New Jersey towns who painted blue lines in the middle of downtown roads to show support for law enforcement last fall have been criticized by the US Department of Transportation for creating “unsafe” conditions.
Despite the best intentions of New Jerseyans to support the men in blue by painting the centerline markings of no-pass zones blue, the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration says the space between double yellow lines must remain empty.
“There are many appropriate and fitting ways to recognize service to the public that do not involve the modification of a traffic control device, which can put the road user at risk due to misinterpretation of its meaning,” the FHA wrote to the Somerset County Engineering Division on December 8 of last year. “The use of blue lines as part of centerline markings does not comply with the provisions of the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways).”
The FHA went on to say blue paint is only used to designate handicapped parking spaces.
While clearly setting out to ruin the fun, the FHA stated that they “appreciate the impact of expressing support for law enforcement officers and value their contributions to society.”
According to NJ.com, towns that painted the blue lines only sought permission from the county to do so, not taking into consideration state or federal matters.
While some cities have been told to remove the lines, Howell Police Chief Andrew Kudrick said he had not been told to change anything as of yet.
“Although absurd, we would paint over the approximately 200-foot line if required,” Kudrick said. “I’ll just paint the entire parking lot blue at the police department.”
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