Keep Your Markings and Signage Up to Standards

Pavement markings and signage on private roads open to public travel need to comply with standards for safety and consistency.

Do you know about the new Federal regulations for private property? The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) governs the standards for installing and maintaining traffic control devices including signage and pavement markings. The MUTCD is published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The new 2009 edition now requires traffic signs, pavement markings and other traffic control devices on private roads open to public travel to comply with MUTCD standards. This requirement took effect December 2009. The manual defines a private road open to public travel as "private toll roads and roads (including any adjacent sidewalks that generally run parallel to the road) within shopping centers, airports, sports arenas, and other similar business and/or recreation facilities that are privately owned, but where the public is allowed to travel without access restrictions. Roads within private gated properties (except for gated toll roads) where access is restricted at all times, parking areas, driving aisles within parking areas, and private grade crossings shall not be included in this definition."

The purpose of the MUTCD standards are to create consistency of pavement markings and signs around the country and improve safety. Aside from properly applying markings in the correct size, shape, design and color contractors working on private roads open to public travel will also need to apply markings with minimum levels of retroreflectivity. To learn about adding retroreflectivity to pavement markings by using glass beads see "Increase Safety With Glass" from the February 2010 issue of Pavement.

The MUTCD also states that all traffic control signs in these areas must be compliant and consistent with its standards.

Read the entire 2009 edition of the MUTCD at the Federal Highway Administration's website.