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Old October 14th, 2008, 08:13 AM   #1
Alex Von Königsberg
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FHWA's changes to road signs and marking in the USA

The Federal Highway Administration proposed numerous amendments to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. I like the majority of them, but some seem like a step backward. I will outline the most interesting ones.

1) They introduced a bunch of new pictorial road signs, and finally dropped a number of textual ones.

Regulatory signs

- This simple sign did not exist in official MUTCD until now

- A major improvement, IMO. This sign has been used in Canada for ages.

- An equivalent of an international circular sign with blue background.

- It will be used in conjunction with Yield sign before entering roundabout (like in Germany).

- This sign is used to indicate the direction within roundabout. I quite like this new colour scheme.

- Not a new sign, de facto, but now officially recognized by the FHWA.

To be continued...
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Old October 14th, 2008, 08:24 AM   #2
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Actually the first sign in your list is also used in Canada (or at least in Ontario).
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Old October 14th, 2008, 08:26 AM   #3
Alex Von Königsberg
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Warning signs

A bunch of beasts For some reason, they indicated that all these signs are new, but I think at least half of them already existed for a long time.

____________

Curves with intersecting secondary roads. Probably, the only ones that distinguish between main and secondary roads.

____________

Self-explanatory...

____________

Finally they dropped some of the silly textual signs leaving only pictorial equivalents. Still a lot of textual signs to remain, but it's a good start.



To be continued...
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Old October 14th, 2008, 08:56 AM   #4
Alex Von Königsberg
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New highway marking

This is not a new addition, but now they specified that only dotted line (not broken) can be used to separate the deceleration lane from the main lanes.

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Before, the dotted line could not run all the way to the end of an acceleration lane. Now, it can! The FHWA now directs to use only dotted line in case of acceleration/deceleration lanes. Quite a progress if you ask me! In not so distant future, the US highways may look more like those in the rest of the world.

_____________________

Again, they permitted to use a dotted line in case of a merging entrance lane. Also, they directed to install "One Way" signs to indicate the direction of traffic.

_____________________

They finally permitted to use a dotted line to separate a left-turn lane from the main lanes. Again, inching toward the rest of the world.


To be continued...
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Old October 14th, 2008, 09:14 AM   #5
Alex Von Königsberg
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Roundabout

The only addition to this design is a new black&white Chevron sign to direct the traffic inside roundabout. Also, they made Yield sign on the left-hand side optional.

______________________

Here is a guide sign used to indicate roundabout exits.

______________________

Motorway guide signs

They improved the design of an exit overhead sign a little bit. Now, it looks clear and not messy.

______________________

Before, a splitting motorway sign looked like this:

______________________

Not anymore! One of the biggest improvements in motorway signage in America, in my opinion. Now, it looks much better.

______________________

Also, from now on, all downward arrows should only be vertical and should be positioned over the centre of the respective lane.

______________________

They also added a new sign for ferry terminal.


To be continued...
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Old October 14th, 2008, 09:16 AM   #6
LtBk
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Do you think those changes will happen?
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Old October 14th, 2008, 09:55 AM   #7
Alex Von Königsberg
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Another significant change to the MUTCD is that now Yield sign can be installed at many place where before only STOP sign could be installed. Basically, Yield sign can now be installed at perpendicular intersections which was rarely the case in the past. Here is the amended text (I used green colour to highlight the points of interest):

Quote:
Section 2B.06 STOP Sign Applications

At intersections where a full stop is not necessary at all times, consideration should first be given to using less restrictive measures such as YIELD signs (see Sections 2B.08 and 2B.09).

The use of STOP signs on the minor-street approaches should be considered if engineering judgement indicates that a stop is always required because of one or more of the following conditions:
  1. The vehicular traffic volumes on the through street or highway exceed 6,000 vehicles per day;
  2. A restricted view exists that requires road users on the minor-street approach to stop in order ton adequately observe conflicting traffic on the through street or highway; and/or
  3. Crash records indicate that 3 or more crashes that are susceptible to correction by the installation of a STOP sign have been reported within a 12-month period, or that 5 or more such crashes have been reported within a 2-year period. Such crashes include right-angle collisions involving road users on the minor-street approach failing to yield the right-of-way to traffic on the through street or highway.

