[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 239 (Tuesday, December 13, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 89888-89889]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-29819]



Federal Highway Administration

23 CFR Part 655

[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2016-0036]

National Standards for Traffic Control Devices; the Manual on 
Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways; Request for 
Information Related to Use of Clearview Font

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Request for Information.


SUMMARY: The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and 
Highways (MUTCD) is incorporated by reference in regulation, approved 
by FHWA, and recognized as the national standard for traffic control 
devices used on all streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open 
to public travel. This document is a Request for Information (RFI) 
related to the use of the Clearview letter style on highway signs.

DATES: Responses to this RFI should be submitted by January 27, 2017. 
The FHWA will consider late-filed responses to the extent possible.

ADDRESSES: To ensure that you do not duplicate your docket submissions, 
please submit them by only one of the following means:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting 
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., W12-140, Washington, DC 
     Hand Delivery: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m.

[[Page 89889]]

and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The 
telephone number is 202-366-9329.
     Instructions: You must include the agency name and docket 
number at the beginning of your comments. All comments received will be 
posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any 
personal information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about this notice, 
contact Mr. Martin Calawa, MUTCD Team, FHWA Office of Transportation 
Operations, (603) 410-4864, or via email at [email protected]. For 
legal questions, please contact Mr. William Winne, Office of the Chief 
Counsel, (202) 366-1397, or via email at [email protected]. Office 
hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.


Purpose of the Request

    On January 25, 2016, FHWA published a document in the Federal 
Register (81 FR 4083) officially terminating the Interim Approval for 
Use of Clearview Font for Positive Contrast Legends on Guide Signs (IA-
5), which was issued September 2, 2004. The termination discontinued 
the provisional use of an alternative letter style in traffic control 
device applications. The result of this termination rescinded the 
allowance of the use of letter styles other than FHWA Standard 
Alphabets on traffic control devices except as provided otherwise in 
the MUTCD and within the document. Existing signs that use the 
provisional letter style and comply with IA-5 were unaffected by the 
termination and may remain in place as long as they are in serviceable 
condition. The termination did not create a mandate for the removal or 
installation of any sign.
    Following the publication of the termination in the Federal 
Register and prior to its effective date, FHWA posted a Technical 
Memorandum \1\ and a Technical Brief \2\ on the MUTCD Web site. The 
Technical Memorandum provided guidance to the Federal-aid Highway 
division offices on implementation of the termination. The FHWA 
developed the Technical Brief for transportation agency use. It 
provided conclusions about the national experience with an alternative 
letter style and a discussion of the technical considerations that led 
to the termination of the Interim Approval.

    \1\ Technical Memorandum can be accessed at the following Web 
address: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interim_approval/ia5/ia5_termination.pdf.
    \2\ Technical Brief, ``Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices 
for Streets and Highways: Termination of Interim Approval No. 5, 
Clearview Font for Positive Contrast Legends on Guide Signs,'' can 
be accessed at the following Web address: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/interim_approval/ia5/ia5_termtechbrief.pdf.

    After the publication of the termination, FHWA received comments 
from stakeholders suggesting that FHWA should have solicited public 
comment prior to the termination. Other comments suggested that FHWA 
did not consider all relevant research that was available in making its 
decision. As a result, FHWA is publishing this RFI in order to gather 
any information or research that FHWA may not have been aware of when 
the termination was prepared.

RFI Guidelines

    This is not a solicitation for comments on the termination of IA-5 
or for experimentation requests. The purpose of this RFI is to gather 
information, if any, that was not previously available to FHWA. 
Respondents should not include any information that might be considered 
proprietary or confidential.
    The FHWA requests quantitative information from State and local 
agencies specifically related to their use of the Clearview font. 
Examples of the types of information we are seeking include: State or 
agency practice, such as the technical standards applied, including any 
deviations from the conditions of IA-5; factors considered in deciding 
to convert to the Clearview letter style or to retain or revert to the 
Standard Alphabets; in-service legibility evaluations; factors related 
to sign design or manufacturing; safety performance; economic 
implications; any simultaneous improvements made when converting to 
Clearview, such as changes to retroreflective sheeting or increases in 
letter height; or other similar types of information.


    The FHWA based the termination of IA-5 on available relevant 
information and research. To ensure that FHWA has access to any 
additional information, FHWA requests any additional information 
regarding experience with the use of alternative fonts or research not 
otherwise known that may be useful to FHWA be submitted for further 

    Authority:  23 U.S.C. 101(a), 104, 109(d), 114(a), 217, 315, and 
402(a); 23 CFR 1.32; and 49 CFR 1.85.

    Issued on: December 7, 2016.
Gregory G. Nadeau,
Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
[FR Doc. 2016-29819 Filed 12-12-16; 8:45 am]