of 
flashing arrow boards for lane closures.
    293. The FHWA adopts Section 2L.06 Installation of Permanent 
Changeable Message Signs (Section 2M.06 in the NPA) that contains 
recommendations on the factors that should be considered when 
installing permanent CMSs that are not used in place of static signs. 
ATSSA and a local DOT supported the provisions in this proposed 
section. To address a comment from the NCUTCD, the FHWA adopts language 
in this final rule to clarify that CMSs should be located upstream of 
known bottlenecks and high-crash locations to enable drivers to choose 
an alternate route.
    294. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add Section 2M.07 Display of 
Travel Times on Changeable Message Signs. Although ATSSA supported this 
new section, several State and local DOTs, the NCUTCD and several of 
its members, as well as other associations provided various comments 
regarding the specific language or opposed the new section in its 
entirety because it is not related to traffic control devices. Much of 
the proposed language included information about public involvement. 
The FHWA agrees with the commenters and does not adopt this section in 
this final rule. The information is contained in the FHWA's 2004 policy 
document titled ``Dynamic Message Sign (DMS) Recommended Practice and 
Guidance'' \116\ if agencies would like more information.
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    \116\ Dynamic Message Sign (DMS) Recommended Practice and 
Guidance, dated 7/16/2004, can be viewed at the following Internet 
Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/res-memorandum_dms.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    295. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed in Section 2M.04 General Design 
Requirements for Recreational and Cultural Interest Area Symbol Guide 
Signs (Section 2H.04 of the 2003 MUTCD and Section 2J.04 in the NPA) to 
replace the entire set of recreational and cultural area symbol signs 
with a new, updated, and expanded set of signs based on the National 
Park Service's (NPS) updated Uniguide Standards Manual,\117\ in 
addition to a few United States Forest Service standard symbol signs 
for activities not covered in the Uniguide Standards. The Society for 
Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD) and Harpers Ferry Center (part of 
the National Park Service) supported the integration of SEGD Recreation 
Symbols into the MUTCD, and suggested that even more of them be 
included in the MUTCD. The NCUTCD and one of its members, four State 
DOTs, two local DOTs, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opposed the 
proposed symbols for several reasons, including: (1) Some of them 
conflict with other previously-adopted symbols in the MUTCD; (2) they 
had not undergone sufficient legibility testing; and (3) by adopting 
the proposed symbols, the MUTCD would contain a mixture of symbol 
systems, and therefore would not be uniform. In consideration of the 
comments, in this final rule the FHWA adopts only the current versions 
of the NPS Uniguide symbols that do not conflict with symbols adopted 
by other provisions of the MUTCD, and revises the figures in Chapter 2M 
accordingly. Because the symbols previously adopted by the MUTCD for 
roadway applications have undergone legibility and comprehension 
evaluations prior to adoption, FHWA determines that it is inappropriate 
to replace those already-adopted symbols with symbols that are untested 
and complex in their designs. In response to a comment regarding the 
numbering of the symbols, the FHWA adopts the current designations 
available at the time of rulemaking with the presumption that the 
designations adopted by the MUTCD will be adhered to as revisions to 
the SEGD materials evolve. The FHWA believes it is important to 
establish the primacy of the MUTCD as its contents are subject to the 
Federal rulemaking process.
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    \117\ Information about the National Park Service's Uniguide 
Standards Manual can be obtained from the National Park Service, 
Harpers Ferry Center, 67 Mather Place, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, 
telephone 304-535-5050, Internet Web site http://www.nps.gov/hfc/products/uniguide.htm.
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    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed adding ``Prohibited Activities and 
Items'' as one of the usage categories for recreational and cultural 
interest area symbol guide signs in this section and in Table 2M-1 
(Table 2H-1 of the 2003 MUTCD and Table 2J-1 in the NPA). Based on 
comments discussed in the following item, the FHWA does not adopt this 
usage category in this final rule. The FHWA revises Table 2M-1 to 
reflect the new set of signs, as well as

[[Page 66795]]

figures within Chapter 2M that show recreational and cultural signs.
    296. The FHWA adopts Section 2M.07 Use of Prohibitive Circle and 
Diagonal Slash for Non-Road Applications (Section 2H.07 in the 2003 
MUTCD and Section 2J.07 in the NPA) with revisions to the title and 
additional clarifying language to describe the appropriate use of the 
prohibitive circle and diagonal slash. The clarifying language is in 
addition to the text proposed in the NPA regarding signing for 
prohibited activities or items in recreational or cultural interest 
areas when a standard regulatory sign for such a prohibition is not 
provided in Chapter 2B.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to specify that the red diagonal 
slash be placed behind the symbol, rather than over it, consistent with 
National Park Service standards. Although a local DOT, MISA, and an 
NCUTCD member supported this text and the associated images proposed in 
Figure 2J-11, ATSSA, another NCUTCD member, a State DOT, and three 
local DOTs opposed the inconsistent use of the slash, as well as all of 
the sign images in proposed Figure 2J-11. The FHWA agrees with the 
commenters and does not adopt the language regarding the red diagonal 
slash in this final rule, thereby making the use of the slash 
consistent (symbol behind the slash). Also, the FHWA does not adopt 
Figure 2J-11. The FHWA adopts revised sign images in the figures 
throughout Chapter 2M to show the slash in front of the symbol.
    297. The FHWA adopts Section 2M.08 Placement of Recreational and 
Cultural Interest Area Symbol Signs (Section 2H.08 of the 2003 MUTCD 
and Section 2J.08 in the NPA) including the new binoculars symbol, as 
proposed in the NPA, to denote wildlife viewing areas based on the Sign 
Synthesis Study,\118\ which revealed that several States and the 
National Park Service were already using this symbol in this manner to 
design an effective guide sign. The FHWA also adopts the OPTION 
statement proposed in the NPA, allowing the symbol on the Wildlife 
Viewing Area sign to be placed to the left or right of the legend, and 
the arrow to be placed below the symbol. MISA and an NCUTCD member 
supported this text and the associated symbol, while a State DOT 
suggested that the symbol on the Wildlife Viewing Area sign should 
always be placed on the same side, similar to pictographs for street 
name signs. The FHWA disagrees, and adopts the language as proposed, 
because flexibility is needed based on whether the associated arrow is 
pointing to the left or right.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \118\ ``Synthesis of Non-MUTCD Traffic Signs,'' FHWA, December 
2005, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://tcd.tamu.edu/documents/rwstc/Signs_Synthesis-Final_Dec2005.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, the FHWA adopts information in the last OPTION statement 
permitting the use of Advance Turn or Directional Arrow auxiliary signs 
with white arrows on brown backgrounds with Recreational and Cultural 
Area Interest symbol guide signs to create Recreational and Cultural 
Interest Area Directional Assemblies. Although not proposed in the NPA, 
the FHWA adopts this language in this final rule to provide agencies 
with the flexibility to create Recreational and Cultural Interest Area 
Directional Assemblies, similar to other assemblies that are permitted 
in the MUTCD.
    298. The FHWA adopts Section 2M.09 Destination Guide Signs (Section 
2H.09 in the 2003 MUTCD and Section 2J.09 in the NPA), and deletes the 
first sentence of the second STANDARD statement that restricted the use 
of white on brown destination guide signs on linear parkway-type 
highways that primarily function as arterial connectors. This change 
proposed in the NPA is the result of an amended memorandum of 
understanding that was signed in 2006 by the National Park Service and 
the FHWA.\119\ MISA and an NCUTCD member supported this change.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \119\ This Memorandum of Understanding can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/res-policy.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    299. The FHWA adopts Section 2M.10 Memorial or Dedication Signing 
(Section 2I.07 Memorial Signing in the NPA), which is comprised 
primarily of text pertaining to memorial and dedication signs that was 
in Sections 2D.49 and 2E.08 of the 2003 MUTCD. The FHWA relocates the 
information on these type of signs to Chapter 2M because they are more 
appropriately classified as a Recreational and Cultural Interest Area 
signs, rather than as General Information Signs. The FHWA also revises 
the background color for Memorial or Dedication Signs from green to 
brown. The FHWA adopts revised statements within the section, as 
proposed in the NPA, in order to make the information in this section 
regarding memorial and dedication signing consistent with Section 2D.53 
Signing of Named Highways (Section 2D.49 of the 2003 MUTCD). Although 
not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts GUIDANCE, STANDARD, and OPTION 
statements regarding design recommendations, requirements, and options 
for these signs that are consistent with general signing principles and 
with provisions for other recreational and cultural interest area signs 
to address the fact that the information on these signs was relocated 
from another Chapter.
    300. The FHWA adopts Section 2N.03 Evacuation Route Signs (Section 
2I.03 of the 2003 MUTCD), with reorganized paragraphs, as proposed in 
the NPA, to provide a more logical flow. The FHWA also adopts 
information regarding the design of the new Tsunami Evacuation Route 
sign, as proposed in the NPA. The design is based on a symbol currently 
being used in all Pacific Coast States.
    The FHWA also adopts the clarification of the use of Advance Turn 
Arrow (M5 series) and Directional Arrow (M6 series) auxiliary signs 
with Evacuation Route signs in paragraphs 02 and 03, as proposed in the 
NPA.
    301. The FHWA adopts Section 2N.08 Emergency Aid Center Signs 
(Section 2I.08 of the 2003 MUTCD), as proposed in the NPA, and adopts 
an OPTION statement allowing the use of a fluorescent pink background 
color when Emergency Aid Center signs are used in an incident 
situation, such as during the aftermath of a nuclear or biological 
attack. ATSSA and a local DOT supported this change. The FHWA adopts 
this change, because Emergency Aid Center (EM-6 Series) signs might be 
useful for incident situations.
    302. The FHWA adopts Section 2N.09 Shelter Directional Signs 
(Section 2I.09 of the 2003 MUTCD), as proposed in the NPA, with an 
OPTION statement allowing the use of a fluorescent pink background 
color when Shelter Direction signs are used in an incident situation, 
such as during the aftermath of a nuclear or biological attack. ATSSA 
supported this change. The FHWA adopts this change, because Shelter 
Direction (EM-7 Series) signs may be useful for incident situations.

Discussion of Amendments to Part 3--Pavement Markings--General

    303. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to remove all references to blue 
raised pavement markers for locating fire hydrants from Part 3 because 
they are not considered to be traffic control devices. Two local DOTs 
agreed with the proposal. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a traffic 
control device manufacturer recommended keeping blue raised pavement 
markers in the MUTCD. Based on the comments, in this final rule the 
FHWA removes all STANDARD, GUIDANCE, and OPTION statements regarding 
blue raised pavement markers from the Manual, but adds a new SUPPORT 
statement in Section 3B.11 stating that blue raised pavement markers 
are sometimes used

[[Page 66796]]

to help emergency personnel locate fire hydrants.
    304. Based on a comment from a State DOT, the FHWA adopts the terms 
``dotted lane line'' and ``dotted line extension'' instead of ``dotted 
line'' throughout Part 3 and the rest of the MUTCD to clarify the 
provisions applicable to each. A ``dotted lane line'' is used to 
separate a continuing lane from a non-continuing lane, while a ``dotted 
line extension'' is used to extend a line through an intersection or 
taper area.
    305. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts the optional use of 
appropriate route shield pavement marking symbols (including 
appropriate colors) to assist in guiding road users to their 
destinations. The NCUTCD commented that colors of State route shield 
markings should also be allowed and the FHWA agrees. The FHWA includes 
a figure illustrating several examples of route shield pavement 
markings.
    306. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts language to clarify 
that dotted lane lines, rather than broken lane lines, are to be used 
for non-continuing lanes, including acceleration lanes, deceleration 
lanes, and auxiliary lanes. Sections 3A.06, 3B.04, 3C.02, and 3D.02 all 
contain information on the use of dotted lane lines for these uses. The 
FHWA also adopts revisions to the various figures in Chapter 3B that 
illustrate the adopted provisions on proper uses of the different types 
of lines and adds figures where needed to better illustrate the text on 
the use of dotted lane lines. As documented in NCHRP Synthesis 
356,\120\ a number of States and other jurisdictions currently follow 
this practice, which is also the standard practice in Europe and most 
other developed countries. The FHWA believes that the existing use of a 
normal broken lane line for these non-continuing lanes does not 
adequately inform road users of the lack of lane continuity ahead and 
that the standardized use of dotted lane lines for non-continuing lanes 
as adopted in this final rule will better serve this important purpose 
in enhancing safety and uniformity. Sections 3B.04 and 3B.09 below 
contain further discussion of dotted lane lines.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \120\ NCHRP Synthesis 356, ``Pavement Markings--Design and 
Typical Layout Details,'' 2006, can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_syn_356.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    307. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to place the information on 
object markers and barricades in a new chapter titled Chapter 2L Object 
Markers, Barricades, and Gates. This involved the relocation of Chapter 
3C Object Markers and Section 3F.01 Barricades to Part 2 because 
readers of the MUTCD have difficulty finding object markers in the 2003 
MUTCD. In addition, most jurisdictions treat these devices as signs for 
purposes of inventory and policy. As discussed above in Chapters 2B and 
2C, in this final rule, the FHWA relocates the information on 
barricades to the adopted Section 2B.67 Barricades and the information 
on object markers to Sections 2C.63, 2C.64, 2C.65, and 2C.66.
    308. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts in this final rule 
OPTION statements in various sections within Part 3 to allow the use of 
retroreflective or internally illuminated raised pavement markers in 
the roadway immediately adjacent to curbed noses of raised medians and 
curbs of islands, or on top of such curbs, based on recommendations 
from the Older Driver handbook.\121\ This is an effective practice 
commonly used to aid road users in identifying these channelizing 
features at night.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \121\ ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm. Recommendations 
I.C(2), I.C(4f), and I.F(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 3A

    309. In Section 3A.02 Standardization of Application, in the NPA 
the FHWA proposed revising the OPTION statement about temporary masking 
of markings. A State DOT expressed concern about the tape being able to 
match the color of the pavement. The FHWA disagrees with this comment 
because the NPA wording ``approximately the same color'' allows 
sufficient flexibility. A toll road operator recommended adding a 
durability requirement for tape and requiring that the tape be fully 
maintained. The FHWA disagrees with this comment because the MUTCD does 
not specify durability times or ``full maintenance'' of any markings. 
The FHWA adopts the revised OPTION statement in the final rule as 
proposed in the NPA.
    310. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed in Section 3A.05 Colors 
(numbered Section 3A.04 in the NPA) to limit the use of red raised 
pavement markers to truck ramps, one-way roadways, and ramps. A toll 
road operator recommended relocating the text to a section specifically 
concerning raised pavement markers. The FHWA disagrees because this 
section provides the STANDARD for the application of red raised 
pavement markers consistent with the STANDARD for applying other 
colors. The FHWA received comments from the NCUTCD and two State DOTs 
recommending that red raised pavement markers be allowed on two-way 
undivided roadways to indicate wrong-way movement to vehicles. Research 
conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute \122\ supported the use 
of red raised pavement markers on the left side of two-way undivided 
roadways to indicate wrong-way movement to vehicles traveling on the 
wrong side of the center line. The FHWA agrees with the research and in 
this final rule adopts an expanded paragraph 04 to allow the use of red 
raised pavement markers on travel lanes where the color red is visible 
to traffic proceeding in the wrong direction.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \122\ ``Red Retroreflective Pavement Markings: Driver 
Understanding of Their Purpose,'' by Jeffrey D. Miles, Paul J. 
Carlson, Brooke Ullman, and Nada Trout, was published by the 
Transportation Research Board in Transportation Research Record 
2056, 2008, pages 34-42, and can be viewed at the following Internet 
Web site: http://trb.metapress.com/content/p006183142152145/fulltext.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA proposed to add paragraph 06 explaining the use of purple 
markings to supplement lane line or edge line markings for toll plaza 
approach lanes that are to be used only by vehicles with registered 
Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) accounts. The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, 
and two toll road operators opposed the mention of purple lines because 
of concerns over visibility and the requirement to use the color 
purple. The FHWA disagrees with these comments because purple was 
already established in the 2003 MUTCD for future use, purple as used on 
both signs and markings is visible at night as a distinct color, and 
purple is being included for optional, not mandatory, use for markings. 
A State DOT and four toll road operators agreed with the revision, but 
recommended removing mention of ETC transponders in regard to allowable 
use of an ETC lane and, as discussed previously in Chapter 2F, the FHWA 
agrees and revises the terminology to refer to ETC Account-Only lanes. 
This new paragraph is consistent with other changes in Part 2 of the 
MUTCD regarding the use of the color purple for signing to readily 
identify lanes that are to be used only by vehicles with registered ETC 
accounts.
    311. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts in Section 3A.06 
(numbered Section 3A.05 in the NPA), a change in the title to 
``Functions, Widths, and Patterns of Longitudinal Pavement Markings.'' 
Based on a comment from a toll road operator

[[Page 66797]]

regarding the general function of a dotted line, the FHWA adopts a 
revision to the STANDARD statement in paragraph 01 item D to read, ``A 
dotted line provides guidance or warning of a downstream change in lane 
function'' in order to more accurately describe the function of the 
dotted line.
    The FHWA received comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a 
local DOT recommending removal of the proposed wording ``continuing 
lane'' and ``non-continuing lane'' in the GUIDANCE statement regarding 
the lengths of line segments and gaps for dotted lines. The FHWA agrees 
and in this final rule the proposed phrase concerning separation of a 
continuing lane and non-continuing lane is removed from paragraph 06. 
The FHWA received comments from a State DOT and a toll road operator 
opposed to the existing language recommending 3-foot line segments and 
9-foot gaps for dotted lines because they wanted more flexibility. The 
FHWA disagrees and declines to revise the dimensions in order to 
encourage increased consistency in the dimensions for dotted lines 
based on their function, while still allowing flexibility for agencies. 
The recommended dimensions reflect the most common practice as 
documented in NCHRP Synthesis 356.\123\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \123\ NCHRP Synthesis 356, ``Pavement Markings--Design and 
Typical Layout Details,'' 2006, can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_syn_356.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    312. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed a new section titled Section 
3A.06 Definitions Relating to Pavement Markings, containing definitions 
of the terms ``neutral area,'' ``physical gore,'' and ``theoretical 
gore.'' Based on comments from the NCUTCD, three State DOTs, and two 
local DOTs, the FHWA in this final rule modifies the definitions to 
enhance accuracy and clarity and relocates the information to Section 
1A.13, where all definitions are located.

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 3B

    313. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed a new STANDARD statement in 
Section 3B.01 Yellow Center Line Pavement Markings and Warrants to 
specifically prohibit the use of a single solid yellow line as a center 
line marking on a two-way roadway. Two State DOTs and a local DOT 
agreed with the proposal in the NPA. Six commenters, including three 
local DOTs, two consultants, and a retailer, opposed the revision. The 
commenters suggested that a single solid yellow center line be allowed 
on low-speed roads, low-volume roads, school zones, and parking aisles. 
In addition, several of the commenters mentioned that single solid 
yellow center lines are sometimes used in Europe and Canada, and that a 
single line is more cost effective than a double solid yellow center 
line. The FHWA disagrees with these comments because there have been no 
studies showing the effectiveness or road user understanding of a 
single solid yellow center line, especially in regard to passing 
prohibitions, there is no defined meaning of a single yellow center 
line in regard to passing or no passing, and this marking has not been 
allowed by the MUTCD. Some agencies have improperly used a single solid 
yellow center line because of the lack of a specific prohibition 
statement. The FHWA adopts paragraph 05 as proposed in the NPA.
    The FHWA proposed in the NPA to add SUPPORT paragraph 08, which 
references sections of the Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC) that contain 
information regarding left turns across center line no-passing zone 
markings and paved medians. The NCUTCD and a State DOT supported the 
revision. Two State DOTs and a consultant disagreed with the revision, 
stating that the sentence is unnecessary, that the UVC is not readily 
available without purchase, and that the UVC is not applicable in all 
States. The FHWA disagrees, because the UVC is the model for State laws 
and the FHWA supports adoption of the UVC by all States for their motor 
vehicle laws as a necessary component of traffic control device 
uniformity, and because the sentence provides clarification. The 
information was contained in the 1988 MUTCD, and the lack of this 
information in the 2000 and 2003 Editions of the MUTCD has generated 
questions and indicates the need to provide the information in this 
edition. The FHWA adopts the language as proposed in the NPA.
    314. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed in Section 3B.02 No-Passing Zone 
Pavement Markings and Warrants to add an OPTION permitting the use of 
yellow diagonal markings in the neutral area between the two sets of 
no-passing zone markings, reflecting common practice for discouraging 
travel in that area. A local DOT agreed with the revision, but 
recommended making the paragraph a STANDARD. The FHWA disagrees with 
the commenter because no studies have been performed to justify making 
the markings mandatory. The FHWA adopts in this final rule paragraph 13 
as proposed in the NPA.
    The FHWA received one comment regarding the existing language for 
minimum taper lengths. A local DOT recommended changing the STANDARD to 
GUIDANCE to allow more flexibility to practitioners in low-speed urban 
conditions, such as some traffic calming and parking situations. The 
FHWA agrees that flexibility is needed, similar to that given in Part 6 
for taper lengths at flagger stations and for shifting tapers, and the 
FHWA can find no recent research basis for the longstanding minimum 
values for either urban or rural conditions in the STANDARD. Therefore, 
the FHWA adopts paragraph 16 as GUIDANCE. The value of taper length 
calculated by the formula remains as the recommended minimum for any 
given condition of speed and offset.
    315. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed in Section 3B.03 Other Yellow 
Longitudinal Pavement Markings to change the first OPTION to GUIDANCE 
in order to recommend for certain conditions, rather than just permit, 
the use of arrows with two-way left-turn lanes. A State DOT asked for 
guidance on the distance between sets of two-way left-turn lane arrows. 
The FHWA disagrees that a distance is needed because it depends on 
several factors, such as speeds, geometry, and intersection spacing. 
The NCUTCD supported the proposed change, but recommended relocating 
the text to Section 3B.20. A consultant agreed with the proposal, but 
made an editorial recommendation. Four State DOTs, five local DOTs, and 
two NCUTCD members opposed upgrading the paragraph from OPTION to 
GUIDANCE because of concerns about potential for increased maintenance 
costs. The FHWA adopts paragraph 04 as GUIDANCE, but relocates the text 
describing the placement locations for two-way left-turn lane-use arrow 
pavement markings to Section 3B.20, where it more logically belongs. 
The NCHRP Synthesis 356 \124\ highlighted a variety of marking issues 
for which additional uniformity could be provided to aid road users. 
The synthesis found that the use of arrows in two-way left-turn lanes 
at the start of the lane and at other locations along the lane, as 
needed, is the predominant practice. The FHWA also modifies the figures 
that contain arrows in two-way left-turn lanes to show when they are 
recommended and when they are optional.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \124\ NCHRP Synthesis 356, ``Pavement Markings--Design and 
Typical Layout Details,'' 2006, can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_syn_356.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    316. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed in Section 3B.04 White Lane Line 
Pavement Markings and Warrants a

[[Page 66798]]

STANDARD specifying that dotted lines are required for acceleration, 
deceleration, and auxiliary lanes. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, a local 
DOT, and two citizens agreed with the proposal. Two State DOTs and a 
local DOT opposed the revision and requested that dotted lines not be 
required, but did not indicate reasons. The FHWA believes uniformity is 
needed and adopts in this final rule the language as proposed in the 
NPA with minor editorial changes.
    The FHWA received several comments regarding the proposal in the 
NPA to require the use of wide dotted white lane lines for lane drops. 
The NCUTCD, a State DOT, three local DOTs, and a citizen agreed with 
the proposal, but recommended text revisions for clarity. Three State 
DOTs, two local DOTs, and a citizen opposed the proposed requirement 
because they wanted flexibility to use other markings. The FHWA 
believes uniformity is needed and adopts the required use of lane drop 
markings as proposed in the NPA with minor editorial changes and adds a 
sentence to the GUIDANCE to clarify that, for lane drops at 
intersections, the lane drop marking should begin no closer to the 
intersection than the furthest upstream regulatory or warning sign 
associated with the lane drop. The FHWA also adds ``in advance of 
freeway route splits with dedicated lanes'' as an additional required 
use for wide dotted white line markings, because this situation is 
similar to a lane drop.
    In this final rule, the FHWA revises the language in paragraph 06 
item D for auxiliary lane markings ``between two or more adjacent 
intersections'' to ``between two adjacent intersections'' based on 
comments from a State DOT and a local DOT.
    Based on the comments discussed above dealing with lane drop 
markings and auxiliary lane markings, the FHWA adopts three additional 
drawings to Figure 3B-10 and a new Figure 3B-11 to better illustrate 
the provisions of the text.
    The FHWA received several comments regarding the proposed STANDARD 
in the NPA requiring the use of dotted white lane lines at entrance 
ramps with parallel acceleration lanes and the OPTION to extend the 
dotted lane line to the downstream end of the acceleration taper. The 
NCUTCD, three State DOTs, and a local DOT agreed with the proposal, but 
recommended text revisions. Two local DOTs opposed the proposed OPTION 
to allow the dotted lane line to extend to the downstream end of the 
acceleration taper because they believe that drivers could be trapped 
in the lanes that are ending. The FHWA disagrees and notes that 
extending the dotted white lane line to the downstream end of the 
acceleration taper is an OPTION and its use in some conditions can help 
drivers determine the length of the taper during periods of darkness 
and help drivers avoid trying to merge into heavy traffic prematurely. 
The FHWA adopts the language as proposed with minor editorial changes.
    The FHWA also revises the language for widths of dotted lines 
throughout Section 3B.04 to provide clarification. A State DOT, two 
local DOTs, and a citizen expressed confusion concerning the text and 
associated figures proposed in the NPA. The FHWA adopts language 
clarifying that wide dotted lines are to be used in advance of lane 
drops and for auxiliary lanes, which are really just a special case of 
a lane drop, and that normal width dotted lines are to be used for 
other dotted lane lines and dotted extensions of lines. The FHWA also 
updates the figures throughout Part 2 and Part 3 for consistency with 
the text regarding dotted lane lines.
    The FHWA establishes a target compliance date of December 31, 2016 
(approximately seven years from the effective date of this final rule), 
or roadway resurfacing, whichever occurs first, for the replacement of 
broken white lane lines with dotted white lane lines required to 
achieve compliance with these provisions at existing locations. The 
FHWA establishes this target compliance date because of the road user 
confusion that would likely occur as a result of a long-term mixing of 
the application of both broken lane lines and dotted lane lines for 
non-continuing lanes. These locations typically involve merging or lane 
changing and have a high potential for crashes if road users 
misunderstand or are confused by the markings. The FHWA believes that, 
without a specific target compliance date, replacing existing broken 
lane lines with dotted lane lines under the geometric conditions where 
dotted lines are required in this final rule might be delayed by some 
agencies until the existing markings are totally worn off. Most 
agencies restripe their markings when they are worn to a degree, but 
well before they are totally absent from the pavement, due to safety 
issues with unmarked pavement. Further, Portland cement concrete 
pavements have a very long service life, especially in southern 
climates, thus making the intervals between resurfacings very long. The 
FHWA anticipates that the required replacement with the new lane line 
marking pattern at existing locations will provide safety benefits to 
road users, and that a seven-year phase-in period is longer than the 
life of most markings and will allow State and local highway agencies 
and owners of private roads open to public travel to spread out the 
work over a reasonable time period and thus minimize any impacts.
    317. In Section 3B.05 Other White Longitudinal Pavement Markings, 
the FHWA proposed language in the NPA to clarify the requirements for 
channelizing lines in gore areas alongside the ramp and through lanes 
for exit ramps and entrance ramps in order to improve uniformity in 
application and to reflect the predominant practice as documented in 
NCHRP Synthesis 356.\125\ The NCUTCD, three State DOTs, and a local DOT 
agreed with the proposal, but recommended revisions that included only 
extending the channelization line for entrance ramps with tapered 
acceleration lanes to a point at least half the distance from the 
theoretical gore, to more accurately reflect predominant practice to 
allow earlier merging into the mainline lane. A State DOT opposed the 
proposal and recommended that the STANDARD be changed to an OPTION. The 
FHWA disagrees with reducing this to an OPTION, because uniformity is 
needed to minimize road user confusion, and in this final rule adopts 
the language as proposed in the NPA but with the suggested change 
regarding tapered acceleration lanes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \125\ NCHRP Synthesis 356, ``Pavement Markings--Design and 
Typical Layout Details,'' 2006, can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_syn_356.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also adopts a third drawing to Figure 3B-9 for additional 
clarification of channelizing line markings for tapered entrance ramps.
    318. In Section 3B.08, Extensions Through Intersections or 
Interchanges, a consultant suggested that the existing GUIDANCE text 
from the 2003 MUTCD recommending that edge lines should not be extended 
through major intersections or major driveways as solid lines, be 
changed to a STANDARD. The FHWA agrees because such a provision is 
already a STANDARD in Section 3B.06 and adopts paragraph 06 as a 
STANDARD in this final rule for consistency.
    319. In Section 3B.09, Lane-Reduction Transition Markings, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA to revise paragraph 08 to recommend that a dotted 
lane line be used approaching a lane reduction, consistent with the 
proposed use of dotted lane lines for other conditions in which a lane 
does not continue ahead. The FHWA received several comments on this

[[Page 66799]]

proposal. The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, four local DOTs, two toll road 
operators, and a citizen agreed with the proposal, but recommended 
several changes, including changing the sentence to an OPTION, 
requiring the use of wide dotted white lines instead of normal dotted 
white lines, and allowing the use of either dotted white lines or 
broken white lines as lane reduction markings. Four State DOTs and two 
local DOTs opposed the revision. Although lane-reduction transitions 
share many characteristics in common with lane drops and auxiliary 
lanes, the FHWA believes that additional research and experimentation 
with dotted lane lines on the approach to lane-reduction transitions 
would be beneficial before adopting the dotted lane line markings for 
this application. Although the NCUTCD recommended that highway agencies 
be given the option of using either the current standard markings or 
the proposed dotted lane line markings for lane-reduction transitions, 
the FHWA believes that the non-uniformity that would result from having 
two allowable markings for this application would not be in the best 
interest of road users. Therefore, the FHWA does not adopt the proposed 
change in this final rule and retains the text from the 2003 MUTCD for 
paragraph 08. The FHWA also updates related figures and Section 3B.04 
for consistency.
    320. In Section 3B.10, Approach Markings for Obstructions, the FHWA 
proposed language in the NPA to clearly indicate that toll booths at 
toll plazas are fixed obstructions that shall be marked according to 
the requirements of this section. The proposal was based on the 
recommendations from the Toll Plazas Best Practices and Recommendations 
Report.\126\ Based on comments from the NCUTCD, four toll road 
operators, and two State DOTs, the FHWA adopts in this final rule a 
SUPPORT statement referencing Chapter 3E Markings for Toll Plazas 
(Section 3B.29 in the NPA) for additional information on approach 
markings for toll plaza islands and makes editorial changes to the 
text.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \126\ ``State of the Practice and Recommendations on Traffic 
Control Strategies at Toll Plazas,'' June 2006, can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/rpt/tcstoll/index.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA received several comments regarding the existing language 
in the 2003 MUTCD for minimum taper lengths approaching obstructions. 
Three toll road operators and a State DOT opposed the statement because 
some toll plazas cannot accommodate the requirement. Two local DOTs 
opposed the statement because urban conditions cannot always 
accommodate the requirement. Consistent with the same change in Section 
3B.02, the FHWA in this final rule modifies paragraph 05 from STANDARD 
to GUIDANCE.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to change an existing OPTION to 
GUIDANCE to recommend, rather than just permit, that where observed 
speeds exceed posted or statutory speed limits, longer tapers should be 
used. Two State DOTs and a local DOT opposed the revision. The FHWA in 
this final rule removes the statement because it is unnecessary, as the 
formula for taper length based on speed is provided earlier in the 
section.
    321. In Section 3B.11, Raised Pavement Markers--General, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA to limit the use of red raised pavement markers to 
being visible to traffic proceeding in the wrong direction of a one-way 
roadway or ramp. A State DOT and a local DOT agreed with the proposal. 
The NCUTCD, a State DOT, and an NCUTCD member recommended allowing the 
use of red raised pavement markers on divided highways and on the left-
hand side of two-way roadways. Consistent with changes as discussed 
previously in Section 3A.05, the FHWA in this final rule revises 
paragraph 02 to read, ``The side of a raised pavement marker that is 
visible to traffic proceeding in the wrong direction may be red (see 
Section 3A.05).''
    Additionally, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a GUIDANCE 
statement near the end of the section that recommends consideration of 
the use of more closely spaced retroreflective pavement markers where 
additional emphasis is needed. Based on recommendations from the 
NCUTCD, three State DOTs, and an NCUTCD member, the FHWA adopts this 
statement as an OPTION.
    322. In Section 3B.13, Raised Pavement Markers Supplementing Other 
Markings, several commenters made recommendations regarding the 
existing GUIDANCE from the 2003 MUTCD that raised markers should not 
supplement right-hand edge line markings. The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, a 
local DOT, and a toll road operator opposed the existing provision, 
stating that in many cases there is no bicycle use of the shoulder and 
the use of raised markers on the right-hand edge line can be very 
beneficial for delineation on curves and at other locations where extra 
emphasis of the edge line is needed. Four bicyclist-related 
organizations recommended leaving the existing provision in place 
because raised markers can cause bicyclists using the shoulder to lose 
control if they accidentally drive over the markers. The FHWA believes 
that there are many locations where raised markers can be used on 
right-hand edge lines where bicycles are not allowed on a highway and/
or to enhance safety overall, without compromising safety for 
bicyclists. Therefore, in this final rule the FHWA removes the existing 
GUIDANCE and adopts a new GUIDANCE paragraph 02 that reads as follows: 
``Raised pavement markers should not supplement right-hand edge lines 
unless an engineering study or engineering judgment indicates the 
benefits of enhanced delineation of a curve or other location would 
outweigh possible impacts on bicycles using the shoulder, and the 
spacing of raised pavement markers on the right-hand edge is close 
enough to avoid misinterpretation as a broken line during wet night 
conditions.''
    323. In Section 3B.14, Raised Pavement Markers Substituting for 
Pavement Markings, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to change the GUIDANCE 
to a STANDARD requiring that the color of raised pavement markers shall 
match the color of the markings for which they substitute, in order to 
assure uniformity of markings colors. Based on comments from the 
NCUTCD, a State DOT, a local DOT, and an NCUTCD member, the FHWA in 
this final rule removes the statement because the information is 
covered in Section 3B.11.
    For consistency with changes discussed above in Section 3B.13 
regarding the use of raised pavement markers on right-hand edge lines, 
the FHWA in this final rule makes comparable changes in Section 3B.14.
    324. In Section 3B.15, Transverse Markings, the FHWA relocates the 
existing second STANDARD statement to Section 3B.20 in the final rule. 
This STANDARD statement requires pavement marking letters, numerals, 
arrows, and symbols to be installed in accordance with the SHSM, and is 
relocated to the section where it more appropriately belongs.
    325. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed several changes to Section 3B.16 
Stop and Yield Lines to clarify the intended use of these markings. The 
FHWA proposed to add requirements regarding the use of stop and yield 
lines, specifically as these relate to locations where YIELD (R1-2) 
signs or Yield Here to Pedestrians (R1-5 or R1-5a) signs are used. A 
State DOT and a local DOT agreed with the proposal. Two State DOTs and 
a local DOT disagreed with the proposal and recommended

[[Page 66800]]

allowing stop lines at railroad crossings and other locations that 
operate under yield control. The FHWA proposed these changes to assure 
that stop lines are not misused to indicate a yield condition or vice 
versa. The FHWA adopts the STANDARD proposed in the NPA, which requires 
that stop lines shall not be used at locations on uncontrolled 
approaches where drivers are required by State law to yield to 
pedestrians. This change is in accordance with FHWA's Official 
Interpretation 3-201(I), dated January 10, 2007.\127\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \127\ FHWA Official Interpretation 3-201(I), dated 
January 10, 2007, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/3_201.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA proposed a new STANDARD statement in the NPA that required 
the use of Yield (Stop) Here to Pedestrian (R1-5 series) signs at a 
crosswalk that crosses an uncontrolled multi-lane approach when a yield 
(stop) line is used. A local DOT recommended that the sentence be 
GUIDANCE instead of a STANDARD. The FHWA disagrees and adopts paragraph 
13 for consistency with the requirement in paragraph 01 of Section 
2B.11.
    326. The FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a new section numbered and 
titled ``Section 3B.17 Do Not Block Intersection Markings,'' containing 
OPTION and STANDARD statements regarding the use of markings to 
indicate that the intersection is not to be blocked and to add a new 
Figure 3B-18 (Figure 3B-17 in the NPA) showing the options for the Do 
Not Block Intersection Markings. Four local DOTs and an NCUTCD member 
approved of the new section. Two local DOTs opposed the new section 
because of a concern over maintenance in northern States and potential 
driver confusion over right-of-way. The FHWA believes that Do Not Block 
Intersection Markings are being used more widely across the country to 
improve traffic flow through intersections and that uniformity in the 
use and type of markings is needed to minimize road user confusion. The 
markings are optional and not mandated for use, but the MUTCD 
provisions will improve uniformity if markings are used for this 
purpose. In this final rule the FHWA adopts the section and figure as 
proposed in the NPA, but with minor editorial revisions.
    327. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed in Section 3B.18 Crosswalk 
Markings, to expand the GUIDANCE regarding the specific placement of 
crosswalk markings and to add new GUIDANCE regarding the placement of 
crosswalk markings across uncontrolled approaches, based on engineering 
judgment and engineering studies. A State DOT and two local DOTs 
opposed the expanded language on engineering studies. A State DOT and a 
local DOT agreed with the proposal, but recommended that roundabouts be 
exempted, and that the study consider the 85th percentile speed in 
addition to the posted speed. The FHWA believes that an engineering 
study for crosswalks is appropriate at locations not controlled by a 
traffic signal, stop sign, or yield sign, including at a roundabout if 
it does not have a yield sign controlling the entry. The FHWA adopts in 
this final rule the language proposed in the NPA for the engineering 
study, but also includes the 85th percentile speed as a consideration 
in an engineering study. The language reflects the findings of the FHWA 
report, ``Safety Effects of Marked Versus Unmarked Crosswalks at 
Uncontrolled Locations.'' \128\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \128\ ``Safety Effects of Marked Versus Unmarked Crosswalks at 
Uncontrolled Locations,'' FHWA report HRT-04-100, Charles 
Zegeer, et al., September 2005, can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/pubs/04100/04100.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA received comments from the NCUTCD, five State DOTs, four 
local DOTs, and an NCUTCD member regarding the proposed conditions 
where marked crosswalks alone should not be installed. A local DOT 
disagreed with the proposed GUIDANCE and recommended that it be an 
OPTION because they desire more flexibility. The remaining commenters 
agreed with the proposal, but recommended editorial changes. The FHWA 
believes that GUIDANCE is appropriate because of pedestrian safety 
concerns and adopts the language as proposed in the NPA with editorial 
changes.
    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to add a GUIDANCE statement 
recommending that crosswalk markings should be located so that the curb 
ramps are within the extension of the crosswalk markings. A local DOT 
opposed the revision and an organization for the blind recommended 
making the proposal a STANDARD. The FHWA adopts paragraph 17 as 
proposed in the NPA to be consistent with existing provisions in ADAAG 
\129\ and to provide more consistency for pedestrians as they negotiate 
the crosswalk and curb ramps.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \129\ The Americans With Disabilities Accessibility Guidelines 
(ADAAG) can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.access-board.gov/ada-aba/index.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the FHWA also proposed to add a SUPPORT statement at 
the end of the section that incorporates information regarding 
detectable warning surfaces that mark boundaries between pedestrian and 
vehicular ways where there is no raised curb. The proposed language was 
in response to requests from the U.S. Access Board, based on 
ADAAG.\130\ Two State DOTs, a local DOT, and an NCUTCD member agreed 
with the proposal. An organization for the blind requested that the 
statement be revised to a STANDARD. Two State DOTs and two local DOTs 
opposed the revision because detectable warning surfaces are not 
considered traffic control devices and the information is already 
contained in ADAAG. The FHWA decides to adopt the language as SUPPORT 
because it merely provides information about provisions in other 
existing or proposed Federal regulations, but the FHWA revises the 
proposed text to remove the specifications and dimensions for 
detectable warning devices and instead reference the ADAAG. For the 
same reason, the FHWA does not adopt in the final rule the Figure 3B-20 
that was proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \130\ The Americans With Disabilities Accessibility Guidelines 
(ADAAG) can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.access-board.gov/ada-aba/index.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    328. In Section 3B.20, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to incorporate 
the word ``arrow'' in several places to reflect that, because arrows 
are often not thought of as symbols, the provisions of this section are 
intended to apply to arrows. The FHWA also changes the title of the 
section to ``Pavement Word, Symbol, and Arrow Markings,'' as proposed 
in the NPA.
    The FHWA includes arrows in the list of items that are to be 
designed in accordance with the Pavement Markings chapter of the SHSM 
book. A local DOT requested that the statement be revised to an OPTION 
to allow local jurisdictions to use different arrow designs. The FHWA 
believes that uniformity of arrow markings is important and adopts 
paragraph 04 as a STANDARD.
    The FHWA does not adopt Figure 3B-28 or Figure 3B-29 as proposed in 
the NPA because the same information is provided in other figures in 
Chapter 2B. References in Chapter 3B are updated to refer to the 
figures in Part 2 as appropriate.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to change an existing OPTION to 
GUIDANCE in order to recommend, rather than just permit, that the 
International Symbol of Accessibility parking space marking should be 
placed in each parking space designated for use

[[Page 66801]]

by persons with disabilities, for consistency with the provisions of 
the Americans with Disabilities Act. A State DOT and an NCUTCD member 
opposed the change and recommended that it remain GUIDANCE because the 
marking can become obscured by snow and it can pose a safety hazard for 
pedestrians when it is wet and slippery. The FHWA adopts the language 
as proposed in the NPA because many State and local laws and codes 
require the wheelchair symbol marking and it is the predominant 
practice. As a GUIDANCE condition, the marking can be omitted based on 
engineering study or judgment.
    In the NPA, the FHWA also proposed to add a new GUIDANCE that 
describes the use and placement of lane-use arrows in lanes designated 
for the exclusive use of a turning movement, in turn bays, in lanes 
from which movements are allowed that are contrary to the normal rules 
of the road, and where opposing offset channelized left-turn lanes 
exist. The NCUTCD, three State DOTs, four local DOTs, a toll road 
operator, and a consultant agreed with the proposal, but recommended 
that the second arrow in a turn bay be optional. Four State DOTs and a 
local DOT opposed the change to GUIDANCE and recommended that it remain 
an OPTION. The FHWA proposed the NPA language to reflect common 
practice and provide for increased uniformity, as highlighted in the 
NCHRP Synthesis 356.\131\ The FHWA adopts the language proposed in the 
NPA with editorial changes and, based on the comments, the FHWA adds 
paragraph 22, which provides an OPTION that the second (downstream) 
arrow may be omitted based on engineering judgment when arrows are used 
for a short turn lane.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \131\ NCHRP Synthesis 356, ``Pavement Markings--Design and 
Typical Layout Details,'' 2006, pages 7-13, can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_syn_356.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a GUIDANCE that 
recommends the use of ONLY word markings to supplement the required 
arrow markings where through lanes approaching an intersection become 
mandatory turn lanes. A local DOT agreed with the proposal. A State DOT 
and two local DOTs opposed the revision and recommended the statement 
be revised to an OPTION. The FHWA believes improved uniformity is 
needed to adequately inform road users of the lane-use restriction at a 
lane drop and adopts the GUIDANCE as proposed in the NPA.
    Also, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a GUIDANCE to recommend 
that lane-reduction arrow markings be used on roadways with a speed 
limit of 45 mph or above, and to recommend that they be used on 
roadways with lower speed limits when determined to be appropriate 
based on engineering judgment. A State DOT and a local DOT agreed with 
the proposal. Five State DOTs, a local DOT, and an NCUTCD member 
opposed the proposal and recommended that all lane-reduction arrows 
remain as an OPTION. A local DOT suggested the statement clarify that 
an on-ramp merge lane is not a ``lane reduction'' and the FHWA agrees. 
Based on the information in NCHRP Synthesis 356,\132\ the FHWA believes 
that, for enhanced safety, lane-reduction arrows should be recommended 
on high-speed roads in order to provide a clear indication that the 
lane reduction transition is occurring. The FHWA adopts the language as 
proposed in the NPA, but includes language clarifying that a typical 
parallel acceleration lane is not a ``lane reduction'' but that lane-
reduction arrows may be used in long acceleration lanes based on 
engineering judgment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \132\ NCHRP Synthesis 356, ``Pavement Markings--Design and 
Typical Layout Details,'' 2006, page 32, can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_syn_356.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Additionally, to respond to a comment from a consultant, the FHWA 
adds a new STANDARD that a single-direction lane-use arrow shall not be 
used in a lane bordered on both sides by yellow two-way left-turn lane 
longitudinal markings, to clarify the existing provisions regarding 
arrows. A two-way left-turn lane, by definition, has traffic flowing in 
two directions, so it is inappropriate and potentially very confusing 
to road users to place a single-direction arrow in a two-way left-turn 
lane. The unique two-way arrow is the only appropriate type of arrow 
marking for this application, and thus a specific prohibition of one-
direction arrows is necessary because of improper application by some 
jurisdictions.
    Finally, in the NPA the FHWA proposed to add an OPTION allowing the 
use of lane-use arrows in a dropped lane on the approach to a freeway 
or expressway exit, reflecting common practice. The FHWA received a 
comment from the NCUTCD in opposition to the proposed OPTION, stating 
that normal lane-use arrows are inappropriate for freeways and 
expressways because the exit ramp typically departs from the mainline 
at a small angle rather than the 90-degree turn suggested by the shape 
of normal turn arrows. The NCUTCD suggested that a new style of arrow 
be developed and added to the MUTCD specifically for dropped lanes at 
exit ramps. The FHWA disagrees and adopts the OPTION as proposed in the 
NPA, with editorial changes, because normal lane-use arrows are 
successfully used at many locations where the angle of turn is much 
less than 90 degrees, there is no evidence of any problems with these 
arrows at the many locations where they are currently used in advance 
of freeway lane drops, and research would be needed to develop and test 
different style arrows to assure they would be better understood by 
road users than the existing arrows.
    329. The FHWA received several comments regarding the proposal in 
the NPA to add a new section numbered and titled Section 3B.22 Speed 
Reduction Markings, containing SUPPORT, STANDARD, and GUIDANCE 
statements regarding transverse markings that may be placed on the 
roadway within a lane in a pattern to give drivers the impression that 
their speed is increasing. The NCUTCD and three State DOTs agreed with 
the proposed section, but recommended editorial changes. Two local DOTs 
and an NCUTCD member opposed the proposed section because of a concern 
that speed reduction markings have not been adequately tested and do 
not work. The FHWA disagrees because the Traffic Control Devices Pooled 
Fund Study on speed reduction markings\133\ found that these markings 
can be effective in reducing speeds at certain locations, and because 
it is necessary to provide a standardized design for such markings in 
order to provide uniformity. The FHWA adopts the language proposed in 
the NPA with editorial changes and adds a new GUIDANCE statement to 
paragraph 02 explaining that speed reduction markings should not be 
used in areas frequented mainly by local or familiar drivers (e.g., 
school zones), based on comments citing the above-mentioned Pooled Fund 
Study research. Five State DOTs, a local DOT, and a citizen requested 
that a longitudinal spacing table be developed for the speed reduction 
markings. The FHWA declines adding a longitudinal spacing table at this 
time because this goes beyond the scope of this rulemaking and would 
need to be addressed in a future rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \133\ ''Pavement Markings for Speed Reduction,'' December 2004, 
prepared by Bryan J. Katz for the Traffic Control Devices Pooled 
Fund Study, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/pubs/04100/04100.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    330. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a new section numbered and 
titled Section 3B.24 Chevron and Diagonal Crosshatch Markings (numbered 
Section

[[Page 66802]]

3B.26 in the NPA) containing OPTION, STANDARD, and GUIDANCE statements 
on the use of markings intended to discourage travel on certain paved 
areas. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA eliminates the optional use of 
diagonal markings in gore areas and requires that, if markings are used 
in the gore, they shall be chevron markings, because gores separate 
traffic flowing in the same direction and diagonal crosshatching is 
inappropriate for that condition. Based on a comment from a public 
utilities commission, the FHWA adopts an OPTION statement that 
crosshatch markings may also be used at highway-rail and highway-light 
rail transit grade crossings. While a local DOT agreed with the 
proposed minimum widths for chevron and diagonal lines, the NCUTCD and 
two local DOTs recommended that the minimum width for chevron and 
diagonal lines be less than 12 inches for lower speed roadways. The 
FHWA agrees with the NCUTCD and adopts the minimum width at 8 inches 
for roadways with speed limits less than 45 mph. Based on a comment 
from a State DOT that some agencies use an angle of 36 degrees rather 
than 45 degrees because a 3-4-5 triangle can be used to easily lay out 
the crosshatch markings in the field, the FHWA adopts a chevron angle 
of ``approximately 30 to 45 degrees.''
    331. In Section 3B.25 (numbered Section 3B.26 in the 2003 MUTCD) 
Speed Hump Markings, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise the 
STANDARD to more clearly state that if speed hump markings are to be 
used on a speed hump or a speed table, the only markings that shall be 
used are those shown in Figures 3B-29 and 3B-30. Based on comments from 
a State DOT and an NCUTCD member noting that the existing OPTION and 
proposed revised STANDARD contained the same information, the FHWA 
deletes the OPTION in this final rule. The FHWA received several 
comments regarding the proposed language restricting markings to those 
in the accompanying figures. A local DOT agreed with the proposal, 
while a State DOT, two local DOTs, and two consultants opposed the 
proposal and recommended allowing local variations of speed hump 
markings. The FHWA disagrees with allowing local variations in speed 
hump markings because the FHWA believes that additional uniformity will 
better serve the interests of road users. Because the 2003 MUTCD 
language is not prescriptive, a wide variety of marking patterns are 
being used for speed humps and unfamiliar drivers do not recognize the 
local markings. The FHWA adopts paragraph 01 as proposed in the NPA.
    332. In this final rule, the FHWA is moving all of the information 
from the NPA proposed Section 3B.29 Markings for Toll Plazas to a new 
adopted Chapter 3E Markings for Toll Plazas (see item 341 below).

