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PT BLOG from Page 60


MUTCD and make changes in appropriate places (width, color and locations of lines, size and requirements for notices and signs, etc. etc. etc.). It was my understanding when I joined the task force in Janu-


ary 2010 that a separate new part to the manual was to be created. Fair enough. So the 15 or so members of the task force spent the next two


years culling, arguing, discussing and writing new rules for parking facilities on private property. Input was taken from large developers and property owners (Walmart had some concerns, for instance, as any mandated change in signage would be extremely costly.) The group of consultants, engineers and related folks worked


through four in-person meetings and an unknowable number of hours forming the final draft of the proposed new “part” to the MUTCD. Mike and I reviewed it and made some changes to make it more user-friendly. We all met last week in DC to edit and review the final draft. When that meeting started, the Vice Chair of the group made a


short presentation. He brought up that he thought that perhaps a separate “part” was not the way to go and that the changes should be integrated into the MUTCD. He then suggested that a separate “guidebook” be created to give non-technical folks help in finding their way through the MUTCD to the myriad parts, chapters, sub- chapters and paragraphs that were specific to private property. He then went around the table and asked for input. Understand what happens at these meetings — every member


has his or her say, and during the process, each attempts to get their personal biases and requirements inserted in the task force’s work, which will become the law of the land. It’s important, because when someone is injured or killed in an


area affected by the MUTCD, lawyers will go back to the law to attempt to affix blame and damages. And the courts ensure that the laws are followed. It was a strange process. Paul Box, who is extremely knowl-


edgeable and wise, is not computer-savvy. He does everything by letter and fax. The rest of the group works through email and a web- site that enable them to communicate. So there’s no question there was some confusion and stress as the process was underway. When I was asked my opinion of what should be done (should


we basically abandon the two years of work and interweave the changes into the base document), I said that if I were a developer, architect or owner wanting to know what to do in my facility, I would prefer a separate “part” so I could go there and get the clear information I needed. I was told that even if there were a separate part, they would


have to refer back to other parts in the entire manual, and since they had to do that anyway, why not just do that and not add the sepa- rate part? That they would also provide a guidebook for those folks who didn’t want to or couldn’t deal with the manual, and all would be right with the world. We voted 8-4 (I was one of the four) to do away with the sepa-


rate “part” we were working on and to begin a process of melding our requirements into the main document. At that point, the Chair- man resigned. And we all were asked who wanted to stay on the task force. I didn’t raise my hand. I received a copy of the time line for getting the new informa-


tion into the main document (it will probably be completed in 2015). The process began in 2009, I joined the task force in 2010. So in the end, assuming that all goes as planned, it will take six years to make the changes required to put these rules in place. They did propose to publish a guideline for developers, owners,


etc., but suggested that this group wouldn’t do it but would recom- mend that some other committee in the chain take on this task. Will they? I don’t know. My guess is that it is doubtful. I have


been told that the MUTCD is online and that all one has to do is search for “private property” and all the sections that apply will pop up. It sounds so simple. But I wonder … JVH


You could have read these entries when they were originally


posted at Parking Today’s Blog – and commented, if you liked – by logging on to www.parkingtoday.com and clicking on “blog.” JVH updates the blog almost every day.


PT


See us at the PIE booth #313 70 Parking Today www.parkingtoday.com


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