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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
400 Seventh St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590
September 15, 2005
Refer to: HOTO-1
Mr. Bruce Smith
Traffic Engineering and Highway Safety Division
New York State Department of Transportation
1220 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12232
Dear Mr. Smith:
Thank you for your July 29 letter requesting an interpretation of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) regarding the use of political jurisdiction logos for the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area on highway guide signs. The provisions in MUTCD Section 2D.48 allow the use of political jurisdiction logos on the political boundary general information signs. We interpret this section of the MUTCD to be applicable to the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area signs and we consider these signs to be in conformance with the MUTCD. For recordkeeping purposes, we have assigned the following official ruling number to this interpretation: "2-569(I)—Political Jurisdiction Logos." Please refer to this number in any future correspondence. We appreciate he opportunity to provide this interpretation. If you have other questions, you can contact Ms. Linda L. Brown of my staff at 202-366-2192.
/s/ Regina McElroy
Regina S. McElroy
Director, Office of Transportation
STATE OF NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
1220 WASHINGTON AVE.
ALBANY, NEW YORK 12232
July 29, 2005
Regina McElroy, Director
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Transportation Operations (HOTO)
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Ms. McElroy:
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is requesting concurrence from the FHWA with our interpretation of the National Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) regarding the use of logos on highway guide signs.
As you can see from the attached letter, the NYSDOT recently received a request from the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area to allow the use of their unique logo on the guide signs that will be placed at the heritage area boundary. The letter includes illustrations that show the representative signs, including the logo, to be used on both freeway and conventional highway facilities.
While a few sections of the MUTCD refer to the use of symbols on guide signs, there appears to be only one reference to the use of logos:
Section 20.48: Political jurisdiction logos may be placed on the political boundary general information signs. The logo may have different colors and shapes but should be simple, dignified, and devoid of any advertising.
Although neither the National Park Service, nor its individual units, are, technically, "political jurisdictions," we believe that the signing of heritage area borders meets the intention of the MUTCD to provide guidance to motorists entering an area whose discrete boundaries are defined in law. As such, we feel that the proposed Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area signs are in conformance with both the State and National MUTCDs, and we support their placement at certain heritage area gateways. We are aware that several other states have already proceeded with similar signing.
We would greatly appreciate your interpretation as to whether New York will be in compliance with the National MUTCD if we allow the placement of boundary signs containing heritage area logos. We note that our allowance of the heritage area logo pertains only to heritage area boundary signs, and does not extend to any other type of guide sign.
The NYSDOT would appreciate a response to this request by September 9, 2005. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this request, please contact Barbara Abrahamer, of our Traffic Operations Bureau, at (518) 457-2095 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BRUCE W. SMITH
Traffic Engineering & Highway Safety Division
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration