FEDERAL-AID POLICY GUIDE: 23 CFR 655F September 8, 1998, Transmittal 24

OPI: HHS-31 SUBCHAPTER G - ENGINEERING AND TRAFFIC OPERATIONS

PART 655 - TRAFFIC OPERATIONS

Subpart F - Traffic Control Devices on Federal-Aid and Other Streets and Highways

Sec.
23 CFR 655.601 Purpose.
655.602 Definitions.
655.603 Standards.
655.604 Achieving basic uniformity.
655.605 Project procedures.
655.606 Higher cost materials.
655.607 Funding.

Appendix - Alternate Method of Determining the Color of Retroreflective Sign Materials

Authority: 23 U.S.C. 101(a), 104, 105, 109(d), 114(a), 135, 217, 307, 315, and 402(a); 23 CFR 1.32; and 49 CFR 1.48(b).

Source: 48 FR 46776, Oct. 14, 1983, unless otherwise noted.

Sec. 655.601 Purpose.

To prescribe the policies and procedures of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to obtain basic uniformity of traffic control devices on all streets and highways in accordance with the following references that are approved by the FHWA for application on Federal-aid projects:

(a) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD), FHWA, 1988, including Revision No. 1 dated January 17, 1990, Revision No. 2 dated March 17, 1992, Revision No. 3 dated September 3, 1993, Errata No. 1 to the 1988 MUTCD, Revision 3 dated November 1, 1994, Revision No. 4 dated November 1, 1994, Revision No. 4a (modified) dated February 19, 1998, Revision No. 5 dated December 24, 1996, and Revision No. 6, dated June 19, 1998. 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 Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC. The 1988 MUTCD, including Revision No. 3 dated September 3, 1993, may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954, Stock No. 650-001-00001-0. The amendments to the MUTCD, titled 1988 MUTCD Revision No. 1, dated January 17, 1990, 1988 MUTCD Revision No. 2," dated March 17, 1992, 1988 MUTCD Revision No. 3, dated September 3, 1993, 1988 MUTCD Errata No. 1 to Revision No. 3, dated November 1, 1994, 1988 MUTCD Revision No. 4, dated November 1, 1994, Revision No. 4a(modified), dated February 19, 1998, and 1988 MUTCD Revision No. 5,dated December 24, 1996, and Revision No. 6 dated June 19, 1998, are available from the Federal Highway Administration, Office of Highway Safety, HHS0, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. These documents are available for inspection and copying as prescribed in 49 CFR part 7.

(b) Standard Alphabets for Highway Signs, FHWA, 1966 Edition, Reprinted May 1972. (This publication is incorporated by reference and is on file at the Office of the Federal Register in Washington, DC. This document is available for inspection and copying as provided in 49 CFR Part 7, Appendix D).

(c) Guide to Metric Conversion, AASHTO, 1993. 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 Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC. This document is available for inspection as provided in 49 CFR part 7, Appendix D. It may be purchased from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Suite 225, 444 North Capitol Street, NW., Washington, DC 20001.

(d) Traffic Engineering Metric Conversion Factors; Addendum to the Guide to Metric Conversion, AASHTO, October 1993. 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 Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC. This document is available for inspection as provided in 49 CFR part 7, appendix D. It may be purchased from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Suite 225, 444 north Capitol Street, NW., Washington, DC 20001.

(e) Pavement Marking Demonstration Program, FHWA, 23 CFR

Part 920.

[51 FR 16834, May 7, 1986, as amended at 57 FR 53029, Nov. 6, 1992, 58 FR 65086, Dec. 10, 1993, 60 FR 363, Jan. 4, 1995, 60 FR 18521, Apr. 11, 1995, 96 FR 14613, June 10, 1996]

Sec. 655.602 Definitions.

The terms used herein are defined in accordance with definitions and usages contained in the MUTCD and 23 U.S.C. 101(a).

Sec. 655.603 Standards.

