Pavement Marking

Pavement Marking

Pavement Marking

In a report developed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), it was recommended that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) establish plans to “better manage” initiatives and efforts related to Connected Automated Vehicles (CAVs). GAO officials state within the report, which was released in November 2017, that their reasoning behind the research efforts are based on the potential promise of CAVs to provide transformative safety and mobility benefits, but these benefits also will come with a set of safety and infrastructure challenges for policymakers.

While it also was noted that other components such as urban versus rural settings and local ownership of roadways will play a hand in infrastructure adaptations, many experts in automation and infrastructure back up the report’s claims, and assert that consistent and proper maintenance of the current roadway system is of the upmost importance for conventional and AV motorists — especially when it comes to pavement markings.

ATSSA has a dedicated group of members on its Pavement Marking Committee (member login required), who are working to assert the proper maintenance of pavement marking and advance technologies being developed to help increase safety benefits and accommodation of CAVs. The committee has developed a list of policies and continues to work toward advancing the collaboration between the roadway safety industry and automakers as America progresses toward an automated future.



NCUTCD summer meeting provides traffic signals, VRU, MUTCD updates

By Jim Rhine, ATSSA Innovation & Technical Services Manager

The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) summer meeting addressed a variety of topics including traffic signals and vulnerable road users and provided an indication that work is progressing on the updated Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

In May, ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter to Federal Highway Administration Administrator Shailen P. Bhatt urging the FHWA to publish the updated MUTCD by the May 15 deadline set forth in the U.S. Code. Tetschner acknowledged the "tremendous amount of work” needed to update the MUTCD but said he wanted to “stress how vital it is that this statutory deadline is met.”

Toward the end of the summer meeting of the NCUTCD, also referred to as “the National Committee,” federal officials made reference to August, suggesting work on the final rule is moving forward. However, there was no commitment that it would be published that month.

Another rulemaking effort was also discussed, the Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) rulemaking, which will impact the MUTCD. FHWA staff said that rulemaking is making progress toward a final rule. However, FHWA is not responsible for it. The U.S. Access Board, which is an independent federal agency that promotes accessible design, is tasked with that duty. After the final rule is issued, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the U.S. Department of Justice must conduct rulemaking procedures to adopt PROWAG into federal regulations. After that step, FHWA will conduct another rulemaking to address revisions needed in the MUTCD to adopt relevant aspects of PROWAG.

Timing for those steps was not released by federal officials during the meeting, held in June in Tacoma, Wash.

Three discussions regarding traffic signals and pedestrian and vulnerable road user (VRU) enhancements seemed particularly relevant for ATSSA members.

Significant attention was given to simplifying the guidance documentation for improving safety for pedestrians and VRUs. In 2021 the U.S. reported the most pedestrian deaths in a single year in four decades, a 12% increase from the previous year. Street design and physical infrastructure solutions were highlighted as key components for addressing this trend. Also, digital infrastructure solutions notably enhance those efforts as an operating system for the future of mobility on physical assets.

A discussion of traffic signal operations and timing considerations focused on suggested edits to the MUTCD for Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs). Participants recognized the benefits of LPIs in improving pedestrian safety and proposed updates to provide clearer guidance on their use and implementation.  This included recommendations for appropriate durations and signal phasing to prioritize pedestrian movements at signalized intersections. 

A meeting on Adaptive Signal Control Systems (ASCS) explored the potential of ASCS to optimize traffic flow and enhance pedestrian and VRU safety. Suggested edits to the MUTCD included guidance on integrating and utilizing ASCS, emphasizing the importance of real-time data, adaptive signal timing and coordination strategies to accommodate changing traffic conditions and prioritize pedestrian and VRU movements. 

10532 Rate this article:
No rating
Please login or register to post comments.