New Job, Same Old Website

I (Richard, site creator & owner) have been involved with the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) since 1996, when I was approved to be a charter member of the then-brand-new Bicycle Technical Committee. I’d already been professionally involved with traffic control for several years prior to this, and had launched this Manual of Traffic Signs website earlier in 1996.

Through the years, I served in a number of different positions in NCUTCD. I became a voting member on the NCUTCD Council in 1999 (representing LAB, then AASHTO), and chaired the Bicycle Technical Committee for 15 years from 2002 to 2017, during a time when traffic control for cyclists underwent many notable changes.

And now, I am honored to move on to another position with the National Committee – that of Associate Executive Secretary. My firm, Moeurgineering PLLC, has been retained by NCUTCD to provide executive support services to NCUTCD, including helping to organize and arrange the two general meetings per year, maintain databases and records, and provide operational support to the Chair, Board, technical committees, and membership. I’ll be working alongside Bob Garrett, the current Executive Secretary, for the next several months, and it’s anticipated I will take over as Executive Secretary for the National Committee once Bob retires in the spring of 2020.

One thing I will not be doing: leading the National Committee. That is the role of the Chair, selected by the Council, and currently most ably filled by the legendary Gene Hawkins. Gene leads the committee – I just help him out.

I will continue to operate my engineering firm, and will continue to take on clients and work that won’t create a conflict of interest with my role with NCUTCD (in other words, no more expert witness work for the foreseeable future). The Manual of Traffic Signs will also continue to be an independent activity of mine, just as it was during my ADOT employment.

So don’t expect any major changes to the MOTS due to this new role – the site will chug along as it always have, and won’t be absorbed into NCUTCD. We’re all still waiting for the draft of the new edition of the MUTCD to be released for public comment, and once the Final Rule is issued and the new edition is final, I plan to promptly update this site accordingly. And I’m hoping to get the MUTCD Wiki up and running by year’s end.

Looking forward to this next chapter!


(for now, anyway)

As of 6 PM MST on October 30th, 2019, the Manual of Traffic Signs update and revamp is hereby declared to be complete. Over two years and thousands of hours of work in creating hundreds of all-new sign files and user-editable PDFs is finished. The result has been uploaded and stands ready to satisfy your traffic sign information needs.

I’ve finished the rest of the D series signs and revised the webpages to more clearly denote which signs have PDF files that are user-editable. I also rearranged the main page to group similar items and emphasize content.

There are still two items of unfinished business:

I haven’t yet created the page(s) for E series freeway and expressway guide signs, as many of those signs don’t have standard MUTCD codes – I’m still working out how I’ll organize and group that section.

I also haven’t revised the section on recreational and cultural interest signs, for two reasons: one, FHWA has not yet released the official layouts for these signs (yes, I know Caltrans has developed some layouts, but they’re not “FHWA-official”). Also, there is a possibility this section may be dropped from the next edition of the MUTCD – we’ll see when the draft MUTCD is released (any time soon…) 🙂

Anyway, I’m happy with how it’s turned out so far. As always, feedback (preferably positive) is always welcome.


Wheely Useful

Another Manual of Traffic Signs update to announce: as of late last night, the Bicycle Facility Signs section of the website is updated.

Roll on over to:

And don’t forget, many of the PDF versions of the signs on the website are user-editable, in case you need a bicycle guide sign with your particular wording on it.

Also, the D series section of guide signs is getting close to halfway finished, with D1-D4 and D10-11 series complete. Progress rumbles along…


Since the Manual of Traffic Signs site was inaugurated as the first major website devoted to US road and highway signing back in 1996, I’ve used .gif format files for many of the sign images, as that format renders simple color images very well and offers high compression with zero loss.

However, as time has wandered onward, the .gif file format has become somewhat of a niche item, now used mostly for self-playing animations. All browsers still support rendering of .gifs, but some websites (I’m looking at you, Facebook) assume that all .gif files are movie files and can’t handle simple viewing and uploading without screwups.

But what finally moved me to belated action is my current work on D series guide signs (note: don’t bother looking – nothing new is posted yet for Ds – coming soon in due time). When I’ve been creating the large bitmap graphics for the D1s, I just can’t get smaller white on green text to look right in a 256-color palette, but it looks fine when exported as a 32-bit .png file.

But my OCD won’t allow me to have just the D series sign bitmaps in .png format and all the rest in .gif. Nope, just won’t do.

So, thanks to the twin miracles of batch conversion in Graphic Converter and fast find/replace in the HTML files, I’ve updated all the recently-revised sign pages to now use .png files for the big bitmaps. This shouldn’t affect the viewing experience, except that some browsers may render the 32-bit files with less jaggieness (yay).

But… I’m still keeping all the small sign thumbnail images (50 x 50, 100 x 100) in .gif format. Because quite a few of those are indeed animated, and I don’t want to ruin the fun.

Hoping for no bugs, and enjoy the new graphics.

Warning Signs Are Complete! And TTC Too!!

Another major achievement to announce.

The entire section on warning signs is finally complete and revamped, from the W1-1 to the W25-2. Several months of work have resulted in greatly-improved webpages, fully updated to 2009 MUTCD compliance and including user-editable PDFs for signs with user-adjustable legends. And don’t forget the “Create Your Own Warning Sign” section, too – now with four different background colors to choose from!

And since the warning sign section is now complete, I realized that if I quickly knocked out the G20 series and a few E5 signs that I could also complete the Temporary Traffic Control Signs section as well. So I did!

Much is going on around here, including a little bit of paying work, so I may be taking a break from the Manual for a bit. Once I get back to it, I’ll probably start in on school signs and emergency/incident signs, plus update some of the other information pages. Then comes the big unfinished sections on guide signs – first the Ds, then the Es, then the recreational/cultural signs.

Lots of work still left to do. We’ll see how much of it gets done before the draft of the next MUTCD comes out!

Orange you glad that the W20s & W21s are done?

I’ve been busy the last few days…

Earlier this evening, I uploaded the revised W20 & W21 series signs for work zones. And like other sections of the Manual, the PDF files incorporating distances or other varying legend are set to be user-editable (In Acrobat or Acrobat Reader).

This means I’m nearly finished with the entire section on warning signs – in fact, I think I can see the (rotating, flashing, oscillating or strobe) light at the end of the section. 🙂

The Grumbles of the W11s

I’m currently plowing through the revamp of the W11 series signs for advance warning of persons / animals / things / etc. Most of these signs use symbols to depict the object that a road user should try not to hit. As part of this revamp, I’m re-creating all the symbols from scratch, as I’ve discovered the symbols used in earlier editions of this Manual aren’t as exactly conforming to the FHWA standard symbols as I would want.

Some of the symbols, like the pedestrian and bicycle, are relatively simple. And then you get the more challenging ones, like the golf cart or horse-drawn vehicle. But I thought the old-fashioned Hoyt-Clagwell tractor on the W11-5 was going to be the toughest one to trace.

Until I met… The Moose.

The W11-21 is ridiculously complex. Goofy antlers with shadows, funny hooves, and the droopy dewlap. Plus an evil eye. Here’s a close-up of one of the antlers:

Not the simplest symbol to work on…

So, it’s going a bit slowly, but the resulting W11 signs should be excellent. If I don’t go nuts first.

(no, I don’t think there’s a W11 sign for that…)

Friday Night Sign Dump

It’s been a reasonably productive week. First, the W10 series of railroad and light rail signs is complete, so we’re over halfway done with the warning sign section.

But then I realized: with the W10s done, all I’d need to do is update a few I series signs, and I could complete the Railroad and Light Rail Signs section (the R15s were done late last year).

So I started working on the I-7, I-12, and I-13. But I didn’t want to leave the section only halfway done, so I finished up all the I series information signs.

And then I updated the Guide and Information Signs navigation page too, even though any meaningful work on the D, E, and Recreational/Cultural Signs is still lurking in the future.

So, here’s what’s new as of very late on the Ides of March:

As always, PDF files for signs with varying legends (I1-1 signal speed sign, I-2 & I-3 boundary and geographic feature signs, W10-11 series crossing storage signs, etc.) have user-editable text for convenience. And the I-2 & I-3 signs come in two different sizes!

Enjoy the updates. 🙂