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapters 3C Through 3J

    333. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts a new chapter, 
numbered and titled Chapter 3C Roundabout Markings, to reflect the 
state of the practice for roundabout markings, especially for multi-
lane roundabouts, the safe and efficient operation of which 
necessitates specific markings to enable road users to choose the 
proper lane before entering the roundabout. The FHWA also adopts seven 
sections within the chapter that describe pavement markings at 
roundabouts, including lane lines, edge lines, yield lines, crosswalk 
markings, and pavement word, arrow, and symbol markings. The chapter 
also includes a variety of new figures that illustrate examples of 
markings for roundabouts of various geometric and lane-use 
configurations. In the NPA, the FHWA solicited comments on whether it 
is necessary for all of the proposed new figures illustrating 
roundabout markings to be added to the MUTCD or whether some of those 
illustrations should be placed in other documents for reference, such 
as the FHWA Roundabouts Guide,\134\ which is in the process of being 
updated. The FHWA received comments on both sides of the issue. The 
FHWA believes that, for this edition of the MUTCD, it is important to 
provide these illustrations of new concepts in markings in one location 
for ready reference. As practitioners gain more familiarity with these 
markings, the FHWA will consider the possibility of eliminating some of 
the figures in a future edition. The FHWA adopts most of the figures in 
this final rule but, in response to comments, deletes several of the 
figures and editorially combines the content of the deleted figures 
with the content of other figures being adopted. The FHWA believes this 
presents the same information in a more concise manner.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \134\ ``Roundabouts: An Informational Guide,'' Report number 
FHWA-RD-00-67, June, 2000, can be viewed at the following Internet 
Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/00068.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With respect to Section 3C.01 General as proposed in the NPA, the 
FHWA received several comments about the proposed STANDARD defining 
roundabouts and requiring pavement markings and signs at roundabouts to 
present a consistent message to the road user. The comments noted that 
Section 1A.13 already contains a definition of a roundabout and that 
consistency of messages between signs and markings is a general 
requirement applicable to all conditions. The FHWA agrees and replaces 
the proposed STANDARD with a SUPPORT that provides a more general 
description of a roundabout and refers to Section 1A.13.
    The FHWA received comments from two State DOTs, a local DOT, an 
NCUTCD member, and a consultant about the proposed OPTION that traffic 
control signals may be used at roundabouts to facilitate pedestrian 
crossings or meter traffic. The FHWA agrees with the comments that the 
use of traffic control signals at any location is governed by 
provisions in Part 4 rather than Part 3, and the FHWA in this final 
rule replaces the proposed OPTION with a SUPPORT statement referring to 
Part 4.
    334. In Section 3C.02 White Lane Line Pavement Markings for 
Roundabouts, the FHWA relocates to Section 9C.04 the STANDARD and 
GUIDANCE statements about bicycle lane markings in and on the approach 
to roundabouts that were proposed in the NPA in Section 3C.02, because 
the information is more appropriately located in Section 9C.04, and 
adopts a SUPPORT statement in Section 3C.02 referring to Section 9C.04. 
The FHWA also adopts a STANDARD that a through lane that becomes a 
dropped lane at a roundabout shall be marked with a dotted white lane 
line in accordance with Section 3B.04. This statement is necessary to 
remind users of the requirements of Section 3B.04 that also apply to 
lane drops when they occur at a roundabout.
    335. The FHWA in this final rule revises the title of Section 3C.03 
from ``Edge Line Pavement Markings for Roundabouts,'' as proposed in 
the NPA, to ``Edge Line Pavement Markings for Roundabout Circulatory 
Roadways,'' in order to more accurately describe the subject of the 
provisions in the section. The FHWA received a comment from a local DOT 
suggesting that the recommended use of a white edge line on the outer 
edge of the circulatory roadway, including the wide dotted edge line 
extension across the lanes entering the roundabout, be changed to an 
OPTION. The FHWA disagrees because the edge line markings provide 
important guidance to road users entering the roundabout and 
circulating within the roundabout, and this has been found to be 
successful in practice in Europe and elsewhere. A State DOT

[[Page 66803]]

opposed the proposed GUIDANCE recommending that a wide dotted line be 
used across the entry to a roundabout and requested that a normal 
dotted line be used, consistent with the 2003 MUTCD. The FHWA disagrees 
because the wide dotted line provides special emphasis that is 
recommended for drivers entering the roundabout. The GUIDANCE is 
adopted as proposed.
    336. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed Section 3C.05 Crosswalk Markings 
at Roundabouts, which provides STANDARD, GUIDANCE, and SUPPORT 
statements concerning the use of crosswalks at roundabouts. The FHWA 
received a comment from an organization for the blind suggesting that 
the proposed GUIDANCE for marked crosswalks if pedestrian facilities 
are provided be changed to a STANDARD. The FHWA disagrees and notes 
that there may be some cases where it is not desirable to provide 
marked crosswalks, such as where overpasses or underpasses are 
provided. Two local DOTs and a consultant suggested that the 
recommendation be changed to an OPTION. The FHWA disagrees and adopts 
the provision as a GUIDANCE statement in this final rule because if at-
grade pedestrian crossing activity is present, pedestrians should be 
provided with crosswalks to indicate the proper places to cross the 
roundabout approaches.
    337. Based on a comment from a State DOT, the FHWA does not adopt 
Section 3C.07 Example Markings for Roundabouts, which was proposed in 
the NPA. The FHWA adopts a SUPPORT statement in Section 3C.01 in the 
final rule that refers to the figures in Chapter 3C that provide 
examples of pavement markings at roundabouts. The FHWA also renumbers 
the following section that was proposed in the NPA, Markings for Other 
Circular Intersections, from 3C.08 to 3C.07 in the final rule.
    338. The FHWA adopts a new chapter titled Chapter 3D Markings for 
Preferential Lanes, that contains information relocated from NPA 
numbered Section 3B.24 Preferential Lane Word and Symbol Markings and 
NPA numbered Section 3B.25 Preferential Lane Longitudinal Markings for 
Motor Vehicles. The FHWA also relocates to Chapter 3D and renumbers 
Table 3B-2 and Figures 3B-31, 3B-32, 3B-33, and 3B-34 that were 
proposed in the NPA, which list and show the required longitudinal 
markings for buffer-separated preferential lanes and counter-flow 
preferential lanes.
    339. In Section 3D.01 (numbered Section 3B.24 in the NPA) 
Preferential Lane Word and Symbol Markings, the FHWA adopts information 
regarding markings to be used for ETC preferential lanes in the 
STANDARD, for consistency with other related changes in Parts 2 and 3 
regarding ETC Account-Only lanes. Based on comments from the NCUTCD, a 
State DOT, and two toll road operators, the FHWA revises paragraph 06 
to clarify that preferential lane use word or symbol markings are 
required when the separation area between a preferential lane and the 
adjacent general purpose lane can be traversed by motor vehicles.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a word marking for ETC 
Account-Only lanes. A State DOT, two toll road operators, and a local 
DOT opposed the proposed revision because it would reduce the ability 
to reconfigure plaza lanes. The NCUTCD and a State DOT agreed with the 
proposal, but recommended adding HOT lanes to the list of types of 
preferential lanes where word markings are required, and adding an 
OPTION that allows preferential lane-use markings to be omitted under 
certain circumstances. The FHWA in this final rule revises paragraph 06 
to include HOT lanes along with HOV lanes and adds paragraph 08 to 
allow preferential lane word or symbol markings to be omitted at toll 
plazas where physical conditions preclude their use.
    The FHWA had proposed in the NPA adding the word marking TRANSIT 
ONLY as an alternative to a ``T'' marking for light-rail transit lanes. 
Instead, based on a comment from the NCUTCD, the FHWA in this final 
rule adopts the word marking LRT ONLY because the word marking 
``TRANSIT'' is too wide to fit in most lanes.
    340. In Section 3D.02 (Section 3B.25 in the NPA) Preferential Lane 
Longitudinal Markings for Motor Vehicles, the FHWA in this final rule 
edits, expands, and reorganizes the existing section, which corresponds 
to comparable sections on preferential lanes in Part 2. These changes 
reflect typical existing practices for the marking of preferential 
lanes, as documented in various FHWA guidance and handbooks.\135\ The 
FHWA also revises paragraph 03 as proposed in the NPA to match the 
names of different configurations of preferential lanes that are 
defined in Section 1A.13.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \135\ Available FHWA guidance and handbooks on preferential 
lanes can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freewaymgmt/hov.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a new GUIDANCE regarding the 
use of dotted line markings at direct exits from preferential lane 
facilities, to reduce the chances of unintended exit maneuvers. A local 
DOT opposed the use of dotted lines because of a concern that the 
dotted lines will add to driver confusion. The FHWA disagrees and 
considers the proposed GUIDANCE as an important best practice, 
reflecting a recent FHWA policy memorandum.\136\ The FHWA adopts 
paragraph 08 as proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \136\ The FHWA's August 3, 2007 policy memorandum on ``Traffic 
Control Devices for Preferential Lane Facilities'' can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/policy/tcdplfmemo/preferen_lanes_tcd.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    341. The FHWA adopts a new chapter, numbered and titled Chapter 3E 
Markings for Toll Plazas, that contains information relocated from 
Section 3B.29 Markings for Toll Plazas, which was a new section 
proposed in the NPA. As adopted in the final rule, Section 3E.01 
contains SUPPORT, STANDARD, GUIDANCE, and OPTION statements for the use 
of pavement markings at toll plazas. The chapter provides uniformity in 
pavement markings at toll plazas because toll plazas have not been 
included in previous editions of the MUTCD.
    The NCUTCD, a State DOT, and three toll road operators agreed with 
the NPA proposal that longitudinal markings for Electronic Toll 
Collection lanes comply with Section 3D.01 (numbered Section 3B.25 in 
the NPA), but recommended editorial changes. To reflect the comments, 
the FHWA revises paragraph 02 to require that, for Open Road Tolling 
lanes that bypass a mainline toll plaza on a separate alignment, the 
longitudinal markings shall also comply with Section 3D.02, and word 
markings shall be used in accordance with Section 3D.01 (Section 3B.24 
in the NPA) on the approach to the point of divergence from the 
mainline.
    The FHWA received several comments on the proposed GUIDANCE in the 
NPA recommending that ETC Account-Only lanes be separated from cash 
payment toll plaza lanes by a physical barrier or pavement markings. 
The NCUTCD, a State DOT, four toll road operators, and a local DOT 
agreed with the proposal, but recommended that the statement be changed 
to an OPTION, that striping alone not be allowed, and that vehicle 
speed not be used to determine the point of separation between lanes. 
The FHWA disagrees with the comments because the recommendations are 
based on the Toll Plazas Best Practices and Recommendations 
report.\137\ The FHWA

[[Page 66804]]

adopts paragraph 04 as GUIDANCE, but revises the text for clarity.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \137\ ``State of the Practice and Recommendations on Traffic 
Control Strategies at Toll Plazas,'' June 2006, can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/rpt/tcstoll/index.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA received comments regarding the NPA proposal to allow the 
use of purple solid longitudinal markings to supplement lane lines. The 
NCUTCD and a State DOT opposed the use based on recommendations from a 
toll road task force. As discussed above in Section 3A.05 regarding 
comments on the use of purple markings, the FHWA disagrees with these 
comments and adopts the optional use of purple markings A toll road 
operator and a local DOT agreed with the optional use of purple 
markings, but recommended that the minimum width of 1 inch for the 
supplemental purple line be revised. Based on its own experience and 
observations, the FHWA agrees that 1 inch is too narrow and changes the 
minimum width of the optional purple supplemental marking to 3 inches 
and adopts a maximum width to be the same width as the line it 
supplements.
    Finally, based on comments from the NCUTCD and a toll road operator 
that it is impractical to install edge lines in the constrained space 
between toll booths, the FHWA adds paragraph 08 that states: 
``Longitudinal pavement markings may be omitted alongside toll booth 
islands between the approach markings and any departure markings.''
    342. In Section 3F.02 (Section 3D.02 in the NPA) Delineator Design, 
the FHWA adopts a SUPPORT paragraph in the final rule to clarify the 
differences between single delineators, double delineators, and 
vertically elongated delineators when discussing a series of 
delineators along a roadway. This editorial clarification is necessary 
to reduce user confusion over these terms.
    343. In Section 3F.03 (Section 3D.03 in the NPA) Delineator 
Application, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a GUIDANCE to 
recommend that delineators should be used wherever guardrail or other 
longitudinal barriers are present in order to provide consistency in 
application. Two local DOTs agreed with the proposal. A local DOT 
disagreed with the proposal and requested that delineators should be 
recommended on guardrails based on the lateral distance from the 
roadway. The FHWA disagrees. Because guardrail and barriers are 
typically close to the roadway, delineation on these features helps 
make road users aware of the potential to collide with them during 
conditions of darkness, and this delineation assists road users with 
navigating the roadway alignment. A State DOT and a local DOT agreed 
with the proposal, but requested clarification for the location of the 
delineators. The FHWA modifies the text of the adopted Section 3F.03 in 
several places to clarify that delineators are used in a series rather 
than a single delineator alone.
    344. In Section 3F.04 (Section 3D.04 in the NPA) Delineator 
Placement and Spacing, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to change the 
GUIDANCE discussing the mounting height of delineators. Based on 
comments from the NCUTCD and three State DOTs questioning the ability 
to consistently achieve a precise mounting height of 4 feet, the FHWA 
in this final rule revises paragraph 01 to describe the recommended 
mounting height as ``approximately 4 feet.''
    345. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed revising Chapter 3G Colored 
Pavements (Chapter 3E in the NPA and 2003 MUTCD), Section 3G.01 
General, in order to provide a more logical flow of information, to 
better emphasize traffic control device and non-traffic control device 
colored pavements, and to reflect FHWA's Interpretation 3-169(I) \138\ 
on non-retroreflective colored pavements. The proposed language 
classified as a traffic control device any retroreflective colored 
pavement between crosswalk lines and non-retroreflective colored 
pavement between crosswalk lines that is intended to communicate a 
regulatory, warning, or guidance message. A State DOT, two local DOTs, 
and a pedestrian advisory board agreed with the revisions. A citizen 
opposed the revisions because of concern that the language placed 
restrictions on the use of stamped concrete for aesthetic measures. The 
FHWA disagrees with the citizen because the language includes brick 
patterns in the list of aesthetic treatments that are not considered to 
be traffic control devices, and the FHWA adopts the text as proposed in 
the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \138\ FHWA's Official Interpretation 3-169(I), dated September 
1, 2004, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/documents/pdf/3-169-I-FL-S.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    346. In Chapter 3H (Chapter 3F in the NPA and 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA 
revises the title in this final rule to ``Channelizing Devices Used for 
Emphasis of Pavement Marking Patterns'' based on a comment from the 
NCUTCD, to more accurately reflect the content. As discussed above in 
item 107, the section discussing barricades is relocated to Section 
2B.67 Barricades.
    In Section 3H.01 (numbered Section 3F.01 in the NPA) Channelizing 
Devices, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to require that the design of 
channelizing devices, except for color, be consistent with Sections 
6F.67, 6F.68, and 6F.69 (as numbered in the NPA). Based on comments 
from the NCUTCD, a traffic device manufacturer, ATSSA, and a citizen, 
the FHWA revises the STANDARD to require that the design of 
channelizing devices, except for color, comply with all of Chapter 6F 
rather than just three sections in that chapter. The FHWA also revises 
the OPTION to include additional types of channelizing devices and 
references specific sections of Chapter 6F for descriptions of the 
devices.
    In addition, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to expand the STANDARD to 
require that the color of the reflective bands on channelizing devices 
shall be white, except for bands on channelizing devices that are used 
to separate traffic flows in opposing directions, which shall be 
yellow. Two State DOTs, an NCUTCD member, and a consultant opposed the 
proposed use of yellow banding because, as written, it would apply also 
to temporary traffic control zones and conflict with provisions in 
Chapter 6F. Two local DOTs agreed with the proposal. The NCUTCD and a 
State DOT agreed with the proposal, but recommended editorial changes 
to clarify that the yellow bands would apply only outside of Temporary 
Traffic Control (TTC) Zones. The FHWA agrees with the recommended 
editorial changes and adopts a revised paragraph 04 to clarify the 
required use of the yellow bands on channelizing devices.
    347. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed several revisions to Chapter 3I 
Islands (Chapter 3G in the NPA and 2003 MUTCD). In Section 3I.01 
(Section 3G.01 in the NPA) General, the FHWA proposed to add the 
purpose of toll collection to the definition of island for traffic 
control purposes. The NCUTCD opposed the change and recommended the 
deletion of toll booth plazas from being considered islands. The FHWA 
disagrees because toll booth plaza islands are located between traffic 
lanes and do control vehicular movements and share similar 
characteristics with many other types of islands. The FHWA adopts the 
language as proposed in the NPA but relocates the revised definition to 
Section 1A.13 and editorially combines it with similar text in the 
definition of Island that existed in Section 1A.13 of the 2003 MUTCD.
    348. In Section 3I.03 (Section 3G.03 in the NPA) Island Marking 
Application, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to change a STANDARD 
discussing pavement markings in the neutral area to a GUIDANCE because 
it is not always practical or necessary for a jurisdiction to include 
chevron or diagonal hatching

[[Page 66805]]

in the triangular neutral area for all islands, especially small 
triangular channelizing islands at intersections. A local DOT agreed 
with the proposal. Based on a comment from a State DOT, the FHWA 
revises paragraph 02 editorially and adopts the statement as GUIDANCE.
    349. The FHWA deletes Section 3G.05 Island Object Markers, as 
numbered and titled in the 2003 MUTCD and in the NPA, because object 
markers have been designated as signs and relocated to Chapter 2C and 
this text is no longer appropriate in Part 3. The provisions of former 
Section 3G.05 are addressed by text in Chapter 2C.
    350. In Section 3I.05 (Section 3G.06 in the NPA), the FHWA in the 
final rule revises the title to ``Island Delineation'' and adds an 
OPTION, repeated from Section 3B.11, that allows the use of raised 
pavement markers in front of and on top of curbed noses of raised 
medians and curbs of islands.
    351. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed adding a new section at the end 
of Chapter 3I, numbered and titled Section 3I.06 (numbered Section 
3G.07 in the NPA) Pedestrian Islands and Medians, containing SUPPORT 
statements on the purpose of pedestrian islands and medians as well as 
the placement of detectable warnings at curb ramps. The information 
proposed within this section was included in order to assist 
practitioners with meeting the provisions of ADAAG.\139\ Two State DOTs 
and a local DOT opposed the proposed section because they do not 
consider pedestrian islands and medians to be traffic control devices 
and the information is already contained in ADAAG. Two local DOTs 
agreed with the proposal and an organization for the blind requested 
that the language be changed to a STANDARD. The FHWA decides to adopt 
the language as SUPPORT because it merely provides information about 
provisions in other existing or proposed Federal regulations. However, 
the FHWA does not adopt in this final rule the details on placement of 
detectable warning surfaces and Figure 3G-1 that was proposed in the 
NPA, because the information is contained in ADAAG.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \139\ The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility 
Guidelines (ADAAG) can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://www.access-board.gov/ada-aba/index.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    352. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a new chapter to the end 
of Part 3 that is numbered and titled Chapter 3J Rumble Strip Markings 
(Chapter 3H in the NPA), which contained two sections that describe the 
use of markings in conjunction with longitudinal and transverse rumble 
strips. A local DOT agreed with the proposal, but recommended text 
changes. A State DOT, a local DOT, four organizations representing 
bicyclists, and an NCUTCD member opposed the proposed chapter because 
they do not believe rumble strips are traffic control devices and they 
feel the inclusion of the chapter will have negative implications for 
bicyclists. The FHWA has not made a determination on whether or not 
rumble strips are traffic control devices, but believes that certain 
types of rumble strips, particularly those that are formed from white 
or colored strips of pavement marking material, might have 
characteristics that could potentially make them candidates for future 
consideration as traffic control devices. Also, because rumble strips 
have been in use for many years and numerous agencies are considering 
increased usage as part of their strategic highway safety plans, there 
is a need to include provisions in the MUTCD for pavement markings that 
are used with rumble strips. The FHWA adopts the chapter as proposed, 
but makes revisions to Sections 3J.01 and 3J.02 as described below.
    353. In Section 3J.01 (Section 3H.01 in the NPA) Longitudinal 
Rumble Strip Markings, the FHWA proposed language for the use of rumble 
stripes (longitudinal lines located over longitudinal rumble strips.) A 
State DOT asked if rumble strips were being considered as traffic 
control devices. Based on the comment, the FHWA adds a SUPPORT 
statement in paragraph 02 to clarify that, ``This Manual contains no 
provisions regarding the design and placement of longitudinal rumble 
strips.''
    Based on comments from the NCUTCD and an NCUTCD member, the FHWA 
revises paragraph 04 to reference Section 3A.05 for the color of edge 
lines or center lines associated with longitudinal rumble stripes. 
Also, based on a comment from the NCUTCD, the FHWA adds a new STANDARD 
in paragraph 05 that states that an edge line shall not be used in 
addition to a rumble stripe that is located along a shoulder. This 
clarification is needed to preclude the use of a double edge line, 
which would be in conflict with the defined meanings of double lines in 
Chapter 3B.
    As requested by the NCUTCD and a State DOT, the FHWA adds Figure 
3J-1 to illustrate the text in Section 3J.01.
    354. In Section 3J.02 (Section 3H.02 in the NPA) Transverse Rumble 
Strip Markings, the FHWA proposed that the color of a transverse rumble 
strip shall be the color of the pavement or white. A State DOT opposed 
the proposal because of concerns that white transverse lines could be 
confused with stop lines or crosswalks. The FHWA disagrees because 
there is no evidence of such confusion if properly used and located. 
Another State DOT asked if rumble strips were being considered as 
traffic control devices. Based on the comment, the FHWA adds a SUPPORT 
statement in paragraph 02 to clarify that, ``This Manual contains no 
provisions regarding the design and placement of transverse rumble 
strips that approximate the color of the pavement.'' A third State DOT 
recommended that black be added as an acceptable color for a transverse 
rumble strip and the FHWA agrees. A consultant recommended that orange 
be added as an acceptable color in a TTC situation and the FHWA agrees, 
for consistency with Section 6F.87 (see additional discussion there). 
The FHWA revises paragraph 03 to read, ``Except as otherwise provided 
in Section 6F.87 for TTC zones, if the color of a transverse rumble 
strip used within a travel lane is not the color of the pavement, the 
color of the transverse rumble strip shall be either black or white.''

Discussion of Amendments to Part 4--Highway Traffic Signals

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 4A--General
    355. As discussed above under General and Part 1, in this final 
rule the FHWA relocates all the definitions in Section 4A.02 
Definitions Relating to Highway Traffic Signals to Section 1A.13 in 
order to consolidate all definitions in one place in the MUTCD. Where 
definitions of the same term exist in both sections, the FHWA retains 
the most accurate definition or combines the definitions editorially. 
The FHWA also adopts a SUPPORT statement as the sole text of Section 
4A.02, referring to Sections 1A.13 and 1A.14 for definitions and 
acronyms.
Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 4B
    356. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed in Section 4B.02 Basis of 
Installation or Removal of Traffic Control Signals to change the OPTION 
statement (with the exception of the last sentence of item E) to a 
GUIDANCE, in order to recommend the steps that should be taken to 
remove a traffic control signal from operation, rather than merely 
describe steps that may be taken. The FHWA also proposed to add to the 
remaining sentence of the OPTION statement that only the first two 
steps (items A and B of the GUIDANCE) need to be completed for

[[Page 66806]]

temporary traffic control signals, because the other steps (items C 
through E of the GUIDANCE) do not apply to those locations. An NCUTCD 
member in comments suggested deleting the reference to installing signs 
in item C because experience has found that signs do not help with 
citizen awareness of a study and that public notification is more 
effective through public meetings and/or the media. The FHWA agrees 
with the commenter and adopts the changes as proposed in the NPA, but 
with the suggested deletion in item C.
    357. In Section 4B.04 Alternatives to Traffic Control Signals, the 
FHWA proposed in the NPA to add two items (L and H) to the list of less 
restrictive alternatives that should be considered before a traffic 
control signal is installed. Item H discusses revising the geometrics 
at the intersection to add pedestrian median refuge islands and/or curb 
extensions. Item L discusses the use of a pedestrian hybrid beacon or 
in-roadway warning lights if pedestrian safety is a major concern at a 
location. A toll authority, two local DOTs, and a consultant agreed 
with the addition, and a The FHWA adopts the addition of these items as 
proposed in the NPA because they are viable potential alternatives to a 
new traffic control signal.
    358. In Section 4B.05 Adequate Roadway Capacity the FHWA proposed 
in the NPA to add a paragraph to the GUIDANCE clarifying that 
additional methods for increasing roadway capacity that do not involve 
widening a signalized intersection should be carefully evaluated. Such 
methods could include revising pavement markings or lane-use 
assignments where appropriate. The FHWA proposed this language to 
recommend that lower-cost options should be considered to increase 
roadway capacity and operational efficiency at signalized 
intersections. A local DOT supported this proposal. A State DOT, a 
local DOT, five associations, an NCUTCD member, and three private 
citizens agreed with the proposal and suggested adding a statement to 
consider the needs of bicyclists prior to implementing the alternative 
methods for increasing capacity. The FHWA agrees with these comments 
and also adopts in this final rule an additional statement that any 
impacts to bicyclists should also be considered.
    A State DOT agreed with the revision and suggested that the list 
include other methods such as proper traffic signal timing, 
optimization, major route priority, truck and transit priority devices, 
traffic signal coordination, advanced traffic signal signage, and 
closed loop systems. The FHWA disagrees with this comment and declines 
to add the suggested items to the list because these measures are 
adequately addressed elsewhere in Part 4.
    A State DOT opposed this revision and suggested removing Section 
4B.05 from the MUTCD since adequate roadway capacity is not a traffic 
control device. The FHWA disagrees because this longstanding section of 
the MUTCD is necessary because of safety and operational impacts to 
signalized intersections, and because markings and lane use can 
significantly affect capacity.
Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 4C
    359. In Section 4C.01 Studies and Factors for Justifying Traffic 
Control Signals, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a second paragraph 
to the first OPTION statement allowing any four sequential 15-minute 
periods to be considered as 1 hour in signal warrants that require 
conditions to be present for a certain number of hours, if the separate 
1-hour periods used in the analysis do not overlap each other and both 
the major and minor street volumes are for the same specific 1-hour 
periods. The FHWA proposed to add this paragraph to clarify that the 1-
hour periods of peak traffic volumes do not necessarily need to 
correspond to 60 minutes starting at the :00 hour on the clock. A local 
DOT opposed this revision based on concerns about its potential misuse 
in litigation. The FHWA disagrees because this revision reflects 
accepted engineering practice and is an optional practice which 
presents a viable alternative to agencies that wish to use it. The FHWA 
adopts in this final rule the language as proposed in the NPA.
    360. In Section 4C.04 Warrant 3, Peak Hour, the FHWA proposed in 
the NPA to add to the OPTION statement that a traffic signal justified 
only under this warrant may be operated in flashing mode during the 
hours when the warrant is not met. The FHWA also proposed to add a 
GUIDANCE statement recommending that such a signal be traffic-actuated. 
The FHWA proposed these statements to encourage efficient operational 
strategies, because a traffic signal justified only under the Peak Hour 
warrant may have very low traffic volumes during much of the day. This 
language is similar to provisions in Sections 4C.05 (Warrant 4, 
Pedestrian Volume) and 4C.06 (Warrant 5, School Crossing). A local DOT 
agreed with the proposals. Two State DOTs and a local DOT opposed the 
OPTION for flashing operation because they felt that traffic signals 
should not flash ordinarily, not all drivers understand flashing 
traffic signals, the number of crashes might increase, and the flashing 
operation takes away from the operational characteristics of actuated 
signals. The FHWA disagrees with the commenters because the flashing 
mode is currently utilized in many jurisdictions and has proven 
effective for signals with an unusual peak hour scenario. Also, any 
actuated signal can be operated in flashing mode and the decision 
should be based on engineering judgment. Therefore, the FHWA adopts in 
this final rule the language as proposed in the NPA.
    361. In Section 4C.05 Warrant 4, Pedestrian Volume, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA to revise the STANDARD statement regarding criteria 
that are to be met in an engineering study for a traffic signal to be 
considered. The FHWA proposed replacing the existing two criteria with 
two new criteria based on vehicular and pedestrian volumes, and 
requiring that only one of the criteria be met. The criteria, and the 
associated volume curves, are derived from other vehicle-based traffic 
signal warrants and supplemented with data gathered during a TCRP/NCHRP 
study.\140\ The FHWA received comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, 
three local DOTs, six associations, and three private citizens in 
support of the NPA revisions. A local DOT and four associations 
suggested that bicyclists receive equal treatment and be included in 
all counts and applied to all appropriate warrants. The FHWA disagrees 
with these comments because consideration of bicyclists in applying 
signal warrants is adequately covered in Section 4C.01, Studies and 
Factors for Justifying Traffic Control Signals. A State DOT suggested 
adding a formula to the warrants. The FHWA disagrees with the commenter 
since the curves are based on formulas and there is no need to put the 
precise formula in the text. An association and an NCUTCD member 
suggested that the warrants also include consideration for the width of 
the crossing, the number of lanes, the frequency of adequate gaps in 
traffic, or the presence of one-way versus two-way traffic flows since 
it is generally easier to cross one-way traffic than two-way traffic. 
The FHWA concurs that number of lanes contributes to pedestrian

[[Page 66807]]

exposure but disagrees with the suggested revision because issues with 
crossing distance should be addressed with refuge islands or other 
geometric treatments, and should not be a warrant for a signal unless 
the pedestrian and vehicle volumes are present. Additionally, the 
warrant revisions are based on the NCHRP study, \141\ which did not 
recommend separate curves for different numbers of lanes on the major 
street. A local DOT opposed the revision of the pedestrian warrant 
because of concerns that new signalization will be easier to attain 
since the changes require that only one criterion needs to be met. The 
commenter suggested that other methods such as signing, pedestrian 
walkways, and overpasses should be investigated prior to the 
installation of a new traffic signal. The FHWA disagrees because the 
criteria still account for both pedestrian volume and major street 
volume and therefore the attainment of signalization has not been made 
easier. The FHWA notes that alternatives to signalization are discussed 
in Section 4B.04, Alternatives to Traffic Control Signals. The FHWA 
adopts in this final rule the language as proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \140\ ``Improving Pedestrian Safety at Unsignalized Pedestrian 
Crossings,'' TCRP Report 112/NCHRP Report 562, Transportation 
Research Board, 2006, can be viewed at the following Internet Web 
site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_562.pdf.
    \141\ ``Improving Pedestrian Safety at Unsignalized Pedestrian 
Crossings,'' TCRP Report 112/NCHRP Report 562, Transportation 
Research Board, 2006, can be viewed at the following Internet Web 
site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_562.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Similar to other traffic signal warrants, the FHWA also proposed in 
the NPA to add an OPTION statement following the criteria, allowing the 
use of different volume curves based on the posted or statutory speed 
limit or the 85th percentile speed, or the location of the 
intersection. A local DOT suggested adding flexibility to allow the 
installation of a signal to encourage pedestrians to cross at a safe 
location, such as a new trail, rather than simply to accommodate them. 
The FHWA disagrees with the commenter since this warrant can be used at 
trail crossings, and adopts in this final rule the language as proposed 
in the NPA.
    An NCUTCD member suggested that ``or YIELD'' be added after the 
proposed ``STOP'' in paragraph 04. The FHWA disagrees with the 
suggested revision, as a YIELD sign is not a restrictive enough traffic 
control device to facilitate high pedestrian crossing volumes and 
should not prevent the installation of a signal for pedestrian crossing 
if it is warranted. Additionally, the suggested revision would preclude 
roundabouts within 300 feet of the pedestrian signal.
    The FHWA also proposed to revise the OPTION statement to reduce the 
required pedestrian volumes for this warrant by as much as 50 percent 
if the 15th percentile crossing speed of pedestrians is less than 3.5 
feet/second. A local DOT agreed with this revision, while two State 
DOTs and two local DOTs were opposed to the revisions based primarily 
on concerns that the text appears to require a pedestrian speed study 
and it is impractical to measure the 15th percentile speed of 
pedestrians. The FHWA disagrees because this is an OPTION and does not 
require a study. The 15th percentile crossing speed would only be 
needed if the agency wants to explore a reduction in the pedestrian 
volume criterion. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the language as 
proposed in the NPA.
    362. In both Section 4C.05 Warrant 4, Pedestrian Volume, and 
Section 4C.06 Warrant 5, School Crossing, the FHWA proposed in the NPA 
to add recommendations to the GUIDANCE statement that a traffic signal 
installed at an intersection or major driveway location, based on the 
pedestrian warrant or school crossing warrant only, should also control 
the minor street or driveway. When a traffic control signal is 
installed at an intersection with STOP signs on the minor street to 
assist pedestrians in crossing the major street, minor-street traffic 
can cross and turn left into the major street after stopping during the 
display of the green on the major street. This violates the 
expectations of drivers on the major street and compromises the meaning 
and effectiveness of the green signal indication. The FHWA believes 
that, even if the volume of traffic on the minor street is low when a 
signal is justified based on Warrant 4, it is in the best interest of 
traffic safety that the minor street also be controlled by signals 
rather than by STOP signs. A local DOT agreed with the proposed 
GUIDANCE for providing a minimum distance for a pedestrian signal from 
side streets or driveways. A State DOT opposed the revision and 
suggested that the minimum distance for a pedestrian signal from side 
streets or driveways be increased to 300 feet to be consistent with the 
distance from a traffic signal. The FHWA disagrees as the two distances 
are for different purposes and reasons. The 100-foot distance is for 
low volume side streets or driveways that are STOP or YIELD sign 
controlled, to avoid pedestrian conflicts with side-street turning 
vehicles; whereas the 300-foot distance is for an adjacent traffic 
control signal or STOP sign controlling the street to be crossed at a 
more significant intersection. A consultant suggested that a roundabout 
should be evaluated as a safer option when crashes reach the point 
where a signal is warranted. The FHWA agrees but does not modify the 
MUTCD text in this final rule because roundabouts are discussed in 
Section 4B.04, Alternatives to Traffic Control Signals, as an 
alternative to traffic signal control. The FHWA in this final rule 
adopts the language as proposed in the NPA with editorial revisions.
    363. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed a new section following Section 
4C.09, numbered and titled Section 4C.10 Warrant 9, Intersection Near a 
Highway-Rail Grade Crossing, and containing SUPPORT, STANDARD, 
GUIDANCE, and OPTION statements describing the new warrant, which is 
intended for use in locations where none of the other eight signal 
warrants are met, but the proximity of the intersection to a highway-
rail grade crossing is the principal reason to consider installing a 
traffic control signal. The FHWA proposed this new warrant because some 
stop-controlled approaches to intersections near highway-rail grade 
crossings contain a stop line that is closer to the track than the 
length of a large vehicle, and sight distance obstructions might 
preclude the vehicle from waiting on the approach side of the grade 
crossing before entering the intersection. Many of these intersections 
do not meet one of the other warrants in the MUTCD because those 
warrants use minimum volume thresholds for considering the installation 
of a traffic signal rather than the proximity of a highway-rail grade 
crossing. The warrant is based on recommendations from an NCHRP 
research project.\142\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \142\ ``Warranting Traffic Signals on the Basis of Proximity of 
Railroad Grade Crossings,'' by Elena Shenk Prassas, William R. 
McShane, Edward Lieberman, and Roeof Engelbrecht, was published by 
the Transportation Research Board in Transportation Research Record 
2030, 2007, pages 59-68, and can be viewed at the following Internet 
Web site: http://trb.metapress.com/content/r6856337l2484256/fulltext.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and two local DOTs agreed with the new 
warrant in the NPA. A State DOT, a local DOT, and an NCUTCD member 
opposed the new warrant for a variety of reasons, including concerns 
that it could add a significant number of unnecessary signals, 
perceived inconsistency with 23 U.S.C. 130 regarding use of Federal 
funds, uncertainty as to whether the warrant is practical or feasible 
since it is based on a research project, and the desire for further 
review and testing before implementation as a national standard. The 
FHWA disagrees with these comments because meeting the warrant does not 
require installation of a signal,

[[Page 66808]]

the FHWA is not aware of any conflicts with Federal funding under 23 
U.S.C. 130, and the consensus of practitioners that was developed by 
the NCUTCD's processes is that the warrant is needed and should be 
added to the MUTCD.
    A local DOT suggested increasing the minimum threshold volume 
because a signal could be warranted with only 25 vehicles in the peak 
one-hour period. The FHWA disagrees with the commenter since the 
language is based on an NCHRP study and a signal does not have to be 
installed if the warrant is met.
    A State DOT suggested that the warrant should only be invoked when 
some vehicle operators will have no choice but to stop on the tracks to 
attain adequate sight distance. The FHWA agrees with commenter that the 
warrant is intended to prevent vehicles from queuing across a highway-
rail grade crossing and becoming trapped in a queue with no means of 
clearing the tracks. However, the FHWA does not make the suggested 
revision because this situation does not need to be explicitly stated 
in the text.
    A local DOT suggested that STANDARD Item B be changed to GUIDANCE 
because rail preemption usually involves numerous signal locations 
within the rail corridor and the cost of the preemption might exceed 
the original signal budget. The FHWA disagrees since neither Section 
4D.27 nor Section 8C.09 indicates that preemption must be applied to 
anything other than the one intersection under consideration.
    A State DOT suggested that an additional criterion be added to the 
STANDARD that would address locations where vehicles continuously queue 
on the crossing and might create a hazardous situation. The FHWA points 
out that the words ``continuously'' and ``hazardous'' are undefined and 
too strong for this situation.
    A State DOT opposed the requirement for highway-rail grade crossing 
to have both flashing-light signals and automatic gates if a traffic 
signal is installed based on this warrant, because there are some 
crossings at or near intersections where gates might not be practical 
to install. The FHWA believes that it is possible that locations exist 
where installing gates might be impractical, but where it is still 
worthwhile to install a signal at the highway-highway intersection in 
order to facilitate traffic movements that enable vehicles to move off 
the tracks prior to the arrival of a train. Gates can discourage 
additional vehicles from driving onto the tracks during the track 
clearance phase, but the flashing-light signals and bells should be 
sufficient where gates are impractical. The FHWA in this finale rule 
adopts a revised STANDARD in paragraph 09, item C, to require only 
flashing-light signals and adopts GUIDANCE recommending automatic 
gates.
    The FHWA adopts this new section with revisions noted above in this 
final rule.
    364. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the new Figure 4C-9 Warrant 
9, Intersection Near a Highway-Rail Grade Crossing (One Approach Lane 
at the Track Crossing), Figure 4C-10 Warrant 9, Intersection Near a 
Highway-Rail Grade Crossing (Two or More Approach Lanes at the Track 
Crossing), and the associated Tables 4C-2, 4C-3, and 4C-4, as proposed 
in the NPA but with minor editorial revisions based on comments 
received.
Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 4D--General
    365. The FHWA in the NPA proposed to reorganize Chapter 4D so that 
similar subjects are grouped together in adjacent sections, or combined 
into single sections within the Chapter. While the NCUTCD agreed with 
the proposed reorganization, an NCUTCD member suggested that the 
explanations of the meanings and applications of signal indications 
should precede the explanation of signal face arrangements, so that 
users could know what the indications mean and how they are to be 
applied before trying to arrange them into signal faces. The FHWA 
agrees and in this final rule relocates NPA proposed Sections 4D.09 and 
4D.10 to follow Section 4D.03 as Sections 4D.04 and 4D.05, 
respectively, and renumbers NPA proposed sections 4D.04 through 4D.08 
to be Sections 4D.06 through 4D.10.
    366. The FHWA proposed in the NPA the addition of flashing yellow 
arrow and flashing red arrow indications as optional alternatives to a 
circular green indication for permissive left-turn and right-turn 
movements in Part 4, which affects many sections within Chapter 4D. The 
proposed text throughout Chapter 4D incorporated the provisions of the 
Interim Approval IA-10 \143\ for flashing yellow arrows during 
permissive turn intervals. The Interim Approval and the proposed MUTCD 
text were are based on research contained in NCHRP Report 493.\144\ The 
research found that the flashing yellow arrow is the best overall 
alternative to the circular green as the permissive signal display for 
a left-turn movement, has a high level of understanding and correct 
response by left-turn drivers and a lower fail-critical rate than the 
circular green, and the flashing yellow arrow display in a separate 
signal face for the left-turn movement offers more versatility in field 
application. It is capable of being operated in any of the various 
modes of left-turn operation by time of day, and is easily programmed 
to avoid the ``yellow trap'' associated with some permissive turns at 
the end of the circular green display. The application of flashing 
yellow arrow indications for right-turn movements is a logical 
extension of use for left turns and will provide jurisdictions with a 
useful tool to effectively control a wide variety of situations 
involving right turns. Further, the optional use of flashing red arrow 
indications for permissive left-turn and right-turn applications where 
each successive vehicle must come to a complete stop before turning 
permissively provides a useful tool to improve safety and operation of 
signalized intersections in some circumstances.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \143\ FHWA's Interim Approval IA-10, dated March 20, 
2006, can be found at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interim_approval/pdf/ia-10_flashyellarrow.pdf.
    \144\ NCHRP Report 493, ``Evaluation of Traffic Signal Displays 
for Protected/Permissive Left-Turn Control,'' 2003, can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_493.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NCUTCD, a State DOT, two local DOTs, an NCUTCD member, an 
anonymous commenter, and a citizen agreed with adding flashing yellow 
arrow and flashing red arrow. A State DOT and four local agencies 
opposed the addition of flashing yellow arrows because of concerns 
about losing signal display uniformity, cost implications for 
converting existing signals, possible driver confusion, and public 
educational campaign requirements. Two State DOTs, five local agencies, 
an association, and an NCUTCD member opposed the addition of flashing 
red arrow left-turn faces because of concerns about lack of uniformity 
for signal faces, and possible driver misinterpretation. A local DOT 
and an anonymous commenter suggested allowing three-section flashing 
yellow arrow displays where the flashing yellow arrow and steady yellow 
arrow are displayed in the same signal section. This configuration was 
suggested to provide flexibility where there are height restrictions. 
The FHWA disagrees with these comments because the suggested 
configuration would reduce uniformity for flashing yellow arrow

[[Page 66809]]

displays, it has not been tested, a four-section signal face can be 
used in the majority of situations, and if vertical clearance is an 
issue a horizontal face could be used. Two local DOTs agreed with the 
addition of flashing yellow arrows and flashing red arrows and 
suggested requiring the use of conflict monitors/malfunction management 
units (CMs/MMUs) that monitor flashing indications if flashing arrows 
are used for left-turn control, based on concerns over public safety. 
The FHWA disagrees with providing additional language about the CMs/
MMUs because this information is too detailed in electronic issues for 
the MUTCD. The FHWA adopts the flashing yellow arrow and flashing red 
arrow in Part 4, based on the supporting research \145\ and the 
usefulness of these optional displays to address significant safety and 
operational issues.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \145\ NCHRP Report 493, ``Evaluation of Traffic Signal Displays 
for Protected/Permissive Left-Turn Control,'' 2003, can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_493.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NCUTCD in its comments also recommended revising Sections 4D.17 
through 4D.20 (Sections 4D.06 and 4D.07 in the 2003 MUTCD) to eliminate 
provisions that allow the use of separate left-turn signal faces that 
include circular green indications for permissive turns. Such separate 
left-turn faces are those which have been used with signal displays in 
a configuration known as ``Dallas phasing,'' which uses a separate 
signal face over the left-turn lane that displays a circular green 
indication for permissive left turns while the signal faces for 
adjacent thru lanes display red indications. The NCUTCD stated that 
signal faces and indications for permissive left turns have been the 
subject of much research over the past 10 or more years and the results 
of that research have indicated that a circular green for a permissive 
left-turn movement located over or in front of a left-turn lane is 
often misunderstood by drivers. Also, a flashing yellow arrow to 
indicate a permissive left-turn movement has proved very successful. As 
a result, the NCUTCD recommended changes that support the optional use 
of flashing yellow arrows for permissive left turns, as noted above. 
The changes recommended by the NCUTCD to address the circular green 
permissive left-turn in a separate signal face also eliminate the need 
to distinguish between three different types of separate left-turn 
signal faces (as proposed in the NPA as items B, C, and D of the 
SUPPORT statement). The FHWA agrees that the available option of using 
flashing yellow arrow indications has made the circular green displays 
used with ``Dallas phasing'' obsolete and unneeded, and that the 
research supports prohibiting ``separate signal faces'' for left turns 
with circular green indications. The FHWA adopts in this final rule 
provisions in Sections 4D.17 through 4D.20 that reflect these NCUTCD 
recommendations. The FHWA also replaces the terms ``flashing yellow 
arrow signal face'' and ``flashing red arrow signal face'' throughout 
the MUTCD text and figures with appropriate language, such as ``a 
separate signal face with a flashing yellow arrow.''
    367. A State DOT and an NCUTCD member suggested reducing redundant 
language in Chapter 4D to provide clear and concise language and using 
figures within each section to reduce the amount of text. The FHWA 
agrees and adopts in this final rule appropriate edits and additional 
figures where needed.
Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 4D--Specific
    368. In Section 4D.01 General, the FHWA adds SUPPORT paragraph 04 
as proposed in the NPA, to clarify the condition of a seasonal 
shutdown. The FHWA adds this information to incorporate clarifications 
into the MUTCD per Official Interpretation 4-288, dated April 
27, 2005.\146\ A local DOT agreed with this revision.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \146\ FHWA's Official Interpretation 4-288, dated April 27, 
2005, can be found at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/pdf/4_288.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also relocates a paragraph regarding coordination of 
traffic control signals within one-half mile of one another from 
Section 4D.14 of the 2003 MUTCD and adds it to GUIDANCE paragraph 09. 
The FHWA also adds that coordination for such traffic signals should be 
considered where a jurisdictional boundary or a boundary between 
different signal systems falls in between them. The FHWA includes this 
change to encourage jurisdictions to coordinate traffic signal timing 
plans across jurisdictional or system boundaries. A local DOT agreed 
with this revision. The FHWA adds a new SUPPORT statement at the end of 
this section that contains information regarding traffic signal 
coordination that was previously in Section 4D.14 of the 2003 MUTCD. A 
local DOT opposed this revision because they believe the original text 
was clearer and more consistent with the previous paragraph. The FHWA 
disagrees because the text is intended to address control sections on 
different cycle lengths, not across jurisdictional boundaries. In this 
final rule the FHWA relocates the paragraph as proposed in the NPA and 
makes editorial revisions.
    369. In Section 4D.03 Provisions for Pedestrians, the FHWA proposed 
in the NPA to revise the first GUIDANCE statement to indicate that 
accessible pedestrian signals should be provided where deemed 
appropriate by engineering judgment. A State DOT agreed with the 
revision. A consultant agreed with the proposed revision and suggested 
elevating the GUIDANCE to a STANDARD, to be in conformance with the 
draft Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) which 
requires accessible pedestrian signals where visual pedestrian signal 
heads are installed and where pushbuttons are used. The FHWA is waiting 
for the United States Department of Justice adoption of the anticipated 
United States Access Board public right of way guidelines before prior 
to revising the MUTCD on this issue, and therefore the FHWA adopts the 
in this final rule revised language as proposed in the NPA.
    The FHWA also proposed to change the OPTION statement to a GUIDANCE 
to recommend, rather than merely permit, the use of No Pedestrian 
Crossing signs at traffic control signal locations where it is 
necessary or desirable to prohibit certain pedestrian movements, where 
such movements are not physically prevented by other means. The FHWA 
proposed this change because if the pedestrian movement is to be 
prohibited, a prohibitory sign should be used. A local DOT agreed with 
this revision. A State DOT also agreed and suggested that signs should 
be used if it is not practical to provide a barrier. The FHWA agrees 
and adopts in this final rule the language as proposed in the NPA with 
the suggested revision.
    370. In Section 4D.04 (Section 4D.09 in the NPA) Meaning of 
Vehicular Signal Indications, the FHWA in the NPA proposed to add to 
item A(1) of the STANDARD statement a requirement that vehicular 
traffic turning left yield the right-of-way to other vehicles 
approaching from the opposite direction so closely as to constitute an 
immediate hazard. The FHWA proposed this change to conform the MUTCD to 
the Uniform Vehicle Code and to the laws in many States.
    In the NPA, the FHWA also proposed editorial changes to item A(2A) 
of the STANDARD statement. Two local DOTs suggested further revisions 
to item A(2) to clarify that pedestrians cannot be legally in a 
crosswalk when there is a

[[Page 66810]]

green arrow indication. The FHWA disagrees and declines to adopt the 
suggested revision because the statement is intended to address the 
situation that there may still be a pedestrian in the crosswalk, 
finishing his or her crossing, when the green arrow is first displayed.
    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to add a new item A(4) in the 
STANDARD statement that pedestrians facing a GREEN ARROW signal 
indication, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian signal indication 
or other traffic control device, shall not cross the roadway. A local 
DOT opposed the proposed item A(4) because the text implies that a 
pedestrian can have a walk signal for a crosswalk in conflict with a 
motorist who has a green arrow indication across that same crosswalk. 
The commenter suggested revising the language to prohibit this 
conflict. The FHWA disagrees because scenarios exist where a green 
arrow is displayed that would not be in conflict with the pedestrian 
movement, such as where a crosswalk is parallel to a straight-through 
green arrow or where a channelization island is used to separate the 
pedestrian movement from a right-turn movement on a green arrow.
    The FHWA adopts items A(1) through A(4) as proposed in the NPA.
    The FHWA also proposed the separation of existing STANDARD item 
B(1) into two items to more clearly indicate the meaning of a steady 
circular yellow and a steady yellow arrow to vehicular traffic. As part 
of this change, the FHWA proposed to add that a steady yellow arrow 
signal indication warns that the related flashing arrow movement is 
being terminated. The FHWA proposed this change to provide consistency 
with the addition of the applications of flashing yellow arrows and 
flashing red arrows. A local DOT opposed the revision because of 
concerns that there will be increased driver confusion and rear-end 
crashes. The commenter notes that motorists traditionally have not been 
used to interpreting the yellow as described in the NPA proposal 
because a yellow has always come after a green movement and thus never 
mandated a stop. The FHWA disagrees because the concerns raised by the 
commenter have not been an issue where this display sequence has been 
used. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the language of item B of the 
STANDARD as proposed in the NPA.
    The FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise STANDARD item C(1) to 
clarify that, where permitted, vehicles making a right turn or a left 
turn from a one-way street onto another one-way street when a steady 
circular red indication is displayed shall be governed by the rules 
applicable to making a stop at a STOP sign. The FHWA proposed this 
change to clarify the right-of-way rules for turning after stopping on 
a circular red indication. The FHWA also proposed to revise item C(2) 
related to a steady red arrow signal indication that is similar in 
nature, but reflects the different requirements for turning on a red 
arrow versus on a circular red. The FHWA in this final rule adopts the 
language of item C of the STANDARD as proposed in the NPA.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to delete the information from 
existing item D of the STANDARD statement and instead describe the 
meanings of flashing yellow signal indications in a new item E and 
flashing red signal indications in a new item F, to more specifically 
clarify their meanings to vehicular traffic, to pedestrians, and when 
displayed as a beacon. The FHWA also proposed to state in new STANDARD 
item D that a flashing green indication has no meaning and shall not be 
used. A State DOT, and four local DOTs agreed with the NPA's proposals. 
The FHWA in this final rule adopts the language of item D of the 
STANDARD as proposed in the NPA.
    In new item E of the STANDARD statement, the FHWA proposed in the 
NPA to add an item 2 that describes the use of flashing yellow arrow 
indications for permissive turning movements in the direction of the 
arrow. The FHWA proposed this change to allow agencies to use the 
flashing yellow arrow, as an option to the steady circular green 
indication, for intersections with permitted turning phases. The 
effectiveness of the flashing yellow arrow for this purpose has been 
demonstrated as reported in NCHRP Report 493.\147\ A State DOT opposed 
this change because of concerns that the text ``vehicular traffic shall 
to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk'' and ``pedestrians shall 
yield to vehicles upon activation of the flashing yellow arrow'' is 
contradicting. The FHWA disagrees because ``vehicular traffic shall to 
yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk'' is needed to indicate that 
vehicles moving on flashing yellow arrows must yield to the 
pedestrians, and ``pedestrians shall yield to vehicles upon activation 
of the flashing yellow arrow'' is needed to clarify that pedestrians 
must yield to any vehicles that entered the intersection legally on a 
previous phase and have not yet fully cleared the intersection when the 
flashing yellow arrow is first displayed. The FHWA adopts in this final 
rule the language as proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \147\ NCHRP Report 493, ``Evaluation of Traffic Signal Displays 
for Protected/Permissive Left-Turn Control,'' 2003, can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_493.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    An NCUTCD member opposed the proposed new STANDARD item E (5), 
which described the meaning of a flashing yellow signal indication that 
is displayed as a beacon at the approach to or along a curve or other 
geometric feature because it implied that flashing circular yellow 
beacons can be used over curves or other geometric features (other than 
intersections) and would not necessarily have to supplement another 
traffic control sign or marker. The FHWA agrees with the comment and 
does not adopt proposed item E(5) in this final rule.
    A local DOT opposed proposed new item F(2), which describes the 
meaning of a flashing red arrow signal indication, because of the 
belief that the operation might lead drivers to think that the opposing 
movement also has a flashing red operation and that the intersection is 
functioning as stop and go on all approaches. The FHWA disagrees 
because there has been no evidence that drivers have been making this 
misinterpretation when flashing red arrows have been used, such as 
during late night or emergency flash operation. The FHWA also notes 
that a supplementary R10-27 sign could be used to mitigate this 
concern. The FHWA in this final rule adopts the language as proposed in 
the NPA.
    A local DOT opposed proposed new item F(4) regarding the meaning of 
flashing circular red signal indications used as beacons supplementing 
another traffic control device, because of concerns that the text is 
inconsistent with the MUTCD. The FHWA disagrees because the commenter 
has misunderstood the intent of this language, which is merely to state 
what drivers are expected to do when seeing a flashing red Stop Beacon, 
as described in Chapter 4L, that accompanies a STOP, DO NOT ENTER, or 
WRONG WAY sign. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the language as 
proposed in the NPA.
    371. In Section 4D.05 Application of Steady Signal Indications 
(Section 4D.10 in the NPA), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to modify item 
A(2) in the first STANDARD to exclude the use of a circular red signal 
indication with a green arrow indication when it is physically 
impossible for traffic to go straight through the intersection, such as 
from the stem of a T-intersection. In this final rule, the FHWA does 
not adopt that proposed language because it

