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October 16, 2003
Refer to: HOTO-1
Mr. Michael B. Thompson
17213 Deer Meadow
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
RE: Request for Interpretation I-40(I)–Status of Reference Documents in the MUTCD
Dear Mr. Thompson:
Thank you for your October 6 email to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requesting an interpretation regarding the status of the ITE Traffic Engineering Handbook and the AASHTO Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets as part of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). For recordkeeping purposes, we have entitled this as a Request for Interpretation I-40(I)–Status of Reference Documents in the MUTCD.
Information regarding the relation of other documents and references to the Millennium edition of the MUTCD for streets and highways may be found in Section 1A.11 which is also available on the FHWA website: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov.
In response to your questions regarding the status of the other documents identified in Section 1A.11, Section 1A.11 states the following:
Section 1A.11 Relation to Other Documents
To the extent that they are incorporated by specific reference, the latest editions
of the following documents, or those editions specifically noted, shall be a part of
this Manual: "Standard Alphabets for Highway Signs and Pavement Markings,"
1977 Edition (FHWA); "Standard Alphabets for Highway Signs," 1966 Edition
(FHWA); "Standard Color Tolerance Limits," (FHWA); and "Standard Highway
Signs," 1979 Edition (FHWA).
The documents identified in this standard statement are incorporated into the MUTCD by specific reference and as such are considered part of the MUTCD. As identified in this standard in Section 1A.11, it is our interpretation that "Standard Alphabets for Highway Signs and Pavement Markings," 1977 Edition (FHWA); "Standard Alphabets for Highway Signs," 1966 Edition (FHWA); "Standard Color Tolerance Limits," (FHWA); and "Standard Highway Signs," 1979 Edition (FHWA) are part of the MUTCD.
However, other documents identified in the support statement of Section 1A.11
"sources of useful information with respect to use of the MUTCD" and it is our interpretation that these other documents are not considered part of the MUTCD itself. These other documents identified in the support statement include:
F. "Traffic Engineering Handbook," 1999 Edition (ITE)
H. "A Policy on Geometric Design of Highway and Streets," 1994 Edition (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials—AASHTO)
In regard to your question, "Is a driveway that connects to any public street/highway considered part of the infrastructure?" please be advised that the MUTCD sets forth standard designs for traffic control devices and for their application and does not specifically address this issue within its standards, guidance, and options.
If you have further questions, you may contact Mr. Fred Ranck of the FHWA MUTCD team at 708-283-3545.
/s/ Vincent P. Pearce
Vincent P. Pearce
Acting Director, Office of Transportation Operations
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration