New York State Local Technical Assistance Program

Are town boards in charge of what type of regulatory, warning, informational, or guide signs are placed and where they are installed?Picture of road work signs

Authority for the placement of regulatory, warning and other signs such as information and guide signs is addressed in the national MUTCD in Section 1A07, which states:

Section 1A.07 Responsibility for Traffic Control Devices

01 The responsibility for the design, placement, operation, maintenance, and uniformity of traffic control devices shall rest with the public agency or the official having jurisdiction, or, in the case of private roads open to public travel, with the private owner or private official having jurisdiction. 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 (see definition in Section 1A.13). 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.

Section 1642 of the Vehicle and Traffic law further addresses the authority:

Section 1682 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law authorizes local government to determine the need for, authorize, place and maintain traffic control devices necessary to satisfy legal requirements and to promote the safe, efficient flow of traffic. Traffic control devices placed under this authority must conform to other statutes and the MUTCD.

Since Work Zone Traffic Control is part of a construction project and can be both long term and very short term, the authority to purchase, install, and remove work zone traffic control signs rests with the Highway Superintendent. This allows the highway department the flexibility to set up the appropriate work zone for the type of work being performed.

Funds used for the purchase of regulatory, warning, and information signs, should come out of the General Fund. Work Zone traffic control signs come out of the highway department funds.

All signs under the authorization of the Town Board must serve a purpose. An engineering study should be included with the proposal of a regulatory or warning sign to ensure that the sign is needed and properly installed.

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This work by the Cornell Local Roads Program (CLRP) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.