DOT extends comment deadline on MUTCD changes

The 45-day comment period on compliance dates for states to meet new traffic regulations has been extended due to the current economic downturn, the Federal Highway Administration announced Tuesday.

FHWA published a notice (.pdf file) in the Nov. 30 Federal Register requesting comments on compliance dates for highway agencies to upgrade their traffic control devices to comply with certain requirements established under the Bush administration in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices -- the national standard for all traffic control devices. The new deadline for comment is Jan. 14, 2011.

FHWA officials say existing devices that do not meet the new MUTCD provisions are expected to be upgraded by state highway agencies using a systematic upgrading process, but no specific dates are required for completion of the upgrades. FHWA, through a rulemaking process, is responsible for establishing target compliance dates for particular devices. Upgrades include:

  • Replacing highway signs with brighter, larger and more legible ones
  • Changing the formula used to calculate crosswalk times to give walkers more time
  • Identifying electronic toll collection lanes with purple signs

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