Change List for the 2009 Edition of the MUTCD
Section 7A.01 Need for Standards
It is important to stress that Regardless of the school location, the best way to achieve reasonably safe and effective traffic control is through the uniform application of realistic policies, practices, and standards developed through engineering judgment or studies.
Pedestrian safety depends upon public understanding of accepted methods for efficient traffic control. This principle is especially important in the control of pedestrians, bicycles, and other vehicles in the vicinity of schools. Neither pedestrians on their way to or from school nor other road users can be expected to move safely in school areas unless they understand both the need for traffic controls and how these controls function for their benefit.
Procedures and devices that are not uniform might cause confusion among pedestrians and other road users, prompt wrong decisions, and contribute to crashes. To achieve uniformity of traffic control in school areas, comparable traffic situations need to be treated in a consistent manner. Each traffic control device and control method described in Part 7 fulfills a specific function related to specific traffic conditions.
A uniform approach to school area traffic controls assures the use of similar controls for similar situations, (which promotes appropriate and uniform behavior on the part of motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists).
A school traffic control plan permits the orderly review of school area traffic control needs, and the coordination of school/pedestrian safety education and engineering activities measures. Engineering measures alone do not always result in the intended change in student and road user behavior.
A school route plan for each school serving elementary to high school students should be prepared in order to develop uniformity in the use of school area traffic controls and to serve as the basis for a school traffic control plan for each school.
The school route plan, developed in a systematic manner by the school, law enforcement, and traffic officials responsible for school pedestrian safety, should consist of a map (see Figure 7A-1) showing streets, the school, existing traffic controls, established school walk routes, and established school crossings.
The type(s) of school area traffic control devices used, either warning or regulatory, should be related to the volume and speed of vehicular traffic, street width, and the number and age of the students using the crossing.
School area traffic control devices should be included in a school traffic control plan.
Reduced speed limit signs for school areas and crossings are included in this Manual solely for the purpose of standardizing signing for these zones and not as an endorsement of mandatory reduced speed zones.
"School" and "school zone" are defined in Section 1A.13.
Section 7A.02 School Routes and Established School Crossings
To establish a safer route to and from school for schoolchildren, the application of The planning criterion for school walk routes might make it necessary for children to walk an indirect route to an established school crossing located where there is existing traffic control and to avoid the use of a direct crossing where there is no existing traffic control.
School walk routes should be planned to take advantage of existing traffic controls.
The following factors should be considered when determining the feasibility of requiring children to walk a longer distance to a crossing with existing traffic control:
- The availability of adequate sidewalks or off-roadway sidewalk areas other pedestrian walkways to and from the location with existing control,
- The number of students using the crossing,
- The age levels of the students using the crossing, and
- The total extra walking distance.
Section 7A.03 School Crossing Control Criteria
Alternate The frequency of gaps and blockades are inherent in the traffic stream that are sufficient for student crossing and are is different at each crossing location. For safety, students need to wait for a gap in traffic that is of sufficient duration to permit reasonably safe crossing. When the delay between the occurrences of adequate gaps becomes excessive, students might become impatient and endanger themselves by attempting to cross the street during an inadequate gap. In these instances, the creation of sufficient gaps needs to be considered to accommodate the crossing demand.
A recommended method for determining the frequency and adequacy of gaps in the traffic stream is given in the Institute of Transportation Engineers' publication, "School Trip Safety Program Guidelines" "Traffic Control Devices Handbook" (see Section 1A.11).
Section 7A.04 Scope
Part 7 sets forth basic principles and prescribes standards that shall be followed in the design, application, installation, and maintenance of all traffic control devices (including signs, signals, and markings) and other controls (including adult crossing guards, student patrols, and grade-separated crossings) required for the special pedestrian conditions in school areas.
In-roadway signs for school traffic control areas may be used consistent with the requirements of Sections 2B.12, 7B.08, and 7B.09. relocated to Section 7B.03
Sections 1A.01 and 1A.08 contain information regarding unauthorized devices and messages. Sections 1A.02 and 1A.07 contain information regarding the application of standards. Section 1A.05 contains information regarding the maintenance of traffic control devices. Section 1A.08 contains information regarding placement authority for traffic control devices. Section 1A.09 contains information regarding engineering studies and the assistance that is available to jurisdictions that do not have engineers on their staffs who are trained and/or experienced in traffic control devices. relocated from Sections 7A.05 through 7A.09
Requirements Provisions discussed contained in Chapter 2A and Section 2B.06 are applicable in school areas.
Part 3 contains provisions regarding pavement markings that are applicable in school areas.
Part 4 contains provisions regarding highway traffic signals that are applicable in school areas. The School Crossing signal warrant is described in Section 4C.06.
Section 7A.05 Application of Standards
Sections 1A.02 and 1A.07 contain information regarding the application of standards.
Section 7A.06 Engineering Study Required
Section 1A.09 contains information regarding engineering studies.