(a) National MUTCD. The MUTCD approved by the Federal Highway Administrator is the national standard for all traffic control devices installed on any street, highway, or bicycle trail open to public travel in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 109(d) and 402(a). The national MUTCD is specifically approved by the FHWA for application on any highway project in which Federal highway funds participate and on projects in federally administered areas where a Federal department or agency controls the highway or supervises the traffic operations.

(b) State or other Federal MUTCD. (1) Where State or other Federal agency MUTCDs or supplements are required, they shall be in substantial conformance with the national MUTCD. Changes to the national MUTCD issued by the FHWA shall be adopted by the States or other Federal agencies within 2 years of issuance. The FHWA Regional Administrator has been delegated the authority to approve State MUTCDs and supplements.

(2) The Direct Federal Program Administrator has been delegated the authority to approve other Federal agency MUTCDs with the concurrence of the Office of Traffic Operations. States and other Federal agencies are encouraged to adopt the national MUTCD as their official Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

(c) Color specifications. Color determinations and specifications of sign and pavement marking materials shall conform to requirements of the FHWA Color Tolerance Charts2. Available for inspection from the Office of Traffic Operations, Federal Highway Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, D.C. 20590.] An alternate method of determining the color of retroreflective sign material is provided in the Appendix.

(d) Compliance - (1) Existing highways. Each State, in cooperation with its political subdivisions, and Federal agencies shall have a program as required by Highway Safety Program Standard Number 13, Traffic Engineering Services (23 CFR 1204.4) 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.

(2) New or reconstructed highways. Federal-aid projects for the construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, restoration, or rehabilitation of streets and highways shall not be opened to the public for unrestricted use until all appropriate traffic control devices, either temporary or permanent, are installed and functioning properly. Both temporary and permanent devices shall conform to the MUTCD.

(3) Construction area activities. All traffic control devices installed in construction areas using Federal-aid funds shall conform to the MUTCD. Traffic control plans for handling traffic and pedestrians in construction zones and for protection of workers shall conform to the requirements of 23 CFR Part 630, Subpart J, Traffic Safety in Highway and Street Work Zones.

(4) MUTCD changes. The FHWA may establish target dates for achieving compliance with changes to specific devices in the MUTCD.

(e) Specific information signs. Standards for specific information signs are contained in the MUTCD.

[48 FR 46776, Oct. 14, 1983, as amended at 51 FR 16834, May 7, 1986]

Sec. 655.604 Achieving basic uniformity.

(a) Programs. Programs for the orderly and systematic upgrading of existing traffic control devices or the installation of needed traffic control devices on or off the Federal-aid system should be based on inventories made in accordance with 23 CFR 1204.4, Highway Safety Program Standards. These inventories provide the information necessary for programming traffic control device upgrading projects.

(b) Inventory. An inventory of all traffic control devices is required by Highway Safety Program Standard Number 13, Traffic Engineering Services (23 CFR 1204.4). Highway planning and research funds and highway related safety grant program funds may be used in statewide or systemwide studies or inventories. Also, metropolitan planning (PL) funds may be used in urbanized areas provided the activity is included in an approved unified work program.

Sec. 655.605 Project procedures.

(a) Federal-aid highways. Federal-aid projects involving the installation of traffic control devices shall follow procedures as established in 23 CFR Part 630, Subpart A, Federal-Aid Programs Approval and Project Authorization. Simplified and timesaving procedures are to be used to the extent permitted by existing policy.

(b) Off-system highways. Certain federally funded programs are available for installation of traffic control devices on streets and highways that are not on the Federal-aid system. The procedures used in these programs may vary from project to project but, essentially, the guidelines set forth herein should be used.

Sec. 655.606 Higher cost materials.

The use of signing, pavement marking, and signal materials (or equipment) having distinctive performance characteristics, but costing more than other materials (or equipment) commonly used may be approved by the FHWA Division Administrator when the specific use proposed is considered to be in the public interest.