[[Page 66811]]

would conflict with other provisions adopted in Section 4D.25.
    A citizen and two anonymous commenters suggested revising item B(4) 
to totally ban all yellow trap situations and adding a figure to 
illustrating the yellow trap. The FHWA did not propose such a total ban 
in the NPA and believes that it is reasonable to allow for exceptions 
in rare cases if a warning sign is used, as provided in items B(4)(c) 
and B(4)(d). The FHWA also notes that there is no need to illustrate 
yellow trap in the MUTCD because such illustrations exist in other 
documents such as handbooks published by the Institute of 
Transportation Engineers.
    An anonymous commenter suggested adding a new STANDARD statement 
after proposed item E(1)(b) to require a steady yellow arrow following 
a flashing yellow arrow or flashing red arrow in certain situations, 
and revising proposed item E(2) to reflect the use of flashing yellow 
arrow and flashing red arrow signal indications for permissive turns, 
as discussed in Sections 4D.17 and 4D.21. The FHWA agrees and in this 
final rule adopts a new item E(2) and a revised item E(3) (item E(2) in 
the NPA) for consistency with other STANDARD statements in Chapter 4D 
that require these displays.
    The FHWA proposed in the NPA a modified item E(4) (item E(3) in the 
NPA) in the first STANDARD to permit the use of a steady yellow arrow 
indication to terminate a flashing yellow arrow or a flashing red arrow 
controlling a permissive left-turn phase. The FHWA proposed this change 
to provide consistency with the addition of the flashing yellow arrow 
and flashing red arrow indications for permissive left turns. As 
documented in NCHRP Report 493,\148\ the steady yellow arrow was found 
to be successful as the change interval display following the flashing 
yellow arrow permissive interval. A subsequent study by the University 
of Wisconsin\149\ found no evidence to suggest that the flashing yellow 
arrow permissive indication negatively affects drivers' understanding 
of the steady yellow change interval indication. No problems with this 
display have been reported to the FHWA by the dozens of highway 
agencies that have implemented flashing yellow arrows at several 
hundred intersections under experimentation or interim approval. The 
FHWA in this final rule adopts the language as proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \148\ NCHRP Report 493, ``Evaluation of Traffic Signal Displays 
for Protected/Permissive Left-Turn Control,'' 2003, can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_493.pdf.
    \149\ An abstract and summary of ``An Evaluation of Driver 
Comprehension of Solid Yellow Indications Resulting from 
Implementation of Flashing Yellow Arrow,'' 2007, by Michael A. 
Knodler, David A. Noyce, Kent C. Kacir, and Chris L. Brehmer, can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://pubsindex.trb.org/document/view/default.asp?lbid=802137.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    An anonymous commenter suggested revising STANDARD item E(5)(a) 
(item E (4)(a) in the NPA) to include preemption situations at railroad 
crossings when a flashing yellow arrow changes to steady yellow arrow 
back to a flashing yellow arrow. The FHWA agrees and adopts the 
suggested revision in this final rule.
    In this final rule the FHWA also revises the final STANDARD 
statement to reflect the elimination of the use of circular red 
indications in separate left turn signal faces, as discussed below in 
Section 4D.19, and the elimination of ``Dallas phasing'' signal 
displays, as discussed above in item 366.
    An anonymous commenter suggested revising the last paragraph in the 
final STANDARD statement to limit the prohibition of both flashing and 
steady displays in the same signal section to yellow indications, since 
signal faces are, in some cases, allowed to display both a flashing red 
and a steady red indication from the same signal section during steady 
mode operation. The FHWA agrees in concept and adopts in this final 
rule the language as proposed in the NPA with revisions to address the 
comment.
    372. In Section 4D.06 (Section 4D.18 in the 2003 MUTCD) Signal 
Indications--Design, Illumination, Color, and Shape, the FHWA proposed 
in the NPA to revise the first STANDARD statement, which states that 
letters or numbers shall not be displayed as part of a vehicular signal 
indication. The FHWA specifically proposed to prohibit vehicular 
countdown displays because countdown indications on vehicular signal 
indications, and similar methods of attempting to indicate a ``pre-
yellow'' warning, such as a flashing green interval, have been found to 
lengthen the ``dilemma zone'' and thereby result in increased crash 
rates.\150\ A private citizen opposed this proposed prohibition on 
vehicular countdown indications because he believes an advance warning 
of a signal change should be allowed for heavy trucks. The commenter 
requested the adoption of a new STANDARD for advanced warning system 
for high-speed roads. The FHWA disagrees because the research supports 
the ban on vehicular countdown indications and therefore adopts in this 
final rule the language as proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \150\ ``Safety Evaluation of a Flashing-Green Light in a Traffic 
Signal,'' by D. Mahalel and D.M. Zaidel, Traffic Engineering + 
Control magazine, February, 1985, pages 79-81, is available for 
purchase from Hemming Information Services, 32 Vauxhall Bridge Road, 
London, SW1V 2SS, England, at the following Internet Web site: 
http://www.tecmagazine.com/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the FHWA also proposed an exception to the prohibition 
on lettering for toll plaza signals. As discussed below in Chapter 4K, 
the FHWA is not allowing the use of traffic control signals at toll 
plazas, so the FHWA does not adopt the exception in this final rule.
    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to add a statement in the first 
STANDARD that strobes or other flashing displays within or adjacent to 
red signal indications shall not be used, in order to clarify that 
strobes within traffic signals are not approved traffic control 
devices. This would be consistent with FHWA's Official Interpretation 
4-263.\151\ Although FHWA allowed experimentation with strobes in red 
traffic signals in the mid-1980s, the FHWA made a determination in 1990 
not to approve further experimentations with strobe lights in traffic 
signals, and to terminate all experimentations with these devices that 
were in progress at that time. As stated in the Official 
Interpretation, research conducted as part of the experimentation 
process showed inconsistent benefits and some significant disadvantages 
to the use of strobes and similar flashing displays. Any strobes 
operating within red traffic signals are not in accordance with the 
MUTCD, and they are not under any approved experimentation. The FHWA 
received comments from a State DOT and two local DOTs supporting this 
revision. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a local DOT supported the 
revision and suggested expanding the strobe prohibition to signal 
indications other than red because a strobe is inappropriate with any 
traffic signal display. Two State DOTs, a local DOT, and an association 
supported the revision and suggested clarifying ``flashing displays 
adjacent to red signal indications'' to allow emergency vehicle 
preemption (EVP) confirmation lights. Two State DOTs opposed the 
revision because they believe from anecdotal information the strobes 
have merit in certain situations and have a positive effect on highway 
safety. The FHWA believes that such anecdotal information

[[Page 66812]]

is insufficient to override the formal studies that have consistently 
shown no benefit of strobes and disadvantages in some cases. A 
consultant disagreed with the strobe prohibition because it will 
prohibit the use of the red strobe above the flashing red signal 
indication on the STOP/SLOW paddle Automatic Flagger Assistance Devices 
(AFADs) and suggested revising the text or providing an exception for 
construction work zone traffic control devices. The flashing red 
indication of the AFAD is a Stop Beacon as defined in Section 4L.05 and 
it is a highway traffic signal device so the strobe prohibition would 
apply. The FHWA is not aware of any documented justification for 
allowing an exception in construction work zones or AFADs. The FHWA in 
this final rule adopts the language as proposed in the NPA with 
editorial revisions to clarify that the strobe prohibition applies to 
all colors of signal indications and to exclude EVP confirmation 
lights.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \151\ FHWA's Official Interpretation 4-263, dated July 2, 2003, 
can be found at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/documents/pdf/4-263-I-FL-s.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A State DOT and an NCUTCD member suggested prohibiting dual-arrow 
(green arrow/yellow arrow) indications because they believe that they 
cause problems for color blind drivers. The FHWA disagrees because 
dual-arrow indications have been in use for decades with no documented 
problems and green-yellow color blindness is extremely rare in 
comparison to red-green color blindness.
    373. In the new Figure 4D-1 Example of U-Turn Signal Face that was 
proposed in the NPA, a State DOT noted that the U-Turn display is not 
currently manufactured nor is there an ITE specification for it. The 
FHWA notes that while there is currently no ITE specification, the lens 
design has been manufactured and is being used in some jurisdictions. 
The signal indication is not required, but could be used to control a 
U-turn movement on an approach from which there is no left-turn 
movement physically possible or the left-turn is prohibited. Four local 
DOTs opposed the new figure because the U-turn signal display is not 
common and might not be clear from long distances. The FHWA disagrees 
because, although not widely used at present, the need for U-turn 
signal indications is increasing and it is necessary to establish 
uniform provisions for their design and use. The FHWA also notes that, 
although the shape of arrow will not be able to be seen from as long a 
distance as a left-turn or right-turn arrow, vehicles would be 
decelerating to slower speeds in a U-turn lane, so that distance is not 
as critical. The FHWA adopts new Figure 4D-1 as proposed in the NPA.
    374. In Section 4D.07 (Section 4D.15 in the 2003 MUTCD) Size of 
Vehicular Signal Indications, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to modify 
the STANDARD to require 12-inch signal indications for all new signal 
installations, to reflect the predominant current signal design 
practice, to reflect the results of studies \152\ that have shown the 
significant safety benefits of using 12-inch indications, and to make 
signal indications more visible to older drivers. As part of this 
proposed change, the FHWA would allow existing 8-inch signal 
indications to be retained for the remainder of their useful life. In 
the NPA, the FHWA proposed to revise the OPTION statement to allow the 
use of 8-inch signal indications under three specific circumstances 
where such use could be advantageous. Three local DOTs and an NCUTCD 
member agreed with the revisions. The NCUTCD and a State DOT suggested 
revising the proposed statement permitting existing 8-inch indications 
to be retained for the remainder of their useful life from STANDARD to 
OPTION to improve readability. The FHWA agrees and adopts the change in 
this final rule based on the commenters' recommendation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \152\ These studies are summarized and documented in the FHWA 
report ``Making Intersections Safer: A Toolbox of Engineering 
Countermeasures to Reduce Red-Light Running,'' pages 22-23, which 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersections/docs/rlrbook.pdf and in 
``Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide'', FHWA publication 
number FHWA-HRT-04-091, August 2004, page 283, which can be viewed 
at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/pubs/04091/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NCUTCD and a State DOT suggested adding additional items in the 
OPTION to also allow 8-inch signal indications for supplemental near 
side signal indications and along roadways with speeds less than 30 
miles per hour, and where the signal indications are located less than 
120 feet from the stop line. Four State DOTs, 15 local agencies, 2 
associations, a consultant, a signal equipment supplier, and 5 citizens 
similarly requested allowing 8-inch signal indications in historic 
downtown districts, residential districts, central business districts, 
and suburban town centers, where they believe that 12-inch indications 
would not be context appropriate. The FHWA agrees and adopts in this 
final rule a revised OPTION allowing 8-inch circular signal indications 
for near side supplemental signal indications and for circular 
indications located less than 120 feet from the stop line on all 
roadways with a posted or statutory speed limit of 30 miles per hour or 
less.
    A local DOT suggested adding an OPTION allowing 8-inch indications 
for vehicular signal faces that exclusively control a bicycle movement 
or bikeway since 12-inch indications might be excessive given the 
typical speeds and position of bicycles. The FHWA agrees and in this 
final rule adopts the suggested OPTION.
    A State DOT requested allowing 8-inch indications for ramp metering 
signals where the indications are at eye level with the driver and 
visibility might not be an issue. The FHWA disagrees and does not adopt 
this suggestion because ramp metering signals are typically located on 
ramps and many ramps are relatively high speed. The ramp metering 
signals are sometimes not anticipated by unfamiliar road users, so 
prominent signal indications are important.
    375. In Section 4D.08 (Section 4D.16 in the 2003 MUTCD) Positions 
of Signal Indications Within a Signal Face--General, the FHWA proposed 
in the NPA to add to the STANDARD a statement that unless otherwise 
stated for a particular application, if a vertical signal face contains 
a cluster(s), the face shall have at least three vertical positions. 
The FHWA proposed this change because road users who are color vision 
deficient identify the illuminated color by its position relative to 
the other signal sections. An NCUTCD member noted that the proposed 
clause about clusters belongs in Section 4D.09 (Section 4D.16 in the 
2003 MUTCD), which discusses vertical signal faces. The commenter 
suggested adding an OPTION statement that allows dual red indications 
in signal faces that do not control turning movements and also 
suggested adding a GUIDANCE statement to describe how the dual red 
indications are to be arranged into clusters. The FHWA agrees with the 
commenter's concerns and adopts in this final rule an OPTION statement 
in Section 4D.09 allowing clustering of two circular red or two red 
arrow indications in a vertically-arranged signal face but prohibiting 
clustering of two identical green arrows because that display can 
incorrectly imply that a two-lane turn movement is allowed. The FHWA 
also adopts references in Section 4D.09 to Figure 4D-2 and certain 
other figures to illustrate examples of clusters. A local DOT suggested 
adding an OPTION to allow the use of a single-section signal at 
approaches controlled by a flashing or steady circular red signal for 
minor driveways at signalized intersections. The FHWA disagrees because 
a single-section flashing circular red indication is a stop beacon and 
is discussed in Section 4L.05. If the

[[Page 66813]]

circular red indication alternates between flashing red and steady red, 
then a single section is not appropriate because a change in position 
is needed and a change interval is also required.
    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to add requirements to the 
STANDARD statement for the position of U-turn arrow signal sections in 
a signal face. The FHWA proposed this change to accommodate the new U-
turn arrows as described previously in item 373. A local DOT and an 
NCUTCD member agreed with the revision and suggested removing the 
reference to U-turns to the right because they are rare and a circular 
indication can be used. The FHWA disagrees because U-turns to the right 
can be used for frontage roads and removing the text might result in 
possible misapplication. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the 
language as proposed in the NPA.
    376. In new Section 4D.09 (Section 4D.07 in the NPA) Positions of 
Signal Indications within a Vertical Signal Face, the NCUTCD, a State 
DOT, a consultant, an NCUTCD member, and two anonymous commenters made 
suggestions regarding the text proposed in the NPA to incorporate 
signal faces using a flashing yellow arrow or flashing red arrow for 
permissive turn indications. The FHWA agrees and deletes the term 
``immediately'' from the second paragraph of the first STANDARD adopted 
in this final rule and also revises the list of relative positions to 
include steady and/or flashing yellow arrow and red arrow sections. 
Similarly, the FHWA also adopts a revised Section 4D.10 (Section 4D.08 
in the NPA) Positions of Signal Indications within a Horizontal Signal 
Face with similar revisions to the list of relative positions, based on 
the commenters' suggestions.
    A State DOT suggested adding a figure to illustrate clusters. An 
anonymous commenter also suggested clarifying the last STANDARD to 
accommodate specific provisions in Section 4D.25 for the use of dual-
arrow signal indications. The FHWA agrees and adopts in this final rule 
a revised second STANDARD, containing clarifications based on the 
commenters' suggestions, and also adopts a reference to various figures 
that illustrate clusters in vertical signal faces.
    An anonymous commenter suggested clarifying the positioning for 
flashing red arrow and steady red arrow signal indications because of 
concern for color-blind drivers. The FHWA agrees with the commenter and 
adopts in this final rule a revised STANDARD paragraph 03 that 
effectively prohibits two adjacent red arrow sections in a vertical 
face unless they are clustered side-by-side, to address the color 
blindness issue. This is necessary to avoid the safety consequences of 
a colorblind road user being confused by the signal display when two 
red arrows are in line with each other vertically.
    377. In Section 4D.11 Number of Signal Faces on an Approach, the 
FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise item A of the STANDARD to clarify 
that two primary signal faces are required for a straight-through 
movement if such movement exists at a location, even if it is not the 
major movement, and to require two primary signal faces for the major 
signalized turning movement if no straight-through movement exists, 
such as on the stem of a T-intersection. The FHWA proposed this change 
to ensure that the straight-through movement, or major signalized 
turning movement in absence of a straight-through movement, contains 
redundant primary signal faces in case one of the signal faces fails, 
and to incorporate the FHWA's Official Interpretation number 4-
295(I).\153\ Two State DOTs and a local DOT opposed the revision 
because they would prefer to retain the flexibility to provide a single 
signal face for specific conditions. An NCUTCD member agreed with the 
revision. The FHWA agrees with the NCUTCD member that two primary 
signal faces shall be provided for the through movement and adopts in 
this final rule the language as proposed in the NPA with editorial 
revisions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \153\ FHWA's Official Interpretation 4-295(I), dated October 19, 
2005, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/4_297.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to add an OPTION allowing a 
single section green arrow signal when there is never a conflicting 
movement at an intersection. This single section signal may be used for 
a through movement at a T-intersection if appropriate geometrics and 
signing are placed according to an engineering study to allow for free 
flow of traffic where there are no conflicting movements. The FHWA 
proposed this change to incorporate Official Interpretation 4-255(I) 
into the MUTCD.\154\ A local DOT agreed with the revision. The FHWA in 
this final rule adopts the language as proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \154\ FHWA's Official Interpretation 4-255(I), dated February 
19, 2003, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/documents/pdf/4-255-I-NE-s.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed adding a GUIDANCE statement at the 
end of the section that outlines the recommendations for providing and 
locating signal faces at intersections where the posted or statutory 
speed limit or the 85th percentile speed on an approach exceeds 40 mph. 
As documented in two FHWA reports, ``Making Intersections Safer: A 
Toolbox of Engineering Countermeasures to Reduce Red-Light Running'' 
\155\ and ``Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide,'' \156\ 
numerous studies have found significant safety benefits from locating 
signal faces overhead rather than at the roadside, providing one 
overhead signal face per through lane when there is more than one 
through lane, providing supplemental near-side and/or far-side post-
mounted faces for added visibility, and including backplates on the 
signal faces. A study \157\ of intersections in British Columbia, 
Canada, also found statistically significant collision reductions in 
the range of 10 to 45 percent when signal displays were upgraded from a 
single overhead signal face to two overhead faces. Additionally, two 
recent studies, by the URS Corporation \158\ and by Bradley 
University,\159\ found that reconfiguring diagonal signal spans to box 
spans or mast arm layouts with far-side signal face locations produced 
significant reductions in the number of red light violations and 
entries into the intersection late in the yellow change interval. The 
FHWA proposed the addition of this GUIDANCE to reflect modern signal 
design practices and to enhance the safety of signalized intersections 
along higher-speed roadways, where the potential benefits are greatest. 
For the same reasons, the FHWA also proposed that this GUIDANCE also be 
considered for any major urban or suburban arterial street with four or 
more lanes. A citizen agreed with the revision. The NCUTCD and a local 
DOT agreed but suggested

[[Page 66814]]

revising the speed threshold value to 45 miles per hour or higher to 
eliminate a potentially ambiguous situation where 85th percentile 
speeds are between 40 and 45 miles per hour and neither the posted nor 
the statutory speed exceed 40 miles per hour. The FHWA agrees and 
adopts in this final rule the language as proposed in the NPA with the 
suggested revision.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \155\ Pages 17-27 of this report can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersections/docs/rlrbook.pdf.
    \156\ ``Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide'', FHWA 
publication number FHWA-HRT-04-091, August 2004, pages 73-75 and 
281-282, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/pubs/04091/.
    \157\ ``Safety Benefits of Additional Primary Signal Heads,'' 
March, 1998, by Emmanuel Felipe and Dragana Mitic, can be obtained 
from G.D. Hamilton Associates, 1199 Hastings Street West, Suite 900, 
Vancouver, BC, V6E 3T5, Canada.
    \158\ Details on this study, ``Far-Side Signals vs. Diagonal 
Span Behavioral Research,'' project number 12937724, February 2006, 
can be obtained from URS Corporation, 3950 Sparks Drive, SE., Grand 
Rapids, MI 49546-2420.
    \159\ Evaluation of Signal Mounting Configurations at Urban 
Signalized Intersections in Michigan and Illinois'' by Kerrie L. 
Schattler, Matthew T. Christ, Deborah McAvoy, and Collette M. 
Glauber, August 1, 2007, can be obtained from the Department of 
Civil Engineering and Construction, Bradley University, 1501 West 
Bradley Avenue, Peoria, IL 61625.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A large city DOT opposed the proposed new GUIDANCE statements 
because of concerns that providing one signal face per through lane is 
too extreme and will place an unnecessary financial hardship on 
agencies. The commenter said the collision data and red light running 
data in that city does not support the NPA recommendation and suggested 
replacing the GUIDANCE with a new statement that would recommend 
practices similar to those used in California. The NCUTCD and a State 
DOT agreed with the general concepts of the NPA proposal but suggested 
replacing GUIDANCE items A and B with a table to list the recommended 
number of signal heads for various lane and speed combinations, 
including certain speed ranges below 45 mph, and recommended fewer 
overhead signal faces than one signal per through lane in some cases. A 
State DOT agreed with the new GUIDANCE, but suggested that it be 
lowered to an OPTION. Three State DOTs, 13 local agencies, an NCUTCD 
member, a consultant, and a citizen opposed GUIDANCE item B regarding 
locating a signal face over the center of each through lane because of 
concerns about the cost for agencies, aesthetics, increased energy 
usage, shortening of the operating time for battery backups, liability 
issues, lack of effectiveness for increased visibility, and lack of 
design flexibility for engineers.
    In consideration of the comments received, the FHWA adopts in this 
final rule a revised GUIDANCE that references a new Table 4D-2 
``Recommended Minimum Number of Primary Signal Faces for Through 
Traffic on Approaches with Posted, Statutory, or 85th Percentile Speed 
of 45 mph or Higher'' in this final rule. The adopted text and table 
recommend that all primary faces should be located on the far side, 
that the total number of overhead and/or post-mounted far side primary 
signal faces should equal the number of through lanes on approaches 
with two or more through lanes, and that certain minimum numbers of 
those total signal faces should be located overhead on the far side of 
the intersection. A note in the table also indicates that, if 
practical, all of the recommended total number of primary through 
signal faces should be located overhead. The revised GUIDANCE indicates 
that it applies only to new or reconstructed signal installations. The 
FHWA believes that the adopted GUIDANCE and the associated table will 
enhance safety as new and reconstructed signals are installed on 
higher-speed approaches as well as accommodate older existing signals 
for the remainder of their service life. However, the FHWA disagrees 
with the NCUTCD's suggestion for adding specific guidance on the number 
and location of signal faces for approaches with speeds less than 45 
mph, because such a provision was not proposed in the NPA and should be 
subject to the review and comment process of a future rulemaking. The 
FHWA adopts the language as proposed in the NPA that merely recommends 
that the same layouts as for higher speed approaches be considered for 
any major urban or suburban arterial street with four or more lanes and 
other approaches with speeds less than 45 mph.
    A State DOT and four local agencies opposed the proposed GUIDANCE 
item C recommending that separate signal faces controlling exclusive 
turn lanes should be located overhead, approximately over the center of 
the turn lane, because of concerns about the lengths of mast arms that 
will be needed. The FHWA disagrees with the commenters because the 
proposed GUIDANCE is based on best practices currently in use in many 
jurisdictions and therefore adopts in this final rule the GUIDANCE as 
proposed in the NPA.
    Three State DOTs supported GUIDANCE item E (item D in the NPA) 
about supplemental signal faces, with editorial comments. The FHWA 
adopts in this final rule the language as proposed in the NPA with 
editorial changes.
    Two State DOTs, two local agencies, and an NCUCTD member agreed 
with GUIDANCE item F (item E in the NPA) about backplates but suggested 
making exceptions for pole-mounted, supplemental, and cluster signals 
because of concerns about needing larger pole foundations and their 
opinion that the need for backplates is not critical on supplemental or 
pole-mounted signals. A State DOT and five local agencies opposed item 
E because of concerns about additional wind loading and they believe 
mast arms provide contrast with the signal head. The FHWA disagrees and 
adopts in this final rule item F because on high speed approaches the 
need for contrast is very important for all signal faces.
    The FHWA also adopts the proposed Figure 4D-3, retitled Recommended 
Vehicular Signal Faces for Approaches with Posted, Statutory, or 85th 
Percentile Speed of 45 mph or Higher, with revisions to reflect adopted 
revisions in the text of Section 4D.11.
    378. In Section 4D.12 (Section 4D.17 in the 2003 MUTCD) Visibility, 
Aiming, and Shielding of Signal Faces, the FHWA proposed in the NPA a 
revised 4th paragraph of the first GUIDANCE statement to add that 
signal backplates should be used on all of the signal faces that face 
an approach with a posted or statutory speed limit or 85th percentile 
speed is 45 mph or higher, and that signal backplates should be 
considered when the speeds are less than 45 mph. The FHWA proposed this 
change to reflect modern signal design practices to enhance safety by 
increasing the visibility of signal faces on higher-speed approaches, 
especially for older drivers, to reflect safety studies as documented 
in the FHWA reports ``Signalized Intersection: Informational Guide'' 
\160\ and ``Making Intersections Safer: Toolbox of Engineering 
Countermeasures to Reduce Red Light Running,'' \161\ as well as 
recommendations from the Older Driver handbook.\162\ Two local DOTs 
agreed with the revision. The FHWA also received comments about 
providing exceptions to the backplate recommendations and in opposition 
to backplates similar to comments received in Section 4D.11. The FHWA 
in this final rule adopts the language as proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \160\ ``Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide,'' FHWA 
publication number FHWA-HRT-04-091, August 2004, pages 288-290, can 
be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/pubs/04091/.
    \161\ Page 26 of this report can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersections/docs/rlrbook.pdf.
    \162\ ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm. Recommendation 
I.N(3)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also proposed an OPTION statement allowing the use of 
yellow retroreflective strips along the perimeter of a signal face 
backplate. The FHWA proposed this change to increase the conspicuity of 
the signal face at night, and to add language to the MUTCD in 
accordance with Interim Approval IA-1, dated February 2, 2004.\163\ A 
local DOT agreed with the revision. Another local DOT also agreed but 
suggested that the minimum width be changed to zero. The FHWA notes 
that the use of the

[[Page 66815]]

retroreflective strip is optional and any width less than an inch would 
provide limited benefit. The FHWA in this final rule adopts the 
language as proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \163\ The Interim Approval for Use of Retroreflective Border on 
Signal Backplates, number IA-1, dated February 6, 2004, can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/ia_retroborder.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In this final rule, the FHWA also editorially revises the order in 
which the paragraphs of Section 4D.12 appear, to more logically group 
like topics together.
    379. In Figure 4D-4 (Figure 4D-2 in the 2003 MUTCD) Lateral and 
Longitudinal Location of Primary Signal Faces, a local DOT suggested 
deleting this figure because the MUTCD proposed to mandate 12-inch 
indications for all new installations. The FHWA disagrees that the 
figure is obsolete, since it illustrates the 20-degree ``cone of 
vision'' provisions that are still in effect and since 8-inch lenses 
will still be allowed for certain situations. The FHWA adopts Figure 
4D-4 as proposed in the NPA but with revisions to reflect adopted 
revisions in the text of Chapter 4D.
    380. In new Section 4D.13 Lateral Positioning of Signal Faces, the 
FHWA proposed in the NPA a STANDARD requiring that overhead-mounted 
turn signal faces of certain types for exclusive turn lanes shall be 
located directly over the turn lane. The FHWA proposed this statement 
to ensure that drivers associate the proper turn signal face with the 
exclusive turn lane and because the research documented in NCHRP Report 
493 \164\ found that this location produced the best driver 
understanding and correct behavior. A local DOT agreed with the 
revision. Two State DOTs also agreed but suggested reducing the 
STANDARD to GUIDANCE because there are numerous existing signals that 
do not meet the criteria because of short mast arms. A State DOT and 
two local DOTs opposed the new STANDARD predominantly because of cost 
to upgrade existing signals and concerns about long masts arms in high 
wind areas. The FHWA disagrees because the state of the art for both 
guide signing and signals is to provide specific traffic control/
movement information to each lane to reduce driver confusion, 
especially at complex intersections, and the research validates this 
practice for turn signals. The FHWA in this final rule adopts the 
language as proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \164\ NCHRP Report 493, ``Evaluation of Traffic Signal Displays 
for Protected/Permissive Left-Turn Control,'' 2003, can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_493.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA the FHWA also proposed to add a GUIDANCE statement that, 
for new or reconstructed signals, on an approach with an exclusive 
left-turn lane(s) and opposing vehicular traffic where a circular green 
signal indication is used for permissive left turns, signal faces 
containing a circular green signal indication should not be post-
mounted on the far side median or located overhead above an exclusive 
left-turn lane or the extension of the lane. The FHWA proposed this 
change because NCHRP Report 493 \165\ found that the circular green 
permissive left-turn indication is confusing to some left-turn drivers 
who assume it provides right-of-way during the permissive interval. The 
FHWA believes that placement of the circular green indication directly 
above or in line with an exclusive left-turn lane exacerbates the 
safety issues with this display. Research\166\ found that found that 
displaying a circular green signal indication directly over an 
exclusive left-turn lane led to a higher left-turn crash rate than 
``shared'' displays placed over the lane line between the left-turn 
lane and the adjacent through lane or to the right of that line. 
Placing the shared signal display over the lane line or to the right of 
it helps to promote the idea that the signal display with the circular 
green indication is being shared by the left-turn and through lanes. 
This can help reduce the infrequent but very dangerous occurrence of 
the circular green permissive indication being misunderstood as a 
protected ``go'' indication by left-turn drivers. The NCUTCD and a 
local DOT agreed with the proposed revision. A State DOT also agreed 
and recommended elevating the GUIDANCE to STANDARD to prohibit the use 
of circular green indications. A State DOT agreed and suggested 
revising the language to clarify that the GUIDANCE applies to all 
situations, not only where a permissive left turn opposes a protected 
left turn. Two local DOTs agreed with the revision but suggested an 
exception when the circular green indication is accompanied by an R10-
12 sign. Six State DOTs, nine local agencies, an NCUTCD member, and a 
citizen opposed the new GUIDANCE based on their local experience and 
concerns about prohibiting variable mode left-turn phasing, and 
additional costs to agencies to modify existing signals. The FHWA 
disagrees because the FHWA believes the research supports the new 
GUIDANCE, because the FHWA did not propose it as a STANDARD, and 
because the GUIDANCE only applies to new and reconstructed signals. The 
FHWA in this final rule adopts the language as proposed in the NPA with 
minor editorial revisions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \165\ NCHRP Report 493, ``Evaluation of Traffic Signal Displays 
for Protected/Permissive Left-Turn Control,'' 2003, page 57, can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_493.pdf.
    \166\ ``An Evaluation of Permissive Left-Turn Signal Phasing,'' 
by Kenneth R. Agent, ITE Journal, Vol. 51, No. 12, December 1981, 
pages 16-20, may be obtained from the Institute of Transportation 
Engineers at the following Web site: http://www.ite.org.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    381. The FHWA adopts the provisions in Section 4D.17 through 4D.20 
(Sections 4D.06 and 4D.07 in the 2003 MUTCD) and elsewhere in Chapter 
4D, as proposed in the NPA, that allow the use of flashing yellow arrow 
and flashing red arrow indications. The FHWA also adopts the NCUTCD 
recommendation to eliminate separate left-turn signal faces that 
include circular green indications for permissive left turns. Both 
changes are discussed above in item 366.
    382. In Section 4D.17 (Section 4D.06 in the 2003 MUTCD) Signal 
Indications for Left-Turn Movements--General, a State DOT agreed with 
the proposed addition of flashing yellow arrows and also suggested 
allowing a four-signal indication display for protected/permissive 
left-turn mode with green arrow, steady yellow arrow, flashing red 
arrow, and steady red arrow in a ``T'' configuration so that the agency 
can retrofit existing signals with flashing red arrows. The FHWA 
disagrees and notes that the configuration suggested by the commenter 
is prohibited because a change interval must be displayed after the 
flashing red arrow and before the steady red arrow. Sections 4D.17 
through 4D.20 require a steady yellow arrow change interval because the 
change from flashing red arrow to steady red arrow would not 
necessarily be noticed by road users and makes violators of those who 
enter the intersection on steady red arrow during the timed change 
interval.
    A consultant suggested revising the definition of variable left-
turn mode in paragraph 02, item D, so as to not imply that the service 
type must change during the day and as a result preclude the use of 
varying left-turn modes on specific days or for construction 
activities. The FHWA agrees and in this final rule adds ``or as traffic 
conditions change'' to this item D and also to comparable text in 
STANDARD paragraph 08. The FHWA also adopts similar changes for 
variable right-turn mode in Section 4D.20.
    The FHWA in the NPA proposed a STANDARD statement specifying the 
requirements for signal indications on the opposing approach and for 
conflicting pedestrian movements during permissive and protected left-
turn movements. The FHWA proposed this addition for consistency with 
other

[[Page 66816]]

requirements in Part 4. A local DOT agreed with the addition, but 
suggested allowing an exemption for a green display for one direction 
only during preemption. In the commenter's jurisdiction a flashing 
UPRAISED HAND is shown during preemption and therefore it is not 
possible to display a green left-turn arrow because it conflicts with 
that pedestrian signal display. The FHWA notes that the NPA proposed 
provisions do not preclude the commenter's operation as long as a 
yellow trap is not created. A consultant agreed with the addition and 
suggested revising the language to emphasize how the provision may be 
used to avoid the yellow trap. The FHWA notes that similar provisions 
are provided in Section 4D.05 (NPA Section 4D.10) regarding the yellow 
trap and therefore, in this final rule adopts the language as proposed 
in the NPA.
    In the NPA, the FHWA also proposed a STANDARD prohibiting the use 
of a protected-only mode left-turn phase which begins or ends at a 
different time than the adjacent through movements unless an exclusive 
left-turn lane is provided. The FHWA proposed this change because, 
without an exclusive left-turn lane, the operation of a protected-only 
mode left-turn phase forces left-turning vehicles to await the display 
of the protected green arrow while stopped in a lane used by through 
vehicles, causing many approaching through vehicles to abruptly change 
lanes to avoid delays, which can result in inefficient operations and 
rear-end and sideswipe type crashes.\167\ If an exclusive left-turn 
lane is not present and a protected only mode is needed for the left-
turn movement, ``split-phasing,'' in which the protected left-turn 
movement always begins and ends at the same times in the signal cycle 
as the adjacent through movement, can be used. The NCUTCD and a State 
DOT supported the prohibition, recognizing this is an unacceptable 
practice. Two State DOTs and four local agencies disagreed and 
suggested deleting the STANDARD or reducing it to GUIDANCE or OPTION 
because their experience has shown that this operation provides 
operational benefits in special circumstances. The FHWA disagrees, 
because this prohibition addresses the issue of unsafe last-second lane 
changing and the commenters have not provided supporting data to 
justify reducing the statement from a STANDARD. Accordingly, in this 
final rule the STANDARD is adopted as proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \167\ ``Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide'', FHWA 
publication number FHWA-HRT-04-091, August 2004, page 307, can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/pubs/04091/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    An NCUTCD member noted that a SUPPORT paragraph proposed in the NPA 
did not contain SUPPORT language. The FHWA agrees that the existing 
language can only be interpreted as prohibitory in nature and in this 
final rule adopts this statement as a STANDARD with editorial 
revisions. The intent of the language is to prohibit the display of the 
yellow change interval when the left-turn operation is changing from 
permissive mode to protected mode, consistent with other STANDARD 
provisions elsewhere in Chapter 4D.
    383. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the NPA proposed new 
Section 4D.18 Signal Indications for Permissive Only Mode Left-Turn 
Movements with revisions to prohibit circular green indications for 
permissive left-turn movements in separate left-turn signal faces, as 
previously discussed in item 366. A State DOT suggested adding an 
OPTION to allow a circular red signal indication as a replacement to 
the red arrow for permissive only mode left turns as allowed by Interim 
Approval IA-10, Section 2, Signal Face Arrangement, item b. The FHWA 
disagrees because the Interim Approval allowed the option of circular 
red since, at the time the Interim Approval was issued, the 2003 MUTCD 
allowed that option for separate left-turn signal faces and there are a 
few States where red arrows have not been used. As discussed below 
regarding Section 4D.19, the FHWA eliminates the circular red in this 
final rule for separate left-turn faces and therefore declines to add 
it as an OPTION.
    An anonymous commenter suggested adding a new STANDARD item 
permitting a ``Left Turn Yield on Flashing Yellow'' sign with the 
flashing yellow arrow signal face. The FHWA disagrees because the 
research \168\ found that such a sign is not needed and therefore the 
FHWA does not want to encourage the use of a sign, but the FHWA also 
notes that Chapter 2B allows agencies to develop their own word message 
signs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \168\ NCHRP Report 493, ``Evaluation of Traffic Signal Displays 
for Protected/Permissive Left-Turn Control,'' 2003, can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_493.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    384. The FHWA proposed in the NPA a new Section 4D.19 Signal 
Indications for Protected Only Mode Left-Turn Movements. An NCUTCD 
member suggested deleting STANDARD item D because the shared protected-
only left-turn face can only be used when the through and left-turn 
indications begin and terminate at the same time. The FHWA disagrees 
because this provision is necessary for intersections that have 
variable lane uses and signal phasing by time of day. The FHWA in this 
final rule adopts the language as proposed in the NPA.
    An anonymous commenter suggested revising STANDARD paragraph 01 to 
allow a vertical green arrow for situations where a shared signal face 
is used for the protected only left-turn mode. The FHWA agrees and also 
adopts in this final rule an OPTION to allow a vertical arrow in place 
of the circular green display where right turns are not allowed. The 
FHWA also adopts a similar revision in the comparable paragraph 
regarding right turns in Section 4D.23.
    The FHWA in the NPA proposed to eliminate the STANDARD allowing the 
use of protected-only mode signal faces with the combination of 
circular red, left-turn yellow arrow, and left-turn green arrow. The 
FHWA proposed this change to enhance uniformity by requiring States and 
municipal agencies to use a left-turn red arrow instead of a circular 
red for protected-only mode left-turn signals. Red arrow signal 
indications have been in use for over 35 years, are extensively 
implemented for protected turn movements in the majority of States, are 
well understood by road users, present an unequivocal message regarding 
what movement is prohibited when the red indication is displayed, and 
eliminate the need for the use of a supplemental R10-10 LEFT TURN 
SIGNAL sign. A local DOT agreed with the revision. An anonymous 
commenter suggested allowing a circular red indication for protected-
only left turns from a one-way street onto another, at intersection 
approaches that have a gentle left turn with a 45-degree green arrow 
indication, such as single-point urban interchanges, and at approaches 
with shared left-turn/right-turn lanes and no through movements to be 
consistent with Section 4D.25. The FHWA disagrees because an R10-17a 
sign can be used with the red left arrow, the red arrow must match the 
green and yellow arrows for uniformity and consistency, and the T-
intersection described does not apply to Section 4D.25, which addresses 
only the case of T-intersections with a shared left-turn/right-turn 
lane without a through movement. A State DOT opposed the revision and 
suggested adding an OPTION to allow the use of the circular red signal 
with a supplemental R10-10 sign because they believe the circular red 
signal provides better visibility and it allows agencies to stock one 
type of

[[Page 66817]]

red signal display. The FHWA disagrees because allowing the option 
would be inconsistent with the MUTCD uniformity goals.
    Two local DOTs suggested providing an OPTION to allow variable mode 
left-turn phasing, to be consistent with Section 4D.18. The NCUTCD also 
suggested adding OPTION statements to allow separate left-turn signal 
faces with a flashing left-turn yellow arrow and signal faces with 
flashing left-turn red arrows to operate in a variable turn mode. The 
FHWA agrees and adopts in this final rule the OPTION statements as 
recommended.
    385. In new Section 4D.20 Signal Indications for Protected/
Permissive Mode Left-Turn Movements, the FHWA adopts text as proposed 
in the NPA, but with revisions comparable to and consistent with those 
adopted in Sections 4D.17 through 4D.19.
    A State DOT suggested revising the first STANDARD item A for shared 
signal faces to require terminating a green arrow and circular green 
indication with a combination steady yellow arrow and circular yellow. 
The FHWA disagrees because the proposed language is not applicable in a 
four-section signal face where no yellow arrow is provided. Also, the 
provision states that the yellow arrow ``shall not be required'' and 
therefore agencies can choose to display both the circular yellow and 
steady yellow arrow during the change interval. A State DOT suggested 
editorial revisions to STANDARD items A, B, C, and E for shared signal 
faces to consolidate the text, but the FHWA declines to make the 
changes because, although there is some overlap, all four items state 
different ideas.
    In item C of the first STANDARD, the FHWA revises the text in this 
final rule to state that when the left-turn GREEN ARROW and CIRCULAR 
GREEN signal indications are being terminated together, the required 
display following the left-turn GREEN ARROW signal indication shall be 
either the display of a CIRCULAR YELLOW signal indication alone or the 
simultaneous display of the CIRCULAR YELLOW and left-turn YELLOW ARROW 
signal indications. This revision provides additional flexibility to 
jurisdictions to display both the steady yellow arrow and steady 
circular yellow simultaneously and reflects a common practice. The FHWA 
makes a similar revision in this final rule to comparable text for 
right turns in Section 4D.24.
    An anonymous commenter suggested revising the second STANDARD item 
H for separate left-turn faces with a flashing yellow arrow to allow a 
three-section signal face where there are horizontal spacing 
limitations. The FHWA agrees and adopts in this final rule revised 
STANDARD text to allow lateral positioning limitations for 
horizontally-mounted signal faces and additional text to allow the same 
three-section face to include a dual-arrow section capable of 
alternately displaying steady green and flashing yellow arrows. The 
FHWA adopts a comparable change in similar provisions in Section 4D.24.
    A local DOT opposed the proposed 2nd STANDARD item I for separate 
left-turn signal faces with a flashing yellow arrow because the 
language would suppress further research of viable and efficient ways 
to implement the flashing yellow arrow at protected only left-turn 
intersections. The commenter also stated that there is no research 
showing the prohibited method is unsafe or otherwise ineffective and 
that the new hybrid beacon allows this in the yellow signal. The FHWA 
disagrees because there has not been sufficient research or 
experimentation to justify allowing the displays suggested by the 
commenters.
    An anonymous commenter agreed with the proposed 3rd STANDARD items 
E and F for separate left-turn signal faces with a flashing red arrow. 
The same commenter expressed concerns about requiring the display of 
flashing red arrow and steady red arrow signal indications in the same 
signal section because of color-blind driver concerns. The FHWA agrees 
with the commenter regarding the color blindness issue and adopts in 
this final rule an OPTION allowing side-by-side clustering of two red 
left arrows, one steady and one flashing. The FHWA also adopts this 
OPTION for comparable provisions in Section 4D.24.
    386. In the NPA the FHWA proposed a new Section 4D.21 Signal 
Indications for Right-Turn Movements--General. The FHWA proposed 
revising the provisions to prohibit the display of a circular green for 
a permissive right-turn movement in a separate right-turn signal face 
over or in front of a right-turn lane to parallel the NCUTCD 
recommendation for separate left-turn signal faces. The FHWA proposal 
noted that this would not disallow the common use of a five-section 
face over the right turn lane, typically for a ``right turn overlap'' 
situation, as the five-section would be considered a ``shared face.'' 
Similarly, a three-section face over a right-turn lane, with all 
circular indications that always display the same color circular 
indications as the adjacent through signal faces would also be a 
``shared'' face and would not be prohibited.
    A local DOT suggested that the displays of right-turn indications 
with u-turn signal indications should be further clarified. The FHWA 
agrees and adopts in this final rule a new STANDARD paragraph to 
address the U-turn arrow signal indications.
    The FHWA also proposed to add a STANDARD statement specifying the 
requirements for left-turn signal indications on the opposing approach 
and for conflicting pedestrian movements during permissive and 
protected right-turn movements. The FHWA proposed this addition for 
consistency with other requirements in Part 4. The FHWA proposal would 
also prohibit the use of a protected-only mode right-turn phase which 
begins or ends at a different time than the adjacent through movements 
unless an exclusive right-turn lane is provided. Similar to item 382 
above for left turns, the FHWA proposed this change because, without an 
exclusive right-turn lane, the operation of a protected-only mode 
right-turn phase forces right-turning vehicles to await the display of 
the protected green arrow while stopped in a lane used by through 
vehicles, causing many approaching through vehicles to abruptly change 
lanes to avoid delays, and this can result in inefficient operations 
and rear-end and sideswipe type crashes. A local DOT and an anonymous 
commenter agreed. Two local DOTs suggested adding an exception to 
STANDARD paragraph 03 for applications where there is raised or painted 
channelization that prevents conflicts with opposing left-turn 
vehicles. The FHWA agrees with commenters if the right-turn movement 
and the opposing left-turn movement can depart from the intersection in 
their own dedicated lanes without conflict as described in Section 
4D.05 (NPA Section 4D.10). The FHWA adopts in this final rule a 
reference to Section 4D.05 to clarify the protected right-turn 
operation.
    377. In the NPA the FHWA proposed a new Section 4D.22 Signal 
Indications for Permissive Only Mode Right-Turn Movements with 
revisions prohibiting the use of circular green in a separate right 
turn signal face operating in permissive mode as previously discussed 
in item 366.
    An anonymous commenter suggested deleting ``and the opposing right-
turn signal faces display right-turn green arrow signal indications for 
a protected right-turn movement'' in STANDARD item E for separate 
right-turn signal faces with a flashing red arrow to clarify that the 
opposing right turn is not relevant in this situation. The FHWA agrees 
and in this final rule deletes the

[[Page 66818]]

phrase from the adopted item E as suggested.
    388. In new Section 4D.23 Signal Indications for Protected-Only 
Mode Right-Turn Movements, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to retain the 
provision located in Section 4D.07 of the 2003 MUTCD that allows the 
use of protected only mode right-turn signal faces with the combination 
of circular red, right-turn yellow arrow, and right-turn green arrow. 
Although the use of circular red indications for protected-only mode 
left-turns has been eliminated for left-turn signal faces in item 384 
above, the FHWA believes that circular red should be retained for use 
with protected-only mode right-turn movements because of the different 
meanings of the circular red and the right-turn red arrow signal 
indications regarding right-turn-on-red after stop. Circular red would 
be used in a protected-only mode right turn signal face if it is 
intended to allow right turns on red after stopping. The FHWA also 
proposed to add STANDARD statements for the use of flashing yellow 
arrow and flashing red arrow signal indications for protected only mode 
right-turn movements. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the language 
as proposed in the NPA with revisions incorporating the NCUTCD's 
recommendations in Section 4D.17 about consolidating all text regarding 
``separate'' signal faces.
    389. In new Section 4D.24 Signal Indications for Protected/
Permissive Mode Right-Turn Movements, the FHWA adopts the text as 
proposed in the NPA, but with revisions for consistency with adopted 
text in Sections 4D.21 through 4D.22.
    390. The FHWA also adopts several new figures that illustrate 
positioning and arrangements of signal sections in left turn signal 
faces (Figures 4D-6 to 4D-12) and right turn signal faces (Figures 4D-
13 to 4D-19). The FHWA adopts these new figures in order to enhance 
understanding and correct application of the relatively complex 
requirements and options for turn signals. In this final rule, the FHWA 
adopts minor revisions to these figures to reflect changes in 
applicable text.
    391. The FHWA adopts Section 4D.25 Signal Indications for 
Approaches With a Shared Left-Turn/Right-Turn Lane and No Through 
Movement, as proposed in the NPA but with editorial revisions for 
clarity. This new section contains SUPPORT, STANDARD, and OPTION 
statements regarding this type of lane that is shared by left-turn and 
right-turn movements on an approach that has no through movement, such 
as the stem of a T-intersection or where the opposite approach is a 
one-way roadway in the opposing direction. The FHWA includes this new 
section to provide explicit information regarding shared left-turn/
right-turn lanes, which has not previously been included in the MUTCD, 
and to enhance uniformity of displays for this application. A local DOT 
agreed.
    Another local DOT suggested allowing the use of a four-section 
signal face where a steady circular yellow follows both left-turn and 
right-turn green arrows instead of the five-section signal face, 
because this might save space in certain applications. The FHWA 
disagrees because the suggested signal display will require a yellow 
change interval that requires two different yellows being displayed 
simultaneously.
    The commenter also suggested allowing for the option of a flashing 
left-turn yellow arrow and flashing right-turn yellow arrow being 
displayed simultaneously ``when the lack of vehicular conflict is 
because a red signal indication is being displayed to traffic on the 
opposing approach'' when there is a conflicting vehicular or pedestrian 
movement. The commenter believes this would serve to reinforce the DO 
NOT ENTER condition when a two-way street intersects a one-way street 
with the use of the two turn arrows as well as provide notice to 
motorists that they must yield when making either turn. The FHWA 
disagrees because the provisions require a five-section shared face 
with two steady yellow arrows, one for right turns and one for left 
turns. A single circular yellow would not be consistent with the steady 
yellow arrows used for the change interval in the faces for the 
exclusive turn lane(s) on the approach.
    A State DOT and an anonymous commenter suggested adding figures to 
illustrate potential signal head configurations, particularly for 
situations with pedestrian accommodations because the text is difficult 
to interpret. The FHWA agrees and adopts a new Figure 4D-20 in this 
final rule.
    An anonymous commenter noted that the provisions of this Section 
are an exception to the STANDARD in Section 4D.19 that requires the use 
of a red arrow indication for a protected only left-turn movement that 
is for a separately-controlled protected only left turn. The FHWA 
agrees and in this final rule adopts text indicating that the circular 
red displays required in Section 4D.25 are an exception to what would 
otherwise be required by Chapter 4D.
    392. In Section 4D.26 (Section 4D.10 in the 2003 MUTCD) Yellow 
Change and Red Clearance Intervals, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to 
revise the first STANDARD regarding yellow change intervals to account 
for the introduction of the flashing yellow arrow and flashing red 
arrow for permissive turn phases. A State DOT and two local DOTs 
suggested revising the text to allow a green arrow to follow a flashing 
yellow arrow to be consistent with Section 4D.20. A local DOT also 
suggested exempting the change interval when going from the flashing 
red arrow to a green arrow. The FHWA agrees with the commenters and 
adopts in this final rule a revision in the 1st STANDARD to exempt the 
change interval between the permissive interval and the lagging 
protected interval in turn signals.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed changing the first OPTION statement 
to a GUIDANCE, to recommend, rather than merely permit, that a yellow 
change interval should be followed by a red clearance interval to 
provide additional time before conflicting movements are released, when 
indicated by the application of engineering practices as discussed 
below. The FHWA proposed this change based on safety studies indicating 
the positive effect on safety of providing a red clearance interval and 
surveys indicating that use of a red clearance interval is a 
predominant practice by jurisdictions, as documented in the FHWA report 
``Making Intersections Safer: Toolbox of Engineering Countermeasures to 
Reduce Red Light Running.'' \169\ A State DOT agreed with the revision. 
Another State DOT and five local agencies opposed the revision because 
of concerns that there is a lack of evidence to support elevating this 
provision to GUIDANCE, laws about change intervals vary by State, and 
the GUIDANCE does not provide flexibility to use engineering judgment. 
The FHWA notes that the proposed text does not recommend red clearance 
intervals for all signals, only to provide them when it is indicated by 
the application of engineering practices, such as the ITE formulas. The 
FHWA disagrees with the commenters because studies \170\ have shown 
safety benefits when yellow and red clearance times are used per the 
ITE

[[Page 66819]]

formulas. The FHWA adopts this final rule the language as proposed in 
the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \169\ Pages 35-36 of this report can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/intersections/docs/rlrbook.pdf.
    \170\ NCHRP Research Results Digest 299, November 2005, can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rrd_299.pdf. This digest 
includes data from the study ``Changes in Crash Risk Following 
Retiming of the Traffic Signal Change Intervals,'' by R.A. Retting, 
J.F. Chapline, and A.F. Williams, as published in Accident Analysis 
and Prevention, Volume 34, number 2, pages 215-220, available from 
Pergamon Press, Oxford, NY.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to revise the second STANDARD 
statement to indicate that the durations of the yellow change interval 
and, when used, the red clearance interval, shall be determined using 
engineering practices, and also proposed to add a new SUPPORT statement 
to indicate that engineering practices for determining the durations of 
these intervals can be found in two publications from the ITE. The FHWA 
proposed this to enhance safety at signalized intersections by 
requiring that accepted engineering methods be used to determine the 
durations of these critical intervals rather than random or ``rule of 
thumb'' settings, and by recommending the provision of a red clearance 
interval when such accepted engineering practices indicate that a red 
clearance interval is needed. As documented in the FHWA report 
``Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide,'' \171\ a variety of 
studies from 1985 through 2002 have found significant safety benefits 
from using accepted engineering practices to determine the durations of 
yellow change and red clearance intervals. Recent safety studies \172\ 
have further documented significant major reductions in crashes when 
jurisdictions have revised the durations of the yellow change and red 
clearance intervals using the accepted engineering practices. A State 
DOT and two local DOTs opposed the revision because their agencies have 
other methods for calculating red intervals and do not believe the ITE 
methods to be superior. The FHWA disagrees because the studies have 
shown significant safety benefits when red clearance times are provided 
per the ITE methods and therefore, adopts in this final rule the 
language as proposed in the NPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \171\ ``Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide'', FHWA 
publication number FHWA-HRT-04-091, August 2004, pages 209-211, can 
be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/pubs/04091/.
    \172\ NCHRP Research Results Digest 299, November 2005, can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rrd_299.pdf. This digest 
includes data from the study ``Changes in Crash Risk Following 
Retiming of the Traffic Signal Change Intervals,'' by R.A. Retting, 
J.F. Chapline, and A.F. Williams, as published in Accident Analysis 
and Prevention, Volume 34, number 2, pages 215-220, available from 
Pergamon Press, Oxford, NY.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also establishes a target compliance date of December 31, 
2014 (approximately 5 years from the effective date of this final rule) 
or when timing adjustments are made to the individual intersection and/
or corridor, whichever occurs first, for the durations of yellow change 
intervals and red clearance intervals at existing locations to be based 
on engineering practices. The FHWA establishes this target compliance 
date because of the demonstrated safety benefits, as discussed above, 
of proper engineering-based timing of these critical signal intervals. 
Traffic signals and signal control equipment have a very long service 
life (30 to 50 years is not uncommon) and very long intervals between 
signal retiming are typical at many traffic signal locations in many 
jurisdictions. The FHWA believes that relying on systematic upgrading 
provisions (23 CFR 655.603(d)(1)), based on service life, to achieve 
compliance with this critical timing need would take an inordinately 
long time, to the detriment of road user safety. State and local 
highway agencies and owners of private roads open to public travel can 
minimize any impact of this signal timing requirement by adopting a 
policy for determining durations of yellow change and red clearance 
intervals that is based on engineering practices as discussed in 
Section 4D.26 and then by applying that policy whenever an existing 
individual signal location or system of interconnected locations is 
being checked or adjusted for any reason, such as investigation of 
citizen complaints or routine maintenance.
    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to add a new STANDARD statement 
that requires the duration of the yellow change and red clearance 
intervals to be within the technical capabilities of the signal 
controller, and that they be consistent from cycle to cycle in the same 
timing plan. The FHWA proposed this change to accommodate the inherent 
limitations of some older mechanical controllers, but provide for 
consistency of interval timing. Two State DOTs suggested allowing red 
clearance interval extensions when a vehicle violating the red signal 
is detected entering the intersection on red. The FHWA agrees and 
adopts text in this final rule to allow a red clearance interval 
extension when a red light runner is detected.
    Two local DOTs suggested adding an exception to allow red clearance 
intervals longer than 6 seconds for exceptionally large intersections 
such as at a single point urban interchange. The FHWA agrees and adopts 
in this final rule an exception for exceptionally large intersections
    Finally, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a new STANDARD 
statement at the end of the section that prohibits the use at a 
signalized location of flashing green indications, countdown vehicular 
signals, or similar displays intended to provide a ``pre-yellow 
warning'' interval. Flashing beacons on advance warning signs on the 
approach to a signalized location are exempted from the prohibition. 
The FHWA proposed this change to make the MUTCD consistent with FHWA 
Official Interpretation 4-246.\173\ The FHWA notes that it did 
not intend to include pedestrian countdown signals in the provision and 
therefore adopts in this final rule revised language to add 
``vehicular'' before ``signal displays'' in order to exclude pedestrian 
countdown signals.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \173\ Official Interpretation 4-246 can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/documents/pdf/4-246-I-NY-S.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    393. In Section 4D.27 (Section 4D.13 in the 2003 MUTCD) Preemption 
and Priority Control of Traffic Control Signals, the FHWA proposed in 
the NPA to add a GUIDANCE statement recommending that agencies provide 
back-up power supplies for signals with railroad preemption or that are 
coordinated with flashing-light signal systems, with the exception of 
traffic control signals interconnected with light rail transit systems. 
The FHWA proposed this change to ensure that the primary functions of 
the interconnected signal systems still function in a safe manner in 
the event of a power failure. Four State DOTs and a local DOT agreed 
with the addition. A State DOT and two local DOTs opposed the GUIDANCE 
because of concerns about the increased cost for installation and 
maintenance and that the large cabinet sizes might impact the right-of-
way and their ability to meet ADA requirements. The FHWA disagrees and 
adopts in this final rule the language as proposed in the NPA because 
of the important safety benefits provided by back-up power at such 
locations.
    In addition, the FHWA also adopts the proposed new OPTION allowing 
light rail transit signal indications to control preemption or priority 
control movements for public transit buses in ``queue jumper'' lanes or 
bus rapid transit in semi-exclusive or mixed-use alignments. The FHWA 
adopts this to incorporate clarification into the MUTCD consistent with 
FHWA Official Interpretation 10-59(I) and 10-66(I), 
and to provide additional flexibility to agencies seeking to reduce 
driver confusion with traffic signal indications intended to control 
only mass transit vehicles.\174\ A local DOT agreed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \174\ FHWA's Official Interpretations 10-59(I), dated April 16, 
2003, and 10-66(I), dated October 6, 2006, can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web sites: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/10_59.htm and http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/10_66.htm.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 66820]]