Section 7A.07 Maintenance of Traffic Control Devices
Section 1A.05 contains information regarding the maintenance of traffic control devices.
Section 7A.08 Placement Authority
Section 1A.08 contains information regarding placement authority for traffic control devices.
Section 7A.09 Unauthorized Devices and Messages
Sections 1A.01 and 1A.08 contain information regarding unauthorized devices and messages.Sections 7A.05 through 7A.09 relocated to Section 7A.04
Section 7A.10 Meaning of Standard, Guidance, Option, and Support
The introduction to this Manual contains information regarding the meaning of the headings Standard, Guidance, Option, and Support, and the use of the words shall, should, and may.
Section 7B.01 Size of School Signs
Except as provided in Section 2A.11, the sizes of signs and plaques to be used on conventional roadways in school areas shall be as shown in Table 7B-1.
The sizes in the Conventional Road sign size column shall be used on public roads, streets, and highways unless engineering judgment determines that a minimum or oversized sign size would be more appropriate.
The sizes in the Minimum sign size column may shall be used only on local residential streets, in urban areas, and where there are low traffic volumes are low and low vehicle speeds are 30 mph or lower, as determined by engineering judgment.
The sizes in the Oversized sign size column shall be used on expressways.
The sizes in the Oversized column should be used on roadways that have four or more lanes with posted speed limits of 40 mph or higher.
The sizes in the Oversized sign size column may also be used for applications at other locations that require increased emphasis, improved recognition, or increased legibility.
Signs and plaques larger than those shown in Table 7B-1 may be used (see Section 2A.11).
Section 7B.02 Illumination and Reflectorization
The signs used for school area traffic control shall be retroreflectorized or illuminated.
Section 7B.03 Position of Signs
Sections 2A.16 and 2A.17 contain provisions regarding the placements and locations of signs.
Section 2A.19 contains provisions regarding the lateral offsets of signs.
Signs should be placed in positions where they will convey their messages most effectively without restricting lateral clearance or sight distances. Placement therefore should consider highway design, alignment, vehicle speed, and roadside development.
Signs should have a maximum practical clearance from the edge of the traveled way for the safety of vehicles that might leave the roadway and strike the sign supports. Except as noted in the Option, signs should not be closer than 6 feet from the edge of a paved shoulder, or if none, 12 feet from the edge of the traveled way.
In urban areas, a lesser clearance of not less than 2 feet from the face of the curb may be used. In urban areas, where sidewalk width is limited or existing poles are close to the curb, a clearance of 1 foot from the curb face may be used.
In-roadway signs for school traffic control areas may be used consistent with the requirements of Sections 2B.12, 7B.08, and 7B.12. relocated from Section 7A.04
Section 7B.04 Height of Signs
Section 2A.18 contains information provisions regarding the mounting height of signs.
Section 7B.05 Installation of Signs
Section 2A.16 contains information provisions regarding the installation of signs.
Section 7B.06 Lettering
The Federal Highway Administration's "Standard Highway Signs and Markings" book (see Section 1A.11) contains information regarding sign lettering.
Section 7B.07 Sign Color for School Warning Signs
Except as noted in the Option, School warning signs, including the "SCHOOL" portion of the School Speed Limit (S5-1) sign and including any supplemental plaques used in association with these warning signs, shall have a fluorescent yellow-green background with a black legend and border unless otherwise stated provided in this Manual for a specific sign.
All school warning signs in addition to the following signs may have a fluorescent yellow-green background with a black legend and border:
- School Advance Warning sign (S1-1),
- SCHOOL BUS STOP AHEAD sign (S3-1),
- SCHOOL plaque (S4-3),
- The "SCHOOL" portion of the School Speed Limit sign (S5-1),
- XXX FEET plaque (W16-2 series),
- AHEAD plaque (W16-9p),
- Diagonal Arrow plaque (W16-7p), and
- Reduced Speed School Zone Ahead sign (S4-5, S4-5a).
When the fluorescent yellow-green background color is used, a systematic approach featuring one background color within a zone or area should be used. The mixing of standard yellow and fluorescent yellow-green backgrounds within a zone or area should be avoided.
Section 7B.08 School Advance Warning Assembly Sign (S1-1 with Supplemental Plaque) and Plaques
The School Advance Warning assembly (see Figure 7B-1) should be installed in advance of locations where school buildings or grounds are adjacent to the highway, except where a physical barrier such as fencing separates schoolchildren from the highway.
The School Advance Warning assembly shall be used in advance of any installation of the School Crosswalk Warning assembly (see Figure 7B-2), or in advance of the first installation of the School Speed Limit assembly (see Figure 7B-3).
If used, the School Advance Warning assembly shall be installed not less than 150 feet or more than 700 feet in advance of the school grounds or school crossings.
If used, the School Advance Warning assembly shall consist of a School Advance Warning (S1-1) sign supplemented with a plaque with the legend AHEAD (W16-9p) or XXX METERS (XXX FEET) (W16-2 or W16-2a) to provide advance notice to road users of crossing activity.
Many state and local jurisdictions find it beneficial to advise road users that they are approaching a school that is adjacent to a highway, where additional care is needed, even though no school crossing is involved and the speed limit remains unchanged. Additionally, some jurisdictions designate school zones that have a unique legal standing in that fines for speeding or other traffic violations within designated school zones are increased or special enforcement techniques such as photo radar systems are used. It is important and sometimes legally necessary to mark the beginning and end points of these designated school zones so that the road user is given proper notice.
The School (S1-1) sign (see Figure 7B-1) has the following four applications:
- School Area – the S1-1 sign can be used to warn road users that they are approaching a school area that might include school buildings or grounds, a school crossing, or school related activity adjacent to the highway.
- School Zone – the S1-1 sign can be used to identify the location of the beginning of a designated school zone (see Section 7B.09).
- School Advance Crossing – if combined with an AHEAD (W16-9P) plaque or an XX FEET (W16-2P or W16-2aP) plaque to comprise the School Advance Crossing assembly, the S1-1 sign can be used to warn road users that they are approaching a crossing where schoolchildren cross the roadway (see Section 7B.11).
- School Crossing – if combined with a diagonal downward pointing arrow (W16-7P) plaque to comprise the School Crossing assembly, the S1-1 sign can be used to warn approaching road users of the location of a crossing where schoolchildren cross the roadway (see Section 7B.12).
If a school area is located on a cross street in close proximity to the intersection, a School (S1-1) signwith a supplemental arrow (W16-5P or W16-6P) plaque may be installed on each approach of the street or highway to warn road users making a turn onto the cross street that they will encounter a school area soon after making the turn.
Section 7B.09 School Zone Sign (S1-1) and Plaques (S4-3P, S4-7P) and END SCHOOL ZONE Sign (S5-2)
If a school zone has been designated under State or local statute, a School (S1-1) sign (see Figure 7B-1) shall be installed to identify the beginning point(s) of the designated school zone (see Figure 7B-2).
A School Zone (S1-1) sign may be supplemented with a SCHOOL (S4-3P) plaque (see Figure 7B-1).
A School Zone (S1-1) sign may be supplemented with an ALL YEAR (S4-7P) plaque (see Figure 7B-1) if the school operates on a 12-month schedule.
The downstream end of a designated school zone may be identified with an END SCHOOL ZONE (S5-2) sign (see Figures 7B-1 and 7B-2).
If a school zone is located on a cross street in close proximity to the intersection, a School Zone (S1-1) sign with a supplemental arrow (W16-5P or W16-6P) plaque may be installed on each approach of the street or highway to warn road users making a turn onto the cross street that they will encounter a school zone soon after making the turn.
Section 7B.10 Higher Fines Zone Signs (R2-10, R2-11) and Plaques
Where increased fines are imposed for traffic violations within a designated school zone, a BEGIN HIGHER FINES ZONE (R2-10) sign (see Figure 7B-1) or a FINES HIGHER (R2-6P), FINES DOUBLE (R2-6aP), or $XX FINE (R2-6bP) plaque (see Figure 2B-3) shall be installed as a supplement to the School Zone (S1-1) sign to identify the beginning point of the higher fines zone (see Figures 7B-2 and 7B-3).
Where appropriate, one of the following plaques may be mounted below the sign that identifies the beginning point of the higher fines zone:
- An S4-1P plaque (see Figure 7B-1) specifying the times that the higher fines are in effect,
- A WHEN CHILDREN ARE PRESENT (S4-2P) plaque (see Figure 7B-1), or
- A WHEN FLASHING (S4-4P) plaque (see Figure 7B-1) if used in conjunction with a yellow flashing beacon.
Where a BEGIN HIGHER FINES ZONE (R2-10) sign or a FINES HIGHER (R2-6P) plaque supplementing a School Zone (S1-1) sign is posted to notify road users of increased fines for traffic violations, an END HIGHER FINES ZONE (R2-11) sign (see Figure 7B-1) or an END SCHOOL ZONE (S5-2) sign shall be installed at the downstream end of the zone to notify road users of the termination of the increased fines zone (see Figures 7B-2 and 7B-3).
Section 7B.11 School Advance Crossing Assembly
The School Advance Crossing assembly (see Figure 7B-1) shall consist of a School (S1-1) sign supplemented with an AHEAD (W16-9P) plaque or an XX FEET (W16-2P or W16-2aP) plaque.
Except as provided in Paragraph 3, a School Advance Crossing assembly shall be used in advance (see Table 2C-4 for advance placement guidelines) of the first School Crossing assembly (see Section 7B.12) that is encountered in each direction as traffic approaches a school crosswalk (see Figure 7B-4).
The School Advance Crossing assembly may be omitted (see Figure 7B-5) where a School Zone (S1-1) sign (see Section 7B.09) is installed to identify the beginning of a school zone in advance of the School Crossing assembly.
If a school crosswalk is located on a cross street in close proximity to an intersection, a School Advance Crossing assembly with a supplemental arrow (W16-5P or W16-6P) plaque may be installed on each approach of the street or highway to warn road users making a turn onto the cross street that they will encounter a school crosswalk soon after making the turn.
A 12-inch reduced size in-street School Advance Warning (S1-1) sign (see Figure 7B-6), installed in compliance with the mounting height and breakaway special mounting support requirements for In-Street Pedestrian Crossing (R1-6 or R1-6a) signs (see Section 2B.12), may be used in advance of a school crossing to supplement the ground- post-mounted school warning signs. A 12 x 6-inch reduced size AHEAD (W16-9P) plaque may be mounted below the reduced size in-street School Advance Warning (S1-1) sign. relocated from Section 7B.08
Section 7B.09 7B.12 School Crosswalk Warning Crossing Assembly (S1-1 with Diagonal Arrow)
If used, the School Crosswalk Warning Crossing assembly (see Figure 7B-1) shall be installed at the marked crosswalk school crossing (see Figures 7B-4 and 7B-5), or as close to it as possible, and shall consist of a School Advance Warning (S1-1) sign supplemented with a diagonal downward pointing arrow (W16-7P) plaque to show the location of the crossing.
The School Crosswalk Warning Crossing assembly shall not be used at marked crosswalks crossings other than those adjacent to schools and those on established school pedestrian routes.
The School Crosswalk Warning Crossing assembly shall not be installed on approaches controlled by a STOP or YIELD sign.
The School Crosswalk Warning assembly should be installed at marked crosswalk(s), including those at signalized locations, used by students going to and from school (see Figure 7B-2) as determined by an engineering study.
The In-Street Pedestrian Crossing (R1-6 or R1-6a) sign (see Section 2B.12 and Figure 7B-6) or the In-Street Schoolchildren Crossing (R1-6b or R1-6c) sign (see Figure 7B-6) may be used at unsignalized school crossings. When If used at a school crossing, a 12 x 4-inch SCHOOL (S4-3P) plaque (see Figure 7B-6) may be mounted above the sign. The STATE LAW legend on the R1-6 series signs may be omitted.
The Overhead Pedestrian Crossing (R1-9 or R1-9a) sign (see Section 2B.12 and Figure 2B-2) may be modified to replace the standard pedestrian symbol with the standard schoolchildren symbol and may be used at unsignalized school crossings. The STATE LAW legend on the R1-9 series signs may be omitted.
A 12-inch reduced size in-street School Advance Warning (S1-1) sign (see Figure 7B-6) may be used at an unsignalized school crossing instead of the In-Street Pedestrian Crossing (R1-6 or R1-6a) or the In-Street Schoolchildren Crossing (R1-6b or R1-6c) sign. A 12 x 6-inch reduced size diagonal downward pointing arrow (W16-7P) plaque may be mounted below the reduced size in-street School Advance Warning (S1-1) sign.
If an In-Street Pedestrian Crossing sign, an In-Street Schoolchildren Crossing sign, or a reduced size in-street School Advance Warning (S1-1) sign is placed in the roadway, the sign support shall comply with the mounting height and breakaway special mounting support requirements for In-Street Pedestrian Crossing (R1-6 or R1-6a) signs (see Section 2B.12).
The In-Street Pedestrian Crossing sign, the In-Street Schoolchildren Crossing sign, the Overhead Pedestrian Crossing sign, and the reduced size in-street School Advance Warning (S1-1) sign shall not be used at signalized locations.
Section 7B.10 7B.13 SCHOOL BUS STOP AHEAD School Bus Stop Ahead Sign (S3-1)
The SCHOOL BUS STOP AHEAD School Bus Stop Ahead (S3-1) sign (see Figure 7B-1) should be installed in advance of locations where a school bus, when stopped to pick up or discharge passengers, is not visible to road users for an adequate distance of 500 feet in advance and where there is no opportunity to relocate the school bus stop to provide 500 feet of visibility adequate sight distance.
Section 7B.14 SCHOOL BUS TURN AHEAD Sign (S3-2)
The SCHOOL BUS TURN AHEAD (S3-2) sign (see Figure 7B-1) may be installed in advance of locations where a school bus turns around on a roadway at a location not visible to approaching road users for a distance as determined by the "0" column under Condition B of Table 2C-4, and where there is no opportunity to relocate the school bus turn around to provide the distance provided in Table 2C-4.
Section 7B.11 7B.15 School Speed Limit Assembly (S4-1P, S4-2P, S4-3P, S4-4P, S4-6P, S5-1) and END SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT Sign (S5-3)
A School Speed Limit assembly (see Figure 7B-1) or a School Speed Limit (S5-1) sign (see Figure 7B-1) shall be used to indicate the speed limit where a reduced school speed limit zone for a school area has been established (in accordance with law based upon an engineering study) or where a reduced school speed limit is specified for such areas by statute. The School Speed Limit assembly or School Speed Limit sign shall be placed at or as near as practical to the point where the reduced school speed limit zone begins (see Figures 7B-3 and 7B-5).
