New York State Local Technical Assistance Program

How do I post or assign a speed limit on a dead-end road?

Entering into the dead-end road, the first speed limit sign should be close to the entrance of the road, yet far enough to see it after you have entered. The next sign should be posted no more than 1,100 feet away. Additional signs should be placed at a distance (in feet) equal to 100 times the posted speed (in mph). For instance, on a 40-mph highway, additional signs should be placed at least once every 4,000 feet. You can also add additional signs if needed to remind drivers. The distances are maximum distances between signs. Be sure not place signs too close together.

You may still need some signs when leaving from a dead-end road, but not as many and you do not need one at the very end. If the road is short (less than 100 times the speed limit), you don’t technically need a speed limit sign, but you may want one as a reminder for those who are visiting. You would not need to have any extra signs for the residents themselves. If the segment is longer than the 100 times distance, you will need a sign, but do not put it at the end. Place it where it will be seen by most drivers without creating a conflict with other warning and critical signs.

Here is an example of a dead-end road with a 40-mph speed limit. Source Google Maps.

The road is only about 5,000 feet long, so the requirement is to have 2 signs on the way in and one on the way out. An extra sign on the way in may be required depending upon the length of the road.

The first sign should be close to the beginning, but not too close to the intersection.

The second sign needs to be within 1,100 feet, but should not conflict with the more critical turn signs for the sharp corners. The straight section between the corners would be a good location.

The third sign could be near the end technically, but really it should be placed to remind the drivers. Just after the road straightens out might be the best location.

On the way out you only need one sign and it should be placed to remind folks leaving the area. Again, the straight section might be a good place if there is enough distance so it would not conflict with the corner signs. There is no need to put another sign at the end near the stop sign as vehicles are slowing down there anyway.

Here is the text from the NYS Supplement.

Section 2B.13 Speed Limit Sign (R2-1)
Standard:
A R2-1 sign shall be placed at, or as near as practicable to, the beginning of a linear speed limit facing traffic entering the restriction. Additional R2-1 signs shall be placed at intervals throughout restrictions longer than 1100 feet.
Option
The R2-1 sign may be omitted when the beginning of a linear speed limit is at, or near, the closed end of a dead-end highway.

Resources:

CLRP MUTCD Webpage
https://www.clrp.cornell.edu/assistance/mutcd-info.html

NYS Traffic Sign Handbook for Local Roads
https://cornell.app.box.com/v/clrp-pb-tsh

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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.