    394. In Section 4D.28 Flashing Operation of Traffic Control 
Signals--General, the FHWA adopts the proposed new OPTION allowing 
traffic control signals to be operated in flashing mode on a scheduled 
basis during one or more periods of the day. The FHWA includes this 
change because more efficient operations might be achieved if the 
signal is set to flashing mode when steady mode (stop and go) operation 
is not needed. This change is consistent with a similar change in 
Section 4C.04 discussed in item 360 above.
    395. In Section 4D.30 Flashing Operation--Signal Indications During 
Flashing Mode, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to include a paragraph in 
the STANDARD statement that prohibits green signal indications from 
being displayed when a traffic control signal is operated in the 
flashing mode, except for single-section green arrow signal indications 
as noted elsewhere in the section. The FHWA proposed including this 
paragraph to clarify proper displays during flashing mode. A State DOT 
requested clarification for pedestrian signal indications during 
flashing operation. The FHWA notes that this information is provided in 
Chapter 4E and adds a new reference in this final rule.
    396. In Section 4D.31 Flashing Operation--Transition Out of 
Flashing Mode, a local DOT suggested adding a new provision to allow 
the signal operation to change from flashing mode to steady (stop-and-
go) mode by servicing the minor street before the major street to go 
back into the coordinated cycle. The FHWA disagrees because this 
violates the existing MUTCD and no justification was provided to add 
the provision. The FHWA adopts Section 4D.31 as proposed in the NPA.
    397. In Section 4D.34 (Section 4D.19 in the 2003) Use of Signs at 
Signalized Locations, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add to the 
GUIDANCE statement a recommendation to use overhead lane control signs 
where lane drops, multiple-lane turns, shared through and turn lanes, 
or other lane-use regulations that might be unexpected by unfamiliar 
road users are present. The FHWA in this final rule does not adopt the 
proposed additional GUIDANCE text and instead adopts a reference to 
Section 2B.19, where the appropriate text is located.
Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 4E--General
    398. The FHWA in this final rule is adopting a reorganization of 
the existing and NPA proposed content of Section 4E.06 Accessible 
Pedestrian Signals and Section 4E.09 Accessible Pedestrian Detectors. 
In doing so, the FHWA eliminates overlapping text and cross-references 
and consolidates the provisions into a clearer and more logical flow of 
the information, without changing its meaning. This reorganization is 
based on comments from an organization for the blind noting that 
accessible pedestrian signals require the use of pushbutton-integrated 
devices and having the various features of accessible pedestrian 
signals (APS) described piecemeal in two different sections can lead to 
confusion in installation. The FHWA agrees with this comment and 
believes that placing the material in one location with a more accurate 
grouping of features and functions of pushbutton-integrated APS will 
improve understanding by users of the MUTCD. The text of this 
consolidated content is reorganized into five new sections, Section 
4E.09 Accessible Pedestrian Signals and Detectors--General, Section 
4E.10 Accessible Pedestrian Signals and Detectors--Location, Section 
4E.11 Accessible Pedestrian Signals and Detectors--Walk Indications, 
Section 4E.12 Accessible Pedestrian Signals and Detectors--Tactile 
Arrows and Locator Tones, and Section 4E.13 Accessible Pedestrian 
Signals and Detectors--Extended Pushbutton Press Features. The new 
sections also include adopted revisions to the text of former Sections 
4E.06 and 4E.09, as discussed below.
    399. The FHWA in this final rule is relocating Section 4E.10 in the 
2003 MUTCD to a new Section 4E.06 because the content of this section, 
pedestrian intervals and signal phases, more appropriately follows the 
content of Sections 4E.04 and 4E.05 and should precede the information 
on countdown pedestrian signals, pedestrian detectors, and accessible 
pedestrian signals and detectors.
Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 4E--Specific
    400. In Section 4E.02 Meaning of Pedestrian Signal Head 
Indications, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise item B of the 
STANDARD that defines the meaning of the flashing UPRAISED HAND 
pedestrian signal indication to allow pedestrians that entered the 
intersection on a steady WALKING PERSON indication to proceed to the 
far side of the traveled way, unless otherwise directed by signs or 
signals to proceed only to a median or pedestrian refuge area. The FHWA 
proposed this change to allow pedestrians to cross an entire divided 
highway and not have to stop at the median if the signal has been timed 
to provide sufficient clearance time for pedestrians to cross the 
entire highway. In cases where the signal timing only provides enough 
time for pedestrians to cross to the median, signs or signals are 
required to be provided to direct pedestrians accordingly. The NCUTCD 
agreed with this change and also suggested an editorial revision, which 
the FHWA agrees with and adopts in this final rule. The FHWA also 
adopts revisions to Section 4E.06 (see item 403 below) for consistency 
with this change.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed a second change in the meaning of the 
flashing orange UPRAISED HAND, to allow pedestrians to enter the 
intersection when a countdown pedestrian signal indication is shown 
with the flashing UPRAISED HAND if they are able to travel to the far 
side of the traveled way or to a median by the time the countdown 
display reaches zero. The FHWA proposed this change because many 
pedestrians walk faster than the walking speeds used to calculate the 
length of the pedestrian change interval; therefore, many pedestrians 
are easily able to begin their crossing after the flashing UPRAISED 
HAND and countdown period has started and complete their crossing 
during the displayed countdown period. In the NPA, the FHWA stated the 
belief that pedestrians should be permitted to make their own 
determination of whether or not they have sufficient time to begin and 
complete their crossing during the remaining pedestrian clearance time. 
The FHWA received comments agreeing with this proposed change from the 
NCUTCD, two local DOTs, a toll road authority, a local pedestrian 
advisory board, and a consultant. However, the FHWA received comments 
in opposition to this change from 4 State DOTs, 12 local DOTs, an 
NCUTCD member, a regional section of ITE, and a retired traffic 
engineer. The opponents expressed concerns that there would be two 
different meanings of the flashing UPRAISED HAND depending on whether 
or not a countdown display is present, and that this would be difficult 
to teach to young schoolchildren. The FHWA understands the concerns 
expressed about two meanings for the same indication and, as a result 
the FHWA does not adopt in this final rule the second proposed change 
in the

[[Page 66821]]

meaning of flashing UPRAISED HAND. However, the FHWA believes that 
ultimately countdown pedestrian displays will be nearly ubiquitous and 
that the countdown information does provide pedestrians with the 
information they need to make individual judgments on whether to start 
crossing during the countdown, based on their individual walking 
speeds. The FHWA encourages additional research and experimentation to 
evaluate the feasibility of removing the flashing UPRAISED HAND 
indication completely as the pedestrian clearance display and instead 
just displaying the countdown.
    401. In the NPA the FHWA proposed minor editorial revisions to 
Section 4E.03 Application of Pedestrian Signal Heads. A local DOT 
agreed with the proposed revisions to Section 4E.03, but commented that 
there are conditions where pedestrian signal heads can be used that are 
not covered by any of the conditions for which this section either 
requires or recommends the use of pedestrian signal heads. The FHWA 
agrees and adopts in this final rule an OPTION statement after the 
GUIDANCE, indicating that pedestrian signal heads may be used under 
other conditions based on engineering judgment.
    The FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a 2nd STANDARD statement at the 
end of the section to explicitly require a steady or flashing red 
signal indication to be shown to any conflicting vehicular movement 
perpendicular to a crosswalk with an associated pedestrian signal head 
displaying either a steady WALKING PERSON or flashing UPRAISED HAND 
indication, to reflect sound engineering practice. The NCUTCD agreed 
with this addition but suggested a minor editorial change. The FHWA 
adopts in this final rule this additional STANDARD statement with the 
minor editorial change suggested by the NCUTCD, but relocates this 
statement to Section 4E.06 Pedestrian Intervals and Signal Phases 
(Section 4E.10 in the 2003 MUTCD), because the subject matter is more 
logically located there.
    402. In Section 4E.04 Size, Design, and Illumination of Pedestrian 
Signal Head Indications, the FHWA in the NPA proposed to revise the 
first STANDARD statement to allow the use of a one-section pedestrian 
signal head with the WALKING PERSON and UPRAISED HAND symbols overlaid 
upon each other or side by side. The FHWA proposed this change to 
reflect the Official Interpretation 4-303,\175\ dated February 
3, 2006, which provides that the light sources comprising the 
indications may be overlaid on each other, as long as the pedestrian 
signal head properly displays the individual indications, visible as 
distinctly separate indications that meet all other requirements, such 
as color, shape, and luminous intensity, etc. A State DOT opposed 
overlaid symbols on pedestrian signal heads, citing false indications 
from sun glare in some pedestrian signal units. The FHWA disagrees 
because pedestrian signal heads with overlaid symbols are in widespread 
use in many States and the FHWA is unaware of any significant issues 
with false indications from sun glare when compared to side-by-side 
symbols. Further, the use of overlaid symbols is optional and any 
highway agency can choose not to use them. The FHWA adopts in this 
final rule the revision to the first STANDARD statement and also adopts 
a revised Figure 4E-1 Typical Pedestrian Signal Indications to reflect 
this change. Further, based on comments about the figure from the 
NCUTCD, four State DOTs, and a consultant, the FHWA adopts additional 
illustrations to Figure 4E-1 to show a one-section unit with overlaid 
symbols and countdown numerals and a two-section unit with overlaid 
symbols in the top section and countdown numerals in the bottom 
section.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \175\ Official Interpretation 4-303 can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interpretations/pdf/4_303.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to add a paragraph to the 
GUIDANCE statement recommending that some form of automatic dimming be 
used to reduce the brilliance of the pedestrian signal indication if 
the indication is so bright as to cause excessive glare in nighttime 
conditions. The FHWA proposed this new recommendation to avoid glare 
conditions, which can reduce the visibility of the indications at 
night, similar to the existing GUIDANCE for vehicular signal 
indications in Chapter 4D. The NCUTCD agreed with this revision and 
suggested minor editorial changes for clarity, which the FHWA adopts in 
this final rule. An organization for the blind also agreed in concept 
with this revision, but suggested that it be a STANDARD rather than 
GUIDANCE, requiring pedestrian signal indications to be responsive to 
ambient light, brighter in bright conditions and dimmer in low light 
conditions. The FHWA disagrees because supporting data for such a 
mandatory requirement is not documented in any studies. A State DOT 
opposed the proposed GUIDANCE recommending dimming because of concern 
about operational and risk management problems. The FHWA disagrees 
because similar language regarding dimming of vehicular signal 
indications has been in the MUTCD for many decades and the FHWA is 
unaware of any significant issues with dimming of vehicular signals.
    403. In Section 4E.06 Pedestrian Intervals and Signal Phases 
(Section 4E.10 in the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to 
revise the first STANDARD statement to require the steady UPRAISED HAND 
indication to be displayed during the yellow change interval and the 
red clearance interval if those intervals are used as part of the 
pedestrian clearance time, to be consistent with the change that was 
proposed in Section 4E.07 to require countdown pedestrian signal 
displays. The NPA also proposed revisions to the first OPTION statement 
that would allow both the vehicular yellow change interval time and the 
red clearance time to be used to satisfy the calculated duration of the 
pedestrian clearance time. The FHWA received comments from a city, a 
consultant, and a citizen opposing the allowable use of the red 
clearance time for this purpose because it results in the lack of any 
safety ``buffer'' for pedestrians before conflicting traffic receives a 
green signal indication. Also, the NCUTCD submitted a comment noting 
that there are significant disconnects and inconsistencies between the 
timing of pedestrian intervals and vehicular intervals, especially with 
the introduction of pedestrian countdown displays, that must be 
addressed in order to resolve inconsistency and present a logical and 
consistent message to pedestrians. The NCUTCD recommended that there 
should always be a minimum interval of at least 3 seconds between the 
end of the flashing UPRAISED HAND display (which coincides with the end 
of the pedestrian countdown display) and the release of any vehicular 
traffic that might be in conflict with the terminating pedestrian 
interval, and recommended calling this the pedestrian buffer interval. 
The NCUTCD recommended that a minimum rather than a fixed buffer 
interval be specified because vehicle actuated sequences and certain 
combinations of vehicle and pedestrian displays can result in buffer 
interval lengths that are determined by factors other than pedestrian 
considerations. The NCUTCD further recommended that the sum of the 
pedestrian change interval and the buffer interval must equal or exceed 
the calculated pedestrian clearance time. The FHWA

[[Page 66822]]

agrees that this required buffer interval provides a margin of safety 
that allows a pedestrian who underestimates the time he or she needs to 
cross a roadway, with or without a countdown display, to better avoid a 
conflict with vehicles. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a revised 
section that incorporates the NCUTCD's recommendations.
    As also recommended by NCUTCD, the FHWA also adopts an OPTION to 
allow the countdown pedestrian display with flashing UPRAISED HAND to 
extend into the yellow change interval, but terminate within the yellow 
change interval and be followed by a steady UPRAISED HAND and zero 
(followed by blank) countdown display for the remainder of the yellow 
change interval. This minimizes disruption of vehicular traffic, and 
also makes the pedestrian change interval more closely approximate the 
pedestrian clearance time. While the functionality of some current 
controller equipment might result in the UPRAISED HAND and countdown 
being displayed until the end of the yellow change interval, that would 
not be required by the adopted OPTION. The FHWA believes that future 
controller software will incorporate a timed pedestrian buffer interval 
between the end of the flashing UPRAISED HAND/countdown zero interval 
and the release of conflicting vehicular traffic, that the pedestrian 
buffer interval timing value will be a part of the pedestrian interval 
series of controller data inputs, and that the controller logic will be 
designed to implement the intention of the interval without any other 
data input. The FHWA also adopts a new Figure 4E-2 Pedestrian Intervals 
in this final rule to illustrate the pedestrian buffer interval and its 
relationship to other pedestrian and vehicular intervals, to enhance 
clarity and understanding. The subsequent figure numbering in Chapter 
4E is changed accordingly.
    The FHWA establishes a target compliance date of December 31, 2014 
(approximately 5 years from the effective date of this final rule) or 
when timing adjustments are made to the individual intersection and/or 
corridor, whichever occurs first, for the display and timing of the 
pedestrian change interval as per the adopted text of Section 4E.06 at 
existing locations. The FHWA establishes this target compliance date 
because of the demonstrated safety issues associated with pedestrian 
crossings at traffic signals, the need for consistent display of signal 
indications for pedestrians, and the pedestrian confusion that would 
likely occur as a result of a long-term mixing of a variety of 
pedestrian signal displays associated with the pedestrian clearance 
interval. Traffic signals and signal control equipment have a very long 
service life (30 to 50 years is not uncommon) and very long intervals 
between signal retiming are typical at many traffic signal locations in 
many jurisdictions. The FHWA believes that relying on the systematic 
upgrading provisions of Section 655.603(d)(1) of title 23, Code of 
Federal Regulations, based on service life, to achieve compliance with 
this critical timing need would take an inordinately long time, to the 
detriment of pedestrian safety. State and local highway agencies and 
owners of private roads open to public travel can minimize any impact 
of this signal timing requirement by adopting a policy for timing and 
display of pedestrian change intervals in relation to vehicular 
intervals as discussed in Section 4E.06 and then by applying that 
policy whenever an existing individual signal location or system of 
interconnected locations is being checked or adjusted for any reason, 
such as investigation of citizen complaints or routine maintenance.
    The FHWA also adopts revisions to the first GUIDANCE statement, as 
proposed in the NPA, to reduce the recommended walking speed for 
calculating pedestrian clearance times to 3.5 feet per second, except 
where extended pushbutton presses or passive pedestrian detection has 
been installed for slower pedestrians to request additional crossing 
time as noted in the OPTION. In this final rule, the FHWA also adds an 
OPTION paragraph to clarify that if crossing time is to be added based 
on an extended pushbutton press, it may be added to either the walk 
interval or the pedestrian change interval. The FHWA adopts these 
provisions to provide enhanced pedestrian safety, based on recent 
research \176\ regarding pedestrian walking speeds. In addition, based 
on the same research, the FHWA adopts an additional GUIDANCE statement, 
as proposed in the NPA, recommending that the total of the walk phase 
and pedestrian clearance time should be long enough to allow a 
pedestrian to walk from the pedestrian detector to the opposite edge of 
the traveled way at a speed of 3 feet per second. The FHWA adopts this 
guidance to ensure that slower pedestrians can be accommodated at 
longer crosswalks if they start crossing at the beginning of the walk 
phase. The FHWA received comments in support of these changes in 
walking speed from four cities, a local DOT, several associations 
representing visually disabled pedestrians and pedestrians in general, 
a regional planning commission, a consultant, and many citizens. Some 
of these comments also requested that the GUIDANCE on walking speed be 
strengthened to a STANDARD. The FHWA disagrees with making this a 
STANDARD because the walking speed used to calculate pedestrian 
clearance time for signals has always been in the form of GUIDANCE, 
allowing highway agencies some flexibility in unusual circumstances and 
the FHWA believes that it is appropriate for such flexibility to be 
continued. Therefore, in this final rule the FHWA adopts the walking 
speeds as GUIDANCE.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \176\ Pedestrian walking speed research was included in 
``Improving Pedestrian Safety at Unsignalized Pedestrian 
Crossings,'' TCRP Report 112/NCHRP Report 562, Transportation 
Research Board, 2006, which can be viewed at the following Internet 
Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_562.pdf. Also see the article ``The Continuing Evolution of 
Pedestrian Walking Speed Assumptions,'' by LaPlante and Kaeser, ITE 
Journal, September 2004, pages 32-40, available from the Institute 
of Transportation Engineers Web site: http://www.ite.org.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA also received comments in opposition to some or all of the 
provisions for reduced walking speeds from 6 State DOTs, 21 cities, 3 
counties, a regional signal system manager, and several citizens. The 
comments in opposition centered on impacts on signal timing that might 
reduce the vehicular capacity of intersections, where longer pedestrian 
intervals would reduce the available green time for vehicles or could 
necessitate using a longer cycle length, which in turn could impact 
numerous intersections in a coordinated signal system and could require 
considerable effort to implement in large systems. The FHWA recognizes 
that the recommended use of slower walking speeds in calculating 
pedestrian intervals will, in some cases, slightly reduce vehicular 
capacity and, for highway agencies with large numbers of signalized 
intersections, will require considerable time and effort to retime 
signals. However, the FHWA believes that the research has clearly 
demonstrated the need to reduce walking speeds to accommodate a larger 
percentage of the walking public and that the safety needs of 
pedestrians for adequate crossing time must outweigh potential 
vehicular capacity impacts. Further, this adopted section provides 
agencies with various optional ways to mitigate the impacts, such as by 
using the extended button press feature to only provide the longer time 
when it is called for by a pedestrian who needs it. The FHWA also 
believes that agencies can reduce the efforts needed to implement 
retiming of pedestrian

[[Page 66823]]

intervals by doing so in conjunction with regularly scheduled periodic 
reviews of all signal timings and operations at their signalized 
intersections, a practice that has long been recommended in many 
traffic engineering handbooks and publications.
    The FHWA also adopts the NPA proposed revision of the existing 
GUIDANCE to a STANDARD, in order to require, rather than merely 
recommend, that median-mounted pedestrian signals, signing, and 
pushbuttons (if actuated) be provided when the pedestrian clearance 
time is sufficient only for crossing from the curb or shoulder to a 
median of sufficient width for a pedestrian to wait. The FHWA adopts 
this standard to assure that pedestrians who must wait on a median or 
island are provided with the means to actuate a pedestrian phase to 
complete the second half of their crossing. The FHWA received a comment 
from an organization for the blind agreeing with this change and also 
recommending that this STANDARD also require the provision of APS, 
because persons with low or no vision need this information as well. 
The FHWA does not agree with making APS a requirement under these 
conditions but, for consistency with other sections in Chapter 4E that 
recommend APS for various conditions, the FHWA adds GUIDANCE that APS 
should be considered for this condition.
    The FHWA also adopts in this final rule the proposed OPTION 
statement that allows a leading pedestrian interval when a high volume 
of pedestrians and turning vehicles are present. As indicated in the 
FHWA report ``Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide,'' \177\ 
several studies have demonstrated that leading pedestrian intervals can 
significantly reduce conflicts for pedestrians. In the NPA, the FHWA 
also proposed a GUIDANCE statement that gives a recommended minimum 
length of the leading pedestrian interval, reflecting recommendations 
from the Older Driver handbook,\178\ and the traffic control devices 
that should be used to prevent turning vehicles from crossing the path 
of pedestrians during this leading interval. The FHWA received several 
comments from the NCUTCD and others about the needs of blind 
pedestrians, including concerns about the proposed recommendation that 
the leading interval should be timed to allow pedestrians to cross at 
least one lane of traffic before turning traffic is released, and 
concerns about the proposed recommendations on the methods that should 
be used to prohibit turns across the crosswalk during the leading 
interval. Based on these comments, the FHWA adopts the proposed 
GUIDANCE statement in this final rule but with clarifying revisions to 
recommend that: (1) When a leading pedestrian interval is used, the use 
of an APS should be considered; and, (2) in the case of a large corner 
radius, the leading pedestrian interval should be timed to allow 
pedestrians to establish their position ahead of turning traffic before 
it is released. The FHWA also removes the text about various specific 
methods of prohibiting turns and replaces it with a more general 
recommendation that consideration should be given to prohibiting turns 
across the crosswalk during a leading pedestrian interval, to give 
agencies more flexibility in how they implement such turn prohibitions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \177\ ``Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide'', FHWA 
publication number FHWA-HRT-04-091, August 2004, pages 197-198, can 
be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/pubs/04091/.
    \178\ ``Guidelines and Recommendations to Accommodate Older 
Drivers and Pedestrians,'' FHWA Report no. FHWA-RD-01-051, May 2001, 
can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/cover.htm. Recommendation I.P(6).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA the FHWA proposed adding an OPTION statement to permit 
the green time for the concurrent vehicular movement to be set longer 
than the pedestrian change interval in order to allow vehicles to 
complete turns after the pedestrian phase. This treatment is used by 
many jurisdictions, and is recommended by the Older Driver handbook 
\179\ to reduce conflicts between pedestrians and turning motor 
vehicles. Based on comments from the NCUTCD, the FHWA in this final 
rule revises the proposed OPTION statement to a SUPPORT statement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \179\ This 2001 report can be viewed at the following Internet 
Web site: http://www.tfhrc.gov/humanfac/01105/01-051.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    404. In Section 4E.07 Countdown Pedestrian Signals, in the NPA the 
FHWA proposed changing the option of using pedestrian countdown 
displays to a requirement for new installations of pedestrian signals 
where the duration of the pedestrian change interval is more than 3 
seconds. The FHWA proposed this to provide enhanced pedestrian safety 
because a multi-year research project involving crash data for hundreds 
of locations in San Francisco \180\ showed significant overall safety 
benefits and substantial reductions in the number of pedestrian-vehicle 
crashes when countdown signals are used, as compared to locations that 
did not have the countdowns.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \180\ ``Pedestrian Countdown Signals: Experience With an 
Extensive Pilot Installation,'' by Markowitz, Sciortino, Fleck, and 
Yee, published in ITE Journal, January 2006, pages 43-48, is 
available from the Institute of Transportation Engineers at the 
following Internet Web site: http://www.ite.org.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA received comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, a local 
DOT, a regional council of governments, a city pedestrian advisory 
board, a consultant, and a private citizen agreeing with this 
requirement, while five State DOTs, three cities, two counties, and a 
citizen agreed in concept, but requested that it be a recommendation, 
rather than a requirement. The FHWA received comments in opposition to 
anything more restrictive than an OPTION from six State DOTs, six 
cities, three counties, a consultant, and a citizen. Most of the 
comments in opposition centered on concerns about impacts on controller 
operation, drivers of vehicles using the pedestrian countdown 
information to decide to speed up when approaching the intersection, 
and financial impacts. The FHWA disagrees because pedestrian countdowns 
have been operating successfully with a wide variety of control 
equipment without significant problems, studies have found that drivers 
use the pedestrian countdown information to make better choices (i.e., 
to start slowing to a stop, rather than speed up), and the safety 
benefits of pedestrian countdowns justify the requirement that they be 
used with new pedestrian signal installations. The FHWA does not adopt 
in this final rule the proposed sentence in this section that would 
have required highway agencies to add pedestrian countdown displays to 
all existing pedestrian signal heads within 10 years. As a result, 
existing pedestrian signals without the countdown displays can 
generally remain in place until the end of their useful service life 
under the systematic upgrading provisions of Section 655.603(d)(1) of 
title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, thus minimizing any impacts to 
highway agencies.
    The FHWA also received comments from the NCUTCD, two State DOTs and 
two local DOTs recommending an increase in the threshold of the 
pedestrian change interval above which the countdown displays would be 
required, from more than 3 seconds (as proposed in the NPA) to more 
than 7 seconds, because countdowns of 7 seconds or less are so short 
that they could be missed. The FHWA agrees and adopts in this final 
rule the proposed increase in the threshold duration. Crosswalks 
needing a pedestrian clearance interval of 7 seconds or less are likely 
to be across relatively narrow streets where the countdown information 
is of less value to

[[Page 66824]]

pedestrians. The NCUTCD also recommended, and the FHWA agrees, to adopt 
in this final rule an OPTION statement allowing pedestrian countdown 
displays to be used with pedestrian change intervals of 7 seconds or 
less, to provide flexibility to highway agencies.
    A comment from the NCUTCD recommended the addition of a sentence in 
the first STANDARD statement that when countdown pedestrian signals are 
used, the countdown shall always be displayed simultaneously with the 
flashing UPRAISED HAND signal indication displayed for that crosswalk. 
The FHWA agrees that this sentence, which reiterates existing 
requirements elsewhere in Chapter 4E, helps clarify the operation of 
the countdown and the FHWA adopts this requirement in this final rule.
    The FHWA adopts in this final rule a revision the second sentence 
of STANDARD paragraph 06 to prohibit the pedestrian countdown display 
during the red clearance interval, rather than during the yellow change 
interval. This revision is necessary to be consistent with revisions 
adopted in Section 4E.06 Pedestrian Intervals and Signal Phases 
(Section 4E.10 in the 2003 MUTCD) regarding the display of pedestrian 
countdown displays during certain vehicular signal intervals. It also 
provides agencies more flexibility to extend the display of the 
flashing UPRAISED HAND and the accompanying countdown into the yellow 
interval, which would not have been allowed under the NPA language.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed adding a new STANDARD after the first 
paragraph of the GUIDANCE to require that a pedestrian countdown signal 
be dark when the duration of the green interval for a concurrent 
vehicular movement has intentionally been set to continue beyond the 
end of the pedestrian change interval. The FHWA received comments from 
the NCUTCD noting that pedestrian countdown displays are required by 
other provisions in Chapter 4E to display the countdown only in 
conjunction with the flashing UPRAISED HAND indication and they are to 
be dark at all other times. The FHWA agrees and in this final rule does 
not adopt that proposed new STANDARD and the removes the existing last 
sentence of the first GUIDANCE paragraph.
    405. Both the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the 
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 require that facilities, 
programs and services be accessible to persons with disabilities. The 
FHWA in this final rule revises various sections in Chapter 4E of the 
MUTCD regarding communication of pedestrian signal information to 
pedestrians with vision, vision and hearing, or cognitive disabilities 
to reflect research \181\ conducted under NCHRP 3-62, Accessible 
Pedestrian Signals, and a 5-year project on Blind Pedestrians' Access 
to Complex Intersections \182\ sponsored by the National Eye Institute 
of the National Institutes of Health, that has demonstrated that 
certain techniques most accurately communicate information. The changes 
also result in making accessible pedestrian detectors easy to locate 
and actuate by persons with visual or mobility impairments. Significant 
changes to existing material are described below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \181\ Research reports on this topic can be viewed at the U.S. 
Access Board's Internet Web site at: http://www.access-board.gov/research/aps.htm.
    \182\ Information on this research can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/2a/26/bb.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    406. In Section 4E.08 Pedestrian Detectors, the FHWA proposed in 
the NPA to change the first GUIDANCE statement regarding the location 
of a pedestrian pushbutton to a STANDARD and to add criteria that would 
be required to be met for the location of pushbuttons, in order to make 
pedestrian pushbuttons more accessible to disabled pedestrians and to 
pedestrians in general. The FHWA received comments in favor of the 
proposal from many citizens, a consultant, a local DOT, and several 
associations representing visually disabled pedestrians and pedestrians 
in general. However, the FHWA received comments opposed to the proposal 
in general or to certain items of the pushbutton location criteria from 
a State DOT, 11 cities, and a county. The objections generally cited 
the cost impacts of moving pedestrian detectors and the inflexibility 
of a STANDARD under conditions that can sometimes make it impractical 
to meet the requirements. The FHWA believes that some of the concerns 
are valid and adopts the pushbutton location criteria as GUIDANCE in 
this final rule. This will still provide for improved accessibility of 
pushbuttons for all pedestrians while providing some latitude for 
engineering judgment to address unusual conditions.
    The FHWA also adopts in this final rule the NPA proposed STANDARD, 
GUIDANCE, and OPTION statements that contain additional information for 
locations where physical constraints make meeting some of the criteria 
impractical. The FHWA also adopts the change of a GUIDANCE statement to 
a STANDARD to require that the positioning of the pushbuttons and 
legends on the signs clearly indicate which crosswalk signal is 
activated by which pushbutton. The FHWA adopts this change to eliminate 
ambiguity regarding which pushbutton a pedestrian must activate to 
cross a particular street. The FHWA also adopts the addition to the 
existing last STANDARD statement that a when a pilot light is used at 
an accessible pedestrian signal location, each actuation shall be 
accompanied by the speech message ``wait.'' The FHWA adopts this change 
to ensure that the activation confirmation is available to pedestrians 
with impaired vision.
    The FHWA received comments from two manufacturers of pedestrian 
pushbuttons and two citizens in opposition to the existing provision 
that, if a pilot light is used with a pushbutton, once the button is 
actuated the pilot light shall remain illuminated until the walk signal 
or green indication is displayed. The comments generally cited the 
inability of certain brands of pushbutton equipment to meet the 
standard without expensive redesign. The FHWA did not propose a change 
in the NPA to this existing provision. The reason for keeping the pilot 
light illuminated after it is pushed is to mirror what people 
experience with elevator call buttons. If the pilot light goes off 
after the button is pushed, the pedestrian might feel that the call has 
been dropped and might be induced to cross without waiting for the walk 
signal. The FHWA declines to revise this provision in this final rule.
    Finally, the FHWA adopts in this final rule a STANDARD statement at 
the end of the section requiring a sign if an extended pushbutton press 
will always provide additional crossing time, to ensure that 
pedestrians receive instructions of the use of this feature and are 
made aware of the feature's existence. In the NPA, the legend of this 
sign was proposed to be ``FOR MORE CROSSING TIME HOLD BUTTON DOWN FOR 2 
SECONDS.'' The FHWA received a comment from the NCUTCD agreeing with 
the requirement for a sign but recommending that the legend be changed 
to ``PUSH BUTTON FOR 2 SECONDS FOR EXTRA CROSSING TIME'' because the 
button is not held down, as in with force applied toward the ground, it 
is pressed. The FHWA agrees and adopts the provision with the revised 
sign legend.
    407. In new Section 4E.10 Accessible Pedestrian Signals and 
Detectors--Location, the FHWA adopts in this final rule the addition of 
a STANDARD, proposed in the NPA for Section 4E.09,

[[Page 66825]]

that requires locator tones, tactile arrows, speech walk messages, and 
a speech pushbutton informational message when two accessible 
pedestrian pushbuttons are placed less than 10 feet apart or on the 
same pole. The proposal was supported by the NCUTCD but opposed by a 
State DOT because of concerns about information overload. As noted 
above, the provision is supported by research and the FHWA adopts it as 
proposed. Additionally, the FHWA adopts the change from an existing 
GUIDANCE to a STANDARD, as proposed in the NPA for Section 4E.10, that 
if the clearance time is sufficient to only cross to the median of a 
divided highway, an accessible pedestrian detector shall, rather than 
should, be provided on the median. This change was supported by a 
consulting firm and the FHWA received no comments in opposition.
    408. In new Section 4E.11 Accessible Pedestrian Signals and 
Detectors--Walk Indications, the FHWA adopts several changes based on 
NPA proposed revisions in Section 4E.06. The FHWA proposed to require 
both audible and vibrotactile walk indications, to add requirements on 
how audible and vibrotactile walk indications are to be provided, and 
to add language prohibiting audible indications during the pedestrian 
change interval because research \183\ has found that visually disabled 
pedestrians need to concentrate on the sounds of traffic movement while 
they are crossing and audible indications of the flashing UPRAISED HAND 
interval would be distracting from that task. The FHWA received 
comments in opposition to the some or all of these changes from the two 
State DOTs, six cities, two manufacturers, and a few citizens, 
generally citing insufficient research. The FHWA disagrees with the 
comments in opposition because the changes are based on sound research, 
as discussed above. The FHWA received comments in favor of these 
changes from a city, a State DOT, a local DOT, a consultant, several 
organizations representing visually disabled pedestrians and 
pedestrians in general, and many citizens. Most of these comments also 
requested that APS be required for all locations where pedestrian 
signals are provided. The FHWA did not propose such a requirement in 
the NPA and declines to adopt it in this final rule. The U.S. Access 
Board is considering initiating proposed rulemaking to consider 
adopting Public Right of Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) that 
could possibly mandate APS at all new or renovated pedestrian signal 
locations. Once the United States Department of Justice has adopted any 
future Access Board public right of way guidelines as a standard, the 
FHWA will reconsider the matter for future revisions of the MUTCD.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \183\ Research reports on this topic can be viewed at the U.S. 
Access Board's Internet Web site at: http://www.access-board.gov/research/aps.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA received comments from the NCUTCD and an organization for 
the blind recommending changes to some of the proposed requirements 
regarding how audible and vibrotactile walk indications are to be 
provided and operated, and to make the text clearer and consistent with 
other provisions. The FHWA agrees with these comments, which also 
address comments from others about inconsistencies in the text, and 
adopts in this final rule revisions to the second STANDARD statement of 
former Section 4E.06.
    The FHWA also adopts the proposed addition to the STANDARD that an 
accessible walk signal shall have the same duration as the pedestrian 
walk signal unless the pedestrian signal rests in the walk interval and 
adopts subsequent GUIDANCE regarding the recommended duration and 
operation of the accessible walk signal if the pedestrian signal rests 
in the walk interval. The FHWA adopts this change to clarify that the 
duration of the accessible walk signal is dependent on whether the 
signal controller is set to rest in walk or steady don't walk in the 
absence of conflicting demands.
    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to change to a STANDARD the 4th 
GUIDANCE statements in former Section 4E.06 and former Section 4E.09 
regarding the loudness of audible pedestrian walk signals and to base 
the loudness of an audible pedestrian walk signal on the ambient sound 
level and provide for louder volume adjustment in response to an 
extended pushbutton press. The FHWA proposed adopting these changes to 
allow the audible pedestrian walk signals to be heard over the ambient 
sound level, and to allow pedestrians with hearing impairments to 
receive a louder audible walk signal. The FHWA received comments from 
two manufacturers of APS equipment and from a local DOT opposing making 
the maximum loudness a STANDARD and citing technical problems with 
measurement of sound levels that make it impractical to comply 
precisely. The FHWA agrees and in this final rule revises the sentences 
about maximum loudness value for walk indications and pushbutton 
locator tones to GUIDANCE.
    The FHWA also adopts added GUIDANCE, OPTION, and SUPPORT statements 
regarding the duration, tone, and speech messages of audible walk 
indications, as proposed in the NPA in Sections 4E.06 and 4E.09, in 
order to clarify their use and application. Further, the FHWA adopts 
the modifications (proposed in Section 4E.06) to the existing STANDARD 
to require that speech walk messages only be used where it is 
technically infeasible to install two accessible pedestrian signals at 
one corner with the minimum required separation. The STANDARD also 
contains requirements for what information is allowed in speech 
messages. The FHWA also adopts the addition of a GUIDANCE statement 
(proposed in Section 4E.06) that recommends that the speech messages 
not state or imply a command. The FHWA is adopting these changes to 
clarify when and under what circumstances speech walk messages are to 
be used.
    409. In new Section 4E.12 Accessible Pedestrian Signals and 
Detectors--Tactile Arrows and Locator Tones the FHWA adopts in this 
final rule several changes based on the NPA proposed revisions to 
Section 4E.09. The FHWA adopts the proposed change to the first 
paragraph of the existing first GUIDANCE statement regarding tactile 
arrows to a STANDARD, relocates it within the section, and modifies the 
remainder of the GUIDANCE statement to reduce redundancy.
    The FHWA proposed modifying the second STANDARD in former Section 
4E.09, to require pushbutton locator tones at accessible pedestrian 
signals, and also proposed changing the following GUIDANCE statement to 
a STANDARD regarding locator tones. Based on comments from APS 
manufacturers and others, as discussed above, the FHWA adopts the 
proposed changes. The FHWA also received a comment from a city that the 
STANDARD sentence requiring locator tones to be deactivated when the 
signal is operating in a flashing mode is too restrictive in regard to 
traffic control signals or pedestrian hybrid beacons that are activated 
from a flashing or dark mode to a stop-and-go mode by pedestrian 
actuations. The FHWA agrees and adopts in this final rule a sentence 
exempting these situations from the STANDARD requirement.
    410. In new Section 4E.13 Accessible Pedestrian Signals and 
Detectors--Extended Pushbutton Press Features the FHWA adopts in this 
final rule the NPA proposed changes to Section 4E.09. The FHWA adopts 
the addition of a paragraph to the existing 3rd OPTION statement 
allowing the use of an extended pushbutton press to activate

[[Page 66826]]

additional accessible features at a pedestrian crosswalk and the 
addition of a new STANDARD statement to follow this new paragraph that 
sets requirements for the amount of time a pushbutton shall be pressed 
to activate the extra features.
    The FHWA does not adopt in this final rule the last SUPPORT, 
STANDARD, and GUIDANCE statements from Section 4E.06 as proposed in the 
NPA, and replaces these with SUPPORT, GUIDANCE, OPTION, and STANDARD 
text regarding the use of audible beaconing and other additional 
features that may be provided as a result of an extended pushbutton 
press. The FHWA adopts this information, because while audible 
beaconing features can be valuable, activating audible beaconing 
features at multiple crosswalks at the same intersection can be 
confusing to visually disabled pedestrians, and therefore audible 
beaconing should be activated only when needed. The FHWA received 
comments from two local DOTs in opposition to the use of an extended 
pushbutton press to call for added crossing time because of concerns 
about misuse by pedestrians and impacts on signal controllers and 
pedestrian countdown operation. The FHWA declines to remove the ability 
of highway agencies to use this option, but does recognize that adding 
time to the pedestrian change interval via an extended pushbutton press 
could result in some issues with countdown displays until signal 
controller manufacturers incorporate countdown timing into their 
equipment and software.
    The FHWA adopts the NPA proposed addition of a STANDARD statement 
at the end of the section requiring that speech pushbutton information 
messages only play when the walk interval is not timing. Requirements 
regarding the content of these messages are also contained in this new 
STANDARD. The FHWA adopts this change to promote uniformity in the 
content of speech messages. The FHWA received no significant comments 
on these proposals.
    411. The FHWA received comments regarding the NPA proposed revision 
of Figure 4E-3 (Figure 4E-2 in the 2003 MUTCD) to show a general layout 
of recommended pushbutton locations from the NCUTCD and a consultant, 
suggesting that the title of the figure be revised to ``Pushbutton 
Location Area'' and that other editorial changes to the figure be made 
for consistency with the MUTCD text. The FHWA agrees and adopts in this 
final rule the figure with the suggested revisions, and with other 
minor editorial changes to address other comments on this figure.
    412. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the proposed new ``Figure 
4E-4 Typical Pushbutton Locations'' (Figure 4E-3 in the NPA) that shows 
eight examples of pushbutton locations for various sidewalk, ramp, and 
corner configurations, to help clarify appropriate locations under 
different geometric conditions. Based on comments received, the FHWA 
makes editorial revisions to this figure to improve clarity and 
accuracy.
Discussion of Amendments Within Chapters 4F Through 4L
    413. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the NPA proposed addition 
of a new Chapter to Part 4, numbered and titled Chapter 4F Pedestrian 
Hybrid Beacons, with three sections that describe the application, 
design, and operation of pedestrian hybrid beacons, and with three new 
figures. Figures 4F-1 and 4F-2 contain guidelines for the justification 
of installation of pedestrian hybrid beacons on low-speed and high-
speed roadways, respectively. Figure 4F-3 shows the sequence of 
intervals for a pedestrian hybrid beacon. The remaining Chapters in 
Part 4 are re-lettered accordingly. The FHWA adopts these sections to 
give agencies additional flexibility by providing an alternative method 
for control of pedestrian crosswalks that has been found by 
research\184\ to be highly effective. This type of device offers 
significant benefits for providing enhanced safety of pedestrian 
crossings where normal traffic control signals would not be warranted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \184\ ``Improving Pedestrian Safety at Unsignalized Pedestrian 
Crossings,'' TCRP Report 112/NCHRP Report 562, Transportation 
Research Board, 2006, can be viewed at the following Internet Web 
site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_562.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA received comments in favor of adding the pedestrian hybrid 
beacon from a State DOT, eight cities, the NCUTCD, an organization for 
the blind, several organizations representing pedestrians, and many 
citizens. The FHWA also received comments in opposition to the addition 
of pedestrian hybrid beacons from five State DOTs, four cities, a 
county, a toll road authority, and some others. However, most of the 
objections related to the name for the device that was proposed in the 
NPA (pedestrian hybrid signal) and the concern that, because the device 
is dark between actuations, drivers would treat it as a 4-way stop in 
States where laws require such driver behavior at dark traffic signals. 
As discussed earlier in Section 1A.13 Definitions, based on these and 
other comments, the FHWA adopts pedestrian hybrid beacon as the revised 
name for the device. Many beacons are dark between activations and 
drivers are not required by laws to stop at dark beacons. Further, the 
unique arrangement of the hybrid beacon's indications make it appear 
very different from a normal traffic control signal, and the 
experiences of Tucson, AZ and the many other highway agencies that have 
successfully experimented with pedestrian hybrid beacons have not 
resulted in any adverse safety issues being brought to the FHWA's 
attention.
    414. In Section 4F.01 Application of Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons, 
based on a comment from a city, in this final rule the FHWA does not 
adopt the first paragraph of the GUIDANCE statement that was proposed 
in the NPA and instead adds to the OPTION statement that a pedestrian 
hybrid beacon may, rather than should, be considered for a location 
that meets the pedestrian crossing or school crossing warrant for a 
traffic control signal but a decision is made to not install a traffic 
control signal.
    415. In Section 4F.02 Design of Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons, in this 
final rule the FHWA adopts in the GUIDANCE statement a requirement that 
pedestrian hybrid beacons should be installed at least 100 feet from 
side streets or driveways that are controlled by STOP or YIELD signs, 
and does not adopt the final STANDARD paragraph of the section that was 
proposed in the NPA. The FHWA received several comments noting that 
Chapters 4C and 4D contain GUIDANCE that traffic signals justified by a 
pedestrian crossing or school crossing should be installed at least 100 
feet from intersections with minor side streets or driveways controlled 
by STOP or YIELD signs and expressing concerns that pedestrian hybrid 
beacons should be subject to the same guidance. Because a traffic 
control signal and a pedestrian hybrid beacon both stop traffic on the 
major street to enable pedestrians to cross, if installed at an 
intersection, both of these types of devices generate the same issues 
involving the STOP or YIELD controlled side street traffic that caused 
the FHWA to prohibit ``half-signals'' several decades ago and that 
resulted in the recommendations adopted in Chapter 4C and 4D. Side 
street drivers controlled by only a STOP or YIELD sign often encounter 
delays because of high major street traffic volumes and they typically 
use the pedestrian-activated stoppage of major street traffic as their 
opportunity to turn onto or cross the major street. When doing so, 
these drivers often do

[[Page 66827]]

not give adequate attention to pedestrians in their path. Because the 
purpose of a pedestrian hybrid beacon is to enhance the safety of 
pedestrian crossings, and because of similar provisions in Chapters 4C 
and 4D, the FHWA believes it is also inappropriate for pedestrian 
hybrid beacons to be used at or within 100 feet of intersections with 
STOP or YIELD sign controlled side streets, and the FHWA adopts the new 
GUIDANCE.
    416. In Section 4F.03 Operation of Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons, the 
FHWA received several comments about flashing red indications proposed 
to be displayed by the hybrid beacon during the flashing UPRAISED HAND 
pedestrian change interval. Some comments expressed concern about 
drivers being allowed to proceed while a pedestrian could still be in 
the street. Experimentations with the hybrid beacon in Tucson and many 
other jurisdictions have not revealed any significant safety issues 
with the flashing red operation. Further, allowing drivers to proceed, 
after a full stop, if the pedestrian traffic has already cleared their 
half of the roadway is the major advantage of this device over a 
midblock pedestrian traffic control signal. The FHWA in this final rule 
declines to remove the proposed text on the flashing red operation for 
hybrid beacons.
    The FHWA also received comments from the NCUTCD, five State DOTs, 
two cities, a county, and an NCUTCD member requesting that the 
alternating (``wig-wag'') pattern of the two flashing red indications 
that was proposed to be specified for the pedestrian hybrid beacon be 
changed to a simultaneous flashing of the two reds, because of concerns 
that the alternating flashing reds might be mistaken by drivers as the 
flashing-light signals used at highway-rail grade crossings, or that 
such use could diminish the impact of the flashing-light signals at 
grade crossings. However, the FHWA also received comments from a 
consultant and a State DOT in support of the alternating flashing reds 
for hybrid beacons, noting that there has been no research or 
experimentation with pedestrian hybrid beacons using simultaneous 
flashing reds, and therefore it is unknown whether the device would be 
as effective as it has been shown to be in the experimentations with 
the alternating flashing reds. The comments also noted that there has 
been no research indicating that drivers associate the alternating 
flashing red pattern as being unique to grade crossings. The consultant 
also pointed out that with simultaneous flashing reds, the display goes 
from double steady red to dark for a split second, before the flashing 
starts. With a wig-wag display, one of the red signals is always lit. 
Since motorists would see a dark signal for a moment, it might lead 
them to think that the signal has returned to its ``rest'' phase of 
being dark and this could result in less safety. Additionally, the FHWA 
believes that, because of context and a completely different sequence 
of signal displays, there is an extremely low possibility of the 
alternate flashing reds of the pedestrian hybrid beacon being mistaken 
as flashing-light signals of a highway-rail grade crossing or that it 
will diminish the impact or respect for those flashing-light signals. 
At a grade crossing, the flashing-light signals come on immediately 
from a dark condition when a train is detected as approaching the 
crossing. At a pedestrian hybrid beacon, the indications go from dark 
to flashing yellow for several seconds, followed by steady yellow for 
several seconds, and then to steady red for a typical duration of seven 
seconds, before the alternating flashing red display begins. In view of 
these factors, the FHWA agrees that alternating flashing red is 
appropriate for pedestrian hybrid beacons and adopts that provision in 
this final rule rather than changing it to simultaneous flashing.
    417. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a change in the title of 
Chapter 4G proposed in the NPA to ``Traffic Control Signals and Hybrid 
Beacons for Emergency Vehicle Access'' in order to reflect the addition 
of hybrid beacons to this chapter. Additionally, in Section 4G.01 
Application of Emergency-Vehicle Traffic Control Signals and Hybrid 
Beacons, the FHWA adopts the proposed addition of a paragraph to the 
OPTION statement to allow an emergency-vehicle hybrid beacon to be 
installed in place of an emergency-vehicle traffic control signal under 
the conditions described in Section 4G.04. The FHWA received no 
substantive comments other than those discussed below under Section 
4G.04.
    418. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the proposed new Section 
4G.04 Emergency-Vehicle Hybrid Beacons containing provisions for this 
type of beacon for optional use in conjunction with signs to warn and 
control traffic at an unsignalized location where emergency vehicles 
enter or cross the street or highway and adopts new Figure 4G-1 
illustrating the Emergency-Vehicle Hybrid Beacon.
    The FHWA received some comments opposed to certain aspects of this 
device, for similar reasons as the comments opposed to the Pedestrian 
Hybrid Beacon (Chapter 4F). As discussed above regarding Chapter 4F and 
Sections 4F.01 through 4F.03, the change in name of the device to use 
the phrase ``hybrid beacon'' rather than ``hybrid signal'' addresses 
concerns about State laws requiring drivers to treat a dark signal as a 
4-way stop. Also, similar to Section 4F.03, in the Section 4G.04 
adopted in this final rule the FHWA adds to the GUIDANCE a statement 
that an emergency-vehicle hybrid beacon should not be installed at 
locations that are less than 100 feet from a side street or driveway 
that is controlled by STOP or YIELD signs. Some of the comments on 
Section 4G.04 concerned the issue of alternating versus simultaneous 
flashing red indications. For a discussion of this issue, see above 
under Section 4F.03. The FHWA also received a comment from a State DOT 
suggesting that an OPTION be added to Section 4G.04 allowing the use of 
a steady red clearance interval after the steady yellow interval and 
before the alternating flashing red interval. The FHWA agrees and 
adopts the additional OPTION in this final rule.
    419. In Section 4I.02 Design of Freeway Entrance Ramp Control 
Signals (Section 4H.02 in the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA 
to require the use of at least two signal faces per separately-
controlled lane on a multiple lane ramp where green signal indications 
are not always displayed simultaneously to all of the lanes. The FHWA 
received comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a local DOT in 
opposition to this proposed requirement. The objections centered on 
physical challenges involving signal face mountings, especially when 
there are three or more separately-controlled lanes. A State DOT 
commented that, unlike a traffic signal at an intersection, there is 
little if any conflict or danger if a motorist inadvertently violates a 
red signal because of a burned-out lamp and the risk of burned-out lamp 
is low because of the common use of LED indications and the fact that 
ramp control signals typically operate only 3 hours a day. The 
commenter further stated that on metered ramps of two lanes or more 
they use overhead signal faces mounted directly in line with the lane 
that they control and thus the signals are highly visible to motorists. 
The NCUTCD commented that a single signal face per separately-
controlled lane provides sufficient indications and permits 
installation location flexibility in these cases. The FHWA agrees with 
these comments and adopts in this final

[[Page 66828]]

rule Section 4I.02 with a revised STANDARD statement to require one 
signal face located over the approximate center of each separately-
controlled lane when there are two or more separately-controlled lanes 
on the ramp. The FHWA also adopts a GUIDANCE statement that additional 
side-mounted signal faces should be considered for ramps with two or 
more separately-controlled lanes.
    420. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a new Section 4I.03 
(Section 4H.03 proposed in the NPA) Operation of Freeway Entrance Ramp 
Control Signals containing GUIDANCE recommending the operational 
strategies for ramp control signals. Based on comments on this section 
as well as on comparable text in Section 2C.37 the FHWA revises the 
GUIDANCE adopted in this final rule regarding the use of RAMP METERED 
WHEN FLASHING (W3-7) signs to be consistent with Section 2C.37.
    421. The FHWA adopts in this final rule revisions to Section 4J.02 
Design and Location of Movable Bridge Signals and Gates (Section 4I.02 
in the 2003 MUTCD) and 4J.03 Operation of Movable Bridge Signals and 
Gates (Section 4I.03 in the 2003 MUTCD), as proposed in the NPA. The 
FHWA received no significant comments on these sections.
    422. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a new chapter to Part 4 
titled Chapter 4K Highway Traffic Signals at Toll Plazas, containing 
three sections. In the NPA, only Section 4K.01 was proposed to be 
included in Chapter 4K, dealing with traffic signals used at toll 
plazas to indicate a requirement to stop and pay a toll or to go after 
paying the toll, or to indicate a low account balance in electronic 
toll collection lanes. The FHWA received comments from the NCUTCD, a 
State DOT, and many toll road operators opposing the details regarding 
traffic signals at toll plazas. The NCUTCD recommended that the NPA 
text for Section 4K.01 Traffic Signals at Toll Plazas be deleted and be 
replaced with a STANDARD statement prohibiting the use of traffic 
control signals and devices that resemble traffic control devices with 
red or green circular indications at toll plazas. The NCUTCD stated 
that, although many toll facility operators currently use these types 
of indications at toll plazas, there are a variety of other devices, 
such as changeable message signs or other displays that do not resemble 
traffic signals that are also being successfully used by toll agencies 
for these purposes. The FHWA agrees that since other methods of 
communicating the desired messages are available and traffic control 
signals should be reserved for other more critical uses, the use of 
devices resembling traffic signals is inappropriate at toll plazas. The 
FHWA adopts Section 4K.01 in this final rule with a STANDARD statement 
prohibiting the use of traffic control signals and devices that 
resemble traffic control devices with red or green circular indications 
at toll plazas to indicate the open or closed status of a toll lane, 
and a GUIDANCE statement recommending that traffic control signals and 
devices that resemble traffic control devices with red or green 
circular indications should not be used for new or reconstructed 
installations at toll plazas to indicate the success or failure of 
electronic toll payments or to alternately direct drivers making cash 
toll payments to stop and then proceed.
    423. The FHWA also adopts in Chapter 4K an additional section 
titled Section 4K.02 Lane-Use Control Signals at Toll Plazas, 
containing text on lane-use control signals at toll plazas that was 
proposed in the NPA as a part of Sections 4M.01 and 4M.03, but 
incorporating revisions based on comments on the material proposed in 
the NPA. In regard to the requirement to use lane-use control signals 
to indicate the open or closed status of toll plaza lanes, the FHWA 
received comments from two toll authorities in opposition to the 
requirement because of their longstanding use of circular traffic 
control signal indications for this purpose. The FHWA also received 
comments from the NCUTCD and three toll authorities agreeing with the 
requirement. The FHWA adopts the requirement because lane-use control 
signals have long been required by the MUTCD for all cases of 
indicating open-closed status of any lane and this standard display is 
appropriately extended to lanes at toll plazas.
    The FHWA also received comments from two toll authorities stating 
that the use of lane-control signals to indicate the open or closed 
status of an Open Road Tolling lane is not appropriate unless it is in 
conjunction with other devices (such as signs, cones, other 
channelizing devices, and arrow boards) that are used to close a high-
speed lane. The FHWA agrees and also notes that some freeways have or 
will have systems of successive lane-control signals along the freeway 
corridor and that ORT lanes might be established along such corridors. 
The FHWA in this final rule modifies the proposed OPTION statement to 
allow the use of lane-control signals to indicate the open or closed 
status of an Open Road Tolling lane in conjunction with other devices 
(such as signs, cones, other channelizing devices, and arrow boards) 
that are used to close a high-speed lane.
    424. The FHWA also adopts in Chapter 4K an additional section 
titled Section 4K.03 Warning Beacons at Toll Plazas, containing text on 
warning beacons at toll plazas that was proposed in the NPA as Section 
4L.03, but incorporating revisions based on comments on the material 
proposed. The FHWA received comments from two toll road operators 
requesting that warning beacons mounted on toll plaza islands or impact 
attenuators associated with such islands be allowed to operate in a 
steady rather than flashing yellow mode, to act as an enhanced 
conspicuity marker. The FHWA disagrees and declines to make the 
requested change in this final rule because all warning beacons are 
circular and operate only in a flashing mode, and because a steady 
circular yellow indication has a defined meaning for traffic signals 
that is not appropriate in the context of a toll booth island or 
attenuator.
    425. In Section 4L.02 Intersection Control Beacon, the FHWA adopts 
the proposed addition to the STANDARD statement that two horizontally 
aligned red signal indications in an Intersection Control Beacon shall 
be flashed simultaneously, and two vertically aligned red signal 
indications shall be flashed alternately, to be consistent with the 
existing requirement for stop beacons in Section 4L.05.
    426. The FHWA adopts in this final rule revisions to Section 4L.03 
Warning Beacon as proposed in the NPA, except that the FHWA relocates 
toll plaza related text to Section 4K.03 (as discussed above) and 
further revises item D in the SUPPORT statement of Section 4L.03 to 
include WRONG WAY as an additional regulatory sign for which a warning 
beacon is not an appropriate supplement, for consistency with Section 
4L.05.
    427. The FHWA adopts Section 4L.05 Stop Beacon as proposed in the 
NPA, with minor editorial changes for clarity.
    428. The FHWA adopts revisions to Section 4M.01 Application of 
Lane-Use Control Signals and Section 4M.03 Design of Lane-Use Control 
Signals as proposed in the NPA, except that the FHWA relocates toll 
plaza related text to Section 4K.02 (as discussed above) and makes 
minor editorial changes for clarity.
    429. In Section 4N.01 Application of In-Roadway Lights, the FHWA 
adopts in this final rule the additions to the STANDARD statement 
proposed in the NPA that In-Roadway Lights shall only be used for 
applications described in this chapter and that In-Roadway Lights shall 
be flashed and not steadily

[[Page 66829]]

illuminated. The FHWA includes these changes to preclude the use of In-
Roadway Lights for any purpose not included in this chapter because 
such uses have not yet been sufficiently tested to confirm their 
effectiveness and because steadily illuminated lights could be confused 
with internally illuminated raised pavement markings. The FHWA received 
comments from a device manufacturer and a transit agency requesting 
that in-roadway lights be allowed for use at highway-rail grade 
crossings and highway-light rail transit grade crossings. The FHWA 
disagrees and declines to adopt such an optional use, because there has 
been insufficient reported research showing the effectiveness of such 
uses at grade crossings.
    430. The FHWA adopts revisions to Section 4N.02 In-Roadway Warning 
Lights at Crosswalks as proposed in the NPA, except that the FHWA also 
adopts an additional OPTION statement at the beginning of the section 
to indicate that in-roadway lights may be installed at certain marked 
crosswalks, based on an engineering study or engineering judgment, to 
provide additional warning to road users. The FHWA received a comment 
from a city recommending this text because there is no existing 
statement indicating that the use of in-roadway lights is optional. The 
FHWA agrees and also adopts the OPTION text.