If a reduced school speed limit zone has been established, a School (S1-1) sign shall be installed in advance (see Table 2C-4 for advance placement guidelines) of the first School Speed Limit sign assembly or S5-1 sign that is encountered in each direction as traffic approaches the reduced school speed limit zone (see Figures 7B-3 and 7B-5).
Where increased fines are imposed for traffic violations within a reduced school speed limit zone, a FINES HIGHER (R2-6P), FINES DOUBLE (R2-6aP), or $XX FINE (R2-6bP) plaque (see Figure 2B-3) shall be installed as a supplement to the reduced school speed limit sign to notify road users.
Except as provided in Paragraph 5, the downstream end of an authorized and posted reduced school speed limit zone shall be marked identified with a standard Speed Limit sign showing the speed limit for the section of highway that follows or with an END SCHOOL ZONE SPEED LIMIT (S5-23) sign (see Figures 7B-1 and 7B-5). relocated from Section 7B.13
If a reduced school speed limit zone ends at the same point as a higher fines zone, an END SCHOOL ZONE (S5-2) sign may be used instead of a combination of an END HIGHER FINES ZONE (R2-11) sign and an END SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT (S5-3) sign.
A standard Speed Limit sign showing the speed limit for the section of highway that is downstream from the authorized and posted reduced school speed limit zone may be mounted on the same post above the END SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT (S5-3) sign or the END SCHOOL ZONE (S5-2) sign.
The reduced speed zone should begin either at a point 200 feet from the crosswalk, or at a point 100 feet from the school property line, based on whichever is encountered first as traffic approaches the school. The beginning point of a reduced school speed limit zone should be at least 200 feet in advance of the school grounds, a school crossing, or other school related activities; however, this 200-foot distance should be increased if the reduced school speed limit is 30 mph or higher.
The School Speed Limit assembly shall be either a fixed-message sign assembly or a changeable message sign.
The fixed-message School Speed Limit assembly shall consist of a top plaque (S4-3P) with the legend SCHOOL, a Speed Limit (R2-1) sign, and a bottom plaque (S4-1P, S4-2P, S4-4P, or S4-6P) indicating the specific periods of the day and/or days of the week that the special school speed limit is in effect (see Figure 7B-1).
Changeable message signs (see Sections 2A.07 Chapter 2L and Section 6F.60) may be used to inform drivers of the special school speed limit. If the sign is internally illuminated, it may have a white legend on a black background. Changeable message signs with flashing beacons may be used for the more critical situations, where greater emphasis of the special school speed limit is needed.
Even though it might not always be practical because of special features to make changeable message signs conform in all respects to the accepted standards in this Manual for fixed-message signs, during the periods that the school speed limit is in effect, their basic shape, message, legend layout, and colors should conform to comply with the standards for fixed-message signs.
A confirmation beacon light or device to indicate that the speed limit message is in operation should be considered for inclusion on the back of the changeable message sign.
Fluorescent yellow-green pixels may shall be used when the school-related "SCHOOL" messages are is shown displayed on a changeable message sign for a school speed limit.
Changeable message signs may use blank-out messages or other methods in order to display the school speed limit only during the periods it applies.
Changeable message signs that display the speed of approaching drivers (see Section 2B.13) may be used in a school speed limit zone.
A Speed Limit Sign Beacon (see Section 4L.04) also may be used, with a WHEN FLASHING legend, to identify the periods that the school speed limit is in effect. The lenses of the Speed Limit Sign Beacon may be positioned within the face of the School Speed Limit (S5-1) sign (see Figure 7B-1).
A FINES HIGHER (R2-6) sign (see Section 2B.17) may be used to advise road users when increased fines are imposed for traffic violations in school zones.
Section 7B.12 7B.16 Reduced Speed School Zone Speed Limit Ahead Sign (S4-5, S4-5a)
The A Reduced Speed School Zone Speed Limit Ahead (S4-5, S4-5a) sign (see Figure 7B-1) may should be used to inform road users of a reduced speed zone when where the speed limit is being reduced by more than 10 mph, or where engineering judgment indicates that advance notice would be appropriate.
If used, the Reduced Speed School Zone Speed Limit Ahead sign shall be followed by a School Speed Limit sign or a School Speed Limit assembly.
The speed limit displayed on the Reduced Speed School Zone Speed Limit Ahead sign shall be identical to the speed limit displayed on the subsequent School Speed Limit sign or School Speed Limit assembly.
