Category Archives: Reflective Regulations

Mandated reflective tape applications.

Reflective Tape for Gate Arms and Railroad Crossings – MUTCD

Note – This article addresses gate striping requirements for gates that fall under MUTCD requirements.  These would be gates that open onto a DOT regulated road.

Reflective Gate Arm Tape can now be purchased in 1″,2″,3″ and 4″ rolls at www.safety-tapes.com .

Section 2B.68 of the 2009 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) specifies how gate arms are to be marked.  MUTCD regulations also apply to private property when that property connects to a DOT road.  This regulation covers all gate arms including those used at railroad crossings.  All gates are required to be marked with alternating red and white 16″ sections of reflective tape.  The width will depend on the width of the arm.  It is recommended that a Type 2 or better retro-reflective tape be used.  For more information on minimum reflectivity levels see our article on that subject to the right.

Section 2B.68 Gates

Support:
01 – Gates described in this section used for weather or other emergency conditions are typically permanently installed to enable the gate to be immediately deployed as needed to prohibit the entry of traffic to the highway segment(s).
02 – A gate typically features a gate arm that is moved from a vertical to a horizontal position or is rotated in a horizontal plane from parallel to traffic to perpendicular to traffic. Traffic is obstructed and required to stop when
the gate arm is placed in a horizontal position perpendicular to traffic. Another type of gate consists of a segment of fence (usually on rollers) that swings open and closed, or that is retracted to open and then extended to close.
03 – Gates are sometimes used to enforce a required stop. Some examples of such uses are the following:

A. Parking facility entrances and exits,
B. Private community entrances and exits,
C. Military base entrances and exits,
D. Toll plaza lanes,
E. Movable bridges (see Chapter 4J),
F. Automated Flagger Assistance Devices (see Chapter 6E), and
G. Grade crossings (see Part 8).
04 – Gates are sometimes used to periodically close a roadway or a ramp. Some examples of such uses are
the following:
A. Closing ramps to implement counter-flow operations for evacuations,
B. Closing ramps that lead to reversible lanes, and
C. Closing roadways for weather events such as snow, ice, or flooding, or for other emergencies.

Standard:
05 – Except as provided in Paragraph 6, gate arms, if used, shall be fully retroreflectorized on both sides, have vertical stripes alternately red and white at 16-inch intervals measured horizontally as shown in Figure 8C-1.

Option:
06 – If used on a one-way roadway or ramp, the retroreflectorization may be omitted on the side of the gate facing away from approaching traffic.
07 – Where gate arms are used to block off ramps into reversible lanes or to redirect approaching traffic, the red and white striping may be angled such that the stripes slope downward at an angle of 45 degrees toward the side of
the gate arm on which traffic is to pass.

Standard:
08 – The gate arm shall extend across the approaching lane or lanes of traffic to effectively block motor vehicle and/or pedestrian travel as appropriate.
09 – When gate arms are in the vertical position or rotated to an open position, the closest part of the gate arm and support shall have a lateral offset of at least 2 feet from the face of the curb or the edge of the traveled way.
10 – When gate arms that are located in the median or on an island are in the horizontal position or rotated to a closed position, the closest part of the counterweight or its supports shall h ave a lateral offset of at least 2 feet from the face of the curb or the edge of the traveled way of the open roadway on the opposite side of the median or island.

Guidance:
11 – When a gate that is rotated in a horizontal plane is in the position where it is parallel to traffic (indicating that the roadway is open), the outer end of the gate arm should be rotated to the downstream direction (from the perspective of traffic in the lane adjacent to the gate support) to prevent spearing if the gate is struck by an errant vehicle.
12 – If a pedestrian route is present and if it is not intended that pedestrian traffic be controlled by the gate, a minimum of 2 feet of lateral offset from supports, posts, counterweights, and gate mechanisms should be provided when the gate arm is in the open position and when the gate arm is in the closed position such that pedestrian travel is not impeded.

Option:
13 – Red lights may be attached to traffic gates.
Standard:
14 – If red lights are attached to a traffic gate, the red lights shall be steadily illuminated or flashed only during the period when the gate is in the horizontal or closed position and when the gate is in the process of being opened or closed.
15 – Except as provided in Paragraph 16, rolling sections of fence, if used, shall include either a horizontal strip of retroreflectorized sheeting on both sides of the fence with vertical stripes alternately red and white at 16-inch intervals measured horizontally to simulate the appearance of a gate arm in the horizontal position, or one or more Type 4 object markers (see Section 2C.66), or both. If a horizontal strip of retroreflectorized sheeting is used, the bottom of the sheeting shall be located 3.5 to 4.5 feet above the roadway surface.

Option:
16 If used on a one-way roadway or ramp, the retroreflectorization may be omitted on the side of the fence facing away from approaching traffic.

 

Gate Striping Requirements (Reflective Tape) – Army Corp of Engineers

Note – This article addresses gate striping requirements for gates that fall under MUTCD requirements.  These would be gates that open onto a DOT regulated road.

The US Army Corp of Engineers is requiring that their gates be marked in accordance with the following regulation.  The images below give you a visual synopsis of the requirement.  For gates along a road way where cars would be approaching at higher speeds or at intersections where there is not a stop sign you would use the first image below which is the one with the road closed or the red diamond sign.

For gates that branch off of a main road or have a stop sign you would use the second example.  Cars in this situation would be moving slower. This is the most likely configuration.

We have two products that are designed to meet these requirements.  One is our Reflexite Gate Arm Tape and the other is our Yellow Prismatic Reflective Tape which act as Type 2 object markers. (also used for Chevron Striping on Fire Trucks)

Here is the regulation.


1. A closed gate across a road is a potential hazard to moving vehicles, bicycles, and possibly pedestrians. Vehicle drivers must be able to see that there is a closed gate ahead and have adequate recognition and stopping distance to avoid hitting the gate. Due to questions raised by the USACE Sign Standards Committee and field personnel, CESO and CEC W personnel have developed this guidance to clarify the marking requirements for road closure gates on USACE parks and property. This particular guidance is for swinging gates; rolling chain-link gates are addressed in Reference d. below. Gates are the only acceptable movable closure; chains, cables, and wire rope are prohibited on roads used by the public.

2. References.
a. EP 310-l-6a & b; USACE Sign Standards Manual

b. EM 385-1-1; USACE Safety and Health Requirements Manual

c. 23 CFR 655, Subpart F-—Traffic Control Devices on Federal-Aid and Other Streets and Highways

d. Federal Highway Administration Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD, rev 2009)

3. 23 CFR 655.603 adopts the MUTCD as the national standard for all traffic control devices installed on any street, highway, bikeway, or private road open to public travel. When a State or other Federal agency manual or supplement is required, that manual or supplement shall be in substantial conformance with the National MUTCD. The MUTCD states that “All regulatory and warning signs installed on public roads and streets within recreational and cultural interest areas shall comply with the requirements of Chapters 2A, 2B, 2C, 7B, 8B, and 9B.” The MUTCD definition of a public road is “Any road. street, or similar facility under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public agency and open to public travel.”

4. The USACE Sign Standards Manual EP3l()-l-6a on page 9-l states that “The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) has been adopted as the standard for all Regulatory and Warning signs used on Corps project roadways for vehicular traffic.”

5. While this guidance is intended to describe the minimum acceptable standards for marking roadway gates on USACE properties, the MUTCD encourages decisions concerning a particular traffic sign to be determined using engineering judgment or an engineering study.

6. Gate Marking Guidance:

a. Roads Open to Public Travel

i. Through Roads, Extensions of Federal, State or County Roads; When such roads exist on a USACE property, gates closing traffic to these roads must meet the specific requirements of MUTCD Section 2B.68., 2C.36-39. and 6F.l7. This includes marking the gates (red and white reflective material-paint, tape, etc- on the arms), marking gate stanchions (yellow Type 2 Object Markers), a ROAD CLOSED sign or Type 4 red Object Marker, and possibly providing an Advance Warning Sign ahead of the gate. Refer to Enclosure 1 for specific requirements.

ii. USACE Roads Approved for Public Use: Access Roads, Campground Roads, Scenic Roads. etc; These gates must technically meet the same MUTCD requirements as those in the preceding paragraph, however the local project may use the standards and engineering analysis to develop modified markings based on local factors to include: the design of the gate, potential speed of approaching vehicles, available stopping sight distance, and visibility of the gate and surrounding area at night. Gates that occur along the length of a roadway or at a no-stop intersection should meet all MUTCD requirements if possible. For gates at stop-signed intersections or occurring at an exit off a main route, the minimum recommendation is that the top horizontal bar of the gate be covered end to end with red and white retroreflective material and the stanchions marked with yellow reflective material or Type 2 Object Markers. The use of advance warning signs and Type 4 Object Markers should be decided based on the speed limit, visible distance to the gate while driving, and other factors that make the gate less visible. Refer to Enclosure 2 for further guidelines.

b. Roads Not Open to the Public — USACE access roads, service roads, etc.; Where these roads connect to a through road or public use road, the initial gate should meet the requirements of those public roadways. Internal gates within public vehicle-restricted areas should be marked appropriately with reflectors or reflective tape so that they are readily identifiable while work is performed. Roadways not approved for standard vehicles may be authorized for recreational vehicles (ATVs, snowmobiles, bicycles, etc.); these gates should meet the guidance in paragraph ii, modified as needed by an engineering analysis.

7. These guidelines are intended to bring some standard of uniformity to USACE road gates and to require those that fall under the MUTCD to have appropriate markings. USACE managers should evaluate their properties’ gates along these guidelines and establish a plan to bring their gates into compliance, beginning with the highest risk. New or replacement gates installed after the date of this memo shall follow these marking guidelines.

Enclosure 1

Markings for MUTCD Compliant Gates: permanently installed gates that control through roads, extensions of Federal, State or County roads.
Also recommended for gates on USACE roads that occur along the length of a roadway or at a no-stop intersection where traffic would be expected to be at the speed limit when meeting the gate.
Marking:
Gate arms shall be fully retroreflectorized on both sides, have vertical stripes alternately red and white at l6-inch intervals measured horizontally. lf used on a one-way roadway, the retroreflectorization may be omitted on the side of the gate facing away from approaching traffic.

The gate shall also have either a Type 4 Object Marker (red diamond) or Road Closed sign attached.

Rolling sections of fence, if used as gates, shall include either a horizontal strip of retroreflectorized material on both sides of the fence with vertical stripes alternately red and white at 16-inch intervals measured horizontally to simulate the appearance of a gate arm in the horizontal position and one or more Type 4 object markers . The bottom of the retroreflectorized area shall be located 3.5 to 4.5 feet above the roadway surface.
Gate stanchions or any fixed structure within 8 feet of the roadway shall have Type 2 Object Markers (Yellow reflectors). Gate stanchions and the gate arm, when open, shall be at least 2 feet from the edge of the paved road surface.

Basic appearance of MUTCD-compliant gates: (recommended where gate is along the length of a roadway or at a non stop sign intersection)

Advance Warning Signs
Advance Warning Signs are required for gates that can close through roads and extensions of Federal, State or County roads.

The time needed for detection, recognition, decision, and reaction is called the Perception-Response Time (PRT). This helps establish the distance ahead of the gate that a warning sign should be placed, based on the speed limit and visibility of the gate.

MUTCD Table 2C-4 should be used as an aid for determining warning sign location. The distances can be adjusted for roadway features, other signing, and to improve visibility. The distances are for guidance purposes and should be applied with engineering judgment. Warning signs should not be placed too far in advance of the condition, such that drivers might tend to forget the warning because of other driving distractions.

Signs warning of closed gates should read “ROAD CLOSED AHEAD” and can be permanently fixed or only placed when the gate is closed. Permanently fixed signs should be provided with a cover or be of the folding type so that they cannot be read when the gate is open.

Minimum recommended marking requirements for gates on USACE roads open to the public, when not occurring on the length of a road or at a no-stop intersection. (see diagram below)

The purpose is to make the gate visible when they encounter it. Type 4 Object markers and Road Closed signs would generally be unnecessary on most USACE roads, given the low speeds and placement of the gates at turn-off entrances.

Diagram of the two types of gate marking requirements.  One for gates along the length of a road or an intersection where there is no stop sign and one for gates that branch off a main road or are at a stop sign intersection.