Discussion of Amendments to Part 5--Traffic Control Devices for Low-
Volume Roads

    431. In Section 5A.01 Function, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to 
prohibit classifying a residential street in a neighborhood as a low-
volume road for the purposes of Part 5 of the MUTCD. Two local DOTs 
agreed with the proposal. A State DOT and local DOT opposed the 
revision because many residential streets have lower ADT and operating 
speeds than some rural roads. The FHWA disagrees with the comment, 
because the change to paragraph 01 item B provides consistency with 
paragraph 01 item A, which states that low-volume roads shall be 
facilities lying outside the built-up areas of cities, towns, and 
communities. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the language as 
proposed in the NPA.
    432. The FHWA received several comments regarding Table 5A-1 Sign 
and Plaque Sizes on Low-Volume Roads as proposed in the NPA. The NCUTCD 
recommended making the typical sign sizes the same size as for 
Conventional Roads, making the minimum sign sizes the next smaller size 
than Conventional Roads, and making the oversized sign sizes the next 
larger size than Conventional Roads. The Conventional Road sign sizes 
are based on Tables 2B-1, 2C-2, 6F-1, and 8B-1. The minimum and 
oversized sizes are based on the SHSM book. The FHWA agrees with the 
NCUTCD recommendations and adopts in this final rule revisions to Table 
5A-1.
    433. In Section 5B.04 Traffic Movement and Prohibition Signs, the 
FHWA proposed in the NPA to change an existing OPTION, which discusses 
the usefulness of these signs, to SUPPORT. A State DOT opposed the 
change and the FHWA agrees that this text is more appropriately stated 
as an OPTION. Accordingly, the FHWA does not adopt the proposed change 
in this final rule and retains paragraph 04 as an OPTION, as in the 
2003 MUTCD.
    434. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts in this final rule new 
Section 5C.14 Object Markers and Barricades to replace 2003 MUTCD 
Section 5E.05 Object Markers. The FHWA moves the information in order 
to locate the subject material with other sections in Part 5 that deal 
with signs. This change coincides with the adopted relocation of object 
markers and barricades from Part 3 to Part 2 of the MUTCD.
    435. Although not proposed in the NPA, in Section 5E.02 Center Line 
Markings, the FHWA adopts in this final rule a new OPTION in paragraph 
03 that permits center line markings to be placed on highways with or 
without edge line markings, based on a comment from a State DOT for 
consistency with Part 3. In addition, the FHWA adopts a modified 
GUIDANCE in paragraph 02 to clarify the application of center line 
markings for low-volume roads.
    436. In Section 5F.02, the FHWA changes the title to ``Grade 
Crossing (Crossbuck) Sign and Number of Tracks Plaque,'' in the final 
rule. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA revises the STANDARD in 
paragraph 04 to clarify that the strip of retroreflective material on 
each sign support at passive highway-rail grade crossings is measured 
from the Crossbuck sign or the Number of Tracks plaque to within 2 feet 
of the ground. The NCUTCD recommended additional text consisting of a 
SUPPORT statement and a minor revision to the existing STANDARD 
statement to make Part 5 consistent with revisions being made to Part 
8. The FHWA agrees and adopts revisions to Section 5F.02 in this final 
rule to provide consistency with Part 8 as adopted herein.
    437. In Section 5F.03 Grade Crossing Advance Warning Signs, the 
FHWA proposed in the NPA to require that a supplemental plaque 
describing the type of traffic control at a highway-rail grade crossing 
shall be used on all low-volume roads in advance of every crossing. Two 
State DOTs and a local DOT opposed the revision because the 
supplemental plaques are not necessary on low volume roads with 
familiar motorists. The FHWA agrees and does not adopt in this final 
rule the proposed requirement for the use of supplemental plaques, 
which is consistent with similar revisions being adopted in Part 8.
    438. In Section 5F.04 STOP and YIELD Signs, the FHWA proposed in 
the NPA several changes regarding the use and application of STOP signs 
or YIELD signs at highway-rail grade crossings. A State DOT and a 
consultant opposed the proposal to require the placement of STOP or 
YIELD signs at all highway-rail grade crossings that are not equipped 
with automatic traffic control devices. The FHWA disagrees and adopts 
the STANDARD in paragraph 01 to be consistent with requirements adopted 
in Part 8. The NCUTCD and a State DOT opposed the proposed removal of 
the STANDARD requiring the use of STOP AHEAD and YIELD AHEAD signs in 
certain situations. The FHWA agrees and in this final rule restores 
paragraph 02 to be consistent with the requirements in Chapter 2C.
    439. In Section 5G.02 Applications, as proposed in the NPA, the 
FHWA revises paragraph 02 from an OPTION to SUPPORT, which states that 
maintenance activities might not require extensive TTC if the traffic 
volumes and speeds are low. Based on recommendations from the NCUTCD 
and a State DOT, the FHWA also adds a SUPPORT statement referring to 
Table 6H-3, which provides the recommended distances between signs 
shown in the Typical Applications drawings in Part 6. The FHWA also 
adds an OPTION statement to specifically allow a reduced advance 
placement distance for traffic control devices on low-volume roadways 
that have speeds of less than or equal to 30 miles per hour. The FHWA 
adopts these revisions for consistency with provisions in Part 6.
    440. The FHWA adopts a new chapter, numbered and titled Chapter 5H 
Traffic Control for School Areas, in the final rule. The NCUTCD and a 
State DOT recommended adding a new chapter to cover traffic control for 
low volume roads adjacent to schools, since schools do exist on low-
volume rural roads and there is a need to refer readers of Part 5 to 
the applicable provisions of Part 7. The FHWA agrees and adds the new 
chapter, which consists of a SUPPORT paragraph that refers users to

[[Page 66830]]

Part 7 for more information and a STANDARD paragraph that merely 
requires compliance with applicable provisions in Part 7.

Discussion of Amendments to Part 6--Temporary Traffic Control--General

    441. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA revises the Code of Federal 
Regulations to delete title 23 CFR part 634 regarding Worker 
Visibility, in order to incorporate the provisions into the MUTCD, 
which is applicable to all public roads. As such, title 23 CFR part 634 
is no longer needed because its requirements for high visibility 
garments are incorporated into the MUTCD in Sections 6D.03 and 6E.02 
and are therefore applicable to all roads open to public travel in 
accordance with title 23 CFR part 655, not just applicable to Federal-
aid highways.
    442. The FHWA in this final rule updates the figures throughout 
Part 6 to reflect new or revised signs adopted in Part 2 that are 
applicable to Temporary Traffic Control Zones.

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapters 6A Through 6E

    443. In Section 6B.01 Fundamental Principles of Temporary Traffic 
Control, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to modify the GUIDANCE in 
paragraph 07 item 2.C to recommend that provisions should be made for 
the continuous operation of work on roadways. The NCUTCD and four State 
DOTs opposed the use of the word ``continuous.'' The FHWA agrees and in 
this final rule revises item 2.C to recommend that provisions should be 
made to minimize the need for lane closures.
    A State DOT suggested rewording the existing GUIDANCE in item 2.D 
that recommended that road users should use alternative routes that do 
not include TTC zones. The FHWA agrees and adopts in this final rule a 
revised item 2.D that also considers roadway capacity and type of 
roadway.
    The FHWA proposed in the NPA to modify item 2.F in the GUIDANCE to 
recommend that roadway occupancy for TTC should be scheduled during 
off-peak hours ``on high-volume streets and highways'' to provide 
agencies with more flexibility in time periods for work on local 
residential streets and low-volume streets. A State DOT agreed with the 
proposal, but recommended additional language that included the removal 
of the term ``roadway occupancy.'' The FHWA agrees in part with the 
recommended modifications and adopts in this final rule a revised item 
2.F that uses the term ``lane closures'' instead of ``roadway 
occupancy,'' recommends that lane closures on high-volume streets and 
highways should be scheduled during off-peak hours ``if work operations 
permit,'' and recommends that night work should be considered ``if the 
work can be accomplished with a series of short-term operations.''
    444. In Section 6C.04 Advance Warning Area, the FHWA proposed in 
the NPA to add a new GUIDANCE regarding sign spacing that reinforced 
that the distances contained in Table 6C-1 are for guidance purposes 
and should be considered minimums. A local DOT agreed with the 
proposal. The NCUTCD, three State DOTs, and a transportation research 
institute recommended that the distances in Table 6C-1 be referred to 
as ``approximate'' and that shorter distances be allowed based on field 
conditions. The FHWA agrees with the comments and adopts in this final 
rule a modified paragraph 06 to recommend that the distances in Table 
6C-1 should be adjusted for field conditions by increasing or 
decreasing the recommended distances.
    445. In Section 6C.05 Transition Area, the FHWA proposed in the NPA 
an OPTION that stated that vehicle-mounted traffic control devices may 
be used instead of channelizing devices to establish a transition area. 
The NCUTCD opposed the proposal, while a State DOT and two local DOTs 
agreed with the proposal. A State DOT and a transportation research 
institute recommended that the statement be upgraded to GUIDANCE. The 
FHWA disagrees with changing this provision to GUIDANCE at this time 
but might consider proposing it for a future rulemaking. The FHWA in 
this final rule adopts paragraph 03 as an OPTION to allow the use of 
vehicle-mounted traffic control devices to establish a transition area 
because portable devices can be more practical for mobile operations.
    446. In Section 6C.07 Termination Area, the FHWA proposed in the 
NPA to revise the STANDARD to clarify the use of a termination area. A 
State DOT and a transportation research institute opposed the existing 
STANDARD requiring that termination areas be used, because they are not 
required in all instances. The FHWA agrees with the comment and in this 
final rule changes the STANDARD to SUPPORT, because the termination 
area is not specific and is not used in all cases.
    447. In Section 6C.08 Tapers, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add 
GUIDANCE to recommend that the length of a short taper used with 
flagger operations should be a minimum of 50 feet. While a local DOT 
agreed with the revision, a State DOT opposed the change and suggested 
no set minimum taper length, in order to allow more flexibility on low-
volume and low-speed local roads. The FHWA believes that a taper 
shorter than 50 feet long does not provide any guidance information to 
approaching road users, and therefore in this final rule adopts the 
proposed GUIDANCE in paragraph 15. The FHWA also adopts a recommended 
minimum taper length of 50 feet for one-lane, two-way traffic tapers in 
Table 6C-3 and illustrates the recommended minimum taper length in 
several figures in Part 6.
    In addition, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add GUIDANCE that a 
downstream taper with a length of approximately 100 feet should be used 
to guide traffic back into their original lane. Two State DOTs opposed 
the proposal because they believe a downstream taper is not always 
necessary. The FHWA notes that the statement only applies to flagger 
operations and this taper is very important to provide positive 
guidance to vehicles after they pass the lane closure. Based on 
comments from ATSSA, a State DOT, and a transportation research 
institute, the FHWA adopts a revised GUIDANCE in this final rule that 
does not include the word ``approximately'' as indicated above and 
recommends that a length of 100 feet should be used for a downstream 
taper.
    448. In Section 6C.10 One-Lane, Two-Way Traffic Control, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA to add an OPTION to explicitly allow for the 
movement of traffic to be self-regulating through a one-lane, two-way 
constriction, provided that the work space is short and is on a low-
volume street or road, and that road users from both directions are 
able to see the traffic approaching from the opposite direction through 
and beyond the work site. The FHWA proposed this change to provide 
practitioners with more flexibility on low-volume, low-speed roads. 
While two local DOTs opposed the change, four State DOTs, a local DOT, 
and a transportation research institute agreed with the proposal. The 
FHWA adopts this proposal in this final rule, but acknowledges that, 
since this is an OPTION, an agency may prohibit the use of this OPTION 
within its jurisdiction. Based on comments from a State DOT and a 
transportation research institute, the FHWA also deletes a SUPPORT 
statement that was in the 2003 MUTCD because it is no longer necessary 
with the new OPTION adopted in paragraph 05.

[[Page 66831]]

    449. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to relocate the STANDARD in 
Section 6F.54 of the 2003 MUTCD regarding the PILOT CAR FOLLOW ME Sign 
and flaggers in activity areas where a pilot car is being used, to 
Section 6C.13 Pilot Car Method of One-Lane, Two-Way Traffic Control. In 
response to a comment from a State DOT, the FHWA adopts in this final 
rule a revised paragraph 04 to require that a flagger shall be 
stationed ``to control'' rather than ``to stop'' vehicular traffic 
until the pilot vehicle is available. The FHWA also retains Section 
6F.58 PILOT CAR FOLLOW ME Sign in this final rule with the first 
sentence of the existing STANDARD and a reference to Section 6C.13, as 
discussed in item 475 below.
    450. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA in this final rule relocates 
several paragraphs related to accessible pedestrian facilities from 
Section 6D.01 Pedestrian Considerations to Section 6D.02 Accessibility 
Considerations, in order to consolidate related information into one 
section.
    Based on a comment from the NCUTCD, the FHWA relocates an existing 
GUIDANCE from Section 6D.02 to Section 6D.01 that list the pedestrian 
considerations that should be addressed when temporary pedestrian 
pathways in TTC zones are designed or modified, in order to consolidate 
pedestrian consideration information into one section. In this final 
rule, paragraph 11 in Section 6D.01 contains the relocated GUIDANCE.
    451. In Section 6D.01 Pedestrian Considerations, the FHWA proposed 
in the NPA to relocate a statement from Section 6G.11 of the 2003 MUTCD 
that accessibility and detectability shall be maintained along an 
alternate pedestrian route if a TTC zone affects an accessible and 
detectable pedestrian facility. This is an existing provision of the 
ADAAG.\185\ The FHWA in this final rule adopts the proposed relocation. 
Based on a comment from the NCUTCD, the FHWA also retains the first 
sentence of paragraph 04, which states that adequate pedestrian access 
and walkways shall be provided if the TTC zone affects the movement of 
pedestrians.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \185\ The Americans with Disabilities Accessibility Guidelines 
(ADAAG) can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.access-board.gov/ada-aba/index.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    452. In Section 6D.03 Worker Safety Considerations, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA a new STANDARD to incorporate into the MUTCD the 
provisions of title 23 CFR part 634 regarding the use of high-
visibility safety apparel by workers within the public right-of-way. 
The NCUTCD recommended revising paragraph 04 to clarify that the 
required use of high-visibility apparel also applied to emergency 
responders and that exposure of workers to ``work vehicles'' within the 
TTC zone also requires the use of high-visibility safety apparel. In 
this final rule, the FHWA adopts a revised STANDARD that incorporates 
into the MUTCD the provisions of title 23 CFR part 634 that were 
published as a Final Rule in the Federal Register on June 15, 2009 
\186\ and the recommended revisions by the NCUTCD. The FHWA also adopts 
a new OPTION as proposed in the NPA in paragraph 05 that allows first 
responders and law enforcement personnel to use safety apparel meeting 
a newly-developed American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard 
for ``public safety vests,'' because this type of vest will better meet 
the special needs of these personnel. In the NPA, the FHWA referenced 
the provisions of title 23 CFR part 634 that were published in the 
Federal Register on November 24, 2006.\187\ The NCUTCD, five State 
DOTs, two local DOTs, two fire departments, and a transportation 
research institute agreed with the proposal, but recommended 
modifications. Numerous firefighting associations and organizations, 
police associations, and citizens opposed the proposed change, 
primarily because of a concern that the safety apparel would have to be 
worn over turn-out gear during emergency operations that involve 
exposure to flame, fire, or other hazards. The 2006 Federal Register 
notice was amended with a Final Rule on June 15, 2009, to exempt 
firefighters from the requirement to use high-visibility safety apparel 
when they are exposed to hazardous conditions where the use of the 
apparel might increase the risk of injury to firefighter personnel. In 
this final rule, the FHWA revises the STANDARD in paragraph 07 and adds 
an OPTION in paragraph 08 that describes the exemption for firefighters 
from the requirement to use high-visibility safety apparel in certain 
conditions. The FHWA establishes a target compliance date of December 
31, 2011 (approximately two years from the effective date of this final 
rule) for worker apparel on non-Federal-aid highways, which is 
consistent with the two-year compliance period that was provided for 
Federal-aid highways in title 23 CFR part 634. Required compliance of 
apparel for workers, including law enforcement officers, on Federal-aid 
highways has been in effect since November 24, 2008, pursuant to title 
23 CFR part 634.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \186\ The Federal Register Notice for the Final Rule, dated June 
15, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 113, Page 28160-28161) can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2009_register&docid=fr15jn09-7.pdf.
    \187\ The Federal Register Notice for the Final Rule, dated 
November 24, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 226, Page 67792-67800) can be 
viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2006_register&docid=E6-19910.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    453. In Section 6E.02 High-Visibility Safety Apparel, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA several changes regarding the use of high-
visibility safety apparel by flaggers during daytime and nighttime 
activity, as well as by law enforcement personnel within a TTC zone, to 
reflect the provisions of title 23 CFR part 634 (see items 441 and 452 
above). The NCUTCD and a local DOT recommended revising the reference 
to the ANSI 107 publication throughout the section to remove ``or 
equivalent revisions.'' The FHWA agrees and adopts in this final rule 
the reference to the ANSI 107-2004 publication, which is the latest 
version of the of the ANSI 107 standard. Based on a comment from a 
State DOT, the FHWA revises paragraph 01 to include a combination of 
orange-red and fluorescent yellow-green as an approved apparel 
background material color combination. The FHWA establishes a target 
compliance date of December 31, 2011 (approximately two years from the 
effective date of this final rule) for flagger apparel on non-Federal-
aid highways. Required compliance of apparel for workers, including law 
enforcement officers, on Federal-aid highways has been in effect since 
November 24, 2008, pursuant to title 23 CFR part 634.
    454. In Section 6E.03 Hand-Signaling Devices, the FHWA proposed in 
the NPA to add SUPPORT and GUIDANCE statements to clarify that it is 
recommended to place a STOP/SLOW paddle on a rigid staff, with a 
minimum length of 7 feet, in order to display a STOP or SLOW message 
that is stable and high enough to be seen by approaching or stopped 
traffic. A State DOT, three local DOTs, and a traffic control device 
manufacturer agreed with the proposal. The NCUTCD, ATSSA, 11 State 
DOTs, a transportation research institute, and an NCUTCD member opposed 
the proposed minimum recommended height, citing concerns about the 
ability of a flagger to control the paddle on such a long staff, 
especially in windy conditions. The FHWA agrees with these concerns and 
does not adopt in this final rule the proposed GUIDANCE that included a

[[Page 66832]]

recommended specific minimum height of 7 feet. The FHWA adopts a 
SUPPORT in paragraph 04 to note that the optimum method of displaying a 
STOP or SLOW message is to place the STOP/SLOW paddle on a rigid staff 
that is tall enough to be seen by approaching or stopped traffic.
    A contractor noted that flags for TTC are normally sold in a red/
orange color instead of the red color that is required in the 2003 
MUTCD. Based on the comment, the FHWA adopts a revised STANDARD in 
paragraph 09 that includes red or fluorescent orange/red as acceptable 
colors for flags.
    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA an OPTION to allow the use of a 
flashlight with a red glow cone at night to supplement the STOP/SLOW 
paddle or flags. A State DOT opposed the proposal because of concerns 
that glow cones do not give positive guidance at night. A State DOT and 
a transportation research institute recommended revising the statement 
to specify that the flashlight is only to be used at night in an 
emergency operation when the flagger station is not illuminated. The 
FHWA agrees with the commenters and in this final rule adopts a revised 
paragraph 12, as recommended by the commenters. A State DOT and a 
transportation research institute recommended new language to describe 
methods of signaling with a flashlight in an emergency when the flagger 
station is not illuminated. The FHWA agrees and in this final rule 
adopts a new STANDARD with three methods of signaling with a flashlight 
to provide consistency with the other commonly used flagging procedures 
using other hand signaling devices. Signaling with a flashlight is an 
optional flagging procedure, but if a highway agency chooses to allow 
it, the FHWA believes that it is critical to include uniform methods of 
flashlight signaling so that road users are not confused in work zone 
flagging operations. The flashlight signaling methods are those that 
are in common use.
    455. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add three new sections 
following Section 6E.03: Section 6E.04 Automated Flagger Assistance 
Devices, Section 6E.05 STOP/SLOW Automated Flagger Assistance Devices, 
and Section 6E.06 Red/Yellow Lens Automated Flagger Assistance Devices. 
Automated Flagger Assistance Devices (AFADs) are optional devices that 
enable a flagger(s) to be positioned out of the lane of traffic and are 
used to control road users through TTC zones. Four State DOTs, two 
local DOTs, ATSSA, and three construction-related companies agreed with 
the proposed addition of AFADs to the MUTCD. A State DOT, a local DOT, 
and an NCUTCD member opposed the inclusion of AFADs in the MUTCD 
because of a lack of experimentation and reliability. The FHWA 
disagrees and notes that this device has been used with an Interim 
Approval in many jurisdictions for approximately five years and no 
operational problems have ever been reported. The FHWA adopts in this 
final rule the AFAD sections into the MUTCD, based on FHWA's revised 
Interim Approval, dated January 28, 2005.\188\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \188\ The Revised Interim Approval notice can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/ia_afads012705.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    456. In Section 6E.04 Automated Flagger Assistance Devices, the 
FHWA in the NPA proposed to allow the use of AFADs. The NCUTCD opposed 
the proposal to allow AFADs that use red and yellow lenses. Two State 
DOTs, a highway safety institute, eight construction-related companies, 
and an NCUTCD member recommended allowing AFADs that use red and yellow 
lenses and the FHWA agrees. Both types of AFADs have been used with the 
FHWA's revised Interim Approval, dated January 28, 2005,\189\ and no 
operational problems have been reported with either device. The FHWA 
adopts the section including both types of AFADs into the MUTCD in this 
final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \189\ The Revised Interim Approval notice can be viewed at the 
following Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/ia_afads012705.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHWA in this final rule does not adopt the NPA proposed 
GUIDANCE that recommended that AFADs should only be used after an 
engineering study determines they are appropriate. The NCUTCD, four 
State DOTs, a local DOT, and ATSSA recommended the removal of the 
statement and the FHWA agrees that an engineering study is not 
necessary for each individual use of AFADs.
    The FHWA in the NPA proposed a STANDARD prohibiting AFADs from 
being a substitute for or a replacement for a continuously operating 
temporary traffic control signal. The NCUTCD opposed the proposed 
STANDARD. The FHWA disagrees and adopts the proposal in this final rule 
because it believes that paragraph 07 emphasizes the point that AFADs 
are to assist the flagger and not to be operated independently.
    The FHWA does not adopt in this final rule the NPA proposed 
condition that AFADs be less than 800 feet apart to allow a single 
flagger to simultaneously operate two AFADs or simultaneously operate a 
single AFAD at one end while being a flagger at the other end of the 
TTC zone. A State DOT, ATSSA, and a construction-related company 
recommended that the distance be increased to 1,500 feet apart based on 
successful tests. The NCUTCD recommended that the proposed distance 
limitation be deleted. The FHWA disagrees with increasing the maximum 
distance to 1,500 feet because documentation of effects from such an 
increase has not been provided. However, the FHWA agrees with the 
NCUTCD that there is also no reason to have a specific number of feet 
as a maximum distance, because there is a wide variability of 
conditions under which AFADs are used and engineering judgment can 
suffice. Therefore, the FHWA adopts paragraph 14 without the item C 
that was proposed in the NPA.
    The FHWA does not adopt in this final rule the NPA proposed 
GUIDANCE recommending that an AFAD be removed from its normal operating 
position when not in use. The NCUTCD and three State DOTs recommended 
that the statement be upgraded to a STANDARD. The FHWA notes that there 
is a STANDARD in Section 6B.01 that requires that TTC devices be 
removed or covered when work is suspended for short periods of time.
    The FHWA proposed in the NPA to recommend that a State or local 
agency that elects to use AFADS should adopt a policy governing AFAD 
applications. Based on comments from the NCUTCD and a local DOT, the 
FHWA in this final rule adopts a revised paragraph 17 to add the phrase 
``based on engineering judgment'' to recommend that a State or local 
agency that elects to use AFADs should adopt a policy, based on 
engineering judgment, governing AFAD applications.
    457. In Section 6E.05 STOP/SLOW Automated Flagger Assistance 
Devices, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to provide STANDARDS and GUIDANCE 
for the use of a remotely controlled STOP/SLOW sign on either a trailer 
or a movable cart system and a gate arm. One flagging company opposed 
the STOP/SLOW variety of AFAD because it could present problematic 
situations. The FHWA disagrees and notes that this device has been used 
with an Interim Approval (as discussed above) for approximately five 
years and no operational problems have been reported. The FHWA adopts 
the section concerning the STOP/SLOW AFAD in the MUTCD in this final 
rule.
    Four State DOTs commented on the proposed height of 6 feet to the 
bottom of the STOP/SLOW sign and recommended that it match the proposed 
height of 7 feet for the flagger paddle. As discussed above in item 
454,

[[Page 66833]]

the FHWA does not adopt in this final rule a specific height for the 
flagger paddle, so consistency is no longer an issue. The FHWA adopts 
paragraph 02 as proposed in the NPA.
    The NCUTCD and a State DOT recommended removing the Stop Beacon 
from the proposed list of active conspicuity devices that shall 
supplement the AFAD's STOP/SLOW sign. The FHWA disagrees and notes that 
the decision was made to keep the Stop Beacon rather than change to a 
steady burn red indication because the Stop Beacon is appropriate for 
use with a STOP sign, which is the sign used in this variety of AFAD. 
In this final rule, the FHWA adopts the Stop Beacon in the list of 
supplemental active conspicuity devices in paragraph 04 item B as 
proposed in the NPA.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed a STANDARD to require that a gate 
arm, if used, shall be covered with alternating red and white 
retroreflective stripes at 6-inch intervals. The NCUTCD and four State 
DOTs recommended changes to the NPA proposed language for gate arms 
that should accompany the STOP/SLOW AFAD. Based on these comments, the 
FHWA adopts in this final rule a revised paragraph 11 to require that 
gate arms, if used, shall be fully retroreflectorized on both sides and 
that the retroreflective strips shall be spaced at 16-inch intervals. 
Similar changes are also adopted in Section 6E.06.
    458. In Section 6E.06 Red/Yellow Lens Automated Flagger Assistance 
Devices, the FHWA in the NPA proposed a new section allowing the use of 
remotely controlled red and yellow lenses with a gate arm. The NCUTCD 
and an NCUTCD member opposed the proposed red/yellow lens type of 
AFADs. The FHWA disagrees and notes that this device has been used with 
an Interim Approval (as discussed above) for approximately five years 
and no operational problems have ever been reported. The FHWA adopts in 
this final rule the new section as proposed in the NPA with editorial 
changes.
    459. In Section 6E.07 Flagger Procedures, the FHWA proposed in the 
NPA to add a STANDARD that flaggers shall use a STOP/SLOW paddle, flag, 
or an AFAD to control road users approaching a TTC zone, and that the 
use of hand movements alone is prohibited. This additional language was 
proposed to protect the safety of workers and road users, and 
reinforces that hand movements alone are not an acceptable flagging 
method. The NCUTCD and a local DOT opposed the reference to AFADs in 
the proposal. The FHWA notes that with the addition of AFADs to the 
MUTCD, an AFAD is an acceptable device for a flagger. Two local DOTs 
agreed with the prohibition of hand movements alone for flaggers. Four 
State DOTs, three local DOTs, a member of the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and an NCUTCD member opposed the prohibition of the 
use of hand movements alone and recommended an exemption for law 
enforcement and emergency situations. The FHWA in this final rule 
adopts a modified paragraph 02 that prohibits the use of hand movements 
alone, but establishes an exception for law enforcement personnel or 
emergency responders at incident scenes.
    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to revise a GUIDANCE to recommend 
that a flagger should stand alone, away from other workers. Based on a 
comment from a State DOT and for consistency with normal work zone 
worker safety practices, the FHWA in the final rule adopts paragraph 06 
to also recommend that flaggers should stand away from work vehicles or 
equipment.
    460. In Section 6E.08 Flagger Stations, the FHWA proposed in the 
NPA to add to the GUIDANCE that an escape route for flaggers should be 
identified. Based on comments from two State DOTs, the FHWA adopts in 
this final rule a revised paragraph 03 to state that the flagger should 
identify an escape route for protection from errant vehicles to clarify 
why the escape route is necessary.

Discussion of Amendments Within Chapter 6F

    461. In Table 6F-1 Temporary Traffic Control Zone Sign and Plaque 
Sizes, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to adopt revised sign sizes in the 
Freeway or Expressway column and in the Minimum column for several 
signs. A State DOT, ATSSA, and a transportation research institute 
recommended additional sign size changes to make the signs more legible 
for drivers with 20/40 visual acuity and to assure that the signs are 
large enough to use for TTC on high-speed freeways. The FHWA agrees and 
in this final rule adopts the changes for consistency with the adopted 
sign sizes in Part 2.
    A State DOT and a transportation research institute also 
recommended adding to the Freeway or Expressway column a sign size of 
48 inches for the Stop sign and 24 inches for the Stop sign on a Stop/
Slow Paddle because there are applications for Stop signs in freeway/
expressway TTC applications. The FHWA agrees that this is appropriate 
and consistent with provisions in Chapter 2B and revises the table in 
this final rule.
    462. In Section 6F.02 General Characteristics of Signs, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA to expand a STANDARD to require that the minimum 
sign sizes shown in Table 6F-1 shall only be used on local streets or 
roadways where the 85th percentile speed or posted speed limit is less 
than 35 mph. A State DOT agreed with the change. A local DOT 
recommended that the 85th percentile speed be used exclusively. The 
FHWA disagrees because relying only on the 85th percentile speed would 
require an agency to do a speed study on all streets and roadways, 
which is impractical. The FHWA adopts in this final rule paragraph 09 
as proposed in the NPA.
    463. In Section 6F.03 Sign Placement, the FHWA proposed in the NPA 
to add additional language discussing the minimum mounting heights for 
TTC signs. A State DOT, two local DOTs, and an NCUTCD member questioned 
why the mounting height requirements were not consistent with Part 2. 
Based on the comments, the FHWA in this final rule adopts revisions to 
paragraphs 04, 05, and 06 to match the language from Section 2A.18 for 
consistency.
    464. In Section 6F.04 Sign Maintenance, a State DOT and a 
consultant recommended that the existing STANDARD statement be revised 
to GUIDANCE to be consistent with Section 2A.22 and that Section 2A.08 
be referenced concerning minimum retroreflectivity. The FHWA agrees and 
adopts paragraphs 01 and 02 as GUIDANCE and adds a SUPPORT that 
references Section 2A.08 in this final rule.
    465. The FHWA proposed in the NPA a new section numbered and titled 
Section 6F.12 Work Zone and Higher Fines Signs and Plaques, which 
describes the use of the plaques supplementing a Speed Limit sign to 
emphasize that a reduced speed limit is in effect within a TTC zone and 
that increased fines are imposed for traffic violations within the TTC 
zone. Based on comments from two State DOTs, the FHWA revises one of 
the proposed OPTIONS to a GUIDANCE to recommend, rather than merely 
allow, that a BEGIN HIGHER FINES ZONE sign should be installed at the 
upstream end of a work zone where increased fines are imposed for 
traffic violations and an END HIGHER FINES ZONE sign should be 
installed at the downstream end of the work zone. The FHWA adopts this 
language in this final rule consistent with the language adopted in 
Sections 2B.17 and 7B.10.
    466. In Section 6F.23 CENTER LANE CLOSED AHEAD Sign, a State DOT 
and a transportation research institute

[[Page 66834]]

recommended removing the existing Center Lane Closed Ahead (W9-3a) 
symbol sign because the symbol sign was confusing in its meaning. 
Although this was not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA agrees and in this 
final rule removes the OPTION for using the sign and revises the title 
of the section. This symbol has not undergone human factors testing to 
confirm that its meaning can be comprehended by road users. The FHWA 
also removes the symbol sign from Figures 6F-4 and 6H-38 in this final 
rule.
    467. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a new section numbered 
and titled Section 6F.30 NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN AHEAD Sign, which 
describes the optional use of the NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN AHEAD sign to 
provide advance warning of a change in traffic patterns, such as 
revised lane usage, roadway geometry, or signal phasing. A local DOT 
and ATSSA supported the addition of the new sign. A State DOT and a 
consultant opposed the new sign and preferred signs that are more 
descriptive. The FHWA disagrees and notes that a more specific word 
message can be used if appropriate. The FHWA in this final rule adopts 
the proposed OPTION in paragraph 01. Based on comments from two DOTs 
that a maximum time limit on display of the sign is needed, the FHWA 
adopts in this final rule a new GUIDANCE in paragraph 02 to recommend 
that, in order to retain its effectiveness, the sign should be 
displayed for up to 2 weeks and then be removed.
    468. In Section 6F.31 Flagger Signs, the FHWA proposed in the NPA 
to add an OPTION to allow Flagger signs to remain displayed to road 
users for up to 15 minutes when flagging operations are not occurring 
under certain circumstances. While two State DOTs and a local DOT 
agreed with the proposal, three other State DOTs and another local DOT 
opposed the proposal. In addition, a State DOT, ATSSA, and a 
transportation research institute recommended that the proposed 15-
minute time period should be increased to 30 minutes. The FHWA decides 
not to adopt the proposed OPTION in this final rule and also deletes an 
existing STANDARD that stated that the Flagger sign shall be removed, 
covered, or turned away from road users when the flagging operations 
are not occurring. The FHWA notes that this sign is no different from 
other TTC signs and there is an existing provision in Section 6B.01 
that addresses removal of signs that are no longer applicable.
    469. In Section 6F.44 Shoulder Signs and Plaque, the FHWA proposed 
in the NPA a Shoulder Drop-Off symbol (W8-17) sign with a SHOULDER 
DROP-OFF (W8-17p) supplemental plaque. Consistent with the adopted 
changes to Chapter 2C, the FHWA in this final rule adopts the W8-17 
symbol sign as the Shoulder Drop-Off warning sign with a SHOULDER DROP-
OFF (W8-17p) supplemental plaque and deletes the SHOULDER DROP-OFF word 
message sign (W8-9a in the 2003 MUTCD).
    470. In Section 6F.45 UNEVEN LANES Sign, the FHWA proposed in the 
NPA an optional Shoulder Drop-Off symbol sign (W8-17) with an UNEVEN 
LANES supplemental plaque that could be used instead of the UNEVEN 
LANES word sign. Two State DOTs, a local DOT, and ATSSA agreed with the 
proposal. Three other State DOTs, three local DOTs, and an NCUTCD 
member opposed the new sign because the meaning was unclear. Consistent 
with the adopted changes to Chapter 2C, the FHWA in this final rule 
adopts the W8-17 symbol sign as the Shoulder Drop-Off warning sign. The 
FHWA in this final rule does not adopt the UNEVEN LANES (W8-11p) 
supplemental plaque that was proposed in the NPA, and retains the 
existing W8-11 UNEVEN LANES word message sign.
    471. The FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a new STEEL PLATE ON 
PAVEMENT (W8-24) sign in Section 6F.45. A State DOT recommended that a 
separate section be added specifically for this sign. The FHWA agrees 
and in this final rule renames the sign and relocates the text to a new 
section, numbered and titled Section 6F.46 STEEL PLATE AHEAD Sign.
    472. In Section 6F.47 NO CENTER LINE Sign (numbered Section 6F.46 
in the NPA), a State DOT recommended revising the existing title and 
sign name from NO CENTER STRIPE to NO CENTER LINE to better describe 
what the sign is used for. The FHWA agrees and adopts a revised name 
for the title and sign, for consistency with similar adopted changes in 
Chapter 2C. The FHWA also adopts revisions to the sign in Figure 6F-4.
    473. In the NPA the FHWA proposed a new section, numbered and 
titled Section 6F.48 Reverse Curve Signs (numbered Section 6F.47 in the 
NPA), that contained OPTION and STANDARD statements describing the use 
of the Reverse Curve signs to give road users advance notice of a lane 
shift. The NCUTCD, five State DOTs, two local DOTs, a transportation 
research institute, and three NCUTCD members recommended changes to the 
proposed section, including changing the proposed STANDARD to GUIDANCE, 
and limiting the number of lanes displayed on the multi-lane versions 
of the sign. Based on the comments, the FHWA adopts in this final rule 
the proposed section, adds an OPTION to allow the use of a new ALL 
LANES (W24-1cP) plaque with the W1-4 sign, and adds an OPTION to allow 
a rectangular version of the multi-lane sign if there are more than 
three lanes being shifted. The FHWA also adopts a new GUIDANCE that 
recommends the Reverse Turn (W1-3) sign if the design speed of the 
curve is 30 mph or less to be consistent with the existing GUIDANCE for 
Typical Applications in Chapter 6H. The FHWA in this final rule also 
adopts revised language in Section 6F.49 Double Reverse Curve Signs 
that match the adopted language in Section 6F.48. The FHWA revises 
Figure 6F-4 to include the new ALL LANES plaque.
    474. In Figure 6F-4 Warning Signs in Temporary Traffic Control 
Zones, the FHWA adopts in the final rule revisions to warning signs and 
plaques in the figure based on adopted changes to Chapter 6F and Part 
2.
    475. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to relocate all of the 
information from Section 6F.58 PILOT CAR FOLLOW ME Sign (numbered 
Section 6F.54 in the 2003 MUTCD), to Section 6C.13, because the 
information is related specifically to pilot cars, which are covered in 
Section 6C.13. A State DOT opposed the proposed deletion of the section 
from Chapter 6F. In this final rule, the FHWA retains the first 
sentence of the existing STANDARD in Section 6F.58 and adds a reference 
to Section 6C.13 for details on the usage of this sign.
    476. In Section 6F.60 Portable Changeable Message Signs (numbered 
Section 6F.57 in the NPA) the FHWA proposed in the NPA to change 
paragraph 01 from STANDARD to SUPPORT because this statement just 
provides information, rather than requirements. The FHWA proposed to 
change paragraph 07 from GUIDANCE to STANDARD in order to require that 
Portable Changeable Message signs comply with specific chapters and 
tables in the MUTCD. The FHWA proposed to revise several GUIDANCE 
paragraphs to clarify the recommendations for messages and phases, and 
to clarify that Portable Changeable Message signs should be placed off 
the shoulder of the roadway and behind a traffic barrier. The FHWA also 
proposed to delete the existing OPTION allowing smaller letter sizes on 
Portable Changeable Message signs and multiple signs to display an 
entire message because the proposed GUIDANCE updates this information. 
The FHWA proposed a new

[[Page 66835]]

STANDARD in the NPA, but adopts it as GUIDANCE in paragraph 17 in this 
final rule to recommend, rather than require, the number of phases and 
number of lines, placement of message within each line, techniques for 
message display, and interaction between signs if more than one is 
simultaneously visible to road users. The FHWA adopts the other changes 
proposed for this section in the NPA in this final rule to be 
consistent with the adopted changes for permanent Changeable Message 
signs in new Chapter 2L, but with differences to suit the special 
nature of Portable Changeable Message Signs. These changes are based on 
extensive research on changeable message sign legibility, messaging, 
and operations conducted over a period of many years by the Texas 
Transportation Institute.\190\ The FHWA did not receive any comments on 
the proposed changes to this section.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \190\ Information on the many research projects on changeable 
message signs conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) 
can be accessed via TTI's Internet Web site at: http://tti.tamu.edu/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    477. In Section 6F.61 Arrow Boards (numbered Section 6F.58 in the 
NPA), the FHWA proposed to revise the GUIDANCE in paragraph 09 to 
clarify the measurement for the minimum mounting height of an arrow 
board. A State DOT recommended replacing the word ``panel'' with 
``board.'' The FHWA agrees and in this final rule replaces the word 
``panel'' with ``board'' throughout the section, including in the title 
because the device is most commonly known by that term and because 
``panel'' is defined in the adopted definitions in Section 1A.13 as 
applying to static signs.
    A local DOT recommended revising the existing STANDARD that 
prohibited the use of arrow boards from being used to laterally shift 
traffic because the existing language is confusing. The FHWA agrees and 
adopts in this final rule a modified paragraph 25 to require that arrow 
boards shall only be used to indicate a lane closure and that they 
shall not be used for lane shifts, for consistency with other 
requirements.
    A State DOT requested that the ``Alternating Diamond'' mode be 
added to the approved list of mode selections on an arrow board for 
consistency with the addition of this type of display in Figure 6F-6, 
as discussed below. The FHWA agrees and adopts a modified paragraph 16 
item C to include the Alternating Diamond mode.
    478. In Figure 6F-6 Advance Warning Arrow Board Display 
Specifications, the FHWA proposed in the NPA the Alternating Diamond 
display as one of the options for a Flashing Caution display. Two State 
DOTs and a local DOT agreed with the proposal. A State DOT and a local 
DOT opposed the proposed change because they believe the display could 
cause driver confusion and because the symbol is already used for HOV 
facilities and could create an inconsistent message. The FHWA disagrees 
and notes that experimentation did not identify this issue as a problem 
and that it is only an option for an agency to use. The FHWA adopts the 
Alternating Diamond in this final rule as an option for a Flashing 
Caution display.
    479. In Section 6F.63 Channelizing Devices (numbered Section 6F.60 
in the NPA), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a STANDARD in 
paragraph 01 that all channelizing devices shall be crashworthy. A 
local DOT agreed with the change. The FHWA adopts in this final rule 
the STANDARD as proposed in the NPA. Based on a comment from a State 
DOT and a transportation research institute, the FHWA also deletes an 
existing GUIDANCE stating that channelizing devices should be 
crashworthy because it would be contradictory to the new STANDARD.
    The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and an NCUTCD member suggesting revised 
language for the STANDARD in paragraph 05 concerning channelizing 
devices used to channelize pedestrians to be consistent with the 
STANDARD proposed in Section 6F.68. Another State DOT commented that 
the proposed text in paragraph 05 on channelizing pedestrians was 
ambiguous. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, and an NCUTCD member also 
recommended retaining an existing OPTION in Section 6F.60, which the 
FHWA proposed in the NPA to relocate to Section 6F.68, regarding the 
height of the gap between the bottom rail and the ground surface that 
may be used to facilitate drainage in the section, and recommended 
revising the allowable gap from 6 inches to 2 inches. The FHWA agrees 
with all of these comments and in this final rule adopts a revised 
paragraph 05 that relocates to Section 6F.63 the STANDARD that was 
proposed in Section 6F.68 to simplify the requirements for the 
placement of channelizing devices for channelizing pedestrians. The 
FHWA also adopts a revised OPTION that allows a gap of up to 2 inches 
to comply with Section 6F.74 and relocates to Section 6F.63 the OPTION 
that was proposed in Section 6F.68.
    480. In Section 6F.64 Cones (numbered Section 6F.61 in the NPA), 
the NCUTCD recommended deleting the existing GUIDANCE concerning the 
use of cones for pedestrian channelization or pedestrian barriers in 
TTC zones, to be consistent with adopted language in Section 6D.01. The 
FHWA agrees and removes the GUIDANCE in this final rule.
    481. In Section 6F.65 Tubular Markers (Section 6F.62 in the NPA), 
the FHWA in the NPA proposed to revise the STANDARD in paragraph 03 to 
expand the requirements for reflectorization bands on tubular markers. 
The NCUTCD and a State DOT suggested increasing the maximum distance 
from the orange band to the top of the tubular marker from 4 inches to 
6 inches to be consistent with the requirement for retroreflective 
stripes on drums. The FHWA agrees and adopts in this final rule a 
revised STANDARD to be consistent with the retroreflective striping of 
other devices.
    The NCUTCD recommended deleting the existing GUIDANCE concerning 
the use of tubular markers for pedestrian channelization or as 
pedestrian barriers in TTC zones, to be consistent with the language 
adopted in Section 6D.01. The FHWA agrees and deletes the GUIDANCE in 
this final rule.
    A State DOT suggested deleting the existing STANDARD that described 
the use of a noncylindrical tubular marker, because it was redundant 
and conflicted with the previous STANDARD. The FHWA agrees and in this 
final rule removes the paragraph as suggested.
    482. In Section 6F.66 Vertical Panels (Section 6F.63 in the NPA), 
the FHWA proposed in the NPA to require that the dimensions listed in 
the section refer to the ``retroreflective material'' on the vertical 
panels. The FHWA adopts the STANDARDS in the final rule with additional 
revisions that better clarify the intent of the section.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to change an OPTION to a STANDARD to 
require, rather than merely permit, a panel stripe width of 4 inches to 
be used where the height of the reflective material on a vertical panel 
is 36 inches or less. Based on comments from a State DOT and an NCUTCD 
member that the proposed requirement was too restrictive, the FHWA in 
this final rule maintains the use of 4-inch wide panel stripes as an 
OPTION for vertical panels that are 36 inches in height or less.
    483. In Section 6F.67 Drums (numbered Section 6F.64 in the NPA), 
the FHWA proposed in the NPA to change a GUIDANCE to a STANDARD to 
prohibit weighting drums with sand, water, or any material to the 
extent that would make them hazardous to road users or workers when 
struck. As part of this change, the FHWA also proposed to delete 
another GUIDANCE discussing the use of drain holes to prevent water

[[Page 66836]]

from accumulating and freezing. This recommendation is not necessary 
since there is a STANDARD that requires drums to have a closed top, 
thus reducing the possibility of any water actually accumulating in the 
device. A local DOT supported the proposal. Two State DOTs, five local 
DOTs, and a consultant opposed the proposed changes because the word 
``hazardous'' is too subjective for a STANDARD statement. The FHWA in 
this final rule retains the existing text from the 2003 MUTCD in 
paragraph 04 and does not adopt the proposed changes. Based on a 
comment from the NCUTCD, the FHWA deletes an existing GUIDANCE 
concerning the use of drums for pedestrian channelization or pedestrian 
barriers in TTC zones, to be consistent with language adopted in 
Section 6D.01.
    484. In Section 6F.68 Type 1, 2, or 3 Barricades (Section 6F.65 in 
the NPA), the FHWA proposed in the NPA a new STANDARD requiring 
continuous detectible bottom and top rails with no gaps on barricades 
that are used to channelize pedestrians. The FHWA also proposed to 
relocate an OPTION from Section 6F.63 to allow a gap of up to 6 inches 
between the bottom rail and the ground surface to facilitate drainage. 
Based on comments from a State DOT and a transportation research 
institute, the FHWA in this final rule revises the allowable gap in the 
OPTION to 2 inches to comply with Section 6F.74. Based on comments from 
the NCUTCD and a State DOT, the FHWA adopts and relocates the proposed 
STANDARD and OPTION statements to Section 6F.63, as described in item 
479 above.
    The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, a transportation research institute, 
and two local DOTs opposed the proposed STANDARD regarding barricade 
placement in conformance with application and installation 
requirements. The FHWA agrees and in this final rule does not adopt the 
proposed statement.
    Based on comments from the NCUTCD and a State DOT, the FHWA in this 
final rule deletes an existing STANDARD and does not adopt the proposed 
GUIDANCE that discussed the use of ballasts. The FHWA agrees with the 
commenters that the information is already adequately covered elsewhere 
in Chapter 6F and does not need to be repeated in this section.
    485. In Section 6F.70 Temporary Traffic Barriers as Channelizing 
Devices (numbered Section 6F.67 in the NPA), the FHWA proposed in the 
NPA to delete the STANDARD requiring that temporary traffic barriers be 
supplemented with delineation, pavement markings, or channelizing 
devices. A State DOT and a transportation research institute opposed 
the revision because the temporary barrier will be difficult to see at 
night without those traffic control devices. The FHWA agrees and in 
this final rule retains the existing provision.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to change a GUIDANCE to a STANDARD in 
order to prohibit, rather than discourage, the use of temporary traffic 
barriers for a merging taper, except in low-speed urban areas. The FHWA 
proposed this change to provide consistency on the use of temporary 
traffic barriers within this section. A State DOT opposed the proposed 
change. The FHWA agrees and retains the provision as GUIDANCE in this 
final rule due to inconsistency with other provisions. The FHWA notes 
that this section allows temporary traffic barriers to be used for a 
merging taper in low-speed urban conditions or for a constricted/
restricted TTC zone.
    The FHWA also proposed to add a new STANDARD that temporary traffic 
barriers shall be placed in conformance with the application and 
installation requirements for the specific device being used. The 
NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and a transportation research institute 
commented that this statement is not needed because, if a device is not 
in compliance with the application, then it is not in compliance with 
the MUTCD. The FHWA believes that the statement does not add anything 
to the meaning of the section and does not adopt the proposal in this 
final rule.
    The FHWA proposed a new STANDARD statement requiring that temporary 
traffic barriers that are used to channelize pedestrians meet specific 
criteria that aid pedestrians with visual disabilities, to be 
consistent with requirements elsewhere in Part 6. The NCUTCD and a 
State DOT suggested deleting this provision because it is repetitive of 
Section 6F.74 while ATSSA suggested revising the provision to be 
consistent with Section 6F.74. The FHWA does not adopt proposed 
STANDARD in this final rule because it is repetitive of the language in 
Section 6F.74.
    486. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA in this final rule retitles 
Section 6F.71 (numbered Section 6F.68 in the NPA) to ``Longitudinal 
Channelizing Devices,'' to expand the section to include additional 
devices besides barricades that serve this purpose. The FHWA proposed 
in the NPA to remove an OPTION that allowed the devices to be hollow 
and filled with water as ballast. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, and six 
traffic control device companies opposed the proposed change because 
these devices are water filled devices. The FHWA agrees and in this 
final rule maintains the OPTION statement in the Manual.
    The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and a transportation research institute 
opposed a proposed STANDARD requiring that longitudinal channelizing 
devices be placed in compliance with the application and installation 
requirements of the device. Similar to the same issue discussed above 
in Section 6F.70, the FHWA does not adopt the proposed STANDARD because 
the FHWA decides that the proposed statement does not add any 
meaningful information to the section.
    A State DOT and a transportation research institute recommended 
revising an existing statement to require, instead of recommend, that 
channelizing devices be interlocked if used for pedestrian control. The 
FHWA agrees and revises paragraph 07 from GUIDANCE to STANDARD in this 
final rule to be consistent with the adopted language in Section 6F.63.
    Based on a comment from a State DOT, the FHWA adopts in the final 
rule paragraph 03 to recommend the use of retroreflective material or 
delineation on longitudinal channelizing devices when used to 
channelize vehicular traffic at night, consistent with similar 
provisions elsewhere in Part 6.
    487. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a new section, numbered 
and titled Section 6F.72 Temporary Lane Separators (numbered Section 
6F.70 in the NPA), which describes the use of these optional devices 
that may be used to channelize road users, to divide opposing vehicular 
traffic lanes, to divide lanes when two or more lanes are open in the 
same direction, and to provide continuous pedestrian channelization. 
ATSSA and a traffic control device manufacturer agreed with the 
proposal. A State DOT, two local DOTs, a pedestrian/bicyclist 
organization, an NCUTCD member, and three citizens opposed the proposed 
section because they believe that temporary lane separators are not 
compatible with bicycle travel. The FHWA disagrees with the comments 
and notes that the device is optional and the agencies should determine 
whether or not to use it if there are problems with bicycle 
interaction. The FHWA adopts the proposed text in this final rule and 
relocates this section to be Section 6F.72, so it will precede Section 
6F.73 Other Channelizing Devices (numbered Section 6F.69 in the NPA) 
for better organization of the chapter.
    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA a STANDARD to restrict temporary 
lane separators to a maximum of 4 inches in