Section 7B.13 END SCHOOL ZONE Sign (S5-2)
The end of an authorized and posted school speed zone shall be marked with a standard Speed Limit sign showing the speed limit for the section of highway that follows or with an END SCHOOL ZONE (S5-2) sign (see Figure 7B-1). relocated to Section 7B.15
Section 7B.14 7B.17 Parking and Stopping Signs (R7 and R8 Series)
Parking and stopping regulatory signs may be used to prevent parked or waiting vehicles from blocking pedestrians' views, and drivers' views of pedestrians, and to control vehicles as a part of the school traffic plan.
Parking signs and other signs governing the stopping and standing of vehicles in school areas cover a wide variety of regulations. Typical examples of regulations are as follows:
- No Parking X:XX AM to X:XX PM School Days Only,
- No Stopping X:XX AM to X:XX PM School Days Only,
- XX Min Loading X:XX AM to X:XX PM School Days Only, and
- No Standing X:XX AM to X:XX PM School Days Only.
Sections 2B.46, 2B.47, and 2B.48 contain information regarding the signing of parking regulations in school zone areas.
Section 7C.01 Functions and Limitations
Markings have definite and important functions in a proper scheme of school area traffic control. In some cases, they are used to supplement the regulations or warnings provided by other devices, such as traffic signs or signals. In other instances, they are used alone and produce results that cannot be obtained by the use of any other device. In such cases they serve as an effective means of conveying certain regulations, guidance, and warnings that could not otherwise be made clearly understandable.
Pavement markings have some potential limitations. They might be obliterated obscured by snow, might not be clearly visible when wet, and might not be durable when subjected to heavy traffic. In spite of these potential limitations, they have the advantage, under favorable conditions, of conveying warnings or information to the road user without diverting attention from the road.
Section 7C.02 Standardization of Application
Each standard marking shall be used only to convey the meaning prescribed for it in this Manual.
Section 7C.03 7C.02 Crosswalk Markings
Crosswalk markings provide guidance for pedestrians who are crossing roadways by defining and delineating paths on approaches to and within signalized intersections, and on approaches to other intersections where traffic stops.
Crosswalk markings also serve to alert road users of a pedestrian crossing point across roadways not controlled by highway traffic signals or STOP signs.
At nonintersection locations, crosswalk markings legally establish the crosswalk.
When transverse crosswalk lines are used, they shall be solid white, marking both edges of the crosswalk, except as noted in the Option. They shall be not less than 6 inches or greater than 24 inches in width.
If transverse lines are used to mark a crosswalk, the gap between the lines should not be less than 6 feet. If diagonal or longitudinal lines are used without transverse lines to mark a crosswalk, the crosswalk should be not less than 6 feet wide.
Crosswalk lines on both sides of the crosswalk, should extend across the full width of pavement or to the edge of the intersecting crosswalk to discourage diagonal walking between crosswalks.
Crosswalks should be marked at all intersections on established routes to a school where there is substantial conflict between motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrian student movements; where students are encouraged to cross between intersections; or where students would not otherwise recognize the proper place to cross; or where motorists or bicyclists might not expect students to cross (see Figure 7A-1).
Crosswalk lines should not be used indiscriminately. An engineering study considering the factors described in Section 3B.18 should be performed before they are a marked crosswalk is installed at a locations away from a highway traffic control signals or an approach controlled by a STOP or YIELD signs.
Because non-intersection school crossings are generally unexpected by the road user, warning signs (see Sections 7B.11 and 7B.12) should be installed for all marked school crosswalks at non-intersection locations. Adequate visibility of students by approaching motorists and of approaching motorists by students should be provided by parking prohibitions or other appropriate measures.
For added visibility, the area of the crosswalk may be marked with white diagonal lines at a 45-degree angle to the line of the crosswalk or with white longitudinal lines parallel to traffic flow. When diagonal or longitudinal lines are used to mark a crosswalk, the transverse crosswalk lines may be omitted.
The diagonal or longitudinal lines should be 12 to 24 inches wide and spaced 12 to 60 inches apart. The spacing design should avoid the wheel paths.
Section 3B.18 contains provisions regarding the placement and design of crosswalks, and Section 3B.16 contains provisions regarding the placement and design of the stop lines and yield lines that are associated with them. Provisions regarding the curb markings that can be used to establish parking regulations on the approaches to crosswalks are contained in Section 3B.23.
Section 7C.04 Stop and Yield Lines
If used, Stop lines shall consist of solid white lines extending across approach lanes to indicate the point at which the stop is intended or required to be made.
If used, Yield lines (see Figure 3B-14) shall consist of a row of solid white isosceles triangles pointing toward approaching vehicles extending across approach lanes to indicate the point at which the yield is intended or required to be made.
Stop lines should be 12 to 24 inches wide.
Stop lines should be used to indicate the point behind which vehicles are required to stop in compliance with a STOP (R1-1) sign (see Figure 2B-1), traffic control signal, or some other traffic control device.
The individual triangles comprising the yield line should have a base that is 12 to 24 inches wide and a height equal to 1.5 times the base. The space between the triangles should be 3 to 12 inches.
