Feds to New Jersey: Stop painting center lines blue

Jan 09, 2017
In the News

Mayor of Mahwah Bill Laforet, Rep. Josh Gottheimer push back

Municipalities across New Jersey that have chosen to honor law enforcement by adding a streak of blue to the middle of their roads have been advised by federal officials to stop the practice.

A Dec. 8 letter from the Federal Highway Administration to Somerset County’s Engineering Division confirmed that the blue center lines are in violation of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways.

The MUTCD states that “the pavement surface must be visible in the space between the lines in the same way that it is visible outside the lines.”

Office of Transportation Operations Director Mark Kehrli added in the letter that blue paint should only be used for designating handicap parking spaces.

Some officials are saying, ‘absolutely not’ to the removal. Mayor of Mahwah Bill Laforet says, “That line’s gonna stay there.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer wrote a letter to the secretary of the federal Department of Transportation explaining that the lines are painted outside a police station or city hall. He adds, “This is government bureaucracy that defies common sense and I urge you to review this decision and reverse course quickly.”

It’s unclear whether municipalities can be penalized for keeping the blue lines.

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