Traffic Commission's Role in Sign Changes

The Livonia Traffic Commission is responsible for the placement and maintenance of all traffic control devices within the City of Livonia’s right-of-way.  The Traffic Commission consists of 7 regular members appointed by the Mayor and 4 ex officio members.  The Traffic Commission also has at its disposal the traffic engineering group called Traffic Improvement Association (TIA).  TIA is a group of member communities that pool resources to assist in providing the advanced traffic engineering services to member communities.  Since TIA has experience in a number of communities in the area they bring solutions that have been proven in real situations and advise the commission on providing assistance to the Livonia Police Department’s Traffic Bureau.

The City of Livonia periodically reviews its existing traffic signs, based on changing demographics such as the driving patterns of dual-income households and numbers of pedestrians. In order to meet state requirements, the Traffic Commission, in conjunction with the Sergeant in charge of the Traffic Division and the Traffic Improvement Association have been working to review Stop, Yield and other signs placed throughout the City.

In examining traffic control signs, the City is required to meet the standards of the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD), which was adopted by the State of Michigan and is based on national engineering safety studies. This manual sets up certain criteria or "warrants" that must be met for traffic control signs. Failing to comply with the state criteria could result in the City losing revenues from the State's weight and gasoline tax and could increase the potential for litigation against the City. Most importantly, ensuring that all of the signs in the city comply with the MMUTCD will enhance the safety of our residents and all who use our streets.

  1. Fulfill a need;
  2. Command attention;
  3. Convey a clear, simple meaning;
  4. Command respect from road users; and
  5. Give adequate time for proper response. 
The Livonia Traffic Commission’s role in the review process is to receive recommendations from the City of Livonia Police Department’s Traffic Bureau for changes or placement of signs.  The commission applies the warrants provided in the MMUTCD when evaluating the recommendations.  Often times, commissioners will visit the locations, and make inquiries from traffic engineers, either through the city or via TIA.  The recommendations are placed on a meeting agenda, which will be posted on the Traffic Commission’s website in advance of the scheduled meeting.  At the meeting each item will be discussed and input is considered from various traffic officials.  If the recommendations are accepted, a Traffic Control Order will be issued and signed by the Traffic Commission Chairman.
We have provided a tentative schedule for review of each section of the city and residents may notice some activity as we document existing signs and signals throughout the city. 
Click here for more information.
The schedule will be updated as additional sections are scheduled to be reviewed.  Commission agendas will reflect any recommendations being presented monthly.  Through the website, residents can sign up to receive agendas for many of the city’s commissions by clicking here.

For a map of Livonia with the sections listed, please click here.

The MMUTCD (Michigan Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) provides for uniform warrants for sign placement. 
Uniformity of devices simplifies the task of the road user because it aids in recognition and understanding. It is important to note uniformity means treating similar situations in a similar manner, uniformity assists road users, law enforcement and traffic courts by giving everyone the same interpretation.

The need for uniform standards was recognized long ago.  The first manual published in 1927 was for rural highways; in 1930 a manual for urban streets was produced.  The Federal Highway Administration has administered the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) since 1971 and is revised periodically.  By requirement each state adopts it version (substantially equivalent to the federal version) and the City of Livonia has adopted by ordinance the Michigan MUTCD.

The purpose of traffic control devices as well as the principles for their use, is to promote safety and efficiency by providing for the orderly movement of all road users on streets and highways throughout the Nation. Traffic control devices notify users of regulations and provide warning and guidance needed for the reasonably safe, uniform and efficient operation of all elements of the traffic system.