The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Tennessee Traffic Sign Retroreflectivity Survey

by Matt Cate, P.E.

TTAP conducted an online survey in October 2016 to assess the state of traffic sign retroreflectivity compliance efforts in Tennessee. We received responses from 77 individuals representing cities (61), counties (14), and state agencies (1) spread across the state. Responses confirmed some widely-held beliefs, but there were some surprises as well.

Almost 82%: of survey participants said that they were familiar with the MUTCD's minimum requirements for traffic sign retroreflectivity. Those who answered "yes" to this question were asked to identify sources where this information was obtained. The Tennessee Department of Transportation was the most frequent response (54%:), followed by TTAP (48%:), and UT's Municipal Technical Advisory Service or County Technical Assistance Service (46%: collectively). Finally, participants were asked how they would prefer to learn more about this topic. The most frequent response was"brochures and technical guides" (39%:), followed by "classroom training," "online training and webinars," and "newsletter articles and email bulletins" at 36%: each.

TTAP will use the survey to guide future training and technology transfer efforts, and we have also shared these results with interested parties at TDOT, FHWA, and even the Tennessee General Assembly. Some of the most interesting survey results are summarized on the right. To see complete survey results, please visit our website at

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