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Cities Join National Roadways Standards Body, Providing Critical Voice

Jan 09, 2020

NACTO Joins the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as a Sponsoring Organization, Adding Expertise to Influential Roadway Markings and Signage Standards Body

Washington, DC (January 9, 2020) – Today, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) was unanimously voted in as a sponsoring organization of the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD), which guides the U.S. Department of Transportation on national standards for road markings, signs, signals, and related traffic control devices. These standards, codified in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), are used to designate many of the elements that make up a street: the shape, size, use, and placement of signage, as well as lane markings and traffic lights. The vast majority of roads in towns, cities, and states across the U.S. conform to national standards set in the MUTCD.

In recent years, cities have had increasing pressure on, and new uses of, their streets. In response to this increased demand, cities have quickly developed new traffic control devices, pioneering treatments like bicycle signals, rapid-flashing warnings at crosswalks, and red transit lanes. Yet, cities hadn’t always had the formal opportunity to share their real-world experiences with national standards bodies. With representation on the NCUTCD, best practices from cities can spread to more places across the country, faster, making streets safer and more efficient.

“NACTO is pleased to join the NCUTCD as a sponsoring organization, contributing crucial on-the-ground knowledge from cities,” said Corinne Kisner, Executive Director of NACTO. “Core to NACTO is sharing best practices between cities, codifying them in national guidance. We are pleased to continue this role with the country’s longest-established roadway standards-writing body.”

“The voice of cities is critical for updating roadway standards that work for everyone,” said Gene Hawkins, NCUTCD Chair. “We welcome NACTO’s participation as a sponsoring organization and look forward to collaboratively working on standards that protect lives, and efficiently get people to where they need to go.”

“City engineers continue to be at the table, sharing the unique experiences of urban areas,” said Matthew Roe, Technical Lead at NACTO. “We wish to thank our partners at NCUTCD for their continued dedication to the field, and look forward to furthering the conversation as we work to keep people safe on fast-changing streets.”

“We are pleased to welcome NACTO to the NCUTCD,” said Jeff Paniati, ITE Executive Director and CEO. “As a sponsoring member of the NCUTCD, ITE has long represented the views of all users, including cities, and we look forward to collaborating with NACTO representatives to ensure the needs of all travelers are being met.”

“NACTO cities like San Francisco have long been leaders in developing signage, signals, and markings that work for everyone,” said Tom Maguire, SFMTA Director of Sustainable Streets. “Standardizing these best practices across the country will better educate all road users and keep people safe while moving about.”

“Often, national standards don’t match the pace of change on city streets,” said Joseph Barr, NACTO Board Member and Cambridge Director of Traffic, Parking, and Transportation. “With NACTO becoming a Sponsoring Agency for the NCUTCD, we can advocate more effectively for forward-thinking changes to the MUTCD and more quickly give cities access to the tools that they need to effectively manage their transportation systems for the benefit of the public.”

“West Palm Beach appreciates NACTO’s leadership in driving change that will benefit the safety and quality of life of our community,” said Uyen Dang, City Traffic Engineer for the City of West Palm Beach. “The partnership between NACTO and the NCUTCD will help modernize our country’s roadway network, connecting us for a safe future.”

NACTO will join the NCUTCD, effective after the current NCUTCD meeting, joining the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the American Public Works Association (APWA), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) as a Group I sponsoring organization.

Learn more about the NCUTCD at

About the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
NACTO is an association of 81 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. The organization’s mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter at @NACTO.

Alexander Engel | [email protected] | 646.324.2919