Yield lines may be used to indicate the point behind which vehicles are required to yield in compliance with a YIELD (R1-2) sign (see Figure 2B-1) or a Yield Here To Pedestrians (R1-5 or R1-5a) sign (see Figure 2B-2).
If used, stop and yield lines should be placed a minimum of 4 feet in advance of and parallel to the nearest crosswalk line at controlled intersections, except for yield lines at roundabout intersections as provided for in Section 3B.24 and at midblock crosswalks. In the absence of a marked crosswalk, the stop line or yield line should be placed at the desired stopping or yielding point, but should be placed no more than 30 feet or less than 4 feet from the nearest edge of the intersecting traveled way. Stop lines should be placed to allow sufficient sight distance to all other approaches to an intersection.
If used at an unsignalized midblock crosswalk, yield lines should be placed adjacent to the Yield Here to Pedestrians sign located 20 to 50 feet in advance of the nearest crosswalk line, and parking should be prohibited in the area between the yield line and the crosswalk (see Figure 3B-15).
Stop lines at midblock signalized locations should be placed at least 40 feet in advance of the nearest signal indication (see Section 4D.15).
Drivers who yield too close to crosswalks on multi-lane approaches place pedestrians at risk by blocking other drivers' views of pedestrians.
Section 7C.05 Curb Markings for Parking Regulations
Signs shall be used with curb markings in those areas where curb markings are frequently obliterated by snow and ice accumulation, unless the no-parking zone is controlled by statute or local ordinance.
When curb markings are used without signs to convey parking regulations, a legible word marking regarding the regulation (such as "No Parking" or "No Standing") should be placed on the curb.
Local highway agencies may prescribe special colors for curb markings to supplement standard signs for parking regulation.
Since yellow and white curb markings are frequently used for curb delineation and visibility, it is advisable to establish parking regulations through the installation of standard signs (see Sections 2B.39 through 2B.41).
Section 7C.06 7C.03 Pavement Word, and Symbol, and Arrow Markings
Word and symbol markings on the pavement are used for the purpose of guiding, warning, or regulating traffic. Symbol messages are preferable to word messages.
Word and symbol markings shall be white. Word and symbol markings shall not be used for mandatory messages except in support of standard signs.
Letters and numerals should be 6 feet or more in height. All letters, numerals, and symbols should be in accordance with the Federal Highway Administration's "Standard Highway Signs" book (see Section 1A.11).
Word and symbol markings should not exceed three lines of information.
If a pavement marking word message consists of more than one line of information, it should read in the direction of travel. The first word of the message should be nearest to the road user.
The longitudinal space between word or symbol message markings, including arrow markings, should be at least four times the height of the characters for low speed roads, but not more than ten times the height of the characters under any conditions.
The number of different word and symbol markings used should be minimized to provide effective guidance and avoid misunderstanding.
Except as noted in the Option below, pavement word and symbol markings should be no more than one lane in width.
If used, the SCHOOL word marking may extend to the width of two approach lanes (see Figure 7C-1).
If the two-lane SCHOOL word marking is used, the letters should be 10 feet or more in height.
Section 3B.20 contains provisions regarding other word, symbol, and arrow pavement markings that can be used to guide, warn, or regulate traffic.
Section 7D.01 General
Part 4 contains information regarding highway traffic signals in school areas. The School Crossing signal warrant is described in Section 4C.06.
Section 7E.01 7D.01 Types of Crossing Supervision
There are two three types of school crossing supervision:
- Adult control of pedestrians and vehicles by adult crossing guards or uniformed law enforcement officers, and
- Adult control of pedestrians and vehicles by uniformed law enforcement officers, and
- Student and/or parent control of only pedestrians with student and/or parent patrols.
Information for the organization, operation, and administration of an adult crossing guard program are given in "Civilian Guards for School Crossings" (available from the Center for Public Safety of Northwestern University, 405 Church Street, Evanston, IL 60204) and "Adult School Crossing Guards" (available from the American Automobile Association, 1000 AAA Drive, Heathrow, FL 32746).
Information for regarding the organization, administration, and operation of a student school safety patrol program are given is contained in the "Policies and Practices for AAA School Safety Patrols Operations Manual" (available from the American Automobile Association, 1000 AAA Drive, Heathrow, FL 32746 see Section 1A.11).
Section 7E.02 7D.02 Adult Crossing Guards
Adult crossing guards may be used to provide gaps in traffic at school crossings where an engineering study has shown that adequate gaps need to be created (see Section 7A.03), and where authorized by law.
Section 7E.03 7D.03 Qualifications of Adult Crossing Guards
High standards for selection of adult crossing guards are essential because they are responsible for the safety of and the efficient crossing of the street by schoolchildren within and in the immediate vicinity of school crosswalks.
