Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign (and other Traffic Control Devices): NCUTCD 2012 Annual Meeting Recap

January 25, 2012

The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) is a volunteer organization that provides input to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on issues related to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The NCUTCD convenes twice a year: once in January in Arlington, VA preceding the annual Transportation Research Board (TRB) conference and once in the summer. Kittelson & Associates, Inc. staff actively contributes to the NCUTCD and uses that involvement as a way to contribute directly back to the profession.

Lee Rodegerdts, an Associate Engineer in KAI’s Portland, OR office, is a member of the NCUTCD Roundabouts Task Force. Scott Beaird, a Senior Engineer in KAI’s Bend, OR office, is a member of the Signals Technical Committee. Lee and Scott were in attendance at the NCUTCD meeting this year and have provided the following summary of highlights from the meeting.

  • This year’s attendance was 267 registered attendees, the most ever for a regular, three-day meeting.
  • The Edit Committee has drafted and NCUTCD has submitted comments to FHWA on two recent rulemaking items released by FHWA: Definition of “Standard” and Compliance Dates. FHWA is hoping to have a final rule published in the Federal Register on these two items by this summer.
  • 44 States (including Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia) adopted the MUTCD or state-specific MUTCD/supplement by the January 15, 2012 deadline. The remaining states are in process and close to adoption.
  • FHWA is close to being able to release the Standards Highway Signs and Markings (SHSM) book, which provides details for signs and markings found in the MUTCD and hopes to have a complete, updated SHSM in the next month.
  • FHWA showcased a PDF version of the 2009 MUTCD that includes imbedded hot links to official interpretations, definitions, known errors, and will add bookmarks. Check the MUTCD website in the near future for release of this improved PDF version of the 2009 MUTCD.
  • Individual Technical Committees considered how the U.S. Access Board’s proposed Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way will impact the MUTCD. The MUTCD is incorporated by reference into the guidelines; however, where there is a conflict between the guidelines and the MUTCD, the guidelines take precedence.

KAI staff members look forward to continued involvement at the summer NCUTCD meeting, which will be held in the one of KAI’s hometowns, Orlando. For more detail on this year’s meeting, questions regarding the activities of NCUTCD, or if you have MUTCD issues you would like brought to the Committee’s attention, please feel free to contact Lee or Scott.

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