NACTO Suggests Changes to MUTCD

The association's proposed changes to the manual include a focus on eliminating road deaths, improving pedestrian safety, and creating a more inclusive public process.

May 21, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Pedestrians

Jean Faucett / Shutterstock

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has published a set of recommendations for updating the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) "into a proactive, multimodal safety regulation" as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) moves to update the document.

According to NACTO, "a reframed MUTCD is instrumental in pushing for safer, more sustainable, and equitable streets." Their recommended changes, based on "a full review of the MUTCD’s draft 11th edition with engineers, planners, and other practitioners across [NACTO's] member network," include:

  • "Elevate the goal of eliminating serious injuries and deaths"
  • "Modernize speed limits"
  • "Make it safer to cross the street"
  • "Promote people over robots on our streets"
  • "Legalize commonsense treatments for people walking, biking, and taking transit"
  • "Uplift best practices for bikeways, rather than prohibiting them"
  • "Listen to more voices"

NACTO argues that "[i]ncorporating these comments would form the basis of a reframed, rewritten, and renewed MUTCD that prioritizes safety and the needs of more people on our streets." They also encourage the FHWA to prioritize a "more inclusive process for updating the MUTCD" that strives to understand the needs of communities that may not be able to take part in the current public comment process. "NACTO staff, and staff in our 89 member cities, were in the position to contribute hundreds of hours of time and expertise to inform the comments we’re submitting. But, many other key stakeholders affected by the MUTCD, including advocates for youth, elderly, and/or disabled, and climate, equity, and public health experts (overstretched at this time of many overlapping crises), do not have this time. The MUTCD will be a weaker document without their valuable input."

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 in NACTO

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