Adult crossing guards should possess the following minimum qualifications:
- Average intelligence;
- Good physical condition, including sight, hearing, and mobility ability to move and maneuver quickly in order to avoid danger from errant vehicles;
- Ability to control a STOP paddle effectively to provide approaching road users with a clear, fully direct view of the paddle's STOP message during the entire crossing movement;
- Ability to communicate specific instructions clearly, firmly, and courteously;
- Ability to recognize potentially dangerous traffic situations and warn and manage students in sufficient time to avoid injury.
- Mental alertness;
- Neat appearance;
- Good character;
- Dependability; and
- An overall sense of responsibility for the safety of students.
Section 7E.04 7D.04 Uniform of Adult Crossing Guards and Student Patrols
Adult crossing guards should be uniformed so that road users and pedestrians can recognize them and respond to their signals. The uniforms should be distinctively different from those worn by regular law enforcement officers.
Law enforcement officers performing school crossing supervision and adult crossing guards shall wear high-visibility retroreflective safety apparel labeled as ANSI 107-1999 107-2004 standard performance for Class 2 as described in Section 6E.02.
Student patrols shall wear high-visibility retroreflective safety apparel labeled as ANSI 107-1999 standard performance for Class 1 as described in Section 6E.02.
Law enforcement officers should wear high-visibility retroreflective material over their uniforms when directing nighttime operations.
Section 7E.05 7D.05 Operating Procedures for Adult Crossing Guards
Adult crossing guards should shall not direct traffic in the usual law enforcement regulatory sense. In the control of traffic, they should shall pick opportune times to create a reasonably safe sufficient gap in the traffic flow. At these times, they should shall stand in the roadway to indicate that pedestrians are about to use or are using the crosswalk, and that all vehicular traffic must stop.
Adult crossing guards should shall use a STOP paddle. The STOP paddle should shall be the primary hand-signaling device.
The STOP (R1-1) paddle shall be an octagonal shape. The background of the STOP face shall be red with at least 6-inch series capital upper-case white letters and border. The paddle shall be at least 18 inches in size and have the word message STOP on both sides. The paddle shall be retroreflectorized or illuminated when used during hours of darkness.
The STOP paddle may be modified to improve conspicuity by incorporating red or white or red flashing lights on both sides of the paddle. Among the types of flashing lights that may be used are individual LEDs or groups of LEDs.
The red or white or red flashing lights or LEDs may be arranged in any of the following patterns:
- Two red or white or red lights centered vertically above and below the STOP legend,
- Two red or white or red lights centered horizontally on each side of the STOP legend,
- One red or white or red light centered below the STOP legend,
- A series of eight or more small red or white or red lights no larger than having a diameter of 1/4 inch or less in diameter along the outer edge of the paddle, arranged in an octagonal pattern at the eight corners of the STOP paddle (more than eight lights may be used only if the arrangement of the lights is such that it clearly conveys the octagonal shape of the STOP paddle), or
- A series of white lights forming the shapes of the letters in the legend.
If flashing lights are used on the STOP paddle, the flash rate shall be at least 50, but not more than 60, flash periods per minute.
Section 7E.06 Uniformed Law Enforcement Officers
Uniformed law enforcement officers may be used for school crossing supervision.
Section 7E.07 Student Patrols
Student patrols may be used to direct and control pedestrians at crossings near schools where adequate gaps in traffic occur frequently enough so that gaps do not need to be created.
Student patrols may be used to direct and control pedestrians at signalized intersections where turning movements are not a significant problem, and may be used to assist adult crossing guards in the control of pedestrians at crossing locations used by large numbers of pedestrians.
Student patrols should not be responsible for directing vehicular traffic. They should not function as uniformed law enforcement officers or adult crossing guards.
Section 7E.08 Choice of Student Patrols
Student patrols should be carefully selected. They should be students from the fifth grade or higher. Leadership and reliability should be determining qualities for patrol membership.
Parental approval should be obtained in writing before a student is used as a member of a student patrol.
Section 7E.09 Operating Procedures for Student Patrols
Student patrols should use a flagging device to stop pedestrians behind the curb or edge of the roadway, and should allow them to cross only when there is an adequate gap in traffic.
Flagging devices used during periods of twilight or darkness shall be retroreflective or illuminated.
Because they are not authorized to direct vehicular traffic, student patrols shall not use a STOP paddle.
Section 7F.01 Function
Grade-separated crossings may be used to physically separate the crossing of school pedestrian traffic and vehicular flow.
Section 7F.02 Types of Grade-Separated Crossings
Grade-separated crossings may be either overpasses over the highway or underpasses under the highway.
The design should follow the guidelines given in the published policies of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, such as "A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets" (see Section 1A.11).
Experience has shown that overpasses are more satisfactory than underpasses for pedestrian crossings, as overpasses are easier to maintain and supervise.
Section 7F.03 Criteria for Use of Grade-Separated Crossings
If use of the grade separation will be less convenient to pedestrians than an at-grade crossing, barriers or supervision should be considered to assure a satisfactory level of use.