Changes and experimentations for the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

The standard for traffic control devices in Washington state is the 2009 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (with Revisions 1 and 2 Incorporated), modified by Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 468-95 to fit Washington State's circumstances. The following is information on interpretations and approved changes for the MUTCD and on experimentations and interim approvals for devices not yet in the MUTCD.

Interpretations, changes, and experimentations

See Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Official Rulings database for interpretations of and approved changes to the MUTCD, and approved experimentations of traffic control devices in Washington and other states.

Request an experimentation for a traffic control device that has not been tested

Local and state agencies can request an experimentation from FHWA to test a new traffic control device that is either:

  • Not in the 2009 MUTCD and has not been tested.
  • In the 2009 MUTCD but the device would be used in a new way (different size, type, or location) that has not been tested.

Request to be included in WSDOT's statewide interim approval to use a traffic control device that has been tested but is not in the MUTCD

Local and state jursdictions that want to use a traffic control device that has been tested or is in the process of being tested and is being considered for addition to the next edition of the MUTCD can request an interim approval from FHWA. Agencies can request site specific approval or jurisdiction-wide approval.

WSDOT has received the following statewide approvals for use by all local jurisdictions. A local jurisdiction that wants to use WSDOT's statewide approval may do so. The agency must first contact WSDOT by email to notify us that it will use the device under the statewide approval. As a condition of our approval from FHWA, the agency must either 1) provide WSDOT a list of all locations where the traffic control device will be installed and must provide an updated list when locations are added or removed or 2) keep a list of all locations where the traffic control device is installed. This works like a recall. If FHWA should find the device to not be effective, FHWA will ask WSDOT to notify all the agencies using the device to remove them.

WSDOT statewide interim approvals for use on all local jurisdiction-owned roadways and state highways. Get definitions and specific requirements.

  • IA-12.5: Traffic signal photo enforced sign
  • IA-13.2: Alternative electric vehicle charging general service symbol sign
  • IA-14.20: Green colored pavement for bike lanes
  • IA-18.35: Optional use of intersection bicycle boxes
  • IA-19.8: Alternative signal warrant 7 - crash experience
    Note: Since RCW 46.61.085 requires WSDOT approval for all traffic control signals installed on state highways, the three-year period for data will be the only option allowed by WSDOT under this interim approval for state highways.
  • IA-20.17: Optional use of two-stage bicycle turn boxes
  • IA-21.19: Optional use of pedestrian-actuated rectangular rapid-flashing beacons at uncontrolled marked crosswalks. This approval requires that WSDOT keep a list of all locations within each jurisdiction where the devices are installed.

WSDOT statewide interim approvals for use on all local jurisdiction-owned roadways and not on state highways. 

Planned statewide interim approval for use on all local jurisdiction-owned roadways and state highways.

  • IA-16: Optional Use of Bicycle Signal Faces: WSDOT is working with our partner organizations to get this interim approval. This requires amending RCW 46.61.055.

Interim approval reinstated by FHWA

  • IA-5: Use of Clearview Font for Positive Contrast Legends on Guide Signs. If your agency would like WSDOT to request statewide interim approval for the use of Clearview font on guide signs, please contact us.

For more information:
Contact the City Safety & Traffic Programs Manager