New MUTCD!!!

On Tuesday, December 19th, 2023, FHWA published the new 11th edition of the MUTCD. The supersedes and replaces the 2009 edition as the “official” MUTCD at a national level as of January 18th, 2024. Individual states have until January 2026 to adopt the new national MUTCD, a state-specific supplement, or a state-specific MUTCD, subject to review and concurrence from FHWA.

What does this mean for the Manual of Traffic Signs?

Well, a lot of work. First will be an assessment of how many new and revised signs are in the new 11th Edition. Next will be a data revision to assign existing and new signs to the correct sections of the new MUTCD for linking purposes, then the work of creating the new signs based on the revised Standard Highway Signs and Markings document, and then rebuilding the website with all the new material and corrected links.

This will not happen instantly, especially given other obligations and activities. But we do hope to have the MOTS updated and compliant with the new 11th Edition in a timely manner. Until then, we thank you for your patience, enjoy the site, and watch this space for updates.

Happy New MUTCD Day, a merry Christmas and happy holidays to all, and hoping for a good 2024.


In its update to the FHWA MUTCD website, this piece of information: “Starting with the 11th Edition of the MUTCD, FHWA no longer provides the MUTCD in a companion HTML format.” What this means is that this website can no longer link directly to FHWA HTML webpages with official MUTCD text, and many browsers do not support direct links to locations within PDF files – just the beginning of the PDF. Needless to say, if you want to link to 2B.74 and the PDF opens to 2B.01, that’s not very useful. So another time-consuming task will likely be importing the MUTCD as HTML into, adding anchors for direct links, and fixing formatting as needed… and then having to keep that information updated as revisions are issued. This could result in more delays, alas. But we’ll get working on it soon.

And more info on the Standard Highway Signs and Markings page: “The new edition ofย Standard Highway Signsย will contain the details for all signs and pavement markings in the 11th Edition of the MUTCD, expanded sign design guidelines, and details for symbolic traffic and lane-control signal indications. It is taking some additional time to prepare the publication, and information is expected to be posted in the coming months.” So this could also delay updates, as until the revised SHSM is published, any sign design we come up with will be based off MUTCD figure graphics, and not on official FHWA data.


(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…) ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