Changes in 2003 TMUTCD: Signs and Pavement MarkingsAuthor/Presenter: Carlson, Paul J.
As of January 17, 2003, the new Texas MUTCD has been adopted and takes immediate precedence over the 1980 version. There are many differences between the two versions. For example, the TMUTCD has been formatted differently to make it easier to find pertinent information. It also includes metric and English units. The new TMUTCD also includes a new part dedicated to traffic control for highway-light rail transit grade crossings. The 2003 TMUTCD will apply to all traffic control devices installed on or after January 17, 2003. All existing traffic control devices or installations shall be updated to the new standards when replacement becomes necessary. Part 2 of the 2003 TMUTCD (signs) includes several significant changes, such as new language emphasizing the importance of the nighttime visibility, the older driver, and legibility. A new section has been reserved for minimum retroreflectivity levels once they have been finalized. The 2003 TMUTCD now mandates that all roadside-mounted sign supports shall be breakaway or shielded if within a clear zone. Another significant change includes a mandate to install 4-WAY or ALL-WAY plaques underneath stop signs at intersections where all approaches are controlled by stop signs. The 2003 TMUTCD includes som new changes for street name signs. Mixed-case letters are now allowed. Both the background and legend shall be retroreflective or illuminated. Part 3 also includes several new pavement marking changes. One of the most significant is a set of new warrants for the installation of centerlines and edgelines. Some other changes in the pavement marking section include new speed hump markings and advance speed hump markings that may be used. Along the smae lines, there is also a new yield line that may be used. It looks much different from the stop bar that had been used for the yield bar. There has also been a recent interest among local agencies to install in-roadway lights at pedestrian crossings. These lights are typically triggered by a pedestrian push-button and remain on for a fixed amount of time depending on the roadway width and assumed walking speed. The 2003 TMUTCD includes these devices in Chapter 5L (In-Roadway Lights), Part 4 (Traffic Signals).