APWA Book Review

Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, 2003 Edition

We love to drive! Americans relish the freedom of climbing in a vehicle and hitting the road. And as we drive, we rely on a complex series of visual cues to help us make the journey safely. The signs, signals, and pavement markings that guide us are called traffic control devices. These devices are the language that communicates to drivers along the nation's roadways. They tell us to slow down for the sharp curve on a two-lane rural byway. They make it possible for us to drive 100 km/h (65 mi/h) on the highway separated from other lanes of traffic by only a narrow yellow line. They tell us when and where to stop, and where we should think twice before we park.

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices or MUTCD defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all streets and highways. The MUTCD is published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) under 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 655, Subpart F. A cooperative effort between ATSSA, AASHTO and ITE has resulted in this high-quality, all-new printed version of the FHWA MUTCD. The printed version includes:

  • Comprehensive copyrighted Index
  • High-quality print and color-matched graphics
  • Lay-flat binding designed to withstand continued use

The MUTCD perfect-bound version is a complete compilation of all parts of the MUTCD, including a combined table of contents and index. It is packaged as an 81/2 x 11-inch, three-hole-drilled, perfect-bound book.

This new edition represents major revisions in development since 2000, including:

  • New interim approval process for new traffic control devices and applications
  • New recommendations for increased letter height on street name signs
  • New chapter on temporary traffic control for traffic incident management that includes new color scheme for incident management signs
  • New section on pedestrian countdown signals and "animated eyes"
  • New considerations for pedestrians and workers in temporary traffic control zones, including consideration for pedestrians with disabilities
  • New provision for in-street pedestrian signs
  • New use of yield markings at unsignalized mid-block pedestrian crosswalks
  • New provision for high visibility clothing for workers and flaggers

Divided into ten parts and one appendix, MUTCD 2003 Edition covers:

  • Part 1 - General
  • Part 2 - Signs
  • Part 3 - Markings
  • Part 4 - Highway Traffic Signals
  • Part 5 - Traffic Control Devices for Low-Volume Roads
  • Part 6 - Temporary Traffic Control
  • Part 7 - Traffic Controls for School Areas
  • Part 8 - Traffic Controls for Highway-Rail Grade Crossings
  • Part 9 - Traffic Controls for Bicycle Facilities
  • Part 10 - Traffic Controls for Highway-Light Rail Transit Grade Crossings
  • Appendix A1 - Congressional Legislation

The MUTCD 2003 Edition replaces the Millennium Edition. The MUTCD 2003 Edition is written by the Federal Highway Administration and is incorporated into federal regulations as the national standard for traffic control devices on all public roads and bike paths.

For more information on purchasing this book and other American Public Works Association books, please visit the APWA Bookstore online at www.apwa.net/bookstore or call the Member Services Hotline at (800) 848-APWA, ext. 3560.