TAC’s MUTCDC – How it was developed

Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) is preparing to publish the Sixth Edition of its Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada (MUTCDC), which replaces the Fifth Edition published in 2014. The MUTCDC was first published in 1960.

A previous article discussed the importance of the MUTCDC, what’s new in the Sixth Edition, and why those updates matter. TAC will provide more information in the coming days and months.

Collaborative Process

The new Manual is the product of a six-year collaboration by partner organizations from across Canada.  It was funded and directed by 27 partners including Canada’s municipal, provincial, territorial and federal governments. The Manual serves the diverse interests of TAC’s member organizations, and offers guidance for a wide range of conditions including urban and rural contexts from coast to coast.

Development of the Manual was guided by a steering committee of expert practitioners from 27 partner organizations. The steering committee met 13 times, was closely involved in each step of work, and conducted line-by-line review and approval of the guidance in the Manual.

The Manual represents a strong national consensus among all orders of government. The MUTCDC, Sixth Edition received unanimous support in a ballot of TAC’s Chief Engineers, who represent 23 municipal, provincial, territorial and federal agencies.

Diverse Participation

TAC’s partner organizations were:

Federal government

  • Transport Canada

Provincial and territorial governments

  • Alberta Transportation
  • British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Manitoba Infrastructure
  • Ministère des Transports du Québec
  • Ministry of Transportation, Ontario
  • New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Transportation and Works
  • Northwest Territories Department of Infrastructure
  • Nova Scotia Transportation and Active Transit
  • Prince Edward Island Department of Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways
  • Yukon Highways and Public Works

Municipal governments

  • City of Burlington
  • City of Calgary
  • City of Edmonton
  • City of Kelowna
  • City of Moncton
  • City of Ottawa
  • City of Saskatoon
  • City of Toronto
  • City of Vancouver
  • City of Winnipeg
  • Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Ville de Montréal

Not-for-profit organizations

  • Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers
  • International Municipal Signal Association

The consulting team included Canadian experts in human factors, road safety, active transportation and traffic operations. CIMA Canada Inc. led a multidisciplinary team of individuals from the private and academic sectors with backgrounds in research and real-world applications:

  • Hart Solomon, CIMA Canada Inc.
  • Alireza Hadayeghi, CIMA Canada Inc.
  • Chantal Dagenais, CIMA Canada Inc.
  • Phil Weber, CIMA Canada Inc.
  • Soroush Salek, CIMA Canada Inc.
  • Brian Malone, CIMA Canada Inc.
  • Sheetal Thukral, CIMA Canada Inc.
  • Reza Omrani, CIMA Canada Inc.
  • Manny Grewal, CIMA Canada Inc.
  • Chris Philp, CIMA Canada Inc.
  • Samantha Bennett, CIMA Canada Inc.
  • Raheem Dilgir, TranSafe Consulting Ltd.
  • Geni Bahar, NAVIGATS Inc.
  • Jeannette Montufar, MORR Transportation Consulting Ltd.
  • Stephen Chapman, MORR Transportation Consulting Ltd.
  • John Morrall, Canadian Highways Institute Ltd.
  • Robert Dewar, Western Ergonomics Inc.
  • Eric Hildebrand, University of New Brunswick
  • Fred Hanscom, Transportation Research Corporation

Robust Technical Input

TAC’s expert volunteers are responsible for keeping the MUTCDC current. Dozens of volunteers on TAC’s Traffic Operations & Management Committee (TOMC) work to monitor emerging practices and research, and to evaluate traffic control devices before they are included in the Manual.

The new Manual integrates up-to-the-minute guidance. Over several years since the Fifth Edition was published, TOMC and TAC’s Chief Engineers approved a number of new traffic control devices for inclusion in the updated Manual. The Sixth Edition’s consulting team also developed a list of devices for consideration, based on the literature and input from partner agencies. The resulting review process considered more than 130 proposed traffic control devices, of which 31 were included in the new Manual; TOMC will subject more than 30 others to comprehension testing using software developed by TAC and involving members of the public; and about 60 more may be considered in the future. As new devices are approved, they will be added to the MUTCDC through periodic published revisions.

TAC also offers a tool for manufacturing signs that conform to the Manual. An important companion to the MUTCDC is TAC’s Sign Pattern Manual, which enables the accurate and consistent production of road signs in the MUTCDC. The Sign Pattern Manual is now being updated to support the Sixth Edition, and will be available for purchase later this year.

For more information, contact us.


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