[Federal Register: October 22, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 204)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Highway Administration
23 CFR Part 655
[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2003-15149]
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.
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
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
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
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.
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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