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New York State

Traffic Laws

New York State has enacted the Vehicle and Traffic Law which governs all public roads and private roads open to the public.  The Vehicle and Traffic Law provides that it is the supreme law in the state regarding traffic and no state agency or local government may enact any traffic regulation except where authorized by the Vehicle and Traffic Law.  And failure to comply or omission of an act required by the law is a “traffic infraction” unless the Vehicle and Traffic Law makes it a crime (misdemeanor or felony).  The text of the VTL is available here.

The Vehicle and Traffic Law (section 1680) requires all traffic control devices to comply with the federal Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices as modified by the New York State Supplement.  The resulting document is the New York MUTCD.  Erecting a traffic control device that is not MUTCD compliant is a traffic infraction.  Try to get the police to enforce that law.

Use of Yellow

The MUTCD restricts the use of yellow to situations where it separates traffic in opposing directions or it appears on the left edge of a one way roadway.  A document describing the rules, with extracts of the relevant laws, is available here.

Parking Rules

The MUTCD generally requires that parking regulations be posted on proper signs at the beginning and end of the regulated area and every 200 feet if the regulated area is longer than 200 feet.  A regulated area can be no longer than one block.  A proper sign, according to the MUTCD must be seven feet above the ground (five feet in rural areas), have a white background, and either red or green text.    A document describing the rules, with extracts of the relevant laws, is available here.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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Port of New York Authority

The Port Authority is the very model of an agency run amok.  Many years ago, they decided that the traffic laws didn’t apply to them.  Instead of having licensed professional traffic engineers specify traffic signs, they hired a decorator!  And everyone knows that they killed (murdered?) Thousands of people at the World Trade Center by refusing to comply with the New York City building code, and then locking fire exits.