Sec. 655.607 Funding.

(a) Federal-aid highways. (1) Funds apportioned or allocated under 23 U.S.C. 104(b) are eligible to participate in projects to install traffic control devices in accordance with the MUTCD on newly constructed, reconstructed, resurfaced, restored, or rehabilitated highways, or on existing highways when this work is classified as construction in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 101(a). Federal-aid highway funds for eligible pavement markings and traffic control signalization may amount to 100 percent of the construction cost. Federal-aid highway funds apportioned or allocated under other sections of 23 U.S.C. are eligible for participation in improvements conforming to the MUTCD in accordance with the provisions of applicable program regulations and directives.

(2) Traffic control devices are eligible, in keeping with paragraph (a)(1) of this section, provided that the work is classified as construction in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 101(a) and the State or local agency has a policy acceptable to the FHWA Division Administrator for selecting traffic control devices material or equipment based on items such as cost, traffic volumes, safety, and expected service life. The State's policy should provide for cost-effective selection of materials which will provide for substantial service life taking into account expected and necessary routine maintenance. For these purposes, effectiveness would normally be measured in terms of durability, service life and/or performance of the material. Specific projects including material or equipment selection shall be developed in accordance with this policy. Proposed work may be approved on a project-by-project basis when the work is (i) clearly warranted, (ii) on a Federal-aid system, (iii) clearly identified by site, (iv) substantial in nature, and (v) of sufficient magnitude at any given location to warrant Federal-aid participation as a construction item.

(3) The method of accomplishing the work will be in accordance with 23 CFR Part 635 Subpart A, Contract Procedures.

(b) Off-system highways. Certain Federal-aid highway funds are eligible to participate in traffic control device improvement projects on off-system highways. In addition, Federal-aid highway funds apportioned or allocated in 23 U.S.C. are eligible for the installation of traffic control devices on any public road not on the Federal-aid system when the installation is directly related to a traffic improvement project on a Federal-aid system route.

Appendix - Alternate Method of Determining the Color of Retroreflective Sign Materials

1.The FHWA Color Tolerance Charts provide that conventional color measuring instruments such as spectrophotometers and tristimulus photoelectric colorimeter should not be used for measurement of retroreflective material colors and that such materials should be evaluated visually using the Color Tolerance Charts and paying strict attention to prescribed illumination and viewing conditions.

2.As an alternate to visual testing, the diffuse day color of retroreflective sign material may be determined in accordance with ASTM E 97, "Standard Method of Test for 45-Degree, 0-Degree Directional Reflectance of Opaque Specimens by Filter Photometry." Geometric characteristics must be confined to illumination incident within 10 degrees of, and centered about, a direction of 45 degrees from the perpendicular to the test surface; viewing is within 15 degrees of, and centered about, the perpendicular to the test surface. Conditions of illumination and observation must not be interchanged.

3.Standards to be used for reference are the Munsell Papers designated in Table 1 or Table II, attached. The papers must be recently calibrated on a spectrophotometer. Acceptable test instruments are:

a.Gardner Multipurpose Reflectometer or Model XL 20 Color Difference Meter,

b.Gardner Model Ac-2a or XL 30 Color Difference Meter,

c.Meeco Model V Colormaster,

d.Hunter lab D25 Color Difference Meter, or

e.Approved equal.

4.Average performance sheeting is identified as Types I and II sheeting and high performance sheeting is identified as Types III and IV sheeting in Standard Specifications for Construction of Roads and Bridges on Federal Highway Projects 3 [ This document is available for inspection and copying as prescribed in 49 CFR Part 7, Appendix D).] (FP-79, Section 633).

PLEASE SEE PRINTED COPY OF FAPG OR TITLE 23 CFR FOR TABLES

APPENDIX

Available for inspection from the Office of Traffic Operations, Federal Highway Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, D.C. 20590.

(This document is available for inspection and copying as prescribed in 49 CFR Part 7, Appendix D).

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