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Feds Set Requirements for Signage in Private Parking Locations In December 2006, the Federal


Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a clarification of Federal regula- tions requiring that traffic control devices (TCDs), (primarily signage and pavementmarkings that direct and guide traffic), on private property open to the public (including roads and parking) must comply with the Manual on Uni- form Traffic Control Devices 2003 (MUTCD), the guideline for those ele-


ments in the public right-of-way. Tradi- tionally, it has been thought that MUTCD was only required for TCDs in the public right-of-way. However, while not widely followed,


it is now clear that the FHWA believed that compliance with MUTCD was already required in off-street parking and roadways on campuses, airports and oth- er sites owned by public (governmental) entities. The 12/06 clarification extended


the requirement to parking and road- ways on private property. There is gen- erally no mechanism for enforcement, except that the lack of compliance could be used in a lawsuit for personal injury. A sign manufacturers’ association


spread the word, however, perhaps due to another MUTCD requirement that existing signs that do not meet MUTCD requirements for retroreflec- tivity (both text and background) must be replaced by 2015 (regulatory and warning, such as stop, out, and yellow diamond signs) and by 2018 for direc- tional and guidance signs (“park” and “out”). In any event,most of the affect- ed parties, including the parking com- munity, did not learn of the change until recently. A number of persons have raised


significant concerns regarding the application of theMUTCD to off-street parking, in particular. Last summer, a task force was formed by the National Committee on UniformTraffic Control Devices (which develops and recom- mends draft guidelines toMUTCD for consideration by the FHWA) to develop guidelines for application ofMUTCD to parking; the task force includes park- ing industry representativesMary Smith (Walker Parking Consultants), Mike Swartz (Standard Parking), and John VanHorn (ParkingToday). On December 16, the FHWA


issued (via the Federal Register) the final version of 2009MUTCD, with an exception that off-street parking does not need to comply.To quote item21 on page 66733 of the December 16, 2009 FederalRegister: “…The FHWAagrees that, whileMUTCD general principles and standard traffic control devices should be used in parking lots, there are some MUTCD provisions that do not easily translate to conditions found in parking lots and parking garages. The FHWA believes that addition-


al future consideration is needed to determine appropriate and feasible standards and guidance for the applica- tion of traffic control devices in park- ing lots. Therefore the FHWA exempts parking spaces and driving aisles in parking lots, both privately and publicly owned from MUTCD applicability in this final rule. TheMUTCD continues to be applicable to ring roads, roads providing access to or egress frompub- lic roads, and circulation roads on pri- vate property open to the public.”


50 FEBRUARY 2010 • PARKING TODAY • www.parkingtoday.com


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