The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) plans to eliminate dozens of burdensome regulations on traffic signs.  The proposed changes would permit local governments to replace traffic signs when they are worn out, rather than requiring signs to be replaced by a specific deadline.  Forty-six deadlines mandated by current federal traffic control regulations could be eliminated.

The current regulations establishing deadlines for street and traffic sign replacement are in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which is a compilation of national standards for all pavement markings, street signs, and traffic signals.  The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which has published the manual since 1971, updates the MUTCD periodically to accommodate changing transportation needs and address new safety technologies, traffic control tools, and traffic management techniques.  

The proposed changes would eliminate deadlines requiring that certain street name signs be replaced by 2018 to meet minimum retroreflectivity standards and requiring larger lettering on those street name signs.  They would also eliminate deadlines for increasing the size of various traffic signs.  In most cases, the proposed changes would allow cities to replace and upgrade signs when they reach the end of their useful life. The DOT plans to retain certain deadlines for sign upgrades that are critical to public safety.

FHWA is soliciting public comments for this proposed rule for the next 60 days, and comments should be directed to http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/.

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Texas Municipal League.

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