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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE.
Washington, D.C. 20590
August 24, 2010
In Reply Refer To: HOTO-1
John Sharkey, P.E.
Vice President - Technology
Campbell Technology Corporation
37W890 Acorn Lane
Elgin, IL 60124
Dear Mr. Sharkey:
Thank you for your June 25 e-mail message requesting an official interpretation regarding whether a single automatic gate mechanism that includes a vehicular gate and a pedestrian gate can be used if a means is provided that prevents the vehicular gate from being raised in the event the pedestrian gate is manually raised.
Paragraph 11 of Section 8D.06 of the 2009 MUTCD recommends that a separate mechanism be provided for the sidewalk gate if a separate sidewalk gate is provided in addition to the vehicular gate. This paragraph further states that the reason for this recommendation is "to prevent a pedestrian from raising the vehicular gate." This recommendation became necessary because incidents have occurred where a pedestrian lifted the pedestrian gate and this action caused the vehicular gate to also rise.
The definition of Guidance in Paragraph 1 of Section 1A.13 states that deviations are "allowed if engineering judgment or engineering study indicates the deviation to be appropriate." Because the provision of a single gate mechanism that will prevent the vehicular gate from being raised if the pedestrian gate is manually raised would accomplish the same purpose as providing separate mechanisms for the two gates, this would seem to be an appropriate deviation from the recommendation.
It is the FHWA's official interpretation that a single automatic gate mechanism that includes a vehicular gate and a pedestrian gate can be used if a means is provided that prevents the vehicular gate from being raised in the event the pedestrian gate is manually raised.
For recordkeeping purposes, we have assigned the following official interpretation number and title: "8(09)-3 (I) - Use of Single Gate Mechanisms at Grade Crossings." Please refer to this number in any future correspondence regarding this topic.
Thank you for your interest in improving the clarity of the provisions contained in the MUTCD.
Original signed by:
Mark R. Kehrli
Director, Office of Transportation Operations
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration