Fall Webinars 2009

There are two webinars on Sign Retroreflectivity sponsored jointly by: 1) The Bluegrass Branch of the American Public Works Association (APWA); 2) The Kentucky Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (KYSITE); and 3) The Bluegrass Chapter of the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers (KSPE).

Part 1 is scheduled for Thursday, October 15, 2009 and Part 2 is slated for Thursday, November 5, 2009. There is no cost for the webinars thanks to APWA. Lunch will be provided by the organizations listed above. Each webinar will earn participants 2 PDH toward continuing education requirements. They will begin at 11 AM and end at 1 PM each day.

Each will be held in the 3rd floor Phoenix Center Conference Room. The Phoenix building is located at 101 East Vine Street in Lexington. There is free parking in the Transit Center on Vine Street across Vine Street from the Phoenix Center building. A head count is necessary to insure that enough lunches are provided for attendees. Please let Brad Frazier, Ron Herrington, or KYSITE know by email if you expect to attend no later than October 13, 2009.  If you know of others who might benefit from this information, please invite them to respond as well.


Retroreflectivity is a measure of a sign’s ability to be read by sensitive driving populations during nighttime and other non-optimal conditions.  The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) enacted changes to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) that require new retroreflectivity maintenance standards for signs. By January 2012, local jurisdictions must establish and implement a sign assessment or management method and all regulatory, warning, and ground mounted signs must be in compliance by January 2015.  Local and state governments must begin preparing for compliance within their jurisdictions.

Developing a plan for compliance begins with an understanding that retroreflectivity (where light is reflected directly back to the source) is not the same thing as reflectivity (where light bounces off at an angle, as in a mirror) and this webinar will by demystifying this cumbersome word. Nighttime visibility challenges will also be examined.  Will both legitimate and illegitimate civil cases be brought against local governments when someone has an accident and could this expose those agencies to considerable judgments? Based on past experience, this seems very likely.  Hence, a local government should establish policies, procedures, and documentation of effective implementation that will provide an affirmative defense, should it be needed.

This program will help you understand the requirements, legal implications and importance of having a plan. There is a second session on retroreflectivity on November 19th that will show how other agencies have implemented their plan and focuses on best management practices.   After viewing this program, participants will be better able to:

* Explain the difference between retroreflectivity and reflectivity
* Discuss the origins and reasons for the new retroreflectivity standards in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
* Facilitate planning processes within their agencies that will result in effective policies and procedures for compliance with the new MUTCD retroreflectivity standards


In an effort to promote safe nighttime driving, the FHWA announced in January 2008 an update to the MUTCD that establishes minimum levels of retroreflectivity for traffic signs. Agencies that are responsible for maintaining street signs have until January 2012 to implement a sign assessment or management system to maintain levels of retroreflectivity.  Non-compliance could jeopardize federal funding for transportation projects.

This session will focus on agencies that have moved forward on the new requirements and will discuss the steps that they took.


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