Section 2B.09 YIELD Sign Applications

YIELD signs may be installed:
  1. On the approaches to a through street or highway where conditions are such that a stop is not always required.
  2. At the second crossroad of a divided highway, where the median width at the intersection is 9 m or greater. In this case, a STOP or YIELD sign may be installed at the entrance to the first roadway of a divided highway, and a YIELD sign may be installed at the entrance to the second roadway.
  3. On a channelized turn lane that is separated from the adjacent travel lanes by an island, even if the adjacent lanes at the intersection are controlled by a highway traffic control signal or by a STOP sign.
  4. At an intersection where a special problem exists and where engineering judgment indicates the problem to be susceptible to correction by the use of the YIELD sign.
  5. Facing the entering roadway for a merge-type movement if engineering judgment indicates that control is needed because acceleration geometry and/or sight distance is not adequate for merging traffic operation.
I hope that now they will stop this silly practice of putting STOP signs on quite residential streets 50 metres apart from one another. For God's sake, those streets barely have AADT of 1000! The stop is not warranted there at all, but police uses it as an easy money generator

Here is a link to the FHWA proposed amendments:
http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/proposed_amend/

Please let me know what you think of this new stuff.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 10:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
Do you think those changes will happen?
I hope so. These changes certainly make a lot of sense, and even the most stubborn conservatives will have a hard time presenting their case. Thankfully, this area does not draw a lot of attention from the general public, so the FHWA can quietly implement those changes.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #9
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Why is the Yield sign listed as new? Maybe not overly common but I've always seen it!

Some good changes there, I agree. Still a bit too much text but hey it's an improvement. One interesting thing though is that I've seen some very different exit signs, I think CA has really different ones? Howcome they're allowed? (Or are they really old ones before this current version -- which looks the same as this new version to me to be honest?) I agree that the motorway splitting sign is much better now.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 10:15 AM   #10
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A lot of good changes! Especially the road markings near exits.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #11
Alex Von Königsberg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan1113 View Post
Why is the Yield sign listed as new? Maybe not overly common but I've always seen it!
I did not list it as new. I listed the "circular motion" sign as new, and it will be installed underneath the Yield sign. This is a single picture:

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Old October 14th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #12
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You didnt have sign for "overtaking not allowed"?
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Old October 14th, 2008, 01:06 PM   #13
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Odd that the new green sign examples don't use Clearview...

I remember when directional signs were introduced as The Next Big Thing. Now they're obsolete. I feel so old.

I've long believed that a new type of yield sign was needed, one that was like a stop sign operationally except that a full stop isn't required. Maybe a diamond, white with a thick red band around the edge. IMO an octagon would be more philosophically correct, but a diamond would be easier to distinguish from a stop sign, and the diamond shape means caution, which would be appropriate.

Such a new sign would save fuel at lightly-traveled intersections and hopefully induce motorists to take real stop signs more seriously.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 01:15 PM   #14
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Is this sign being used to replace the DO NOT ENTER sign?
This sign is used in Ireland, instead of the red circle with white band used for NO ENTRY in other parts of Europe.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #15
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It is used with the red circle. It means one-way(I have never seen arrows crossed)...or "obligatory moving direction",depending on the shape of the sign.

Last edited by RawLee; October 14th, 2008 at 02:41 PM.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 03:53 PM   #16
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Those changes look pretty good! Hopefully they will happen
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Old October 14th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Also, from now on, all downward arrows should only be vertical and should be positioned over the centre of the respective lane.
did they look at least a little bit into my german/hessian signage on american highways-thread ?
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Old October 14th, 2008, 07:38 PM   #18
ABRob
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So, you'r changing from text-signs to pictorial signs!? This would be a good decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Before, a splitting motorway sign looked like this:

______________________

Not anymore! One of the biggest improvements in motorway signage in America, in my opinion. Now, it looks much better.
The new one is looking very German to me:


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Old October 14th, 2008, 08:26 PM   #19
Dan
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Can anyone post some of the signs being replaced, just so I have an idea? I don't remember. :P
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Old October 14th, 2008, 09:33 PM   #20
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These changes look very modern and make a lot of sense. Unfortunately, the learning curve (pun intended) for a lot of drivers (and politicians) is going to very steep. Hope it comes to pass though.
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