[Federal Register: October 22, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 204)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 62007-62008]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr22oc04-14]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

23 CFR Part 655

[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2003-15149]
RIN 2125-AE98

 
National Standards for Traffic Control Devices; the Manual on 
Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways; Maintaining 
Traffic Sign Retroreflectivity

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Propsed rule; extension of comment period.

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SUMMARY: The FHWA is extending the comment period for a notice of 
proposed amendments (NPA) to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control 
Devices (MUTCD); request for comments on maintaining traffic sign 
retroreflectivity, which was published on July 30, 2004, at 69 FR 
45623. The original comment period is set to close on October 28, 2004. 
The extension is based on concern expressed by the National Committee 
on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, (NCUTCD) and the American 
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) that 
the October 28 closing date does not provide sufficient time for 
discussion of the issues in committee and a subsequent comprehensive 
response to the docket. The FHWA recognizes that others interested in 
commenting may have similar time constraints and agrees that the 
comment

[[Page 62008]]

period should be extended. Therefore, the closing date for comments is 
changed to February 1, 2005, which will provide the NCUTCD, the AASHTO, 
and others interested in commenting additional time to discuss, 
evaluate, and submit responses to the docket.

DATES: Submit comments on or before February 1, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Mail or hand deliver comments to the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Dockets Management Facility, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, or submit electronically at http://dmses.dot.gov/submit
 or fax comments to (202) 493-2251. All comments 

should include the docket number that appears in the heading of this 
document. Alternatively, comments may be submitted via the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal at  http://www.regulations.gov (follow the on-line 

instructions for submitted comments). All comments received will be 
available for examination and copying at the above address from 9 a.m. 
to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Those 
desiring notification of receipt of comments must include a self-
addressed, stamped postcard or may print the acknowledgment page that 
appears after submitting comments electronically. Anyone is able to 
search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our 
dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or 
signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, 
business, labor union, etc.). Persons making comments may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on 
April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70, Pages 19477-78) or may visit 
http://dms.dot.gov.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Peter J. Hatzi, Office of Safety 
Design (HSA-10), (202) 366-8036, or Raymond Cuprill, Office of the 
Chief Counsel (202) 366-0791, Federal Highway Administration, 400 
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Office hours are from 
7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access and Filing

    Interested parties may submit or retrieve comments online through 
the Document Management System (DMS) at: http://dmses.dot.gov/submit. 

Acceptable formats include: MS Word (versions 95 to 97), MS Word for 
Mac (versions 6 to 8), Rich Text File (RTF), American Standard Code 
Information Interchange (ASCII) (TXT), Portable Document Format (PDF), 
and WordPerfect (versions 7 to 8). The DMS is available 24 hours each 
day, 365 days each year. Electronic submission, retrieval help and 
guidelines are available under the help section of the website.
    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded using a 
computer, modem and suitable communications software from the 
Government Printing Office's Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 
512-1661. Internet users may reach the Office of the Federal Register's 
home page at http://www.archives.gov and the Government Printing Office's Web page at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara.


Background

    The FHWA has conducted extensive research on the minimum levels of 
sign retroreflectivity. This research led to the development of 
proposed minimum maintained levels of traffic sign retroreflectivity, 
and a complement of maintenance methods for implementing the levels. On 
July 30, 2004, the FHWA published in the Federal Register a notice of 
proposed amendments (NPA) proposing changes to the MUTCD to include 
methods to maintain traffic sign retroreflectivity. The proposed 
maintenance methods would establish a basis for improving nighttime 
visibility of traffic signs to promote safety, enhance traffic 
operations, and facilitate comfort and convenience for all drivers.
    The existing MUTCD requires that traffic signs be illuminated or 
retroreflective. However, until recently, little information was 
available about the levels of retroreflectivity necessary to meet the 
needs of drivers and thereby define the useful life of signs. The NPA 
for maintaining traffic sign retroreflectivity is proposing guidance 
for evaluating and maintaining traffic sign retroreflectivity to 
address the needs of drivers. The methods proposed would allow agencies 
options for evaluating and managing their signs.
    The NPA proposes a seven-year compliance period for regulatory, 
warning, and post mounted guide signs and a 10-year compliance period 
for overhead guide signs and street name signs.
    The original comment period for the NPA closes on October 28, 2004. 
The NCUTCD and the AASHTO have expressed concern that this closing date 
does not provide sufficient time to review and discuss the proposed 
changes; and then, develop and submit complete responses to the docket. 
To allow time for these organizations and others to submit 
comprehensive comments, the closing date is changed from October 28, 
2004, to February 1, 2005.

    Authority: 23 U.S.C. 101(a), 104, 105, 109(d), 114(a), 135, 217, 
307, 315, and 402(a); sec. 406(a), Pub. L. 102-388, 106 Stat. 1520, 
1564, 23 CFR 1.32 and 49 CFR 1.48(b).)

    Issued on: October 18, 2004.
Mary E. Peters,
Federal Highway Administrator.
[FR Doc. 04-23674 Filed 10-21-04; 8:45 am]
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