New York State Local Technical Assistance Program

Can a town designate a town road: “No Through Traffic - Local Traffic Only”?

There is no “No Thru Traffic” sign in the National Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) or the State MUTCD supplement and even though some departments have installed such signs, lack of inclusion in the MUTCD means they are not enforceable.

There is a R11-4 sign (Road Closed to Thru Traffic). This sign is found in Section 2B.58 of the MUTCD. Paragraph 2 of this Section 2B.58 allows the R11-4 sign to be used where through traffic is not permitted but this is to be used only in the event of an actual road or bridge closure. An advanced warning sign, such as R11-3a should also be placed to give advanced notice to motorists.

Section 2B.58 ROAD CLOSED Sign (R11-2) and LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY Signs (R11-3 Series, R11-4)


01 The ROAD CLOSED (R11-2) sign should be installed where roads have been closed to all traffic (except authorized vehicles).

02 ROAD CLOSED—LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY (R11-3) or ROAD CLOSED TO THRU TRAFFIC (R11-4) signs should be used where through traffic is not permitted, or for a closure some distance beyond the sign, but where the highway is open for local traffic up to the point of closure.


03 The Road Closed (R11-2, R11-3 series, and R11-4) signs (see Figure 2B-29) shall be designed as horizontal rectangles. These signs shall be preceded by the applicable Advance Road Closed warning sign with the secondary legend AHEAD and, if applicable, an Advance Detour warning sign (see Section 6F.19).


04 An intersecting street name or a well-known destination may be substituted for the XX MILES AHEAD legend in urban areas.

05 The word message BRIDGE OUT may be substituted for the ROAD CLOSED legend where applicable.

Other options include:

*Note that for the second and third bullet points local delivery vehicles can still use the highway.

If the problem is with GPS units sending drivers through this area, closures may prove to be difficult to enforce. If the problem is related to GPS routes, you may consider attempting to contact the appropriate GPS/online map-route providers to eliminate the cut-through as an option.


National and the New York State Supplement versions of the MUTCD Submit a Correction Online Webpage

QA: What are the rules for Seasonal Limited Use Highways

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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.