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Interpretation Letter 10-59(I) - Light Rail Transit Signals for Bus Rapid Transit System Lanes

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April 16, 2003

Refer to: HOTO-1

Mr. Thomas C. Larsen
Traffic Engineer
Public Works Transportation Division
City of Eugene
858 Pearl Street, 3rd Floor
Eugene, OR 97401

Dear Mr. Larsen:

Thank you for your letter for interpretation and/or experimental use of light rail transit (LRT) control signals by bus rapid transit (BRT) vehicles in semi-exclusive and exclusive rights-of-way. We apologize for the delay in responding to your request. All first class mail sent through the United States Postal Service to Federal agencies in the District of Columbia must be processed in a special way to protect government employees from the possibility of handling anthrax-tainted mail. The irradiation process can significantly delay mail delivery. Additionally, the staff reassignments within the Office of Transportation Operations also caused a delay to the response of this letter. I understand that Ms. Debra Chappell of the Office of Safety has been in contact with you regarding your request, and retrieving additional information needed to adequately respond to your request.

Your interpretation request involved the coordination of two parts within the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD): Part 4 (Highway Traffic Signals) and Part 10 (Traffic Controls at Highway-Light Rail Transit Grade Crossings). Your plan sheets and phasing diagrams indicate measures have been incorporated to decrease the likelihood of confusion of the motoring public to inadvertently encroach in the BRT-only lanes. Based on the additional information you provided Ms. Chappell, it appears that additional measures will be installed to deter such traffic movements (e.g., signage, curbs, etc.). The LRT signal lens style and configuration shown in Figure 10D-1 of the MUTCD should help reduce confusion to the motoring public. As Ms. Chappell mentioned to you earlier, additional public outreach efforts should be considered to assist the public with BRT lane configuration along East 11th Avenue.

Based on the information you provided, we feel that this project may proceed as designed. I ask that you supply this office (and a copy to the FHWA Oregon Division Office) with a periodic status report on this project, which would include the successes, challenges, and response to this effort. I look forward to reviewing this information, as this will assist this office with a future direction of the MUTCD regarding BRT systems in exclusive and semi-exclusive rights-of way.

For future reference, we have numbered and titled this experimentation as "10-59(I)–Light Rail Transit Signals for Bus Rapid Transit System Lanes." Please reference this number in any future correspondence. If we can be of further assistance, please contact Ms. Chappell at 202-366-0087.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ Vincent Pearce (for)

Shelley J. Row, P.E.
Director, Office of Transportation