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Federal Highway Administration releases updated traffic control manual

Urban Planning

Federal Highway Administration releases updated traffic control manual

Amid surge in pedestrian deaths, new standards aim to make roads safer


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | January 2, 2024
Image by staboslaw from Pixabay - Federal Highway Administration releases updated traffic control manual
Image by staboslaw from Pixabay

With pedestrian deaths surging nationwide, the Federal Highway Administration released a new edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways.

The manual contains standards for street markings and design, standardizing signage, and making driving as seamless as possible. The new edition is the first update in 14 years.

Critics have lamented that the manual has been too focused on moving vehicular traffic as quickly as possible, sometimes sacrificing safety. The regulations have been redesigned to align with the Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy, a 2022 initiative that aims to dramatically reduce traffic deaths via a multilayered “safe system” approach widely used in Europe.

The 1,000-page manual now focuses more on pedestrian and bicycling safety elements such as sidewalk markings, guidelines on cycle lane design, and features such as turn boxes and intersection safety improvements such as flashing beacons at crosswalks. The manual also includes standard signage for EV charging stations on highways.

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K-12 Schools

Average age of U.S. school buildings is just under 50 years

The average age of a main instructional school building in the United States is 49 years, according to a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). About 38% of schools were built before 1970. Roughly half of the schools surveyed have undergone a major building renovation or addition.



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