[[Page 66837]]

height and 1 foot in width. A local DOT agreed with the proposal. The 
NCUTCD, a State DOT, and an NCUTCD member recommended a minimum height 
of 2.5 inches for the devices. A traffic control device manufacturer 
opposed the recommendation from the NCUTCD and agreed with the NPA 
proposal. The FHWA decides to adopt in this final rule paragraph 02 as 
proposed in the NPA and notes that no reasoning was given for the 
proposed minimum height, which could eliminate devices currently in 
use.
    The FHWA also proposed an OPTION to allow the use of approved 
channelizing devices to supplement temporary lane dividers. ATSSA 
recommended this statement be upgraded to GUIDANCE. A State DOT, a 
transportation research institute, and a traffic device manufacturer 
recommended this statement be upgraded to a STANDARD. The FHWA 
disagrees and notes that paragraph 03 addresses the visibility of 
temporary lane separators if supplemental channelizing devices are not 
used. The FHWA adopts the OPTION as proposed in the NPA.
    A State DOT and a transportation research institute recommended a 
new STANDARD to require an opening in temporary lane dividers at 
pedestrian crossing locations. The FHWA agrees and adds paragraph 06 
for consistency with ADAAG, which requires at least a 60-inch wide 
pathway for the crossing pedestrian.
    488. In Section 6F.75 Temporary Raised Islands (numbered Section 
6F.72 in the NPA), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to change the 
recommended width of temporary raised islands from at least 18 inches 
to at least 12 inches. This change facilitates the use of existing 
devices that have been successfully used in many applications. The 
NCUTCD recommended a width of 10 inches. The FHWA disagrees because no 
reasoning was provided for a smaller width than 12 inches. The FHWA 
adopts in this final rule the change to paragraph 04 as proposed in the 
NPA.
    489. In Section 6F.77 Pavement Markings (numbered Section 6F.74 in 
the 2003 NPA), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to differentiate the usage 
of pavement markings in long-term stationary temporary traffic control 
zones from those used in intermediate-term and short-term temporary 
traffic control zones. For long-term stationary operations, the FHWA 
proposed to revise the existing STANDARD in paragraph 04 to require 
that obliteration of markings in the temporary traveled way that are no 
longer applicable shall remove ``all of the non-applicable pavement 
marking material, and the obliteration method(s) shall minimize 
pavement scarring.'' The NCUTCD and an NCUTCD member opposed the 
proposed change and recommended the statement be changed to GUIDANCE. 
The FHWA disagrees with the commenters and believes that removal of 
conflicting markings is essential for safety and that the NPA language 
is easier to understand. A State DOT opposed the use of the words ``all 
of'' because it is not practical. The FHWA agrees with the State DOT 
and in this final rule adopts the revised STANDARD in paragraph 04 as 
proposed in the NPA, with the exception of the words ``all of,'' which 
the FHWA does not adopt in this final rule.
    490. In Section 6F.78 Temporary Markings (Section 6F.75 in the 
NPA), the FHWA proposed in the NPA in paragraph 02 to recommend that 
temporary pavement markings should not remain in place for more than 14 
days after the application of the pavement surface treatment or the 
construction of the final pavement surface on new roadways or over 
existing pavements unless justified by an engineering study. Based on 
comments from the NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and an NCUTCD member, the 
FHWA replaces ``an engineering study'' with ``engineering judgment'' in 
the GUIDANCE adopted in this final rule to allow more flexibility.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to relocate an existing STANDARD from 
Section 6F.77 to Section 6F.78 that requires that all pavement markings 
and devices used to delineate road user paths shall be carefully 
reviewed during daytime and nighttime periods. The NCUTCD and an NCUTCD 
member recommended changing the STANDARD to GUIDANCE and removing the 
word ``carefully'' from the statement. The FHWA agrees that mandatory 
language is too restrictive in this case and adopts paragraph 06 in 
this final rule as GUIDANCE and removes the word ``carefully'' from the 
statement.
    Based on a comment from a State DOT, the FHWA adopts a new GUIDANCE 
statement that recommends that the NO CENTER LINE sign, if used, should 
be placed in accordance with Section 6F.47. The FHWA adds paragraph 10 
in this final rule to be consistent with the adopted GUIDANCE in 
Section 6F.47 that recommends the placement of the NO CENTER LINE sign 
at the beginning of the TTC zone and repeated at 2-mile intervals in 
long TTC zones when the work obliterates the center line pavement 
markings.
    491. In Section 6F.79 Temporary Raised Pavement Markers (numbered 
Section 6F.76 in the NPA), the FHWA in the NPA proposed to add new 
STANDARD and GUIDANCE requiring the color of the raised pavement 
markers to simulate the color of the markings for which they substitute 
and that the pattern of the raised pavement markers should simulate the 
pattern of the markings for which they substitute. A local DOT agreed 
with the proposal. In this final rule, the FHWA adopts the two 
statements as a combined STANDARD in paragraph 02 to require that the 
color and pattern of the raised pavement markers to simulate the color 
and pattern of the markings for which they substitute, for consistency 
with similar provisions in Chapter 3B.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed a STANDARD to describe the use of 
temporary raised pavement markers as a substitute for solid lines. The 
NCUTCD opposed the revision. The FHWA disagrees and believes that the 
proposed STANDARD in paragraph 04 improves clarity and in this final 
rule adopts the language as proposed in the NPA.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to allow the optional use of a less 
expensive pattern of raised pavement markers to substitute for a broken 
line marking and recommend that temporary raised pavement markers 
should not be in place for more than 14 days. A local DOT agreed with 
the proposal. The NCUTCD opposed the proposed OPTION. The FHWA 
disagrees and notes that the statement was removed from an existing 
STANDARD to make it an optional exception to the requirements of the 
STANDARD. A State DOT opposed the proposed GUIDANCE recommending a 
limit of 14 days for the devices. The FHWA disagrees and notes that it 
is consistent with the adopted language in Section 6F.78. The FHWA 
adopts in this final rule paragraphs 05 and 06 as proposed in the NPA.
    492. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to delete Section 6F.82 
Floodlights (numbered Section 6F.76 in the 2003 MUTCD), because the 
FHWA believes that floodlights are not traffic control devices. 
Although a local DOT agreed with the proposal, the NCUTCD, three State 
DOTs, ATSSA, and a transportation research institute opposed the 
proposed deletion of the section because they believe the section 
provides useful information to the practitioner. The FHWA agrees to 
leave these types of devices in the MUTCD until a clear definition of 
traffic control devices is established in a future edition and in this 
final rule maintains the section as Section 6F.82 Floodlights,

[[Page 66838]]

with the same text from the 2003 MUTCD.
    493. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA in this final rule deletes 
Section 6F.77 (as numbered in the 2003 MUTCD) Flashing Warning Beacons. 
Two State DOTs and ATSSA opposed the proposal because they did not want 
the language regarding the device to be removed from the Manual. The 
FHWA disagrees with the commenters and notes that the material is 
already covered in Chapter 4L and does not need to be repeated in Part 
6.
    494. In Section 6F.83 Warning Lights (numbered Section 6F.79 in the 
NPA), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise a STANDARD to require that 
the 30-inch minimum mounting height for warning lights be measured 
vertically from the bottom of the lens to the elevation of the near 
edge of the pavement. Two State DOTs and a transportation research 
institute opposed the change because it would preclude the use of 
warning lights on drums. The FHWA agrees and in this final rule retains 
paragraph 11 with the language from the 2003 MUTCD.
    495. The FHWA in this final rule deletes Section 6F.79 (as numbered 
in the 2003 MUTCD) Steady-Burn Electric Lamps, as proposed in the NPA. 
A local DOT agreed with the change. A State DOT and a transportation 
research institute opposed the change because the device has 
appropriate applications. The FHWA disagrees and notes that the only 
difference between other warning lights and the steady burn electric 
lamp is the power source and that it is not necessary to include both 
in the Manual.
    496. In Section 6F.84 Temporary Traffic Control Signals (numbered 
Section 6F.80 in the NPA), the FHWA proposed in the NPA a new STANDARD 
requiring temporary traffic signals placed within 200 feet of a 
highway-rail grade crossing or a highway-light rail transit grade 
crossing to have preemption unless arrangements are made to prevent 
traffic from queuing across the tracks. A State DOT and a local DOT 
supported the proposal. Based on comments from a State DOT, a 
transportation research institute, a local DOT, and an NCUTCD member, 
the FHWA in this final rule adopts a modified paragraph 13 to require 
that a uniformed officer or flagger shall be required at the crossing 
to prevent vehicles from stopping within the crossing if the temporary 
traffic control signal is not provided with preemption.
    497. The FHWA proposed in the NPA to delete Section 6F.86 Crash 
Cushions (numbered Section 6F.82 in the 2003 MUTCD) because the FHWA 
believes that crash cushions are not traffic control devices and that 
adequate and appropriate guidance on crash cushions and vehicle 
arresting systems is readily available in a variety of FHWA, AASHTO, 
ITE, and industry publications and Web sites. A local DOT agreed with 
the proposal. The NCUTCD, five State DOTs, ATSSA, and a transportation 
research institute opposed the deletion of the section because they 
believe it provides important information on the topic. The FHWA agrees 
to leave these types of devices in the MUTCD until a clear definition 
of traffic control devices is established in a future edition and in 
this final rule maintains the section as Section 6F.86 Crash Cushions 
with the 2003 MUTCD text.
    498. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA in this final rule deletes 
Section 6F.83 (as numbered in the 2003 MUTCD) Vehicle Arresting Systems 
because they are not traffic control devices. A local DOT agreed with 
the proposal. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, ATSSA, and a local DOT opposed 
the deletion of the section because they did not want the information 
removed from the Manual. The FHWA disagrees and believes that the 
section does not provide any useful traffic control device information 
for practitioners.
    499. The FHWA proposed in the NPA to delete Section 6F.88 Screens 
(numbered Section 6F.85 in the 2003 MUTCD), because the FHWA believes 
that glare screens are not traffic control devices. A local DOT agreed 
with the proposal. The NCUTCD, four State DOTs, a local DOT, a 
transportation research institute, a consultant, and a citizen opposed 
the deletion of the section because it provides information about 
screens that is not provided elsewhere. The FHWA agrees to leave these 
types of devices in the MUTCD until a clear definition of traffic 
control devices is established in a future edition and in this final 
rule maintains the section as Section 6F.88 Screens with the text from 
the 2003 MUTCD.
    500. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA in this final rule deletes 
Section 6F.86 (as numbered in the 2003 MUTCD) Future and Experimental 
Devices, because such devices are already covered in Part 1. The NCUTCD 
agreed with the change. A State DOT, a local DOT, and a transportation 
research institute opposed the change because the public needs to 
understand that new TTC devices must go through an experimentation 
process before being used. The FHWA disagrees and notes that the 
information is already contained in Section 1A.10.

Discussion of Final Rule Amendments Within Chapters 6G Through 6I

    501. In Section 6G.01 Typical Applications, the FHWA proposed in 
the NPA to add GUIDANCE in paragraph 04 recommending that a TTC plan 
should be developed for all planned special events in conjunction with 
and approved by the highway agency or agencies having jurisdiction over 
the affected roadways. The NCUTCD and a local DOT supported the 
language as proposed. A State DOT and four other local DOTs noted that 
law enforcement agencies approve traffic control plans in their area. 
To address this concern, the FHWA adopts in this final rule revised 
language that removes the specification that ``highway'' agencies 
approve TTC plans, leaving it flexible to have the appropriate agency 
having jurisdiction approve TTC plans. Two State DOTs, two local DOTs, 
an NCUTCD member, a transportation research institute, a pedestrian/
bicyclist association, and three citizens opposed the language proposed 
in the NPA requiring that ``all'' special planned events have TTC 
plans. The commenters suggested that such language was too inclusive 
and should be limited only to those events affecting traffic 
operations. The FHWA agrees in part and adopts revised language in this 
final rule accordingly. For those events that will not have traffic 
impacts, the TCC plan will be minimal. The FHWA adopts these changes to 
help assure that proper traffic controls are installed when planned 
special events, such as parades, street fairs, farmers' markets, etc., 
impact traffic, and to respond to a National Transportation Safety 
Board (NTSB) report on this subject.\191\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \191\ NTSB Report HAR-04/04, ``Rear End Collision and Subsequent 
Vehicle Intrusion into Pedestrian Space at Certified Farmers' 
Market, Santa Monica, California, July 16, 2003,'' dated August 3, 
2004, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://ntsb.gov/publictn/2004/HAR0404.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    502. In Section 6G.02 Work Duration, a State DOT requested 
clarification of the existing STANDARD and OPTION paragraphs on the 
treatments of mobile operations at speeds between 3 mph and 20 mph 
because it is unclear if the existing language applies to these speeds. 
The FHWA agrees that clarification is necessary and in this final rule 
revises the STANDARD in paragraph 22 to apply to the treatments of 
mobile operations for all speeds and deletes the last two OPTION 
paragraphs in the 2003 MUTCD.
    503. In Section 6G.04 Modifications to Fulfill Special Needs, the 
FHWA proposed to remove the last GUIDANCE statement recommending that 
typical

[[Page 66839]]

applications be modified where pedestrian or bicycle usage is high. A 
State DOT opposed the revision because it is a good reminder regarding 
accommodation of bicyclists and pedestrians. The FHWA agrees and in 
this final rule adopts revisions to the GUIDANCE in paragraph 03 to 
include pedestrian routes as item F and bicycle diversions as item G in 
the list of conditions when typical applications should be modified.
    504. In Section 6G.11 Work Within the Traveled Way of Urban 
Streets, the FHWA proposed to relocate the first paragraph of the first 
STANDARD in the 2003 MUTCD to Section 6D.01 because the information 
about maintaining accessibility and detectability along pedestrian 
routes is most appropriately covered in Section 6D.01. The FHWA adopts 
the proposed relocation in this final rule.
    A State DOT recommended modifying the existing STANDARD in 
paragraph 05 to require that both pedestrian and vehicular access be 
provided to transit stops that are affected and relocated because of 
work activity. The FHWA adopts this change in this final rule to 
clarify and reiterate that full accessibility to transit stops is 
required during work activity, consistent with provisions in Chapter 
6D.
    505. In Section 6G.12 Work Within the Traveled Way of Multi-Lane, 
Non-Access Controlled Highways, a State DOT recommended a new OPTION to 
allow a single continuous taper to be used where operating speeds are 
40 mph or less and the space approaching the work area does not permit 
moving traffic over one lane at a time. The FHWA agrees that this 
flexibility is needed and can be appropriately applied in lower speed 
conditions and in this final rule adopts the new OPTION in paragraph 
13.
    506. In Section 6G.13 Work Within the Traveled Way at an 
Intersection, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to modify the existing 
GUIDANCE in paragraph 04 to recommend, among other things, the 
relocation of signal heads to provide improved visibility. The NCUTCD 
and an NCUTCD member recommended changing ``improved'' to ``adequate'' 
visibility, for consistency with the other conditions in the sentence. 
The FHWA agrees and in this final rule adopts the proposed revision and 
also references Part 4 for the description of adequate visibility for 
signal heads.
    507. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to reverse the order of Chapters 
6H and 6I of the 2003 MUTCD so that Chapter 6H would be Control of 
Traffic Through Traffic Incident Management Areas and Chapter 6I would 
be Typical Applications. The FHWA proposed this change so that the 
numerous Typical Application diagrams would be at the end of Part 6 and 
to place the text and figures on incident management closer to the 
other sections in Part 6. The NCUTCD, ATSSA, and two State DOTs opposed 
this change, primarily because they believe Chapter 6I is best left as 
the designated chapter for Incident Management, in part because it is 
referred to in a number of important documents. The FHWA agrees and in 
this final rule retains the Typical Application diagrams in Chapter 6H 
and retains Chapter 6I as Incident Management, consistent with the 2003 
MUTCD.
    508. The FHWA received several general comments and suggestions on 
Chapter 6H Typical Applications (numbered Chapter 6I in the NPA). A 
State DOT, a local DOT, five bicyclist-related associations, an NCUTCD 
member, and two citizens suggested adding an OPTION to use the adopted 
Bicycles May Use Full Lane (R4-11) sign and adding a reference to 
Section 9B.06 in all Typical Applications where the lanes are narrowed 
to 10 feet in TTC zones to remind MUTCD users to consider bicyclists. 
The FHWA disagrees with the suggested addition because narrow lane 
widths are allowed in many permanent conditions, so it is not 
unrealistic to allow it in TTC situations. An agency can address 
specific bicycle accommodations in a project's TTC plan.
    509. In Table 6H-3 Meaning of Letter Codes on Typical Application 
Diagrams (numbered Table 6I-3 in the NPA), a State DOT and a 
transportation research institute suggested adding a fifth road type 
classification ``Local (very low speed)'' with a suggested sign spacing 
of 100 feet. The FHWA disagrees and notes that the suggested spacing is 
already indicated for ``Urban (low speed)''. If an agency wants to use 
the shorter spacing for signs on rural low-speed facilities, they can 
apply the low-speed criteria and use the same values as the Urban. The 
commenters also suggested increasing the sign spacing for Urban (low 
speed) to 200 feet because the existing 100-foot spacing is inadequate 
on a 35 mph street. The FHWA disagrees and notes that the 100-foot 
spacing is usually adequate for urban low-speed applications and allows 
more signs to be located between city blocks, thereby eliminating the 
need for duplication. The FHWA adopts Table 6H-3 in this final rule as 
proposed in the NPA.
    510. In Section 6H.01 Typical Applications, the FHWA adopts in this 
final rule the SUPPORT, as proposed in the NPA, that, except for the 
notes (which are clearly classified using headings as being Standard, 
Guidance, Option, or Support), the information presented in the typical 
applications can generally be regarded as Guidance. The FHWA also 
adopts in this final rule changes in the Typical Applications to 
reflect the changes to all parts of the MUTCD with particular reference 
to Part 6 text and figure changes.
    Additionally, the FHWA adopts the figures and corresponding notes 
proposed in the NPA with the following changes and responses to 
comments received:
    a. Notes for Figure 6H-4: In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add a 
new note 4 allowing stationary signs to be omitted if the work is 
mobile because the use of such signs is often not practical with mobile 
operations. Two local DOTs agreed with the proposed revision. The FHWA 
in this final rule adopts a revised note 4 to read ``Stationary warning 
signs may be omitted for short duration or mobile operations if the 
work vehicle displays high-intensity rotating, flashing, oscillating, 
or strobe lights,'' to be consistent with Section 6G.02. The FHWA also 
deletes existing note 5 (as numbered in the NPA) because the 
information is incorporated in the adopted note 4. In the NPA, the FHWA 
proposed a new STANDARD note stating that vehicle-mounted signs shall 
be mounted in a manner not obscured by equipment or supplies, and that 
sign legends on vehicle-mounted signs shall be covered or turned from 
view when work is not in progress, for consistency with similar 
provisions in the Notes for Figure 6H-17. A local DOT agreed with the 
revision and the FHWA adopts note 8 in this final rule as proposed in 
the NPA. A State DOT suggested adding new GUIDANCE to describe when a 
shadow vehicle should be used. The FHWA disagrees since the suggested 
information is contained in Section 6F.03.
    b. In Figure 6H-4, a State DOT suggested revisions to the existing 
figure, including removing the leading truck, making the trailing truck 
optional, making the SHOULDER WORK sign optional, and allowing reduced 
traffic control requirements for short duration operations less than 60 
minutes. The FHWA disagrees because the existing provisions are 
consistent with other Typical Applications for Mobile Operations and 
Section 6G.02. The FHWA in this final rule adds a ``Work Vehicle'' tag 
to the lead truck for clarification.
    c. In Figure 6H-5, a State DOT suggested revisions to the existing 
figure, including adding a lateral

[[Page 66840]]

clearance marker at the barrier angle point and an object marker at the 
nose of the attenuator. The FHWA disagrees because the use of 
channelizing devices to close the lane should provide delineation for 
the barrier. An agency can add additional devices if they believe 
conditions warrant it.
    d. In the Notes for Figure 6H-6, a State DOT and a transportation 
research institute suggested adding two new STANDARDS describing the 
requirements for the mounting of vehicle-mounted signs and the display 
of high-intensity lights on shadow and work vehicles. The FHWA agrees 
and adds notes 11 and 12 as STANDARDS in this final rule, which are 
identical to existing adopted STANDARDS from the Notes for Figure 6H-
17.
    e. In the Notes for Figure 6H-7, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to 
reword note 3 to clarify that required pavement markings no longer 
applicable shall be removed or obliterated as soon as practical. A 
State DOT and a transportation research institute suggested revising 
the note to remove the word ``practical'' and instead require that the 
pavement markings that are no longer applicable be removed once the TTC 
diversion is complete. The FHWA agrees with the comment and in this 
final rule revises note 3 to read ``Pavement markings no longer 
applicable to the traffic pattern of the roadway shall be removed or 
obliterated before any new traffic patterns are open to traffic.''
    f. In Figure 6H-7, a local DOT suggested revising the existing 
figure to delete the ROAD CLOSED sign because it might imply that 
travel is not possible in that direction. The FHWA agrees and deletes 
the sign in this final rule. A State DOT asked what NCHRP 350 approved 
sign assembly is available to accommodate the warning sign with 
supplemental plaque shown in the figure on a portable sign stand and 
still maintain the 5-foot minimum sign height to the lowest sign. The 
FHWA responds that this Typical Application would not typically be used 
for periods of less than three days, thus signs would not be on 
portable mountings and therefore no revisions to the figure are 
necessary.
    g. In Notes for Figure 6H-9, an NCUTCD member suggested revising 
existing GUIDANCE note 3 to include YIELD signs. The FHWA agrees that 
this is appropriate for consistency with Part 2 and adopts in this 
final rule a revised note 3 that recommends that STOP or YIELD signs 
displayed to side roads should be installed as needed along the 
temporary route.
    h. In Figure 6H-10, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise the 
upstream taper dimension from ``100 ft MAX'' to ``50 to 100 ft.'' A 
State DOT opposed the proposed revision and recommended that the 
upstream taper dimension remain as a maximum of 100 feet and also 
recommended deleting the 50-foot minimum. The FHWA disagrees because 
adopted Section 6C.08 includes a minimum taper length of 50 feet and 
the figure reflects this change. The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to 
revise the downstream taper dimension from ``100 ft MAX'' to ``50 to 
100 ft.'' A State DOT and a transportation research institute suggested 
retaining the existing ``100 ft MAX'' dimension for the downstream 
taper in order to comply with Figure 6C-3 and suggested deleting the 
existing note about buffer space because the information is contained 
in note 4 of the accompanying Notes section. The FHWA agrees with the 
comments and adopts the suggested revisions in this final rule.
    i. In Figure 6H-12, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise the 
maximum distance between the nearest signal face for each approach and 
the stop line from 150 feet to 180 feet, for consistency with 
provisions of Part 4. A State DOT suggested revising the figure to 
include a dimension between the end of the downstream taper and the 
location of the opposing temporary signal because the distance is 
critical to provide enough distance for traffic to return to its own 
lane prior to the stop line for the opposing traffic. The FHWA notes 
the concern of the commenter, but declines to revise the figure because 
this dimension is left up to the agency to determine based upon the 
geometrics of the project and design speed through the TTC zone. The 
FHWA adopts in this final rule Figure 6H-12 as proposed in the NPA. The 
FHWA also adopts in this final rule the same revision to the maximum 
distance in Figure 6H-14, as proposed in the NPA.
    j. In Figure 6H-13, a State DOT and a transportation research 
institute suggested revising the existing figure to make the BE 
PREPARED TO STOP sign mandatory instead of optional. The FHWA disagrees 
because the use of the sign should be dictated by the conditions for 
the project, such as volume and speed of traffic, length, and frequency 
of closure.
    k. In Figure 6H-14, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a note that 
the maximum distance from the stop line to signal indication is 150 
feet if 8-inch signal indications are used. A State DOT and a 
transportation research institute suggested deleting the asterisked 
note because the use of 8-inch signal displays should not be suggested 
since additional traffic control emphasis is needed in temporary 
traffic control applications. The FHWA agrees with the comment and also 
notes that the adopted revisions to Part 4 only allow the use of 8-inch 
indications for very low speed roads, and therefore the FHWA in this 
final rule removes the note. An NCUTCD member suggested replacing the 
existing symbolic DO NOT PASS sign with the word message sign, for 
clarity. The FHWA agrees and adopts in this final rule the suggested 
revision for this figure and throughout Chapter 6H, for consistency 
with adopted text in Chapter 2B.
    l. In Notes for Figure 6H-15, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to 
change an existing GUIDANCE to a STANDARD, to require, instead of 
recommend, that workers in the roadway shall wear high-visibility 
safety apparel as described in Section 6D.03. A State DOT and a 
transportation research institute suggested deleting the proposed 
STANDARD because the statement is now unnecessary as a result of the 
adopted changes in Section 6D.03. The FHWA agrees and in this final 
rule deletes the statement from Notes for Figure 6H-15 and from Notes 
for Figure 6H-16. As described in Section 6D.03, workers within the 
public right-of-way are now required to wear high-visibility safety 
apparel, except for firefighters exposed to hazardous heat conditions 
and law enforcement personnel when performing non-traffic related 
activities. The commenters also suggested revising this and other 
Typical Applications for low-volume roads to also apply to low-speed 
roads. The FHWA disagrees because there have been no other comments 
received noting problems with this operation and agencies have the 
option to require additional measures for these situations.
    m. In Notes for Figure 6H-16, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a 
new note 1 to the GUIDANCE indicating that all lanes should be a 
minimum of 10 feet in width, to be consistent with guidance in other 
applications. A local DOT agreed with the proposal, while the NCUTCD 
opposed the proposal but did not provide a reason for the objection. 
The FHWA adopts in this final rule the proposed note because the text 
is consistent with existing GUIDANCE in Notes for Figure 6H-6.
    n. In Figure 6H-16, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to include a 
dimension showing a 10-foot minimum width for all lanes. A State DOT 
asked if traffic can be moved to the shoulder in this Typical 
Application. The FHWA responds that this Typical Application

[[Page 66841]]

should allow shoulder use if necessary and adopts in this final rule a 
revised note in Figure 6H-16 identical to the adopted note in Figure 
6H-15 that indicates a 10-foot minimum width to the edge of pavement or 
outside edge of paved shoulder.
    o. In Figure 6H-20, a State DOT and a transportation institute 
recommended revisions to the existing figure to add NO LEFT TURN signs, 
NO RIGHT TURN signs, and Main Street South Detour signs to provide 
guidance for drivers arriving from the east and west. The FHWA agrees 
and adopts a revised Figure 6H-20 that incorporates the recommended 
signs for added clarification because the intent is to provide guidance 
to road users on all approaches to the work zone.
    p. In Figure 6H-23, a State DOT and a transportation research 
institute suggested revisions to the existing figure to add 
channelization devices along the double yellow center line to be 
consistent with adopted provisions in Section 6G.12. The FHWA agrees 
and adopts the suggested revision in this final rule. An NCUTCD member 
suggested deleting the LEFT LANE MUST TURN LEFT sign outside of the 
curb. The FHWA disagrees with the comment because this sign complies 
with provisions in Chapter 2B and the sign needs to be displayed to 
inform road users of the temporary left-turn lane established by 
closing the left lane.
    q. In Notes for Figure 6H-27, a State DOT and a transportation 
research institute suggested elevating existing note 4 (as numbered in 
the NPA) from OPTION to GUIDANCE to recommend that ONE LANE ROAD AHEAD 
signs be used to provide adequate advance warning for this Typical 
Application. The FHWA agrees that the signs should be used in this 
situation, and in this final rule changes the statement to GUIDANCE and 
renumbers the statement as note 8. The FHWA adopts the change for 
consistency with other Typical Applications that indicate that the ONE 
LANE ROAD sign should be used when one lane of a two-lane roadway is 
closed. The commenters also recommended that the ONE LANE ROAD AHEAD 
sign be added to each approach in Figure 6H-27. The FHWA agrees and 
adopts in this final rule the suggested revisions to Figure 6H-27.
    r. In Figure 6H-28, a State DOT and a transportation research 
institute suggested revising the existing figure to replace the symbols 
for channelization devices because Type 3 barricades should not be used 
for channelization between road users and pedestrians. The FHWA agrees 
and adopts a new symbol to represent a longitudinal channelizing device 
and revises Figure 6H-28 and Table 6H-2 accordingly.
    s. In Figure 6H-29, a State DOT and a transportation research 
institute suggested revising the existing figure to remove the 
``(optional)'' note from the ROAD WORK AHEAD sign so that the sign is a 
recommendation and not an option. The FHWA agrees and adopts the 
suggested revision in this final rule to be consistent with all other 
Typical Applications that recommend the ROAD WORK AHEAD sign whenever 
work is occurring within the roadway. The commenters also suggested 
replacing the cones used to close the sidewalk with a Type 3 
channelizing device. The FHWA agrees and adopts the suggested revision 
in this final rule.
    t. In Notes for Figure 6H-32, a State DOT and a transportation 
research institute suggested revising existing GUIDANCE note 4 because 
the figure and text were not consistent for the placement of the 
Reverse Curve signs. The FHWA agrees and adopts in this final rule a 
revised note 4 to match Figure 6H-32. The commenters also asked why 
existing note 9 (as numbered in the NPA) was not a STANDARD similar to 
provisions in the Notes for Figure 6H-46. The FHWA in this final rule 
removes notes 6, 7, 8, and 9 (as numbered in the NPA) because the 
provisions regarding grade crossings are addressed in Figure 6H-46 and 
do not need to be repeated in the Notes for Figure 6H-32. The FHWA also 
renumbers note 10 (as numbered in the NPA) as note 6 in this final 
rule.
    u. In Figure 6H-32, a State DOT and a transportation research 
institute suggested revising the second warning sign distance 
measurements from miles to feet in the figure since the illustration 
does not depict a freeway application and the measurements in feet are 
more practical than miles. The FHWA agrees and in this final rule 
revises Figure 6H-32 to modify the legend on the second warning sign on 
each approach from ``XX MILES'' to ``XX FT.''
    v. In Notes for Figure 6H-33, a State DOT and a transportation 
research institute suggested adding a new STANDARD requiring arrow 
boards for each lane of a freeway lane closure. The FHWA agrees and 
adopts in this final rule a new STANDARD note 6 identical to the 
adopted language in other Typical Applications involving multi-lane 
freeway lane closures (see item 510.z. below).
    w. In Figure 6H-34, a State DOT and a transportation research 
institute suggested revising the existing figure to remove the 
``(optional)'' label for the shoulder taper to comply with GUIDANCE 
note 3 of the Notes for Figure 6H-33. The FHWA agrees and adopts the 
suggested revision in this final rule.
    x. In Notes for Figure 6H-35, a State DOT and a transportation 
research institute suggested adding two new STANDARDS describing the 
requirements for the mounting of vehicle-mounted signs and the display 
of high-intensity lights on shadow and work vehicles. The FHWA agrees 
and adds notes 2 and 3 as STANDARDS in this final rule, which are 
identical to existing adopted STANDARDS from Notes for Figure 6H-17 The 
FHWA also adopts a revised GUIDANCE note 5 to remove ``high-intensity 
rotating, flashing, oscillating, or strobe lights'' since they are 
included in the new STANDARD note 3. The commenters also suggested 
adding a new STANDARD requiring arrow boards for each lane of a freeway 
lane closure. The FHWA agrees and adopts in this final rule a new 
STANDARD note 4 identical to the adopted language in other Typical 
Applications involving multi-lane freeway lane closures (see item 
510.z. below.)
    y. In Notes for Figure 6H-36, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a 
STANDARD describing the use of the Reverse Curve signs and also delete 
the OPTION regarding the ALL LANES THRU supplemental plaque because the 
Reverse Curve signs graphically indicate that message. A State DOT 
suggested reducing the proposed STANDARD to GUIDANCE. The FHWA 
disagrees and adopts the proposed STANDARD as note 7 in this final rule 
to be consistent with the STANDARD adopted in Section 6F.48 Reverse 
Curve Signs. The FHWA also adopts in this final rule two new OPTIONS as 
notes 8 and 9 that are identical to adopted OPTIONS in Section 6F.48 
that describe signs that may be used when multiple lanes are being 
shifted. A State DOT and a transportation research institute suggested 
adding a new STANDARD prohibiting the use of barriers along the 
shifting taper. The FHWA agrees and adopts the recommended STANDARD in 
the Notes for Figure 6H-36 and in the Notes for Figure 6H-38 to be 
consistent with the adopted STANDARD in the Notes for Figure 6H-34. A 
State DOT and a transportation research institute suggested revising 
existing note 12 in the NPA from OPTION to GUIDANCE to recommend that 
trucks should be directed to use the travel lanes if the shoulder 
cannot adequately accommodate trucks. The FHWA agrees and adopts the 
suggested revision as GUIDANCE note 15 in this final rule. An agency 
can make the determination whether or not the shoulder has

[[Page 66842]]

adequate structural capacity to handle trucks and that an agency is not 
being required to alter their procedures with this GUIDANCE.
    z. In Notes for Figures 6H-37, 6H-38, 6H-39, 6H-42, and 6H-44, the 
FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a STANDARD note to require that an 
arrow board be used on all freeway lane closures, and that a separate 
arrow board be used for each closed lane when more than one freeway 
lane is closed. The FHWA believes that an arrow board is essential for 
safety at all lane closures on freeways because of the high speeds. A 
local DOT agreed with the proposed STANDARD. A second local DOT 
suggested reducing the statement to GUIDANCE because it might not 
always be feasible to have an arrow board available depending on the 
amount of time the roadway is closed, if it is scheduled or emergency, 
and how many work zones are underway at the same time. The FHWA 
disagrees because the safety benefit of using an arrow board on freeway 
lane closures warrants this provision as a STANDARD. The FHWA adopts in 
this final rule the new STANDARD note as proposed in the NPA.
    aa. In Notes for Figure 6H-37 and Notes for Figure 6H-38, a State 
DOT and a transportation research institute suggested elevating an 
existing OPTION to GUIDANCE to recommend that trucks should be directed 
to use the travel lanes if the shoulder cannot adequately accommodate 
trucks. The FHWA agrees and adopts the suggested revision in this final 
rule as GUIDANCE note 6 in Notes for Figure 6H-37 and GUIDANCE note 14 
in Notes for Figure 6H-38 to be consistent with the adopted change to 
Notes for Figure 6H-36 (see item 510.z. below).
    bb. In Notes for Figure 6H-38, a State DOT and a transportation 
research institute suggested adding a new STANDARD to require removing 
existing conflicting pavement markings and installing temporary 
markings before traffic patterns are changed. The FHWA agrees and 
adopts new STANDARD note 4 in this final rule for consistency with 
multiple figures in Chapter 6H that show temporary markings and 
pavement markings that should be removed for a long-term project. The 
commenters also suggested elevating OPTION note 7 (as numbered in the 
NPA) to GUIDANCE because of concern about creating driver confusion 
with two arrow boards that are visible at the same time. The FHWA 
agrees that a consistent application of the devices in this Typical 
Application is needed and in this final rule deletes the OPTION and 
replaces it with new GUIDANCE note 7 to recommend that the 2L distance 
between the end of the merging taper and beginning of the shifting 
taper should be extended so that road users can focus on one arrow 
board at a time if the two arrow boards create confusion.
    cc. In Notes for Figure 6H-45, the NCUTCD suggested adding three 
OPTIONS to allow a work vehicle or shadow vehicle to be equipped with a 
truck-mounted attenuator, to allow a longitudinal buffer space to be 
used to separate opposing vehicular traffic, and to allow the 
reversible lane to be changed between the peak periods of vehicular 
traffic, to be consistent with Figure 6H-31. The NCUTCD also suggested 
a STANDARD requiring arrow boards for each lane of a freeway lane 
closure, to be consistent with the adopted STANDARD in Figure 6H-37. 
The FHWA agrees and adopts the suggested OPTIONS and STANDARD in this 
final rule. These provisions are identical to existing language in the 
Notes for Figures 6H-31 and 6H-37.
    511. As discussed previously, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to 
renumber Chapter 6I as Chapter 6H. Based on comments, the FHWA in this 
final rule decides not to adopt the proposed renumbering of the 
chapters and therefore retains the same numbering for these two 
chapters as in the 2003 MUTCD.
    512. In Section 6I.01 General, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add 
a STANDARD that the Incident Command System (ICS) as required by the 
National Incident Management System (NIMS) be implemented in traffic 
incident management areas. The FHWA proposed including this language 
because the Department of Homeland Security and Presidential Directives 
(DHSPD) 5 and 8 \192\ require the adoption of the 
National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System by 
all Federal, State, tribal, and local governments. These two systems 
are required for all planned and unplanned incidents in the United 
States. Although a local DOT supported this language, a State DOT and 
an NCUTCD member opposed the requirement, stating that the NIMS/ICS are 
not directly related to traffic control devices, and therefore it is 
inappropriate that MUTCD text require their use. The FHWA agrees and 
does not adopt the STANDARD in this final rule, and instead adopts 
information about NIMS/ICS in a SUPPORT in paragraph 01.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \192\ The Department of Homeland Security and Presidential 
Directives (DHSPD) 5 and 8 can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site addresses: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030228-9.html and http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/12/20031217-6.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to expand existing GUIDANCE regarding 
TTC practices for on-scene responders and add new GUIDANCE regarding 
TTC practices for placement of emergency vehicles. A local DOT agreed 
with the proposal. Two State DOTs, a local DOT, ATSSA, and an NCUTCD 
member suggested revised language, including adding that on-scene 
responder organizations should train their personnel in the 
requirements for traffic incident management and revising the GUIDANCE 
on positioning of emergency vehicles to optimize traffic flow through 
the incident scene. The FHWA agrees with the comments in part and 
adopts in this final rule a revised GUIDANCE in paragraph 07 to 
recommend that on-scene responder organizations should train their 
personnel ``in the requirements for traffic incident management 
contained in this Manual'' and also adopts a revised GUIDANCE in 
paragraph 08 to recommend that emergency vehicles be safe-positioned 
such that traffic flow through the incident scene is optimized.
    Finally, a State DOT and a local DOT recommended deleting the 
existing GUIDANCE of the 15-minute time provision for responders 
arriving on-scene at a traffic incident to estimate the magnitude of 
the traffic incident, the expected time duration of the traffic 
incident, and the expected vehicle queue length, and to set up the 
appropriate temporary traffic controls based on these estimates. The 
FHWA agrees that 15 minutes is unrealistic in some circumstances and 
deletes the phrase ``within 15 minutes of arrival on-scene'' in this 
final rule.
    513. In Section 6I.02 Major Traffic Incidents and Section 6I.03 
Intermediate Traffic Incidents, the FHWA proposed to revise a GUIDANCE 
related to when flares are used to initiate TTC at traffic incidents 
and add a new OPTION related to the use of light sticks to initiate TTC 
at traffic incidents. The FHWA proposed the OPTION to reflect the 
increasingly common use of light sticks by emergency responders as a 
more convenient and effective device than flares. A local DOT agreed 
with the proposal. Three State DOTs, ATSSA, and an NCUTCD member 
recommended several changes, including rewording the language to remove 
the word ``initiate'' and allowing flares to supplement instead of 
replace channelizing devices as TTC. The FHWA agrees with the comments 
in part and adopts in this final rule a revised GUIDANCE in paragraph 
11 of Section 6I.02 and paragraph 07 of

[[Page 66843]]

Section 6I.03 to recommend that ``when lights sticks or flares are used 
to establish the initial traffic control at incident scenes, 
channelizing devices should be installed as soon thereafter as 
practical.'' The FHWA also adopts a revised OPTION in each section that 
follows the GUIDANCE, which allows light sticks or flares to remain in 
place if they are being used to supplement the channelizing devices.
    A State DOT recommended revising an existing GUIDANCE to also 
encourage early diversion to an appropriate route as a reason for TTC 
at a traffic incident. The FHWA agrees that this is appropriate and 
highly useful to road users and adds ``to encourage early diversion to 
an appropriate alternate route'' as a reason for TTC at a traffic 
incident to paragraph 07 in Section 6I.02 and paragraph 03 in Section 
6I.03 in this final rule.
    514. The NCUTCD, ATSSA, two State DOTs, a local DOT, and an NCUTCD 
member suggested that FHWA include Typical Incident Management 
Application (TIMA) illustrations in Chapter 6I, similar to those 
provided in Chapter 6H for TTC. The FHWA did not propose including 
TIMAs in the NPA. The commenters recommended that the illustrations, 
which were developed with input from the National Traffic Incident 
Management Coalition, AASHTO, and ATSSA, under the oversight of the 
NCUTCD, be included because many incident management responders are 
already using parts of the TIMAs, and these illustrations should be 
made available to all incident management responders. The International 
Association of Police Chiefs and a local police department submitted 
letters opposing placing TIMAs in the MUTCD, because they felt that the 
TIMAs should be used voluntarily, rather than included in the MUTCD 
where they conceivably could be interpreted as standards, rather than 
practices. The FHWA agrees that requiring these specific TIMAs for 
incidents, which are, by nature, unique, could have significant 
negative consequences. The FHWA and practitioners need to educate and 
partner with law enforcement to achieve the goal of increasing the 
appropriate use of the typical applications, rather than establishing 
requirements at this time without having a clear understanding of all 
of the issues involved.

Discussion of Amendments to Part 7--Traffic Controls for School Areas

Discussion of Amendments Within Part 7--General
    515. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA deletes in this final rule 
Sections 7A.05 through 7A.10 of the 2003 MUTCD. The subjects of those 
sections are already covered in other parts of the Manual. In their 
place, the FHWA adopts paragraph 02 in Section 7A.04, which provides 
cross-references to the appropriate sections.
    516. In Chapter 7C Markings, the FHWA in this final rule deletes 
the text in Sections 7C.02 through 7C.06 of the 2003 MUTCD that was 
repetitive of comparable sections in Chapter 3B, and instead adopts 
references to the appropriate sections in Chapter 3B. As a result, the 
FHWA adopts Chapter 7C with only three sections, Section 7C.01 
Functions and Limitations, Section 7C.02 Crosswalk Markings, and 
Section 7C.03 Pavement Word, Symbol, and Arrow Markings.
Discussion of Amendments Within Part 7--Specific
    517. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to move all of the information 
from Chapter 7F Grade-Separated Crossings in the 2003 MUTCD to a new 
section numbered and titled Section 7A.05 Grade-Separated School 
Crossings. The proposed section contained a SUPPORT statement regarding 
the use of grade-separated crossings for school pedestrian traffic. A 
local DOT agreed with the proposal. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, and an 
NCUTCD member disagreed with the proposed section because it did not 
address traffic control devices. A local DOT opposed the listed 
preference of overpasses to underpasses for grade-separated school 
crossings. The FHWA agrees that grade-separated school crossings are 
not traffic control devices and in this final rule does not adopt 
Section 7A.05 as proposed in the NPA. The FHWA also removes Chapter 7F, 
as numbered in the 2003 MUTCD, from the Manual and removes the 
reference to grade-separated crossings from STANDARD paragraph 01 in 
Section 7A.04.
    518. In Section 7B.01 Size of School Signs, the FHWA proposed in 
the NPA to revise the STANDARD in paragraph 03 to require that speeds 
be less than 35 mph in order to use the minimum sign sizes. The NCUTCD, 
two State DOTs, and a local DOT commented on the proposed wording of 
the STANDARD. The FHWA in this final rule adopts a revised paragraph 03 
based on the comments, to clarify that the application of the minimum 
sizes to the identified signs is only where there are low traffic 
volumes and speeds are 30 mph or lower. Based on a recommendation from 
a State DOT, the FHWA adopts paragraphs 05 and 06 to provide GUIDANCE 
and OPTION statements, respectively, on the use of oversized school 
signs, for consistency with provisions in Part 2 for sizes of 
regulatory and warning signs on multilane roadways.
    519. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a school district recommended 
changes to the NPA proposed Table 7B-1 to include three additional 
plaques that can be used with school area signs. The NCUTCD also 
recommended that the minimum sign sizes for multi-lane conventional 
roads be based on the Conventional Road sign size. The FHWA agrees with 
the comments and adopts in this final rule the recommended changes to 
Table 7B-1 for consistency with Part 2 provisions.
    520. In Section 7B.03 Position of Signs, the NCUTCD, a State DOT, 
and an NCUTCD member recommended the deletion of existing text that was 
a repeat of information in Part 2. The FHWA agrees and in this final 
rule deletes the GUIDANCE and OPTION statements of the 2003 MUTCD. The 
FHWA also adopts two SUPPORT statements that reference sections in 
Chapter 2A for information regarding the placement and location of 
signs. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA adopts an OPTION that states 
that in-roadway signs for school traffic control areas may be used 
consistent with the requirement of Sections 2B.12, 7B.08, and 7B.12.
    521. In Section 7B.07 Sign Color for School Warning Signs, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA to require, instead of merely allow, the use of 
fluorescent yellow-green as the background color for all school warning 
signs and plaques. A State DOT, ATSSA, and a local DOT agreed with the 
proposal. Four State DOTs, a local DOT, two NCUTCD members, and a 
citizen opposed the required use of fluorescent yellow-green and 
recommended that the fluorescent yellow-green color be an OPTION or 
GUIDANCE because of the increased cost over the yellow background and a 
lack of research showing additional benefit. The FHWA proposed these 
changes because the use of fluorescent yellow-green has become the 
predominant practice in most jurisdictions. Fluorescent yellow-green 
provides enhanced conspicuity for these critical signs, especially in 
dusk and dawn periods, and the FHWA believes that uniform use of this 
background color for all school warning signs and plaques will enhance 
safety and road user recognition. Consistent with Part 2

[[Page 66844]]

as adopted in this final rule, the FHWA adopts the required use of 
fluorescent yellow-green for school warning signs and plaques as 
proposed in the NPA.
    522. As proposed in the NPA, the FHWA in this final rule adopts a 
new section numbered and titled Section 7B.08 School Sign and Plaques, 
which replaces 2003 MUTCD Section 7B.08 School Advance Warning 
Assembly. A local DOT opposed the introduction of the term ``school 
area'' proposed in the NPA because it could lead to confusion. A local 
school district requested clarification on the use of signs in school 
areas versus school zones. A State DOT and a local DOT recommended 
changes to the proposed list of applications for the School Sign. Based 
on the comments, and in concert with the adopted definition of ``school 
zone'' as discussed in Section 1A.13, the FHWA adopts an expanded 
paragraph 02 to clarify the four specific applications of the School 
Sign (S1-1) (School Area, School Zone, School Advance Crossing, and 
School Crossing) in order to provide flexibility to States and local 
governments in applying standard school signing in accordance with 
their State laws and local ordinances. For consistency with the adopted 
OPTION described in item 523 below, the FHWA also adopts paragraph 03 
in this final rule which allows the use of a School sign with a 
supplemental arrow plaque to be provided on a cross street in close 
proximity to the intersection within a school area.
    523. The FHWA in this final rule adopts a new section numbered and 
titled Section 7B.09 School Zone Sign and Plaques and END SCHOOL ZONE 
Sign. The FHWA in the NPA proposed language permitting the use of a 
supplemental arrow plaque on a School (S1-1) sign at locations where a 
school zone is located on a cross street less than 125 feet from the 
edge of a street or highway. The FHWA proposed the change to provide 
jurisdictions with flexibility for installing signs where there is not 
sufficient distance for advance signing. A local DOT agreed with the 
proposal. The NCUTCD agreed with the proposal, but recommended that a 
specific maximum distance be removed from the statement. The FHWA 
agrees with the NCUTCD and in this final rule adopts a modified 
paragraph 05 to allow the use of the School sign with a supplemental 
arrow plaque on a cross street ``in close proximity to the 
intersection.'' The FHWA also modifies Figure 7B-3 to demonstrate 
typical cross street signage for a School Zone sign with a supplemental 
arrow plaque.
    The FHWA also adopts a new plaque, ``ALL YEAR'' (S4-7P) that may be 
used to supplement the School Zone Sign (S1-1), based on comments from 
an NCUTCD member. The FHWA adopts paragraph 03 in Section 7B.09 to 
describe the optional use and modifies Figure 7B-1 and Table 7B-1 to 
include the new plaque.
    524. The FHWA in this final rule adopts a new section numbered and 
titled Section 7B.10 Higher Fines Zone Signs and Plaques, and relocates 
to this section applicable information that was proposed in the NPA for 
Section 7B.09 School Area or School Zone Sign and Section 7B.16 END 
SCHOOL ZONE Sign. The FHWA also adopts the BEGIN HIGHER FINES ZONE (R2-
10) sign, END HIGHER FINES ZONE (R2-11) sign, and FINES HIGHER (R2-6P) 
plaque and incorporates these signs into Figure 7B-1 and Table 7B-1.
    To illustrate the use of the signs in Section 7B.10, the FHWA in 
this final rule revises the title of Figure 7B-2, as proposed in the 
NPA, to ``Example of Signing for a Higher Fines School Zone without a 
School Crossing'' and adopts a new figure, numbered and titled ``Figure 
7B-5 Example of Signing for a Higher Fines School Zone with a School 
Speed Limit.''
    525. The FHWA in this final rule revises the title of Figure 7B-3 
to ``Example of Signing for a School Crossing Outside of a School 
Zone'' and Figure 7B-4 to ``Example of Signing for a School Zone with a 
School Speed Limit and a School Crossing.'' The NCUTCD and a State DOT 
recommended the changes to the titles for clarification and the FHWA 
agrees. The FHWA also makes editorial changes to the NPA proposed 
figures based on recommendations from several commenters.
    526. In Section 7B.11 School Advance Crossing Assembly (numbered 
Section 7B.10 in the NPA) the FHWA in this final rule adopts revisions 
to the section proposed in the NPA. Consistent with a similar change 
discussed in item 523 above, the FHWA adopts a modified paragraph 04 to 
allow the use of the School Advance Crossing assembly on a street when 
a school crosswalk is located on the cross street in close proximity to 
an intersection.
    527. In Section 7B.12 School Crossing Assembly (numbered Section 
7B.11 in the NPA), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to remove a statement 
recommending the School Crossing assembly at marked crosswalks 
including signalized locations. A local school district opposed the 
revision and requested that the signs still be allowed at signalized 
intersections. Two State DOTs recommended that language be added to 
prohibit the use of the School Crossing assembly at signalized 
intersections. The FHWA notes that the School Crossing assembly is 
still allowed at school crossings, including those that are signal 
controlled, but is not allowed on stop or yield controlled approaches. 
The FHWA adopts in this final rule the language as proposed in the NPA.
    A local DOT recommended that the School Crossing assembly be 
prohibited on approaches controlled by a YIELD sign in addition to 
those controlled by a STOP sign. The FHWA agrees that this is necessary 
to provide consistency with the final rule for STOP and YIELD sign 
applications in Section 2B.04 Right-of-Way at Intersections. 
Accordingly, the FHWA adopts in this final rule a modified paragraph 03 
to prohibit the School Crossing assembly on approaches controlled by a 
STOP or YIELD sign.
    528. In Section 7B.13 School Bus Stop Ahead Sign (numbered Section 
7B.12 in the NPA), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise the GUIDANCE 
statement by removing the specific distance of 500 feet that a stopped 
school bus should be visible to road users, and in its place proposed 
inserting a reference to distances given in Table 2C-4. A State DOT and 
two local DOTs agreed with the proposal. The NCUTCD, a local DOT, and a 
consultant opposed the reference to Table 2C-4. The FHWA agrees with 
the NCUTCD that using Table 2C-4 is unnecessary for this particular 
sign because the visibility of the high mounted red flashers located at 
the top of the rear of the school bus are much more readily visible for 
the School Bus Stop Ahead (S3-1) sign than for a bus with no flashers 
activated for the SCHOOL BUS TURN AHEAD (S3-2) sign. The FHWA in this 
final rule adopts a modified paragraph 01 to recommend the use of the 
School Bus Stop Ahead sign when a stopped school bus is not visible to 
road users for ``an adequate distance.''
    The FHWA proposed in the NPA to replace the existing School Bus 
Stop Ahead (S3-1) word message sign with a symbol sign as shown in 
Figure 7B-1. The FHWA proposed this new sign based on positive 
experiences in West Virginia, where a symbol sign for this message has 
been used for 25 to 30 years \193\ and in Canada, where it has

