Assessment of Sign Retroreflectivity Compliance for theDevelopment of a Management Plan

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Transportation Research Record: The Journal of the Transportation Research Board




National Academy of Sciences

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The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) specifies minimum retroreflectivity requirements that include an obligation for agencies to develop a strategy for maintaining compliance. States were given a deadline of January 1, 2012, for the implementation of an assessment or management plan, which led to an increased emphasis on sign asset management. However, a new rule was submitted to the Federal Register to extend and modify the deadlines. With budget considerations, it is important that a transportation agency implement an assessment or management plan that is efficient and provides compliance with the standards required by the MUTCD. The development of an efficient plan requires knowledge of the overall condition of an agency's assets as well as unique considerations regarding its performance. Through a review of previous data collection efforts, this paper details the development of a data collection strategy for assessing the performance of traffic signs maintained by the Utah Department of Transportation (DOT). Agency operations, site selection, and attribute collection were all considered during the development of a collection plan for an agency where limited inventory and installation data were available. Retroreflectivity measurements were taken for 1,433 Utah DOT signs. This sample provided a snapshot of current compliance and assisted in the selection of an asset management plan for maintaining sign retroreflectivity. Results from the study showed that the Utah DOT's signs were well over 90% compliant with the MUTCD standards and preliminary management strategies were presented to address vandalism and other damage.

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