If you are an active transportation advocate, you have probably run into a transportation engineer who tells you why you can’t have a safety improvement because “that’s not permitted by the standards.” Or the dreaded phrase “I’m sorry, your proposed crosswalk doesn’t meet the warrants.” And then you learn about the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Design (MUTCD), or as we have begun calling it, the Manual Undermining Terrific Community Design.
Last updated over ten years ago, this document is critical to getting great local streets. It sets the standards for getting a crosswalk, installing signals, setting local speed limits and more. The MUTCD is a legal document and engineers who follow its guidance are mostly shielded from liability. Unfortunately the guidance reflects an outdated auto-centric approach.
A new draft is out for an update, the first in ten years. If Pete Buttigieg is serious about a new era of transportation policy, he needs to drastically rework it. The Manual is not making our streets safer. In fact, we’ve heard countless stories about how it often functions to create the opposite effect in many communities. We thought it would be powerful to collect and unite some of these tales. If you have a story about how the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices inhibited your efforts to create people-first community change, please submit it below for a possible feature. Be sure to include photos or video of what you wanted, and what you ended up with, because of the outdated manual.
Complete the form below with your story. Send larger photo/video files to firstname.lastname@example.org for a possible feature on our social media, blog, or newsletter.
*We are not able to reply to all submission authors. Please know that we appreciate your time and dedication to support and tell stories around getting and promoting safer streets.
*Submitting a story grants America Walks explicit permission to share your story on social media, on our website, in newsletters and with the Federal Highway Administration.
*Don’t forget to also tag @americawalks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with your Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) horror stories too.