[[Page 66845]]

also been used since the 1970s. The FHWA proposed to use a symbol that 
is similar to the Canadian MUTCD \194\ standard WC-9 symbol. The 
proposed symbol featured a school bus with a depiction of red flashing 
lights, a bus-mounted STOP sign, and students getting on or off the 
bus. ATSSA and a local DOT agreed with the proposal. A State DOT 
recommended changing the symbols of the children to be consistent with 
the symbols of children used in the School (S1-1) sign and the FHWA 
agrees. The NCUTCD, two State DOTs, and a citizen agreed with the 
proposal, but recommended various changes in the design of the sign. 
The FHWA declines to incorporate the commenters' recommended changes, 
because a recent human factors evaluation \195\ of the symbol proposed 
in the NPA along with three alternative symbol designs and the current 
word version warning sign found that the understanding of the meaning 
of the symbol design as proposed in the NPA was equal to that of two 
alternative symbol designs tested. The study also found that the NPA 
symbol design has a greater legibility distance than the other symbol 
alternatives evaluated and equal legibility distance to the existing 
word version design. Seven State DOTs, six local DOTs, an NCUTCD 
member, and a citizen opposed the proposed symbol sign, primarily 
because of anticipated confusion over the symbolic representation. The 
FHWA disagrees with the comments and adopts in this final rule the sign 
as proposed in the NPA but with a minor adjustment to the symbols of 
children to make them consistent with those in the S1-1 sign. As noted 
above, the study found that the symbol sign was clearly understood by 
the vast majority of the test subjects. The FHWA believes that the 
replacement of selected word message signs with well-designed symbol 
signs will improve safety in view of increasing globalization and the 
number of non-English speaking road users in the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \193\ For additional information on West Virginia's successful 
experience with this symbol sign, contact Mr. Ray Lewis, Staff 
Engineer--Traffic Research and Special Projects Traffic Engineering 
Division, West Virginia DOT, Division of Highways, phone: 304-558-
8912, e-mail: lewisr@dot.state.wv.us.
    \194\ The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada, 
4th Edition, is available for purchase from the Transportation 
Association of Canada, 2323 St. Laurent Boulevard, Ottawa, Ontario 
K1G 4J8 Canada, Web site http://www.tac-atc.ca.
    \195\ ``Design and Evaluations of Symbol Signs,'' Final Report, 
May, 2008, conducted by Bryan Katz, Gene Hawkins, Jason Kennedy, and 
Heather Rigdon Howard, for the Traffic Control Devices Pooled Fund 
Study, can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.pooledfund.org/documents/TPF-5_065/symbol_sign_report_final.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    529. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a new section numbered and 
titled Section 7B.14 SCHOOL BUS TURN AHEAD Sign (numbered Section 7B.13 
in the NPA.) This new section contains the NPA proposed OPTION 
statement about the use of this new sign that can be installed in 
advance of locations where there is a school bus turn around on a 
roadway at a location not visible to approaching users for a distance 
as determined in Table 2C-4. The NCUTCD, three State DOTs, and a local 
DOT agreed with the proposal, but recommended changes to the proposed 
language, including the reference to Table 2C-4. A local DOT opposed 
the section and questioned the need for the proposed sign. A State DOT, 
a local DOT, and a consultant opposed the use of Table 2C-4. The FHWA 
disagrees with the objection to the use of Table 2C-4 and notes that 
Condition B does provide adequate stopping distances, especially 
considering that a school bus is a taller vehicle that can be seen for 
a greater distance away than a normal passenger vehicle. The FHWA 
adopts the language as proposed in the NPA.
    The FHWA illustrated the proposed new sign, SCHOOL BUS TURN AHEAD 
(S3-2), in Figure 7B-1 of the NPA. ATSSA and a local DOT agreed with 
the proposed sign. A State DOT opposed the proposed sign. Four State 
DOTs, three local DOTs, and two citizens recommended modifications to 
the proposed sign, including changing the name of the sign to ``SCHOOL 
BUS TURN AROUND'' and changing the color to yellow instead of 
fluorescent yellow-green. The FHWA disagrees with the proposed changes 
and adopts the new sign as proposed in the NPA. This new sign provides 
a standard sign for applications that fit this need, with a legend that 
is appropriate for the condition.
    530. In Section 7B.15 (numbered Section 7B.14 in the NPA), the FHWA 
changes the title to ``School Speed Limit Assembly and END SCHOOL SPEED 
LIMIT Sign'' in this final rule to reflect the addition of a new sign, 
END SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT (S5-3), which is illustrated in Figure 7B-1. The 
FHWA adopts this sign, which clarifies the location that a reduced 
speed limit for a school zone is concluded, consistent with comparable 
provisions for other reduced speed limits in Chapter 2B.
    The FHWA in this final rule relocates one of the STANDARD 
statements proposed in the NPA from Section 7B.09 to Section 7B.15 
because the content regarding reduced speed zones is more appropriate 
in that section. A local DOT supported the NPA proposal to require the 
use of the School (S1-1) sign in advance of a reduced speed zone for a 
school area, while a different local DOT opposed the proposal. The FHWA 
adopts in this final rule paragraph 02 requiring the use of the School 
sign in advance of a reduced speed zone for a school area. The FHWA 
also clarifies the application of higher fines zones in school speed 
limit zones by adding paragraph 03 that is consistent with the adopted 
Chapter 2B.
    Numerous agencies opposed the proposed requirement (in Section 
7B.16 of the NPA) to clarify that the end of a designated school zone 
shall be marked with both an END SCHOOL ZONE sign and a Speed Limit 
sign for the section of highway that follows. The FHWA in this final 
rule retains the requirement but relocates it to Section 7B.15. It is 
important and sometimes legally necessary to mark the end points of 
designated school zones. The use of a Speed Limit sign showing the 
speed limit for the following section of highway is required by 
existing language in Section 2B.13. In response to comments, the FHWA 
also adds an OPTION statement to provide flexibility in mounting the 
END SCHOOL ZONE sign when a Speed Limit sign or END HIGHER FINES sign 
is also required at the same location.
    Two State DOTs and a consultant opposed the existing GUIDANCE that 
the reduced speed zone should begin either 200 feet from the crosswalk 
or 100 feet from the school property line. The FHWA in this final rule 
revises paragraph 07 to recommend that the beginning point of a reduced 
school speed limit zone should be at least 200 feet in advance of the 
school grounds, a school crossing, or other school related activities. 
The FHWA also recommends that the 200-foot distance should be increased 
where the school speed limit is 30 mph or higher. These changes are 
based on recently published research\196\ by the Texas Transportation 
Institute concerning speeds in school zones. The FHWA notes that the 
distances are recommendations that can be adjusted based on State law 
and local ordinances.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \196\ ``Speeds in School Zones,'' Report number FHWA/TX-09/0-
5470-1, February, 2009, by Kay Fitzpatrick, et al., Texas 
Transportation Institute, can be viewed at the following Internet 
Web site: http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/0-5470-1.pdf.
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    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to require, rather than merely 
permit, fluorescent yellow-green pixels to be used when the ``SCHOOL'' 
message is displayed on a changeable message sign for a school speed 
limit. Two State DOTs and two local DOTs recommended the statement be 
changed to GUIDANCE. Three State DOTs and three traffic control device 
manufacturers opposed the proposal and recommended the statement remain 
as an OPTION because the requirement

[[Page 66846]]

will make obsolete many of the existing changeable message signs. The 
FHWA disagrees with the commenters and notes that the fluorescent 
yellow-green color is required for consistency with the general 
requirements for colors used on changeable message signs in Chapters 2A 
and 2L and for school area warning signs in Section 7B.07. The STANDARD 
is adopted in this final rule as proposed in the NPA.
    The NCUTCD and a State DOT recommended removal of the existing 
OPTION statement that allows the use of the signal indications of the 
Speed Limit Sign Beacon to be positioned within the face of the School 
Speed Limit (S5-1) sign. This statement mirrors a similar OPTION in 
Section 4L.04 Speed Limit Sign Beacon. This sign is the only instance 
where beacons are allowed within a sign face. Under certain light and 
weather conditions, the flashing beacon causes halation that obscures 
the sign message. The FHWA agrees that this is an obsolete practice but 
declines to remove the option at this time. The FHWA might consider 
this for a future rulemaking. However, the FHWA removes the OPTION from 
Section 7B.15 and instead provides a cross-reference to Section 4L.04 
in this final rule.
    531. The FHWA does not adopt Section 7B.16 END SCHOOL ZONE Sign 
that was proposed in the NPA, but maintains the existing END SCHOOL 
ZONE Sign (S5-2) and requirements for its use, as discussed above in 
Section 7B.15.
    532. In Section 7B.16 (Section 7B.15 in the NPA) Reduced School 
Speed Limit Ahead Sign, in this final rule the FHWA revises the OPTION 
statement to a GUIDANCE statement to recommend, rather than merely 
allow, the use of this sign where the speed limit is being reduced by 
more than 10 mph, or where engineering judgment indicates that advance 
notice would be appropriate. The FHWA makes this change for consistency 
with similar GUIDANCE for advance warning of other reduced speed limits 
as adopted in Sections 2B.13 and 2C.38
    533. In Section 7C.02 Crosswalk Markings (numbered Section 7C.03 in 
the NPA), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a GUIDANCE statement 
recommending that warning signs be installed for marked crosswalks at 
nonintersection locations, and that adequate visibility for students be 
provided by implementing parking prohibitions. A State DOT recommended 
changing the statement to a STANDARD. The FHWA disagrees because some 
flexibility is needed and mandatory language is not appropriate in this 
case. The NCUTCD recommended adding ``or other appropriate measures'' 
in addition to implementing parking prohibitions to provide adequate 
visibility of students. The FHWA agrees and adopts in this final rule a 
modified paragraph 03 as GUIDANCE.
    Two local DOTs opposed the NPA proposal to change the word 
``pedestrian'' to ``student'' when discussing conflicting movements 
with motorists and bicyclists. The commenters noted that students are 
not the only people to use a crosswalk. The FHWA disagrees with the 
comment because the crosswalk markings discussed in Part 7 are for 
school crossings. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the change as 
proposed in the NPA.
    534. The FHWA in this final rule removes Chapter 7D Signals of the 
2003 MUTCD, because it is a small chapter whose only purpose was to 
provide references to Part 4 and Section 4C.06. The FHWA incorporates 
the references in Section 7A.04 instead.
    535. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to delete the information 
pertaining to student patrols from the MUTCD except for a SUPPORT 
statement in Section 7D.01 Types of Crossing Supervision, which 
acknowledged the use of student patrols and referenced the ``AAA School 
Safety Patrol Operations Manual.'' \197\ Two State DOTs and a local DOT 
opposed the deletion of all the material on student patrols. The FHWA 
disagrees with the commenters. The FHWA believes that student patrols 
do not control vehicular traffic and provisions relating to student 
patrols are not appropriate for the MUTCD. The FHWA in this final rule 
removes the mention of student patrols in Section 7D.04. The FHWA also 
removes Sections 7E.07, 7E.08, and 7E.09 that were in the 2003 MUTCD 
because these sections pertained to student patrols, and removes the 
reference to student patrols from STANDARD paragraph 01 in Section 
7A.04.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \197\ This 2004 publication can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://www.aaa.com/aaa/049/PublicAffairs/SSPManual.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    536. In Section 7D.03 Qualifications of Adult Crossing Guards, the 
FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise the GUIDANCE statement to indicate 
that the list represents the minimum qualifications of adult crossing 
guards. The FHWA proposed three additional qualifications (items C, D, 
and E in paragraph 02) that are similar to applicable provisions in 
Section 6E.01 for flaggers. Three State DOTs and an NCUTCD member 
recommended substantive revisions to the language. The FHWA adopts the 
text as proposed in the NPA. The FHWA might consider the suggested 
revisions in a future rulemaking.
    537. In Section 7D.04 Uniform of Adult Crossing Guards, the FHWA 
adopts in this final rule a revised paragraph 01 to reflect that law 
enforcement officers performing school crossing supervision shall use 
high-visibility safety apparel labeled as ANSI 107-2004. This change 
incorporates into the MUTCD the provisions of 23 CFR part 634 that were 
published in the Federal Register on November 24, 2006.\198\ The NCUTCD 
and a State DOT recommended editorial changes to the proposed statement 
and the FHWA agrees and adopts a revised STANDARD. The FHWA establishes 
a target compliance date of December 31, 2011 (approximately two years 
from the effective date of this final rule) for adult crossing guard 
apparel on non-Federal-aid highways. Required compliance of apparel for 
workers, including law enforcement officers, on Federal-aid highways 
has been in effect since November 24, 2008, pursuant to 23 CFR part 
634.
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    \198\ The Federal Register Notice was published in the Federal 
Register on November 24, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 226, Pages 67792-
67800) and can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2006_register&docid=E6-19910.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    538. In Section 7D.05 Operating Procedures for Adult Crossing 
Guards, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to require, rather than recommend, 
that adult crossing guards shall not direct traffic but rather select 
opportune times to create a sufficient gap in the traffic flow and 
stand in the roadway to indicate that pedestrians are about to use or 
are using the crosswalk and that all vehicular traffic must stop. Two 
State DOTs, a local DOT, and an NCUTCD member opposed the proposed 
change because they believe that adult crossing guards do have some 
traffic control powers and the new language could increase the 
likelihood of litigation. The FHWA disagrees with the commenters 
because the laws of many States do not grant police power to direct 
traffic to school crossing guards. Because the safety of school 
children is paramount, it is important that adult crossing guards 
follow specific requirements when controlling traffic for the purpose 
of assisting schoolchildren, to minimize the exposure of schoolchildren 
to vehicles that fail to stop. Therefore, the FHWA adopts in this final 
rule paragraph 01 as proposed in the NPA.

[[Page 66847]]

    In addition, the FHWA proposed to require, rather than recommend, 
that adult crossing guards use a STOP paddle. A State DOT opposed the 
change because it would prohibit the use of flags. The FHWA adopts the 
change to paragraph 02 as proposed in the NPA to increase the level of 
consistency for motorists approaching school crosswalks.

Discussion of Amendments to Part 8--Traffic Controls for Railroad and 
Light Rail Transit (LRT) Grade Crossings

    539. Although it was not proposed in the NPA, the FHWA relocates 
the information contained in Part 10 of the 2003 MUTCD and the 
revisions thereto proposed in the NPA and editorially combines it with 
Part 8 into the retitled Part 8 Traffic Control for Railroad and Light 
Rail Transit (LRT) Grade Crossings. The FHWA combines the information 
because of the similarities between the topics, to reduce the amount of 
redundant material and cross-referencing, and based on comments 
received by a State DOT and an NCUTCD member. In most cases Parts 8 and 
10 of the 2003 MUTCD and the proposed revisions to those Parts in the 
NPA contained virtually identical provisions. In combining the two 
Parts, the FHWA identifies all provisions from former Part 10 that are 
specifically applicable only to light-rail transit grade crossings, 
identifies all provisions that are specifically applicable only to 
railroad grade crossings, and uses the generic term ``grade crossing'' 
for provisions that are applicable to both railroad grade crossings and 
light-rail grade crossings. The FHWA also adopts ``LRT'' as a new 
abbreviation for light-rail transit since this is a common industry 
abbreviation and it will reduce the amount of text in the MUTCD.
    540. In Section 8A.01 Introduction, in this final rule the FHWA 
relocates light-rail transit grade crossing information contained in 
Section 10A.01 in the 2003 MUTCD to Section 8A.01 with revisions to the 
language as proposed in the NPA. The FHWA also adds definitions of 
various terms as proposed in the NPA for Sections 8A.01 and 10A.01, but 
relocates them to Section 1A.13, as previously discussed.
    A State DOT suggested revising the proposed ``Constant Warning Time 
Train Detection'' definition to add ``track circuitry'' and 
``determines the time of arrival of a train at a crossing'' and 
suggested other editorial revisions. The FHWA disagrees because the 
suggested language does not include important elements including 
``uniform waiting time'' and ``not accelerating or decelerating'' and 
therefore the FHWA adopts the definition as proposed in the NPA and 
relocates it to Section 1A.13.
    The FHWA received comments suggesting removing the ``Diagnostic 
Team'' definition and the use of the term ``diagnostic team'' from the 
MUTCD because it may inadvertently increase the scope of the MUTCD and 
this term is provided in other reference materials. The FHWA agrees and 
deletes the proposed ``Diagnostic Team'' definition and deletes the use 
of ``diagnostic team'' in the various places that it had been proposed 
to be added in Part 8.
    A State DOT also suggested removing the terms ``train whistle,'' 
``locomotive whistle,'' and ``train horn'' from the NPA proposed 
``Locomotive Horn'' definition to promote uniformity. The FHWA agrees 
that the terms should not be used interchangeably in the MUTCD. The 
FHWA believes that the most appropriate term to consistently use in the 
MUTCD is ``locomotive horn'' to be consistent with Federal Railroad 
Administration (FRA) terminology, and the FHWA adopts the use of that 
term in this final rule.
    An NCUTCD member suggested revising the existing ``pre-signal'' 
definition to clarify that supplemental near-side traffic control 
signal faces for the highway-highway intersection are not considered 
pre-signals and that pre-signals are typically used where the clear 
storage distance is insufficient to store one or more design vehicles. 
The FHWA agrees and adopts the definition as suggested by the commenter 
with editorial revisions in this final rule.
    A State railroad operator suggested revising the existing ``Vehicle 
Intrusion Detection Devices'' definition to replace ``Intrusion'' with 
``Presence'' because the highway industry typically refers to devices 
that detect automobiles along the roadways as vehicle presence 
detectors. The FHWA notes that the term is used only once in the MUTCD 
and therefore a definition is not needed. The FHWA deletes the existing 
definition and relocates the elements of the definition to the text in 
Section 8C.06.
    A State DOT opposed the proposed new ``Wayside Horn'' definition in 
the NPA because it is not beneficial for motorists, only for 
pedestrians. The FHWA disagrees because the horns can be made loud 
enough to be heard by occupants of motor vehicles. The NCUTCD suggested 
revising the proposed ``Wayside Horn'' definition by replacing the term 
``oncoming motorist'' with ``road users'' and to include the whole 
wayside horn system, not just the horns. The FWHA agrees because the 
wayside horns are a part of the wayside horn system and the FHWA adopts 
the NCUTCD suggested revisions to the proposed definition in the NPA in 
this final rule.
    The NCUTCD also suggested adding new definitions for ``Entrance 
Gate'' and ``Exit Gate.'' The FHWA agrees because the suggested new 
definitions clarify existing terms used in the MUTCD and adds the new 
definitions recommended by the NCUTCD in Section 1A.13 with editorial 
revisions.
    The NCUTCD and a State railroad operator suggested adding a new 
definition for ``Swing Gate'' since it is mentioned in several 
locations in the MUTCD. The FHWA disagrees because Section 8C.13 
already covers the characteristics of a swing gate and adding a 
definition would be repetitive and unnecessary.
    541. In Section 8A.02, Use of Standard Devices, Systems, and 
Practices at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, a State DOT opposed the NPA 
proposed revisions to the GUIDANCE because the term ``road user'' gives 
too much weight to pedestrians and the commenter believes that 
pedestrians should not be in the road. The FHWA disagrees because the 
devices described in Part 8 also control pedestrians and bicyclists, so 
``road user'' is the appropriate term and therefore in this final rule 
adopts the language as proposed in the NPA.
    542. The FHWA relocates Section 10A.02 of the 2003 MUTCD, with 
revisions as proposed in the NPA, to new Section 8A.03 Use of Standard 
Devices, Systems, and Practices at Highway-LRT Grade Crossings in this 
final rule. This new section contains provisions specifically 
applicable only to light-rail grade crossings.
    543. In Section 8A.04, Uniform Provisions (Section 8A.03 in the 
2003 MUTCD), a State DOT suggested revising the existing 2nd STANDARD 
statement to remove a conflict with AASHTO guidance on crash cushions. 
The commenter notes that when placing a crash cushion in front of the 
sign or signal, AASHTO recommends that there not be a curb in front of 
the crash cushion for high speeds. The commenter suggested changing the 
language to require either a raised island or a crash cushion to 
protect a center mounted sign or signal. The FHWA agrees and adopts the 
suggested revision to the existing provision in this final rule. This 
revision provides agencies with more flexibility in the placement of 
signs and signals and provides consistency with AASHTO guidance.
    544. The FHWA adopts a new Section 8A.06 Illumination at Grade 
Crossings (section 8A.05 in the NPA) containing

[[Page 66848]]

information previously included in Chapter 8C of the 2003 MUTCD in this 
final rule. The FHWA adopts the text in this section as SUPPORT 
statements as proposed in the NPA because illumination is not a traffic 
control device and thus should not be regulated by GUIDANCE and OPTION 
statements. The FHWA believes that adequate and appropriate guidance on 
illumination of highway-rail grade crossings is readily available from 
other sources, such as the ANSI's Practice for Roadway Lighting RP-8, 
available from the Illuminating Engineering Society of North 
America.\199\ The NCUTCD and two State DOTs agreed and suggested 
editorial text revisions for clarification. The FHWA adopts the 
language as proposed in the NPA with editorial revisions recommended by 
the commenters.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \199\ Information on obtaining this publication can be viewed on 
the following Internet Web site: https://www.iesna.org/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    545. The FHWA adopts a new Section 8A.07 (Chapter 8D in the NPA) 
Quiet Zone Treatments at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings. The FHWA adopts 
the contents of NPA proposed Chapter 8D in a new Section 8A.07 based on 
recommendations from a State DOT and a city. The purpose of this new 
section is to add language to support and directly refer to regulations 
adopted by Federal Railroad Administration regarding quiet zones 
established in conjunction with restrictions on locomotive horns at 
certain highway-rail grade crossings (49 CFR part 222).\200\ The 
NCUTCD, two State DOTs, a railroad operator, an NCUTCD member, and a 
vendor opposed the proposed language because they believe it fails to 
provide the guidance necessary to implement the installation of 
required traffic control devices in quiet zones. The NCUTCD suggested 
including new STANDARD, GUIDANCE, and SUPPORT text. The FHWA disagrees 
because there has been no confusion on the part of practitioners on how 
to install the traffic control devices for quiet zones, even though the 
FRA regulation has been in effect for three years without any specific 
treatments or procedures specified in the MUTCD. Provisions regarding 
the traffic control devices that might be used in a quiet zone have 
been available in the 2003 MUTCD without any advice on how to 
specifically apply these in a quiet zone.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \200\ The Federal Register Notice was published on December 18, 
2003 (Volume 68, Number 243, Page 70586-70687) and can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/Safety/train_horn_rule/fed_reg_trainhorns_final.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed language in Chapter 10E regarding 
Quiet Zone treatments at light-rail transit grade crossings, comparable 
to that proposed in Part 8 for railroad grade crossings. The NCUTCD and 
a State railroad operator opposed the new language because Quiet Zones 
do not apply to light rail transit crossings in the FRA regulations. 
The FHWA agrees with the commenters and in this final rule deletes the 
language that was proposed in Chapter 10E in the NPA.
    546. In Section 8A.08 (Section 8A.05 in the 2003 MUTCD), Temporary 
Traffic Control Zones, a State railroad operator suggested adding a new 
cross reference to Figure 6H-46, which shows an example of a temporary 
traffic control zone at a highway-rail grade crossing. Although not 
proposed in the NPA, the FHWA agrees and in this final rule adopts the 
suggested change as a SUPPORT statement that also clarifies that the 
example is only one of many situations that might be encountered. The 
FHWA also combines information contained in Section 10A.05 in the 2003 
MUTCD into Section 8A.08 in this final rule, with editorial revisions 
to the language as proposed in the NPA.
    547. The FHWA adopts several NPA proposed changes throughout 
Chapter 8B Signs and Markings in this final rule, to require the 
installation of a YIELD sign or STOP sign at all passive highway-rail 
grade crossings. The FHWA adopts this change to incorporate information 
into the MUTCD from FHWA's Policy Memorandum, ``Guidance for Use of 
YIELD or STOP Signs with the Crossbuck Sign at Passive Highway-Rail 
Grade Crossings,'' \201\ dated March 17, 2006. The FHWA adopts the 
language as a STANDARD in the MUTCD to require, rather than merely 
recommend as in the Policy Memorandum, the use of YIELD or STOP signs 
in conjunction with the Crossbuck sign at all passive crossings. While 
the Crossbuck sign is in fact a regulatory sign that requires vehicles 
to yield to trains and stop if necessary, recent research \202\ 
indicates insufficient road user understanding of and compliance with 
that regulatory requirement when just the Crossbuck sign is present at 
passive crossings.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \201\ FHWA's Policy Memorandum, ``Guidance for Use of YIELD or 
STOP Signs with the Crossbuck Sign at Passive Highway-Rail Grade 
Crossings,'' dated March 17, 2006, can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/policy/yieldstop_guidememo/yieldstop_policy.htm.
    \202\ National Cooperative Highway Research Report 470 titled 
``Traffic Control Devices for Passive Railroad-Highway Grade 
Crossings,'' Transportation Research Board, 2002, can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_470-a.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A local DOT and ATSSA agreed with the proposed new STANDARD 
requiring a STOP or YIELD sign. The NCUTCD also agreed and suggested 
revising the exception for situations ``where an authorized person on 
the ground directs road users not to enter the crossing prior to a 
train occupying the crossing.'' A State DOT suggested deleting the 
exception. The FHWA disagrees with deleting the exception because there 
is no need for the additional YIELD or STOP sign at a crossing where 
road users are always given clear instructions as to when it is not 
safe to cross the track. Nine State DOTs, 12 local agencies, 3 
associations, the University of Kansas, an NCUTCD member, a former 
NCUTCD member, and 3 consultants opposed the proposed new STANDARD 
because of concerns that the STOP or YIELD signs will be redundant to 
the Crossbuck regulatory sign and will result in confusion about the 
installation and maintenance responsibilities between agencies and 
railroad companies, sign clutter, potential for increased rear-end 
crashes, the adoption in most crossings of a STOP sign instead of 
YIELD, lack of respect for the new signs by drivers, and additional 
expense for sign installation. The commenters also indicated the lack 
of field research studies supporting the adoption of these signs. 
Several of the commenters suggested retaining the 2003 MUTCD text or 
making the proposed STANDARD statement an OPTION. The FHWA responds to 
the commenters by noting that the requirement of a YIELD or STOP sign 
in conjunction with the Crossbuck sign at passive grade crossings 
resulted from research \203\ that showed that road users do not fully 
comprehend the message being communicated by a Crossbuck sign alone. 
The same Crossbuck sign is used at active and passive grade crossings. 
At active grade crossings, road users perceive the Crossbuck sign to be 
marking the location of the grade crossing and the gates and lights as 
the traffic control devices that control their actions. At passive 
grade crossings, road users sometimes think that the Crossbuck sign 
merely marks the location of the grade crossing, when in fact it also 
needs to convey the regulatory message of ``yield to trains.'' 
Furthermore, the Crossbuck sign design,

[[Page 66849]]

although unique in shape, does not always sufficiently attract the 
attention of road users, especially at night and when they are turning 
onto the grade crossing from a street that is parallel to the track. 
The use of a YIELD sign (and occasionally a STOP sign when justified by 
an engineering study) can improve the safety of passive grade crossings 
without requiring any action by road users beyond that which is already 
required of them. The FHWA adopts the language as proposed in the NPA 
with editorial revisions suggested by the NCUTCD in this final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \203\ National Cooperative Highway Research Report 470 titled 
``Traffic Control Devices for Passive Railroad-Highway Grade 
Crossings,'' Transportation Research Board, 2002, can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_470-a.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A railroad operator and a railroad association suggested revising 
the proposed requirement to allow the use of engineering judgment 
instead of an engineering study to determine when STOP signs should be 
used at passive grade crossings. The FHWA disagrees and believes that 
the decision to stop all vehicles that approach a grade crossing is so 
important that it should be documented in a study. The NCUTCD suggested 
adding text to the STANDARD that the determination to include a STOP 
sign in a Crossbuck Assembly shall be made by the regulatory agency or 
highway authority having jurisdiction over the roadway approach. The 
FHWA agrees because the decision to stop all vehicles should be made by 
the highway authority and not the railroad or light-rail transit 
authority. The FHWA adopts the NCUTCD suggested revision to clarify the 
proposed STANDARD statement in this final rule.
    A railroad association suggested allowing an exception for 
requiring an engineering study for existing highway rail grade 
crossings with STOP signs. The FHWA disagrees because if a STOP sign is 
in place at a crossing and an engineering study justifying its use is 
already on file, then a new study would not be necessary. However, if 
no such study is on file because it was lost or because engineering 
judgment was used to determine the need for the STOP sign, then a new 
study should be conducted and placed in the file. If the new study does 
not justify the STOP sign, then the STOP sign should be replaced with a 
YIELD sign.
    The FHWA establishes a target compliance date of December 31, 2019 
(approximately 10 years from the effective date of this final rule) or 
when adjustments are made to the individual grade crossing and/or 
corridor, whichever occurs first, for implementing the new requirements 
for YIELD or STOP signs at existing passive crossings. The FHWA 
establishes this target compliance date to promote increased safety at 
passive grade crossings, especially during nighttime hours. Because the 
new requirements involve conducting engineering studies and installing 
signs that do not currently exist at existing grade crossings, the FHWA 
believes that relying on the systematic upgrading processes that 
highway agencies typically use to replace existing signs at the end of 
their service lives would result in an excessively long time period for 
installation of YIELD or STOP signs at existing passive grade 
crossings. The FHWA anticipates that installation of the required 
additional signs at existing locations will provide significant safety 
benefits to road users.
    548. In Section 8B.01 Purpose, the FHWA relocates existing SUPPORT 
and STANDARD statements from Section 10C.01 of the 2003 MUTCD with 
editorial revisions as proposed in the NPA in this final rule.
    549. In retitled Table 8B-1 Grade Crossing Sign and Plaque Minimum 
Sizes, the NCUTCD suggested reducing the existing dimension for the I-
13 sign (I-13a in the 2003 MUTCD) to 12 inches x 9 inches. The FHWA 
decides to delete the size information for the I-13 sign from Table 8B-
1, to eliminate any potential inconsistencies with an anticipated 
future rulemaking for this item by the FRA.
    A consultant questioned why the W10-14P, W10-14aP, and W10-15P 
plaques were proposed to increase in size from 24 inches x 18 inches to 
30 inches x 24 inches, noting that sign sizes for other plaques (W10-
5P, W10-9P, and proposed W10-10P) remained at 24 inches x 18 inches 
size. The FHWA in this final rule adopts increases in the size of the 
W10-5P and W10-9P plaques to 30 inches x 24 inches to provide 
consistency with the other adopted revisions that increase the 
lettering height to 5 inches for all railroad crossing warning plaques, 
to assure adequate legibility for drivers with 20/40 visual acuity.
    550. In retitled Section 8B.03 Grade Crossing (Crossbuck) Sign 
(R15-1) and Number of Tracks Plaque (R15-2P) at Active and Passive 
Grade Crossings, the FHWA proposed in the NPA an OPTION statement that 
allowed the Crossbuck sign at non-signalized crossings to have 
reflectorized red lettering, rather than the standard black lettering. 
While a local DOT agreed with the proposal, five State DOTs, three 
local agencies, ATSSA, an NCUTCD member, and a consultant opposed it 
because of concerns that the red letters will fade quickly, the need 
for uniformity, and the red color might imply that a vehicle needs to 
stop. The FHWA agrees with these comments and does not adopt the 
proposed OPTION in this final rule, in order to promote uniformity.
    Two State DOTs suggested revising the proposed SUPPORT statement to 
note that the Crossbuck sign functions similar to a YIELD sign. The 
FHWA agrees and in this final rule adopts the revisions to the SUPPORT 
statement proposed by the commenters. The FHWA also revises the SUPPORT 
to state that Crossbuck signs function similar to a YIELD sign ``in 
most States'' based on information provided by the FRA.
    The FHWA also relocates to this section the existing OPTION from 
Section 10C.02 in the 2003 MUTCD to use a Crossbuck sign on a highway 
approach to a highway-light rail transit grade crossing on a semi-
exclusive or mixed-use alignment.
    A State railroad operator suggested revising the existing STANDARD 
statement to require the R15-2P plaque at all multi-track crossings, 
not just at crossings without automatic gates, based on concerns about 
the potential for second train incidents. These concerns are present at 
multi-track crossings, independent of whether gate arms are installed. 
The FHWA notes this comment and might consider including this 
suggestion in a future NPA.
    The NCUTCD suggested adding the word ``vertical'' to the existing 
STANDARD in Section 8B.03 to clarify the orientation of the 
retroreflective white strip material on the support for a YIELD or STOP 
sign. The FHWA agrees and makes the suggested revision and relocates 
the language to Section 8B.04.
    551. The FHWA adopts the retitled Figure 8B-1 (Figure 8B-3 in the 
2003 MUTCD) Regulatory Signs and Plaques for Grade Crossings in this 
final rule, which combines Figure 8B-3 and Figure 10C-2 in the 2003 
MUTCD and incorporates the NPA proposed R8-10a and R10-6a signs. ATSSA 
supported the new signs while an NCUTCD member opposed them stating 
that these smaller signs were not necessary. The FHWA disagrees because 
the smaller alternate signs are needed for situations when vertical 
space is limited.
    A State railroad operator and local DOT suggested using the 
symbolic turn restriction blank-out signs instead of the text messages 
for the R3-1a and R3-2a signs, similar to the California MUTCD 
provisions. The FHWA notes that the Section 8B.08 text does not prevent 
blank-out symbolic signs from being used. The text gives the OPTION of 
using the word message signs for this purpose; the text does not 
mandate only

[[Page 66850]]

the use of the word message signs for this situation.
    552. The FHWA also adopts the revised Section 8B.04 (Section 8B.08 
in the 2003 MUTCD) Crossbuck Assemblies with YIELD or STOP Signs at 
Passive Grade Crossings in this final rule. The FHWA replaces all of 
the existing text with new STANDARD, GUIDANCE, SUPPORT, and OPTION 
statements proposed in Section 8B.05 the NPA combined with new language 
proposed in Section 10C.02 in the NPA that describes the use of STOP 
and YIELD signs at passive grade crossings. The FHWA also relocates a 
STANDARD from Section 8B.03 and makes several editorial revisions to 
the language as proposed in the NPA to remove inconsistencies and 
redundancies with Section 8B.03 based on several comments received. The 
remaining sections are renumbered accordingly.
    The FHWA also adopts the NPA proposed deletion from the STANDARD 
statement of the requirement that Crossbuck signs be used on each 
highway approach to every highway-light rail transit grade crossing on 
a semi-exclusive alignment. The FHWA adopts this change to reflect the 
standard practice of most light rail transit agencies in the nation. 
Crossbuck signs are not typically used at grade crossings controlled by 
traffic signals, particularly in downtown areas. Grade crossings within 
highway-highway intersections in urban areas with train speeds of 35 
mph or less are typically controlled by traffic signals and Crossbuck 
signs are not used. Crossbuck signs are not appropriate for light rail 
transit grade crossings in downtown areas or at intersections 
controlled by traffic signals, since they are believed to be 
ineffective and create sign clutter. A city agreed with the deletion 
while a State DOT opposed it.
    The NCUTCD and a State DOT suggested adding a requirement in 
Section 8B.04 that the mounting height for the STOP or YIELD sign 
should be at least 5 feet for new installations while another State DOT 
suggested a 4-foot mounting height for new installations. The FHWA 
adopts a minimum mounting height of 4 feet but agrees that a higher 
mounting height might be needed for new installations and might 
consider proposing this in a future NPA.
    The FHWA also proposed in Section 8B.03 of the NPA to revise the 
STANDARD statement, and the associated figure, to indicate that the 
measurement for the retroreflective strip that is placed on the front 
and back of the support for the Crossbuck sign is to be from the 
ground, rather than the roadway. The FHWA proposed this change because 
there might be some cases where the ground level at the base of the 
sign is higher than the edge of the roadway. The FHWA adopts the 
proposed change in Section 8B.04 in this final rule but does not adopt 
the requirement for the retroreflective strip on the back of the 
support. A State DOT suggested revising the text to add the word 
``back'' to the existing STANDARD statement to specify where not to 
install white strips on Crossbuck supports for one-way streets. The 
FHWA agrees and adopts the suggested revision in this final rule and 
changes this statement to an OPTION rather than stating it in a 
STANDARD text as an exception.
    Two State DOTs and a city opposed the STANDARD statement proposed 
in Section 8B.05 in the NPA for the use of STOP AHEAD and YIELD AHEAD 
warning signs because installing the signs might not always be feasible 
because of space limitations, the signs might conflict with advance 
railroad warning signs, and drivers might start ignoring these signs if 
too many are installed. The FHWA disagrees with the commenter because 
there will not be an over-proliferation of these signs if they are 
installed only when the criteria in Section 2C.35 are met. The FHWA 
adopts this proposed STANDARD paragraph in this final rule, but 
reverses the order of the W3-1 and W3-2 signs to improve consistency. 
The FHWA also adds a YIELD AHEAD and STOP AHEAD warning sign to Figure 
8B-6.
    A county and a consultant suggested revising the NPA proposed 
GUIDANCE recommending using yield lines at highway-rail crossings in 
order to reference Section 3B.16 and to remove the words ``transverse 
line'' since it might be confused with a stop line. The FHWA disagrees 
with removing ``transverse line'' because Section 3B.16 in the 2003 
MUTCD makes it clear that yield lines are transverse lines. The FHWA 
does not adopt the proposed GUIDANCE and instead adopts a reference to 
Section 8B.28 in a new SUPPORT statement for the proper use of stop 
lines and yield lines.
    A State DOT suggested providing an OPTION allowing a ``Goal Post'' 
or ``U''-mounted assembly for the placement of the Yield or Stop sign 
on a Crossbuck Assembly to maintain proper sign mounting height for 
crashworthiness of the sign assembly. The commenter also notes that 
these can be used as an alternative where the roadway shoulder area is 
limited. The FHWA notes that the text does not prevent an agency from 
using a U-mounted assembly. Figure 8B-2 shows the YIELD or STOP sign 
below the Crossbuck and Number of Tracks signs, but does not prohibit 
other arrangements and therefore no revisions are necessary to 
accommodate the commenter's request.
    A State railroad operator suggested adding a STANDARD to require 
the railroad company to be responsible for the entire Crossbuck 
Assembly (which the language in the NPA defines to include the YIELD or 
STOP sign), unless the roadway authority has agreed to place and 
maintain a separate YIELD or STOP sign for the crossing. The commenter 
stated that typically railroad companies prohibit roadway authorities 
from altering or otherwise modifying Crossbuck Assemblies at their 
grade crossings, and STOP and YIELD signs placed in conjunction with 
Crossbuck Assemblies should ideally be located on the same post, and 
therefore maintained by the railroad. The commenter said that the 
responsibilities of the roadway authority and railroad should be 
stated. The FHWA disagrees because responsibility the installation and 
maintenance of the YIELD or STOP sign on the Crossbuck support will 
vary from State to State. To clarify this situation, the FHWA adds a 
cross reference to Sections 8A.02 and 8A.03, which discusses the 
general responsibilities of highway agencies and railroad companies.
    553. The FHWA relocates Section 10C.04 in the 2003 MUTCD to Section 
8B.05 and retitles the section as ``Use of STOP (R1-1) or YIELD (R1-2) 
Signs without Crossbuck Signs at Highway-Light Rail Grade Crossings,'' 
with editorial revisions, as proposed in the NPA, in this final rule.
    554. The FHWA combines the light-rail transit grade crossing 
information from Section 10C.15 as proposed in the NPA into new Section 
8B.06 (Section 8B.04 in the 2003 MUTCD) Grade Crossing Advance Warning 
Signs (W10 Series) and also adopts the NPA proposed revisions for 
Section 8B.06. The FHWA proposed to add to the first STANDARD statement 
a requirement that a supplemental plaque describing the type of traffic 
control at the highway-rail grade crossing shall be used with the Grade 
Crossing Advance Warning sign (W10-1). As part of this proposal, the 
FHWA also proposed requiring the use of a new No Signal (W10-10P) 
supplemental plaque in advance of a crossing that does not have active 
traffic control devices, and the use of a new Signal Ahead (W10-16P) 
plaque in advance of a crossing that does have active traffic control 
devices. While ATSSA agreed, numerous commenters opposed the use of the 
No Signal plaque because it is obvious what control is at an active 
crossing and because of concerns over the cost of

[[Page 66851]]

implementation, sign clutter, and lack of research and justification 
for their use. The FHWA acknowledges that the SIGNAL AHEAD plaque 
message is not needed or particularly helpful in advance of active 
crossings. There is already a NO GATES OR LIGHTS (W10-13P) plaque that 
can be used in advance of passive crossings, so a new NO SIGNAL plaque 
is unnecessary. Using a separate YIELD AHEAD or STOP AHEAD plaque will 
not convey this message, as road users might think that it refers to a 
highway-highway intersection beyond the grade crossing. Because this 
final rule adopts a requirement that a retroreflective YIELD or STOP 
sign be used at every passive crossing, which will have an effect on 
how much in advance (especially at night) a road user becomes aware of 
the presence of a grade crossing, there is no need to require or even 
recommend that this plaque be used at all passive crossings. As a 
result of the comments, the FHWA does not adopt the proposed STANDARD 
requiring supplemental plaques under advance warning signs at active 
and passive crossings, and the two proposed plaque designs.
    A State DOT suggested providing an OPTION for situations where two 
grade crossings are spaced closely together where one grade crossing 
has signals and the other crossing does not. The FHWA disagrees with 
the need for this OPTION because in this unusual case lights and gates 
will have to also be installed at the passive grade crossing or the 
placement of the signs and plaques will have to be carefully designed 
to minimize any potential confusion. A State DOT recommended changing 
the reference from the W10-1 sign to the W10 series since there will be 
instances where the NO TRAIN HORN plaque is used and there will not be 
a W10-1 sign. The FHWA agrees and adopts the suggested revision.
    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to add at the end of the 1st 
STANDARD a statement that a YIELD AHEAD or a STOP AHEAD advance warning 
sign shall also be installed if criteria are met, along with 
information regarding the distance between signs in advance of a 
highway-rail grade crossing, to emphasize existing requirements in Part 
2. Two State DOTs, five local agencies, an association, and a 
consultant opposed the new STANDARD because of concerns about sign 
redundancy with other advance warning signage, increases burdens on 
public agencies resulting from sign clutter and operations costs in 
typical urban environments, and will likely not change road user 
behavior. A city suggested reducing the STANDARD to GUIDANCE. The FHWA 
disagrees because the use of STOP AHEAD or YIELD AHEAD signs are 
required for non-grade crossing applications in Section 2C.35 when the 
criteria is met and their use should also be required in this section. 
Therefore, the FHWA adopts in this final rule the language as proposed 
in the NPA.
    555. The FHWA adopts the NPA proposed new Figure 8B-3 Crossbuck 
Assembly with a YIELD or STOP Sign on a Separate Sign Support to 
reflect the adopted new requirement to install a YIELD sign or STOP 
sign at all passive highway-rail grade crossings, except crossings 
where road users are directed by an authorized person on the ground to 
not enter the crossing at all times that an approaching train is about 
to occupy the crossing. The remaining existing Figures in Chapter 8B 
are renumbered accordingly.
    556. The FHWA combines light-rail transit grade crossing 
information from Section 10C.10 in the NPA into retitled Section 8B.07 
(Section 8B.05 in the 2003 MUTCD) EXEMPT Grade Crossings Plaques (R15-
3P, W10-1aP). A State DOT suggested revising the existing provisions to 
clarify the placement of an exempt plaque in relation to a Crossbuck 
sign, warning sign, or other plaque. The FHWA disagrees because Section 
8B.07 has existing text that says that the EXEMPT plaque is installed 
below the advance warning sign.
    557. In retitled Figure 8B-4 (Figure 8B-2 in the 2003 MUTCD) 
Warning Signs and Plaques for Grade Crossings, the FHWA proposed in the 
NPA to add the light rail transit signs and plaques from Figure 10C-3 
in the 2003 MUTCD. The FHWA proposed revising the symbol shown on the 
W10-7 sign to use the same symbol of a light rail transit vehicle as 
that used on the I-12 sign. The light rail transit vehicle symbol on 
the existing W10-7 sign was an inadvertent error that the FHWA wanted 
to correct so that the symbols will be consistent. A city and ATSSA 
agreed with the proposed revision. The NCUTCD suggested adding a note 
that signs can be modified for geometrics to allow a curved line for a 
roundabout and railroad tracks. The FHWA agrees and adopts the proposed 
revision with the suggested note and editorial revisions.
    558. With respect to the NPA proposed Figure 8B-6 Example of 
Placement of Warning Signs and Pavement Markings at Grade Crossings, 
the NCUTCD suggested adding the words ``If transverse lines are used at 
the grade crossing'' to the note about the yield line. The FHWA agrees 
and adopts the suggested change in this final rule. A State DOT opposed 
the use of yield lines. The commenter suggested showing an illustration 
of the yield line if this requirement is retained. The FHWA notes that 
if a YIELD sign is used at a passive crossing, then a yield or stop 
line may be used per Section 8B.28, as discussed below. The FHWA does 
not add an illustration of a yield line since the note on Figure 8B-6 
is sufficient. The NCUTCD opposed moving the W10-1 sign in reference to 
the railroad crossing pavement markings and suggested retaining the 
location as shown in the 2003 MUTCD. The FHWA agrees and maintains the 
placement of the W10-1 and pavement markings as shown in the 2003 
MUTCD. An NCUTCD member suggested illustrating the use of the W10-10P 
and W10-16P plaques for passive and active grade crossings, 
respectively. The FHWA notes that the supplemental plaques will not be 
required and therefore does not add them to the figure.
    559. In Section 8B.08 Turn Restrictions During Preemption (Section 
8B.06 in the 2003 MUTCD) and in Section 8B.09 DO NOT STOP ON TRACKS 
Sign (R8-8) (Section 8B.07 in the 2003 MUTCD) the FHWA combines the 
proposed language with appropriate text from Sections 10C.09 and 
10C.05, respectively, in the 2003 MUTCD for light rail transit grade 
crossings, and adopts editorial revisions as proposed in the NPA in 
this final rule.
    560. In Section 8B.10 TRACKS OUT OF SERVICE Sign (R8-9) (Section 
8B.09 in the 2003 MUTCD) the FHWA combines the existing language with 
appropriate text from Section 10C.06 in the 2003 MUTCD for light rail 
transit grade crossings in this final rule. A local agency suggested 
revising the existing OPTION statement to clarify that the R8-9 sign 
replaces the Crossbuck assembly. The FHWA agrees and adopts the 
suggested revision in this final rule.
    561. In retitled Section 8B.11 STOP HERE WHEN FLASHING Sign (R8-10, 
R8-10a) the FHWA combines the existing language with appropriate text 
from Section 10C.08 in the 2003 MUTCD for light rail transit grade 
crossings.
    562. In retitled Section 8B.12 STOP HERE ON RED Sign (R10-6, R10-
6a) the FHWA combines the existing language with appropriate text from 
Section 10C.07 in the 2003 MUTCD for light rail transit grade 
crossings.
    563. In Section 8B.17 LOOK Sign (R15-8) (Section 8B.16 in the 2003 
MUTCD), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to remove the option of mounting 
the LOOK sign on the Crossbuck support. Two State DOTs opposed this

[[Page 66852]]

revision because there are situations where this option is beneficial. 
Based on the comments received, the FHWA does not adopt the proposed 
change. However, the FHWA adopts a new GUIDANCE statement recommending 
that the LOOK sign should not be mounted on a Crossbuck Assembly that 
has a STOP or YIELD sign because there would be insufficient space for 
the LOOK sign and there would be too many signs for the driver to 
process. A State railroad operator suggested removing the phrase ``on a 
separate post'' from the proposed revision in the NPA to allow other 
possible mounting locations, such as on a pedestrian swing gate or on a 
wall adjacent to the crossing. The FHWA notes that the NPA proposal 
intended to prohibit the mounting of the LOOK sign on the Crossbuck 
support, and the option suggested by the commenter would be allowed 
with the adopted text. The FHWA also combines language with appropriate 
text from Section 10C.03 in the 2003 MUTCD for light rail transit grade 
crossings.
    564. The FHWA proposed to rewrite Section 8B.18 (Section 8B.12 in 
the 2003 MUTCD) Emergency Notification Sign (I-13) and combine it with 
the information in Section 10C.21 in the NPA. The proposed new text 
included STANDARD statements that specify the minimum amount of 
information to be placed on Emergency Notification signs, sign 
placement, and the sign color of a white legend and border on a blue 
background. A GUIDANCE statement with additional information on sign 
retroreflectivity, sign placement, and sign size was also proposed. To 
illustrate the proposed changes, FHWA proposed to revise Figure 8B-5 
and Table 8B-1 accordingly. The FHWA proposed these changes to simplify 
the requirements for these signs and to assure that the appropriate 
information is displayed on these signs that provide valuable 
information to roadway users in the event of an emergency or signal 
malfunction requiring notification to the railroad or light rail 
transit agency. A city and ATSSA agreed with the revisions proposed in 
the NPA. Two State DOTs suggested revisions to allow different letter 
heights. A city also opposed the proposed revision because in urban 
areas where the highway-light rail transit grade crossing is at a named 
intersection there should not be a need for a unique grade crossing 
identifier. The FHWA adopts the revisions as proposed in the NPA but 
removes specific references to letter heights and design details since 
this information will be addressed by an anticipated future rulemaking 
by the Federal Railway Administration.
    A State DOT, six local agencies, an association, an NCUTCD member, 
and a consultant suggested adding a new provision that the railroad 
company is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the I-13 
sign. The FHWA disagrees and notes that this specific responsibility 
might vary from State to State and Sections 8A.02 and 8A.03 discuss the 
general responsibilities of highway agencies and railroad companies.
    565. With respect to the NPA proposals for retitled Figure 8B-5, 
(Figure 8B-4 in the 2003 MUTCD) Example of Emergency Notification Sign, 
the NCUTCD suggested revising the crossing number on the I-13 sign (I-
13a in the 2003 MUTCD) to be consistent with the DOT format. The FHWA 
agrees with showing a realistic number in the figure and adopts the 
sign with a revised legend in this final rule. An NCUTCD member 
suggested deleting the emergency notification sign and figure from the 
MUTCD because he believes that it is the railroad company's 
responsibility to provide the sign. The FHWA disagrees because there 
are situations where highway agencies install and maintain these signs 
and therefore the sign is retained to promote uniformity.
    566. In retitled Section 8B.21 (Section 8B.15 in the NPA) NO TRAIN 
HORN Sign or Plaque (W10-9, W10-9P), the FHWA proposed in the NPA to 
change the existing NO TRAIN HORN sign to a supplemental plaque. The 
FHWA also proposed to revise the STANDARD to clarify that the plaque 
should be mounted directly below the W10-1 sign. Two State DOTs and a 
State railroad operator suggested revising the NPA proposed STANDARD to 
include a reference to 49 CFR part 222 to be in conformity with the 
quiet zone definition noted earlier in the MUTCD. The FHWA agrees and 
adopts the suggested change in this final rule. The NCUTCD and a State 
DOT suggested allowing the NO TRAIN HORN plaque to also be used with 
the W10-2, W10-3, and W10-4 signs. The FHWA agrees that such use is 
appropriate and adopts the suggested revision. A State DOT also 
suggested requiring the NO TRAIN HORN plaque below the Number of Tracks 
Plaque, if used, otherwise mounted under the Crossbuck sign. The FHWA 
disagrees because the suggested revision would allow the placement of 
the NO TRAIN HORN sign at the crossing rather than in advance of the 
crossing where it is needed. The FHWA does not adopt the removal of the 
existing NO TRAIN HORN W10-9 sign as proposed in the NPA, and instead 
allows either the W10-9 sign or W10-9P plaque to be used.
    567. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed deleting existing Section 8B.15 
and relocating the information to other sections. The FHWA retains the 
section as Section 8.22 NO GATES OR LIGHTS Plaque (W10-13P) in this 
final rule. The FHWA deletes the NO SIGNAL Sign from the MUTCD based on 
comments received in Section 8B.06. See item 554 above.
    568. The FHWA adopts Section 8B.23 Low Ground Clearance Grade 
Crossing Sign (W10-5) (Section 8B.17 in the 2003 MUTCD) in this final 
rule, which combines the existing language with the existing language 
in Section 10C.16 in the 2003 MUTCD for light rail transit grade 
crossings.
    569. In Section 8B.24 (Section 8B.18 in the 2003 MUTCD) Storage 
Space Signs (W10-11, W10-11a, W10-11b), the FHWA combines appropriate 
text from Section 10C.18 in the 2003 MUTCD with NPA proposed Section 
8B.18 in this final rule. A railroad operator suggested requiring the 
NO TRAIN HORN plaque (W10-9P) be placed above the W10-11aP or W10-11bP 
plaque. The FHWA disagrees and retains the existing text because the NO 
TRAIN HORN plaque needs to be placed on the same support as the advance 
warning sign, not the same support as the storage distance sign.
    570. In Section 8B.25 Skewed Crossing Sign (W10-12) (Section 8B.19 
in the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA combines the existing language with 
appropriate text from Section 10C.19 in the 2003 MUTCD for light rail 
transit grade crossings.
    571. In Section 8B.27 (Section 8B.20 in the 2003 MUTCD) Pavement 
Markings, the FHWA combines the existing language and proposed 
revisions with appropriate text from Section 10C.23 in the 2003 MUTCD 
for light rail transit grade crossings in this final rule. A State DOT 
opposed the NPA proposed revision to the 4th STANDARD statement in 
section 8B.20 which proposed removing the requirement for railroad 
pavement markings on roads with speeds less than 40 mph. The commenter 
believes that the pavement markings are important for safety and the 
revision would apply to thousands of crossings in the commenter's 
jurisdiction. The FHWA addresses the commenter's concern by revising 
the wording so that an engineering study is required to omit pavement 
markings on roads with speeds less than 40 mph.
    The NCUTCD, two DOTs, two local agencies, an NCUTCD member, and a

