Image of left-turn sign

In May 2012, language was added to the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MN MUTCD) that requires all agencies that maintain roadways open to public travel to adopt a sign maintenance program designed to maintain signs at or above adopted minimum levels of retro-reflectivity. As of June 2014, agencies are required to be using either an assessment or management method to keep all of their regulatory and warning signs at or above the established thresholds and all signs must now be at or above these minimum retro-reflectivity levels.

This workshop will provide an overview of the updated Minnesota’s Best Practices for Traffic Sign Maintenance/Management Handbook, including the new provisions of the MN MUTCD, a review of the alternative methods for sign maintenance, and an approach to developing a budget for sign maintenance. Finally, a technique for reducing sign maintenance budgets will be presented that focuses on reducing the number of signs in an agency’s inventory (a pilot program along the township system in Stevens County achieved a 28 percent reduction), along with information about establishing policies and procedures that move you toward compliance with the new requirements while also managing your agency’s risk.

Dates & Locations

Not currently scheduled.

Topics Covered

  • Overview of MUTCD and sign retroreflectivity requirements
  • Compliance dates
  • Assessment, management and maintenance methods
  • Financial/budgeting
  • Policy development
  • Implementation
  • Sign effectiveness
  • Sign removal

Who Should Attend

This workshop is primarily intended for professional staff with both the responsibility and authority to manage the system of traffic signs along Minnesota’s state, county, city, and township system of roadways.

Course Instructor

Howard Preston, PE, is a senior transportation engineering professional with more than 40 years of experience. The focus of his interest, research, and career has been traffic safety, the application of traffic control devices, and providing technical assistance to state and local highway agencies. He has published research reports documenting the effects on safety associated with managing access, installing street lights at rural intersections, devising alternative turn lane designs, and employing dynamic signing at rural horizontal curves. MnDOT selected Howard to write its Traffic Safety Fundamentals Handbook, Best Practices for Pedestrian/Bicycle Safety, and the Best Practices for Traffic Sign Maintenance/Management Handbook. Howard has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in traffic engineering and traffic safety and continuing education classes for Minnesota LTAP on the subjects of tort liability and traffic signs and markings.


Informational Contact

Continuing Professional Education, University of Minnesota, 612-624-4754, fax: 612-624-6225, e-mail:


This workshop is presented by the Minnesota Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) at the Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota. Minnesota LTAP is sponsored by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This course is subsidized through funding from LRRB and FHWA.