With the compliance deadline for the FHWA’s retroreflectivity requirements in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) just days away on June 13, 2014, Camcode wants to be sure you’re armed with the knowledge you need to comply. Below is a list of commonly asked questions on the implementation and acceptable assessment or management methods for sign retroreflectivity. Thanks to TAPCO (Traffic & Parking Control Co., Inc.), who manufactures, distributes and services traffic, parking and safety products, systems and solutions, for providing this list of common questions.
Q: Is there a set date for replacing signs?
A: No, there are no specific dates for sign replacement. You are required to replace your signs at any time they fail to meet the FHWA minimums. The June 13, 2014 deadline applies to management system for establishing and monitoring sign inventory. At that time, agencies must determine their inventory needs and develop a plan to establish sign inventory tracking and maintenance programs.
Q: Are street name signs included in the retroreflectivity requirements?
A: Yes, even though the ruling only states regulatory and warning signs, the guide signs are to be added to your method as resources become available. Your street name signs need to be replaced when they fall below the FHWA minimums for reflectivity. At this time of replacement, they also need to follow guidelines for letter height and blade height.
Q: What is the requirement for reading a sign with a retroreflectometer?
A: The sign needs to be evaluated per ASTM standard E1709. Take 4 readings per sign per applicable color and average them together. In certain cases there are 2 applicable colors (such as in a stop sign) that also need to meet a contrast ratio.
Q: Where is the requirement for fluorescent sheeting on signs located?
A: Fluorescent yellow or yellow-green needs to meet the minimums for yellow; fluorescent orange needs to meet the minimum for orange on Table 2A-3 of the MUTCD.
Q: What are the assessment methods allowed for inspection?
A: Assessment methods are visual nighttime inspection and measured reflectivity; management methods are expected sign life, blanket replacement and control signs.
With Camcode’s experience in asset management, including asset management for governments and municipalities, we have discovered that the biggest issue facing most municipalities is that street signs and other signs and assets aren’t properly tracked, monitored and inventoried. This makes it hard to determine a total inventory, as well as monitor which signs comply with the retroreflectivity regulations, and which do not. Only when signs are properly tracked and managed can municipalities develop a method to repair or replace specific signs to comply with the MUTCD requirements.
It is possible to maintain current inventory, as well as monitor detailed records of upgrades and modifications to signs and other equipment using automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) methods including durable asset labels, scanners or data collectors, and a software solution.
The use of asset labels to create a compliant asset management system not only helps to monitor compliance with retroreflectivity requirements, but also reduces the burden of updating signs to meet compliance standards, and improves ongoing maintenance monitoring, warranty tracking and regulatory reporting.
It’s not too late to plan your management system for establishing and monitoring sign inventory. Camcode can help. We’veimplemented and managed thousands of asset tracking projects in a variety of industries across the globe. Camcode’s experienced project management team is dedicated to helping you take charge of your assets and enhance your inventory and maintenance tracking processes using durable bar code labels and proven AIDC processes. Contact us today.