[[Page 66853]]

consultant opposed the NPA proposed revisions to the GUIDANCE regarding 
the location of the advanced warning sign in relation to the pavement 
marking and suggested retaining the 2003 MUTCD text. The FHWA agrees 
and maintains the text as in the 2003 MUTCD and revises Figure 8B-6 to 
be consistent with this action.
    572. In retitled Section 8B.28 (Section 8B.21 in the 2003 MUTCD) 
Stop and Yield Lines, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add a STANDARD 
statement requiring the use of stop lines on paved roadways at highway-
rail grade crossings that are equipped with active control devices. 
This requirement is currently implied by the existing language in 
Section 8B.21 of the 2003 MUTCD and illustrated in Figure 8B-6. A local 
DOT agreed. The FHWA adopts this specific requirement for clarification 
and because the stop line provides road users with a clear indication 
of the point behind which they are required to stop when the traffic 
control devices are activated.
    The FHWA also proposed relocating GUIDANCE statements from Section 
8B.05 in the NPA recommending stop lines when a STOP sign is used with 
the Crossbuck sign and adding yield lines when a YIELD sign is used 
with the Crossbuck sign. A city suggested adding a requirement for stop 
lines at passive crossings because stop lines are more important in 
those situations. A State DOT opposed using yield lines because their 
practice is to use stop lines at all highway rail crossings. Based on 
the comments received, the FHWA adds an OPTION to allow stop lines at 
passive grade crossings where a YIELD sign is installed. While the stop 
line is preferred in this situation for consistency, the new OPTION 
will improve safety by improving nighttime visibility at grade 
crossings with the retroreflective stop lines. The FHWA also combines 
the existing language with appropriate text from Section 10C.24 in the 
2003 MUTCD for light rail transit grade crossings.
    A city opposed the proposed revision in Section 8B.21 of the NPA to 
require a stop line at every active grade crossing because of the 
belief that this would provide a small benefit for a large cost and a 
State DOT suggested reducing the STANDARD to GUIDANCE. The FHWA 
disagrees with the commenters because the requirement is only for paved 
active crossings and the FHWA believes the safety benefits will 
outweigh the disadvantages. A State railroad operator suggested 
providing GUIDANCE regarding the appropriate placement of the stop line 
where tracks are within or adjacent to an intersection. The FHWA 
declines to add the suggested statement because engineering judgment 
should dictate stop line placement in those situations due to the wide 
variety of situations where tracks are within or immediately adjacent 
to the intersection. The FHWA adopts the language as proposed in the 
NPA and the new OPTION to install a stop line at a grade crossing with 
a YIELD sign in this final rule.
    573. In Section 8B.29 (Section 8B.22 in the 2003 MUTCD) Dynamic 
Envelope Markings, the FHWA adopts the proposed NPA revision to Section 
8B.22 in the 2003 MUTCD and relocates the SUPPORT, GUIDANCE, and OPTION 
statements from Section 10C.24 as proposed in the NPA. The FHWA deletes 
the existing OPTION statement in Section 8B.22 of the 2003 MUTCD in 
this final rule based on a comment received from a State railroad 
operator which suggested that the provision is subjective. The FHWA 
agrees that the OPTION is not needed because adopted paragraph 02 
adequately addresses the subject.
    574. In retitled Figure 8B-8 Example of Train Dynamic Envelope 
Pavement Markings at Grade Crossings, a State DOT suggested providing a 
new note on the existing figure that the dynamic envelope markings are 
optional. The FHWA agrees because the text of Section 8B.29 clearly 
describes these markings as optional. The FHWA adds ``optional'' prior 
to ``white pavement marking'' in the bottom right-hand corner of the 
drawing. The FHWA also adds the illustration from Figure 8A-1 in the 
2003 MUTCD to this figure.
    575. The FHWA in this final rule adopts the NPA proposed deletion 
of Chapter 8C Illumination in the 2003 MUTCD and places the information 
from this chapter in a new section numbered and titled Section 8A.06 
Illumination at Grade Crossings. See item 544 above. The remaining 
chapters in Part 8 are re-lettered accordingly.
    576. The FHWA relocates to Section 8C.01 (Section 8D.01 in the 2003 
MUTCD) Introduction, the SUPPORT and GUIDANCE statements regarding 
light-rail transit grade crossings from Section 10D.01 in the NPA in 
this final rule. The FHWA proposed in the NPA to change the OPTION 
statement in Section 10D.01 to a STANDARD statement, which will require 
audible devices to be provided and operated in conjunction with 
flashing-light signals or traffic control signals where they are 
operated at a light rail transit grade crossing that is used by 
pedestrians. The FHWA proposed this change because light rail transit 
vehicles are often nearly silent, and blind pedestrians cannot see 
flashing lights. Requiring the use of an audible warning device would 
assure that information about the approach of a light rail transit 
vehicle is available to persons with visual disabilities. Two cities 
and a State railroad operator opposed the revision, in part because it 
might create conflicts with pedestrian crosswalk audible indications. 
The FHWA disagrees because it is essential that an audible device be 
available for blind pedestrians because of the quiet operation of light 
rail transit vehicles and light rail transit is generally located in 
urban areas where pedestrians are prevalent. The FHWA also notes that 
if conventional pedestrian signals are used at a traffic control 
signal, the accessible pedestrian features would be sufficient provided 
that pedestrians are always directed to not be in the crosswalk when a 
light-rail vehicle is approaching or occupying the crosswalk location 
and therefore text revisions are not necessary to accommodate 
pedestrian crosswalk audible indications. The FHWA believes the safety 
benefits outweigh the costs associated with the new requirement. The 
FHWA adopts the language as proposed in the NPA but relocates the 
statement to Section 8C.10.
    The NCUTCD suggested adding new GUIDANCE that the top of the signal 
foundation should be no more than 4 inches above the surface of the 
ground. The NCUTCD stated that the top of the foundation should be at 
the same elevation as the crown of the roadway to permit use of 
standardized traffic control devices that meet the vertical clearances 
shown in Figure 8C-1 (Figure 8D-1 in the 2003 MUTCD). The NCUTCD also 
indicated that where site conditions require the top of the foundation 
to be at different elevation than the crown of the roadway, then the 
shoulder side slope should be re-graded or the height of the signal 
mast should be adjusted to maintain the vertical clearance requirements 
of Figure 8C-1. The FHWA agrees and adopts the suggested revision in 
this final rule.
    577. In Figure 8C-1 (Figure 8D-1 in the 2003 MUTCD), Composite 
Drawing of Active Traffic Control Devices for Highway-Rail Grade 
Crossings Showing Clearances, the FHWA proposed to change gate arm 
stripes from diagonal to vertical. The FHWA received no comments and 
therefore adopts the revisions as proposed in the NPA in this final 
rule. A local DOT suggested clarifying the existing note above the gate 
that says, ``Dimension A-B-C and length for appropriate approaching 
traffic.'' The FHWA notes that the quantitative dimensions for A, B, 
and C are intentionally not specified because these dimensions vary 
from one location

[[Page 66854]]

to another based on the geometry of the approach lanes. The text in 
Section 8C.04 requires at least three lights on the gate arm. These 
lights should be positioned to have the maximum impact on drivers 
approaching the gate. The FHWA deletes the existing dimensions and 
revises the note to say, ``Minimum of three red lights positioned as 
appropriate for approaching traffic'' in this final rule.
    578. In retitled Section 8C.02 (Section 8D.02 and 8D.03 in the 2003 
MUTCD) Flashing-Light Signals, the FHWA adopts the editorial revisions 
as proposed in Section 8C.02 the NPA in this final rule. A State 
railroad operator suggested adding a new SUPPORT statement similar to 
Section 4D.06 to allow for the use of industry-standard technology such 
as light-emitting-diode (LED) signals which might not use optical 
lenses. Although not included in the NPA, the FHWA agrees and adopts a 
new SUPPORT statement that is similar to the text in Section 4D.06 in 
this final rule.
    The FHWA also combines the OPTION and STANDARD statements contained 
in NPA Section 8C.03 into Section 8C.02 and adopts the new STANDARD as 
proposed in the NPA.
    579. In Section 8C.04 (Section 8D.04 in the 2003 MUTCD) Automatic 
Gates, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to revise the 4th paragraph of the 
STANDARD statement to indicate that the stripes on gate arms shall be 
vertical, rather than 45-degree diagonal. The FHWA also proposed 
changes to the stripes on Figures 8C-1, 8C-5, and 8C-6 accordingly. The 
diagonal stripes might encourage road users to drive around the gates 
because diagonal stripes are used on other devices such as barricades, 
object markers, etc. to indicate the side of the device that road users 
are required to use when they travel past the device. A State DOT, a 
city, ATSSA, and a railroad operator agreed with the revision. The 
railroad operator also suggested adding GUIDANCE allowing a crossing to 
have one gate with vertical stripes and one gate with diagonal stripes 
during the implementation period. Two State DOTs and a citizen opposed 
the proposed revisions because the change is too subtle for the driver 
to notice and the lack of research supporting the revision. The FHWA 
disagrees and believes that this revision is worth making because of 
its potential to improve safety. The FHWA adopts the language as 
proposed in the NPA and adds a SUPPORT statement cross referencing 
paragraph 24 of the MUTCD Introduction, which describes two situations 
when a non-serviceable device that is non-compliant may be replaced in 
kind.
    The FHWA adopts into this section the existing OPTION and GUIDANCE 
statements regarding light rail transit grade crossings from Section 
10D.03 in the 2003 MUTCD.
    580. In Section 8C.06 Four Quadrant Gate Systems (Section 8D.05 in 
the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA adopts the editorial revisions proposed in 
the NPA in this final rule. The FHWA also combines the existing 
language with appropriate text from Section 10D.04 in the 2003 MUTCD 
for light rail transit grade crossings.
    581. The FHWA proposed a new Section 8C.06 Wayside Horn Systems in 
the NPA. This new section as proposed in the NPA contained OPTION, 
STANDARD, and GUIDANCE statements regarding the use of wayside horn 
systems to provide directional audible warning at highway-rail grade 
crossings pursuant to the Interim Approval for the Use of Wayside Horn 
Systems, which was issued on August 2, 2004.\204\ The Interim Approval 
and the proposed new MUTCD text support the regulation adopted by 
Federal Railroad Administration mandating the sounding of locomotive 
horns at highway-rail grade crossings (49 CFR part 222).\205\ A State 
DOT opposed the proposed new section because they believe that a 
wayside horn system is not a traffic control device. The FHWA disagrees 
because a wayside horn system provides warning to traffic and is 
important to include in the MUTCD to assure uniform messages.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \204\ The Interim Approval can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/res-ia_waysidehorns.htm.
    \205\ The Federal Register Notice was published on December 18, 
2003, (Volume 68, Number 243, Page 70586-70687) and can be viewed at 
the following Internet Web site: http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/Safety/train_horn_rule/fed_reg_trainhorns_final.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NCUTCD suggested requiring the location and operating 
characteristics of the wayside horns to be determined by a diagnostic 
team. Based on item 539 above, the NPA proposed definition and proposed 
use of diagnostic team term has been removed from the MUTCD. An NCUTCD 
member opposed the STANDARD regarding wayside horn systems being 
directed towards approaching road users because traffic facing a STOP 
sign has no additional obligation to wait for clearance of the train 
than traffic waiting at a Crossbuck sign only and traffic controlled by 
a signal is obligated to wait until allowed by the signal to proceed. A 
local DOT also noted a conflict between the NPA proposed STANDARD in 
Section 8C.06 which states that the wayside horn systems shall be 
directed towards approaching road users, but provides an exception for 
movements that are controlled by a STOP sign or traffic control signal, 
and the NPA proposed GUIDANCE which states that wayside horn systems 
should be installed for each roadway approach. To clarify the new 
provisions and to be consistent with FRA regulations, the FHWA revises 
the proposed OPTION, STANDARD, and GUIDANCE statements in the NPA with 
references to 49 CFR part 222 and removes the specific requirements and 
recommendations in this final rule. This information does not need to 
be repeated in the MUTCD.
    582. In Section 8C.09 (Section 8D.07 in the 2003 MUTCD) Traffic 
Control Signals at or Near Highway-Rail Grade Crossings, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA to add a 3rd paragraph to the GUIDANCE statement 
recommending that back-up power be supplied to traffic control signals 
that have railroad preemption or that are coordinated with flashing-
light signal systems at a highway-rail grade crossing. The FHWA 
proposed this recommendation because railroad flashing-light signals 
are typically provided with standby power supply to ensure their 
operation during power outages and it is important that traffic signals 
at or near the crossings also be provided with standby power during 
power outages to help prevent vehicles from queuing on approaches that 
cross the tracks. Two State DOTs suggested elevating the GUIDANCE to 
STANDARD. The City of Phoenix, AZ, suggested reducing the statement to 
an OPTION because of concerns about installation cost and the 
additional battery waste. Furthermore, they mentioned that Arizona's 
state laws require signals with power outages to be treated as four-way 
stop control. The FHWA notes that the proposed paragraph was identical 
to the new paragraph adopted in Section 4D.27. In this final rule the 
FHWA replaces the proposed GUIDANCE statement with a new SUPPORT 
statement referencing Section 4D.27 to eliminate redundancy.
    In addition, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add to the 4th 
paragraph of the GUIDANCE a statement consistent with Section 8A.01, 
which states that the highway agency or authority with jurisdiction and 
the regulatory agency with statutory authority jointly determine the 
need and selection of devices at a highway-rail grade crossing. A State 
DOT and a city opposed the proposed deletion of the words ``and the 
railroad company'' because they believe it is imperative that the 
railroad be

[[Page 66855]]

involved in the timing requirements of a signal system. The FHWA 
disagrees because of the need for consistency with Section 8A.01 and 
adopts the language as proposed in the NPA in this final rule.
    In conjunction with that change, the FHWA adopts the proposed new 
STANDARD statement in this final rule that requires that the timing 
parameters must be furnished by the jurisdiction so that the railroad 
will be able to design the train detection circuitry.
    583. In retitled Section 8C.10 Traffic Control Signals at or Near 
Highway-LRT Grade Crossings (Section 10D.06 in the NPA), the FHWA 
combines the existing language with editorial revisions proposed in the 
NPA with existing language with proposed editorial revisions in Section 
10D.07 in the NPA for highway traffic signal preemption turning 
restrictions.
    584. In Section 8C.11 (relocated from Section 10D.08 in the NPA) 
Use of Traffic Control Signals for Control of LRT Vehicles at Grade 
Crossings, the FHWA adopts the revisions as proposed in the NPA in this 
final rule. A city questioned why the existing 2nd GUIDANCE statement 
is included in the MUTCD because it describes the type of signals used 
to control light rail transit vehicles. They believe that this is only 
useful for train operators. The FHWA disagrees because even though 
trained light rail transit operators are the only persons who are 
directly responding to these special signals, they are able to be 
viewed by other road users who begin to understand their meanings as 
they watch what light rail transit operators do in response to them. 
This is especially true as these signals are also beginning to be used 
for exclusive bus lanes. Traffic safety is improved by making these 
special signals uniform. The FHWA declines to remove the provision in 
this final rule.
    585. The FHWA adopts the NPA proposed new Section 8C.12 Grade 
Crossing(s) Within or In Close Proximity to Circular Intersections in 
this final rule. This new section contains SUPPORT and STANDARD 
statements that clarify the need for active traffic control devices 
where grade crossings are within or in close proximity to roundabouts, 
traffic circles, or circular intersections. Where circular 
intersections include or are within 200 feet of a grade crossing, an 
engineering study is now required to be performed to determine if 
queuing could impact the grade crossing. A State DOT and a consulting 
firm agreed with the proposed new Section. A State railroad operator 
opposed the proposed new Section because of opposition to roundabouts 
being constructed adjacent to grade crossings due to grade crossing 
safety concerns. The FHWA agrees that when possible, it is better not 
to install roundabouts in close proximity to existing grade crossings 
because of the difficulty encountered when trying to clear the tracks 
as a train is approaching. When it is unavoidable, this section 
includes provisions that are intended to minimize any operational or 
safety issues.
    A city suggested revising the STANDARD to allow engineering 
judgment to determine if queuing could impact a grade crossing. The 
FHWA disagrees and retains the requirement for an engineering study 
because this situation requires data collection and analysis in order 
to make sound judgment. The FHWA in this final rule replaces the words 
``within close proximity'' with ``200 feet of'' in the new STANDARD to 
give a quantitative dimension in this final rule.
    The FHWA establishes a target compliance date of December 31, 2014 
(approximately 5 years from the effective date of this final rule) for 
the required traffic study at existing locations. The FHWA establishes 
this target compliance date because it is important that these studies 
be conducted in a timely manner. Because the new requirements involve 
conducting engineering studies at existing grade crossings, the FHWA 
believes that relying on the systematic upgrading processes that 
highway agencies typically use to replace existing signs at the end of 
their service lives would not be appropriate, given the safety 
implications of not having any means of clearing the track of stopped 
motor vehicles when rail traffic is approaching. The FHWA anticipates 
that the required traffic studies at existing locations will provide 
significant safety benefits to road users.
    A State DOT suggested adding lights and gates to the proposed 
GUIDANCE list that should be considered for keeping the crossing clear 
of traffic or for clearing traffic. The FHWA agrees and in this final 
rule revises item C ``Grade crossing regulatory and warning devices'' 
to include gates, lights, and regulatory signs. A city opposed the 
proposed GUIDANCE because the information is related to intersection 
design. The FHWA disagrees because the statement provides valuable 
suggestions that agencies can implement to keep the grade crossing 
clear of traffic or to clear traffic from the grade crossing prior to 
the arrival of rail traffic.
    586. In retitled Section 8C.13 (relocated from Section 10D.08 in 
the 2003 MUTCD) Pedestrian and Bicycle Signals and Crossings at LRT 
Grade Crossings, the FHWA proposed in the NPA to add to the GUIDANCE a 
statement that an audible device should be installed, in addition to a 
Crossbuck sign, at pedestrian and bicycle crossings where determined by 
an engineering study. The FHWA also proposed to recommend that the LOOK 
sign and/or pedestrian gates should be considered if an engineering 
study shows that flashing-light signals with a Crossbuck sign and an 
audible device would not provide sufficient notice of an approaching 
light rail transit vehicle. The FHWA proposed these changes to provide 
consistency with changes in Section 8C.01 in the NPA in item 576 above. 
A city agreed with the proposed revisions. The NCUTCD and a State 
railroad operator suggested moving all the text in this section to 
Chapter 8D Pathway Grade Crossing. The FHWA disagrees because Chapter 
8D pertains only to pathways, not to sidewalks. The FHWA adopts the 
revisions as proposed in the NPA in this final rule.
    587. In Figure 8C-6 (Figure 10D-4 in the 2003 MUTCD) Example of a 
Separate Pedestrian Gate, the NCUTCD suggested adding a new 
illustration showing a stand-alone pedestrian gate. The FHWA agrees and 
adopts a figure that shows a stand-alone pedestrian gate.
    588. The FHWA adopts the proposed new Chapter 8D (Chapter 8E in the 
NPA) Pathway Grade Crossings, including Sections 8D.01 through 8D.06 in 
this final rule. The purpose of this new Chapter is to provide 
information for traffic control devices used at pathway-rail grade 
crossings. Shared-use paths and other similar facilities sometimes 
cross railroad or light rail transit tracks at grade and it is 
important that suitable traffic control devices be used to provide for 
safe and effective operation of such crossings. The FHWA also adopts 
and incorporates into Chapter 8D material from proposed Chapter 10F 
regarding pathway-light rail transit grade crossings.
    589. In new Section 8D.03 retitled Pathway Grade Crossing Signs and 
Markings, the FHWA adopts the text as proposed in the NPA and also 
incorporates material regarding pathway-light rail transit grade 
crossings from Section 10F.03, as proposed in the NPA, in this final 
rule. A city opposed the STANDARD that requires post mounted signs to 
have a minimum mounting height of 4 feet and suggested it be reduced to 
a GUIDANCE statement because there are signs such as object marker 
signs that should be mounted lower. The FHWA disagrees because Sections 
8D.03 and 9B.01 both

[[Page 66856]]

contain a similar 4-foot minimum mounting height requirement for signs 
posted for pathways and shared-use paths.
    590. The FHWA adopts the proposed new Section 8D.04 (Section 8E.04 
in the NPA) Stop Lines, Edge Lines, and Detectable Warnings in this 
final rule. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to add new GUIDANCE on the 
use of stop lines and detectable warning surfaces. A local DOT and a 
city suggested revising the 1st GUIDANCE statement as proposed in the 
NPA to increase the minimum 2 foot distance between the stop line and 
gate or counterweight. The FHWA notes that the GUIDANCE wording uses 
the term ``at least'' meaning that there is flexibility to set the stop 
line farther back and therefore declines to make the suggested 
revision.
    A local DOT suggested reducing the requirement to place the stop 
lines and detectable warning surfaces a minimum of 12 feet from the 
nearest rail because the distance does not allow a user of the crossing 
to view the approaching trains. The FHWA disagrees because pedestrians 
and bicyclists should be able to see approaching trains from a distance 
of 12 feet back from the nearest rail.
    A consulting firm agreed with the 2nd GUIDANCE statement while a 
State DOT opposed it because it believed that detectable warnings are 
not a traffic control device and do not belong in the MUTCD. A State 
railroad operator suggested revising the GUIDANCE to add the words ``at 
least'' before the 2-foot detectable warning surface width to allow a 
3-foot wide detectable surface to be consistent with California design 
guidelines, replace the ``upstream'' and ``downstream'' terminology 
with ``edge nearest the tracks'' to clarify placement of detectable 
surfaces on sidewalks where exit gates or off-quadrant flashing light 
signals are used, to reference the placement to the flashing light 
signals, and to delete the phrase ``and no closer than the stop line'' 
to remove the conflict with the 2-foot placement. For consistency with 
other Parts in the MUTCD, the FHWA reduces the proposed GUIDANCE 
statement for detectable warnings to SUPPORT and references ADAAG for 
design and placement of detectable warnings in this final rule.
    The NCUTCD suggested adding an OPTION allowing the use of edge 
lines on an approach to and across the tracks at a pathway-light rail 
transit grade crossing, a station crossing, or sidewalk at a highway-
light rail transit grade crossing. The NCUTCD also suggested adding a 
SUPPORT statement about edge lines at skew track angle or multiple 
track intersections. The FHWA agrees and adopts the suggested OPTION 
and SUPPORT, as information about these optional practices already 
allowed by provisions of Part 3 is useful.
    591. The FHWA adopts the proposed new Section 8D.05 (Section 8E.05 
in the NPA) Passive Devices for Pathway Grade Crossing in this final 
rule. In the NPA, the FHWA proposed STANDARD, OPTION, and GUIDANCE 
statements for passive devices and incorporates the light-rail grade 
crossing provisions from proposed Section 10F.05 in the NPA. The FHWA 
does not adopt the proposed GUIDANCE statement regarding the placement 
of fencing in this final rule based on comments received and because 
fences are not traffic control devices. The FHWA also proposed an 
OPTION in Section 10F.05 in the NPA allowing refuge areas at light rail 
transit grade crossings. The FHWA does not adopt the proposed OPTION in 
this final rule based on the NCUTCD recommendation and because refuge 
islands are not traffic control devices.
    592. The FHWA adopts the proposed new Section 8D.06 (Section 8E.06 
in the NPA) Active Traffic Control Systems for Pathway Grade Crossings, 
with the revisions discussed herein, in this final rule. The FHWA also 
incorporates into Section 8D.06 pathway-light rail transit crossing 
material from Section 10F.06 in the NPA. The NCUTCD agreed with the new 
text and suggested several editorial revisions which the FHWA adopts in 
this final rule.
    A local DOT suggested revising the STANDARD to increase the 1-foot 
minimum height for the flashing red lights between the tracks to 4 feet 
because the 1-foot minimum will present a tripping hazard for users. 
The FHWA disagrees and notes that this was based on a recommendation 
provided by the NCUTCD and because pedestrians tend to look down as 
they step across tracks rather than look straight ahead.
    A State railroad operator suggested revising the last STANDARD to 
replace ``active traffic control devices'' with ``a gate arm that 
extends across the sidewalk and into the roadway'' because the term 
``active traffic control devices'' is too broad, as it could refer to a 
predestrian-specific device such as a separate automatic gate. The 
recommended language would prevent the placement of separate automatic 
gates on the outside of a sidewalk. The FHWA agrees and adopts the 
suggested revision in this final rule.
    The NCUTCD suggested revising GUIDANCE regarding the height of 
separate automatic gates used for sidewalks so that the minimum height 
of the gate arm when lowered is reduced from the proposed value of 3 
feet to 2.5 feet and to add a maximum height of 4 feet. A State 
railroad operator and a city also suggested adding a maximum height in 
the provision. The FHWA agrees that a maximum height should also be 
specified so that the gate will not be so high as to be ineffective for 
shorter persons and children. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a 
revised minimum height of 2.5 feet and a maximum height of 4 feet.
    The NCUTCD and a local DOT suggested deleting, or revising to an 
OPTION, GUIDANCE paragraph 11 regarding a separate gate mechanism for 
sidewalk gates from the roadway gates and making other editorial 
changes. The FHWA disagrees and adopts the language as proposed in the 
NPA in this final rule, because it is important that pedestrians be 
prevented from raising the vehicular gate.
    A local DOT suggested adding to the proposed GUIDANCE that a 
combination of automatic gates and swing gates could be used to provide 
full width coverage of the crossing. The FHWA agrees and adopts the 
suggested revision to the GUIDANCE in this final rule.

Discussion of Amendments to Part 9--Traffic Controls for Bicycle 
Facilities

    593. In Section 9A.03 Definitions Relating to Bicycles, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA to change the definition of ``bicycle lane'' to 
indicate that a bicycle lane is to be designated by pavement markings, 
and that signs may be used to supplement the markings designating a 
bicycle lane, but they are not required. While two cities and one 
association agreed with this change, a State DOT opposed this change, 
indicating that they preferred to use signs and pavement markings. 
Another State DOT questioned whether the use of pavement markings alone 
was consistent with the function of pavement markings in Part 3, which 
indicates that in most cases pavement markings are used to supplement 
signs. Because markings can sometimes be used alone to effectively 
convey regulations, guidance, or warnings, such as in the case of no-
passing zone markings, the FHWA believes that bicycle lanes can be 
effectively designated by markings alone. States may supplement bicycle 
lane markings with signs if they choose to do so. The FHWA adopts in 
this final rule the proposed change to the definition and relocates 
this definition to Section 1A.13 to consolidate all definitions in one 
place.

[[Page 66857]]

    594. In Section 9B.01 Application and Placement of Signs, the FHWA 
proposed in the NPA to revise the STANDARD statement to indicate that 
no portion of a sign or its support shall be placed less than 2 feet 
laterally from the near edge of the path, or less than 8 feet 
vertically over the entire width of the shared-use path. As part of 
this change, the FHWA proposed to remove the requirement that signs be 
placed a maximum of 6 feet from the near edge of a path. ATSSA, an 
NCUTCD member, and a citizen supported this change, while two State 
DOTs opposed this change. One of the commenters opposed this change, in 
part, because the change would cause the MUTCD to be in conflict with 
AASHTO guidance on bicycle facilities.\206\ The FHWA believes that the 
AASHTO guide, which is currently undergoing revision, will be changed 
to reflect changes in the MUTCD. The FHWA adopts the proposed changes 
in this final rule to be more consistent with Part 2 and to respond to 
feedback from practitioners that the existing MUTCD standards for sign 
height and offset can restrict the ability of agencies to effectively 
install signs on many shared-use path locations. The FHWA also modifies 
Figure 9B-1 to illustrate the minimum vertical offset information for 
overhead signs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \206\ ``Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities'', 1999, 
by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation 
Officials (AASHTO), is available for purchase from AASHTO at the 
following Internet Web site: https://bookstore.transportation.org/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    595. In Section 9B.04, retitled Bike Lane Signs and Plaques (R3-17, 
R3-17aP, R3-17bP), the FHWA in this final rule revises the STANDARD and 
GUIDANCE statements to clarify that Bike Lane signs are not required 
along bicycle lanes, and to give recommendations on the placement of 
Bike Lane signs and plaques when they are used. A city, an NCUTCD 
member, and a citizen agreed with the revisions as proposed in the NPA, 
while a State DOT and a city preferred that bike lane signs remain 
mandatory. Whether the presence or absence of the Bicycle Lane sign 
provides a clearly measurable benefit in indicating a designated 
bicycle lane has not been conclusively demonstrated. Amending the MUTCD 
to make the use of Bicycle Lane signs with marked bicycle lanes an 
optional, rather than a mandatory, condition provides flexibility for 
jurisdictions that do not desire to use the Bicycle Lane sign, without 
restricting the ability of jurisdictions that prefer to use the signs 
to continue to do so. These changes are consistent with the changes to 
the definition of ``bicycle lane'' as discussed in item 593 above.
    596. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the NPA proposed new 
Section 9B.06 Bicycles May Use Full Lane Sign (R4-11). This Section 
includes OPTION and SUPPORT statements regarding the use of this sign, 
which is illustrated in Figure 9B-2. While two State DOTs, ATTSA, three 
bicycle associations, two cities, and several citizens supported the 
proposed new sign, two State DOTs and an NCUTCD member opposed it, 
stating that the application of the design should be restricted to 
locations with speeds of less than 40 mph and that less experienced 
cyclists will likely misunderstand the meaning of the message. Other 
commenters suggested modifications to the sign design. The FHWA adopts 
this new sign as proposed in the NPA and accompanying text and figure, 
to provide jurisdictions with a consistent sign design, along with 
application information, for locations where it is important to inform 
road users that the travel lanes are too narrow for bicyclists and 
motor vehicles to operate side by side.
    597. In Section 9B.09 Selective Exclusion Signs (numbered and 
titled in the 2003 MUTCD as Section 9B.08 No Bicycles Sign (R5-6)''), 
the FHWA in this final rule adopts new text regarding the exclusion of 
various designated types of traffic from using particular roadways or 
facilities. As part of the change, the FHWA adopts No Skaters (R9-13) 
and No Equestrians (R9-14) signs to the text and to Figure 9B-2. While 
the NCUTCD and ATSSA both agreed with the changes as proposed in the 
NPA, a State DOT suggested that the GUIDANCE be changed to an OPTION 
statement. The NCUTCD and another State DOT suggested that the section 
be organized to be consistent with the comparable section in Chapter 
2B. The FHWA agrees with the reorganization suggestion and incorporates 
those changes into the language adopted in this final rule.
    598. In retitled Section 9B.11 Bicycle Regulatory Signs (R9-5, R9-
6, R10-4, R10-24, R10-25, and R10-26) (numbered Section 9B.10 in the 
2003 MUTCD) the FHWA in this final rule is adopting information about 
three new signs for bicycle pushbuttons, consistent with similar text 
adopted in Chapter 2B. The FHWA received a comment from the NCUTCD in 
support of this change as proposed in the NPA, but suggesting that 
paragraph 4 be expanded to allow the use of the PUSH BUTTON TO TURN ON 
WARNING LIGHTS (with pushbutton symbol) (R10-25) sign in other 
appropriate locations where other types of beacons or lights are used 
for traffic control for bicyclists, such as beacons at path-roadway 
crossings, tunnels, or other locations. The FHWA agrees and in this 
final rule adopts this new OPTION based on the NCUTCD's suggestion.
    599. In Section 9B.18 Bicycle Warning and Combined Bicycle/
Pedestrian Signs (W11-1 and W11-15) (numbered and titled in the 2003 
MUTCD as Section 9B.17 Bicycle Warning Sign (W11-1),) the FHWA in this 
final rule adopts the NPA proposed OPTION statement permitting the use 
of the Combined Bicycle/Pedestrian (W11-15) sign where both bicyclists 
and pedestrians might be crossing the roadway, such as at an 
intersection with a shared-use path. Based on comments from the NCUTCD, 
several DOTs and others, the design of the sign adopted in this final 
rule is changed from what was proposed in the NPA. Further discussion 
of this sign can be found above in the discussion of Chapter 2C.
    The FHWA also proposed in the NPA to permit a TRAIL X-ING (W11-15P) 
supplemental plaque to be mounted below the W11-15 sign. A State DOT 
commented that they use a TRAIL CROSSING word message warning sign 
(with the word ``crossing'' spelled out rather than abbreviated). The 
FHWA does not adopt this word message sign in this final rule, but 
notes that agencies are permitted to use word message warning signs 
that they feel are most appropriate for their situation. A 
transportation consultant suggested that the supplemental plaque should 
be allowed to be placed above or below the W11-15 sign. The FHWA 
disagrees, because Section 2C.53 requires supplemental warning plaques 
to be mounted below the primary sign unless otherwise allowed, and 
there is no documented reason to allow it to be above the W11-15 sign. 
Therefore the FHWA adopts the text as proposed in the NPA. The FHWA 
adopts the proposed illustrations of the W11-15 sign and W11-15P 
supplemental plaque configuration in Figure 9B-3. These changes are 
consistent with Chapter 2C.
    Finally, in the NPA the FHWA proposed changing paragraph 06 to a 
GUIDANCE to recommend, rather than merely allow, that the W11-15 sign 
and W11-15P supplemental plaques have a fluorescent yellow-green 
background color with a black legend and border. The FHWA received 
comments from a State DOT, a city, and a member of the NCUTCD opposed 
to this proposed recommendation, because either the agency reserves the 
use of the fluorescent yellow-green background color for school-related 
uses or because they feel that the research does not

[[Page 66858]]

support safety or operational benefits to support the making of 
fluorescent yellow-green background colors a recommended condition. As 
a result of these comments, along with comments regarding similar 
issues in Part 2, the FHWA adopts this paragraph as an OPTION for 
consistency with Section 2C.03
    600. In Section 9B.19 Other Bicycle Warning Signs (Section 9B.18 in 
the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA adopts in this final rule the NPA proposed 
change in the legend on the W5-4a sign from ``BIKEWAY NARROWS'' to 
``PATH NARROWS.'' The FHWA adopts this change because shared-use paths 
are the only bikeway type on which the W5-4a sign is used, therefore, 
use on other types of bikeways would be inappropriate or confusing, and 
should not be encouraged. An NCUTCD member and a citizen agreed with 
this proposed change. In conjunction with this change in the text, the 
FHWA adopts appropriate changes in Table 9B-1.
    601. In Section 9B.20 Bicycle Guide Signs (D1-1b, D1-1c, D1-2b, D1-
2c, D1-3b, D1-3c, D11-1, D11-1c) (numbered and titled in the 2003 MUTCD 
as Section 9B.19 Bicycle Route Guide Signs (D11-1),) the FHWA proposed 
in the NPA to add several new signs, along with information on their 
use. These changes would provide flexibility and potentially reduce 
costs for signing bicycle routes in urban areas where multiple routes 
intersect or overlap. A State DOT, an NCUTCD member, two associations, 
and a citizen all agreed with the changes. While a city generally 
supported the signs, it questioned whether the details of the Bike 
Route Designation signs needed to be required through the use of 
STANDARD statements. The FHWA believes that the level of detail is 
needed to make sure that agencies design the signs properly and 
consistently. A State DOT recommended that these signs be used only on 
shared use paths, not on roadways. The FHWA believes that the bicycle 
symbol on the signs distinguishes them from destination signs for 
motorists, however to be clear, in this final rule the FHWA adopts a 
recommendation that the smaller bike designation signs should not be 
used as a substitute for the larger vehicular destination signs when 
the message is also intended to be seen by motorists. Along with 
additional text regarding the use of the Alternative Bike Route Guide 
(D11-1c) and Bicycle Destination signs (D1-1b, D1-1c, D1-2b, D1-2c, D1-
3b, and D1-3c), the FHWA adopts the various new signs to Table 9B-1 and 
Figure 9B-4. The FHWA received many comments from NCUTCD members, 
ATSSA, State and local DOTs, associations, and citizens in support of 
the signs in Figure 9B-4.
    602. In Section 9B.21 Bicycle Route Signs (M1-8, M1-8a, M1-9) 
(numbered Section 9B.20 in the 2003 MUTCD), the FHWA in this final rule 
adopts the NPA proposed Bicycle Route (M1-8a) sign that retains the 
clear, simple, and uniform design of the M1-8 sign, but provides an 
area near the top of the panel to include a pictograph or words that 
are associated with the route or with the agency that has jurisdiction 
over the route. The M1-8 sign remains in the MUTCD for use when 
agencies do not wish to use a distinctive pictograph, symbol, or 
wording.
    In addition, the FHWA adopts the proposed change of paragraph 04 to 
a GUIDANCE to recommend, rather than merely permit, that a U.S. Bicycle 
Route number designation be requested from AASHTO for a designated 
bicycle route that extends through two or more States. The FHWA also 
adopts in this GUIDANCE the text relocated from the definition of 
``designated bicycle route'' in Section 9A.03 regarding continuous 
routing of bicycle routes, as discussed above in item 593.
    Finally, the FHWA adopts the revised design of the U.S. Bike Route 
Sign in Figure 9B-4 so that a larger bicycle is shown on the top part 
of the sign with a smaller number below it. The reason for the change 
is to present an immediate impression of a ``bicycle numbered route'' 
rather than a ``highway numbered route which can also be used by 
bicyclists'' and to provide consistency with AASHTO's recommended 
design for the sign. The FHWA received two comments in support of the 
proposed changes to this section; however a State DOT commented that 
they preferred the old M1-9 sign with the route number larger than the 
bicycle symbol and above the symbol. The FHWA believes that the larger 
bike symbol with smaller route number will deter motorists from 
mistaking the sign for a vehicle route number when observing the sign 
from a distance and adopts in this final rule the image as proposed in 
the NPA.
    603. The FHWA in this final rule revises the content of Section 
9B.22 Bicycle Route Sign Auxiliary Plaques (numbered and titled in the 
2003 MUTCD as Section 9B.21 Destination Arrow and Supplemental Plaque 
Signs for Bicycle Route Signs) considerably. As part of the changes, 
the FHWA revises the size and design of the M4-11 BEGIN plaque to be 
consistent with similar M4 series auxiliary signs in Part 9. The FHWA 
also deletes the M4-12 and M4-13 plaques from this section and Figure 
9B-4 because these duplicate the M4-6 and M4-5 auxiliary signs. In 
addition, the FHWA deletes the M7 series arrow plaques from this 
section and Figure 9B-4 because these duplicate the new sizes of the M5 
and M6 auxiliary signs. The FHWA also adds a size of 12 x 6 inches for 
selected M3 and M4 series auxiliary signs, and a size of 12 x 9 inches 
for all M5 and M6 series auxiliary signs, and refers to these smaller 
sizes in this section, Table 9B-1, and Figure 9B-4. These changes will 
ensure that route auxiliary designations are consistent between Part 2 
and Part 9. The FHWA received a comment from an NCUTCD member in 
support of the changes to this section proposed in the NPA. A State DOT 
recommended that supplementary plaques be restricted from exceeding the 
width of the sign they supplement, however the FHWA feels that this 
restriction is not necessary, because agencies do not tend to use 
plaques that are wider than the sign that they accompany as long as the 
available plaque sizes enable choosing a plaque of equal or less width.
    604. The FHWA adopts in this final rule the three new sections 
proposed in the NPA following Section 9B.23 Bicycle Parking Area Sign 
(D4-3) (Section 9B.22 in the 2003 MUTCD). New Section 9B.24 Reference 
Location Signs (D10-1 through D10-3) and Intermediate Reference 
Location Signs (D10-1a through D10-3a) contains information regarding 
the use of these signs on shared-use paths. Reference Location signs 
(formerly called mileposts) have been defined in Chapter 2D of the 
MUTCD since 1971, and have proven extraordinarily valuable for traveler 
information, maintenance and operations, emergency response, and 
numerous other applications. The linear nature of many shared-use paths 
also naturally lends itself to the application of Reference Location 
signs. Defining a standard and uniform design provides more uniform 
traveler guidance, reduces the proliferation of non-standard reference 
location signs, and encourages the use of these signs where desirable 
and appropriate. The signs are proportionately sized for the lower 
operating speeds of shared-use paths, using a 6-inch wide panel with 
4.5 inch numerals. The text is adapted directly from Section 2H.05 
defining the use of these signs for conventional roadways. Although the 
FHWA received comments from ATSSA, an NCUTCD member, and a citizen in 
support of this proposed new section, the NCUTCD, several

[[Page 66859]]

bicycle associations, a city and a citizen opposed paragraph 10 that 
recommended that the zero distance should begin at the south and west 
terminus points, because it does not allow for needed flexibility for 
local agencies in setting up reference marker systems on paths. Because 
deviations from a recommendation are permitted if there is a good 
engineering reason to do so, the FHWA adopts the language regarding the 
zero distance in this final rule. A city suggested that placing the 
details for the design of the reference location in a STANDARD 
statement was excessive; however, the FHWA believes that these 
requirements are necessary to make sure that agencies design the signs 
properly. In addition to adopting revisions the text, the FHWA adopts 
revisions to Figure 9B-4 and Table 9B-1 to include the use of these 
signs.
    605. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a second new section, 
Section 9B.25 Mode-Specific Guide Signs for Shared-Use Paths (D11-1a, 
D11-2, D11-3, D11-4), that contains information regarding the use of 
signs to guide different types of users to separate pathways where they 
are available. The 2003 MUTCD provided tools only to prohibit user 
types, not to show which user types are permitted. As a result, 
jurisdictions commonly installed varied, non-standard mode permission 
signs. The changes adopted are intended to provide clarity and 
uniformity for mode-specific guide signs on shared-use paths by adding 
four new signs to the MUTCD. The FHWA received comments from an NCUTCD 
member and a citizen in support of this proposed new section. In 
addition to adopting the new signs in Figure 9B-4 and Table 9B-1, the 
FHWA adopts the proposed Figure 9B-8 ``Example of Mode-Specific Guide 
Signing on a Shared-Use Path'' to illustrate the use of the proposed 
signs.
    606. The FHWA adopts in this final rule a new Section 9B.26 Object 
Markers. This section contains relocated text and figures from Section 
9C.03 of the 2003 MUTCD, to be consistent with a similar move of object 
markers from Part 3 to Part 2. The FHWA received a comment from an 
NCUTCD member in favor of this change. The NCUTCD and a State DOT 
suggested that the object markers be included in a figure so in this 
final rule the FHWA includes them in Figure 9B-3 and adds the smaller 
size object markers to Table 9B-1. Based on comments from the NCUTCD 
and a State DOT, the FHWA also adopts an option to use a 
proportionately smaller (6 x 18 inches) version of the Type 3 object 
marker for use on shared-use paths. This smaller size will be more 
useful and appropriate than the standard size of 12 & 36 inches for 
many applications, and will provide adequate visibility and target 
value at pathway speeds.
    607. The FHWA adopts several changes to Table 9B-1 in this final 
rule based on comments to the docket. The NCUTCD, a State DOT, a city, 
bicycle associations, and citizens provided comments regarding the R3-
17 sign and R3-17a and R3-17b plaques. As a result, the FHWA changes 
the name of the sign to ``Bike Lane'' to be consistent with the actual 
wording on the sign and changes the minimum size of the roadway size 
for the R3-17 sign to 24 x 18 inches and the sizes of the corresponding 
R3-17aP and R3-17bP plaques to 24 x 8 inches.
    Based on comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, and a bicycle 
association, the FHWA changes the minimum shared-use path size for the 
R5-6 sign to 18 x 18 inches. The FHWA does not agree with comments to 
reduce the size of the roadway size of this sign, because there are 
more distractions from other signs and traffic control devices in a 
roadway environment, and therefore retains the minimum size of 24 x 24 
inches for roadway uses in this final rule.
    The NCUTCD and several associations suggested that the name of the 
W10-1 sign be changed to ``Grade Crossing Advance Warning'' to be 
consistent with the description of the W10-1 sign in Chapter 8B. The 
FHWA agrees and adopts this change in this final rule. In addition, the 
NCUTCD, a State DOT, two cities, and several associations and citizens 
suggested that the size of the W10-1 on shared-use paths be reduced. 
The FHWA agrees and changes the diameter of the W10-1 sign to 24 inches 
for use on shared-use paths.
    Based on comments from the NCUTCD and several associations, the 
FHWA adopts a row for the W10-9P No Train Horn plaque (12 x 9 inches) 
and a row for the W16-2aP XX Feet plaque (18 x 9 inches) for use on 
shared-use paths.
    The NCUTCD and several associations suggested that the name of the 
M1-8 and M1-8a signs be changed to ``Numbered Bicycle Route'' to be 
consistent with the intended application of these signs and to reduce 
confusion with other non-numbered bicycle route signs. The FHWA agrees 
and adopts the name change in this final rule. In addition, based on 
comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, and several associations, the 
FHWA revises the size of the roadway M1-8 and M1-8a signs to 18 x 24 
inches for greater visibility.
    Finally, based on comments from the NCUTCD, a State DOT, and 
several associations, the FHWA revises the size of the U.S. Bicycle 
Route (M1-9) sign to 12 x 18 inches for use on paths to make the size 
of this sign consistent with the M1-8 and M1-8a signs.
    608. In Section 9C.03 Marking Patterns and Colors on Shared-Use 
Paths, the FHWA in this final rule relocates the last five paragraphs 
that were in this section in the 2003 MUTCD to new Section 9B.26, as 
discussed in item 606 above.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to expand paragraph 05 to describe 
that a solid white line may be used on shared-use paths to separate 
different types of users traveling in the same direction. Because 
pedestrian use in designated portions of shared-use paths is typically 
bi-directional, the NCUTCD, a State DOT, two cities, and several 
bicycle associations and citizens opposed the expanded description. The 
FHWA agrees and does not adopt the phrase ``traveling in the same 
direction'' in this final rule.
    609. In Section 9C.04 Markings for Bicycle Lanes, the FHWA in this 
final rule incorporates several changes to this Section to correspond 
with changes to the definition of ``bicycle lane'' in Section 1A.13 and 
signs and plaques for bike lanes in Section 9B.04 (item 595 above). A 
State DOT, a city, and an NCUTCD member all supported the changes to 
this section that indicate that bike lane signs are optional.
    Based on a comment from a State DOT, the FHWA adopts expanded 
paragraphs 06 and 07 to include information regarding the marking of 
bike lanes in the vicinity of left-turn lanes as well as right-turn 
lanes, for consistency with other provisions in Part 9.
    In the NPA, the FHWA proposed to expand the last STANDARD statement 
to include ``other circular intersections'' as locations where bicycle 
lanes are prohibited. Although the FHWA's intent was to clarify that in 
addition to being prohibited on the circular roadway of a roundabout, 
bicycle lanes are not to be provided on the circular roadway of other 
circular intersections, the NCUTCD and several bicycle associations 
objected to the statement, since there are certain types of larger 
circular intersections (such as ones with significant distances between 
exits and entrances) where bike lanes may be appropriate based on 
engineering judgment. The FHWA agrees and does not adopt the phrase 
``other circular intersections'' in this final rule.
    610. The FHWA in this final rule adopts the proposed new section at 
the end of Chapter 9C numbered and titled Section 9C.07 Shared Lane 
Marking. This section contains OPTION,

[[Page 66860]]

GUIDANCE, and STANDARD statements regarding the use of a proposed new 
Shared Lane Marking. This pavement marking indicates the appropriate 
bicyclist line of travel, and cues motorists to pass with sufficient 
clearance, and is based on field research conducted in San Francisco, 
CA.\207\ The purpose of this marking is to reduce the number and 
severity of bicycle-vehicular crashes, particularly crashes involving 
bicycles colliding with suddenly opened doors of parked vehicles. The 
FHWA received two comments from NCUTCD members, three State DOTs, four 
local jurisdictions, four bicycle associations, and eight citizens in 
support of this proposed new section.
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    \207\ ``San Francisco's Shared Lane Pavement Markings: Improving 
Bicycle Safety,'' Final Report, February 2004, prepared for the City 
of San Francisco Department of Traffic and Parking by Alta Planning 
and Design can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.sfmta.com/cms/uploadedfiles/dpt/bike/Bike_Plan/Shared%20Lane%20Marking%20Full%20Report-052404.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Two State DOTs and one bicycle association expressed concern 
regarding paragraph 02 that recommends that the shared lane marking not 
be placed on roadways with a speed limit above 35 mph. Because the 35 
mph speed limit is a recommendation, agencies may impose a lower 
maximum speed limit criterion on the use of this marking if there is a 
good engineering reason to do so, therefore the FHWA adopts the 
proposed wording in this final rule.
    A State DOT, a local DOT, two cities, two bicycle associations, and 
a citizen expressed concern regarding the proposed requirement in the 
NPA regarding the placement of the shared lane marking when used in a 
shared lane with on-street parallel parking. The commenters felt that 
the measurements should be recommendations, rather than requirements, 
in order to give agencies flexibility in placement of the marking. The 
FHWA agrees and in this final rule adopts these measurements as a 
GUIDANCE statement in paragraph 04. The FHWA reiterates, however, that 
the text provides a minimum distance from the center of the marking to 
the face of curb or edge of pavement where there is no curb, so 
agencies are free to place the markings at a greater distance if there 
is a good engineering reason to do so.
    The FHWA received comments from a State DOT, two cities, a bicycle 
association and a citizen regarding the recommendation in paragraph 05 
that on a street without on-street parking that has an outside travel 
lane that is less than 14 feet wide, the centers of the Shared Lane 
Markings should be at least 4 feet from the face of the curb, or from 
the edge of the pavement where there is no curb. Some commenters felt 
that the 4-foot distance was too close to the curb, while others stated 
that it is preferable to install the marking closer to the curb. The 
FHWA in this final rule adopts the language as proposed in the NPA, 
because it is a recommendation for minimum lateral clearances, 
therefore engineering judgment can be used if slightly reduced lateral 
distances are more appropriate, while larger lateral clearances can 
also be implemented.
    The FHWA also received comments from three cities and from a 
transportation consultant regarding the recommended spacing interval 
between the Shared Lane Markings. Some commenters felt that a 250-foot 
spacing was too close and some felt that there should not be a 
recommended spacing interval at all. The FHWA believes that it is 
important to space the markings no more than 250 feet apart so that 
users can see the next marking from the previous one, so the FHWA 
adopts the recommended 250-foot interval spacing in this final rule. 
Since this is a recommended maximum spacing, agencies are free to space 
the markings at closer intervals if they feel it is appropriate.
    Finally, several commenters expressed confusion, or the need for 
clarity, between the use of the Shared Lane Marking and the Bicycles 
May Use Full Lane (R4-11) sign. The marking and the sign are two 
separate devices, however the FHWA adopts a SUPPORT statement in this 
final rule providing a cross reference to the Bicycles May Use Full 
Lane sign and clarifies that the two devices are not required to be 
used together. In addition to the text, the FHWA in this final rule 
illustrates the appropriate design of the marking in adopted Figure 9C-
9 Shared Lane Marking.

Discussion of Amendments to Appendix

    611. As previously discussed in this preamble under General 
Amendments to the MUTCD, in this final rule the FHWA places information 
in a new Appendix A2, with metric equivalent values for all English 
unit values used in the MUTCD.

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. Most of the changes in this final rule 
provide additional guidance, clarification, and optional applications 
for traffic control devices. The FHWA believes that the uniform 
application of traffic control devices will greatly improve the traffic 
operations efficiency and roadway safety. The standards, guidance, and 
support are also used to create uniformity and to enhance safety and 
mobility at little additional expense to public agencies or the 
motoring public. In addition these changes do not create a serious 
inconsistency with any other agency's action or materially alter the 
budgetary impact of any entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan 
programs. 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 these changes 
on small entities. This final rule adds some alternative traffic 
control devices and only a very limited number of new or changed 
requirements. Most of the changes are expanded guidance and 
clarification information. 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 rule 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). The revisions directed by this action can be phased in 
by the States over specified time periods in order to minimize 
hardship. The changes made to traffic control devices that would 
require an expenditure of funds all have future effective dates 
sufficiently long to allow normal maintenance funds to replace the 
devices at the end of the material life-cycle. To the extent the 
revisions require expenditures by the State and local governments on 
Federal-aid projects, they are reimbursable. This does not impose a 
Federal mandate resulting in the expenditure by State, local, and 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of 
$128.1 million or more in any one year (2 U.S.C. 1532).

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 sufficient 
federalism

[[Page 66861]]

implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism assessment. The 
FHWA has also determined that this rulemaking will not preempt any 
State law or State regulation or affect the States' ability to 
discharge traditional State governmental functions. The MUTCD is 
incorporated by reference in 23 CFR part 655, subpart F. These 
amendments are 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 the highway. The 
overriding safety benefits of the uniformity prescribed by the MUTCD 
are shared by all of the State and local governments, and changes made 
to this rule are directed at enhancing safety. To the extent that these 
amendments override any existing State requirements regarding traffic 
control devices, they do so in the interest of national uniformity.

Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation)

    The FHWA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 13175, 
dated November 6, 2000, and believes that it will not have substantial 
direct effects on one or more Indian tribes; will not impose 
substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments; and 
will 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. We have determined that it is not a significant 
energy action under that order 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 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, 
to eliminate ambiguity, and to 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. The FHWA certifies that this action does not concern an 
environmental risk to health or safety that may disproportionately 
affect children.

Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    The FHWA does not anticipate that this action will 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 final rule for the purpose of the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347) and has 
determined that it does not have any effect on the quality of the 
environment.

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: November 18, 2009.
Jeffrey F. Paniati,
Executive Director.

0
In consideration of the foregoing, under the authority of 23 U.S.C 
101(a), 104, 109(d), 114(a), 217, 315, and 402(a), and as discussed in 
the preamble, the FHWA amends title 23, Code of Federal Regulations as 
follows:

PART 634--[REMOVED AND RESERVED]

0
1. Remove Part 634 .

PART 655--TRAFFIC OPERATIONS

0
2. The authority citation for part 655 continues to read as follows:

    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).


0
3. Revise paragraph (a) of Sec.  655.601, to read as follows:


Sec.  655.601  Purpose.

* * * * *
    (a) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and 
Highways (MUTCD), 2009 Edition, FHWA, dated November 4, 2009. This 
publication is incorporated by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 
552(a) and 1 CFR part 51 and is on file at the National Archives and 
Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of 
this material at NARA call (202) 741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/Federal_register/code_of_Federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html. It is available for inspection and copying at the 
Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., 
Washington, DC 20590,