Cornell Local Roads Program

Are purple and white acceptable colors for a village to choose for a village trail sign?


While it is true that a sign that is not placed on a Right of Way (ROW) is not required to adhere to the standards set forth in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD,) it is important to be consistent in signing.


According to the MUTCD, for highway applications, the color purple is restricted for use in Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) signs. If the sign is placed in the right of way (ROW,) it should not be purple.


The MUTCD Section 2M designates brown for recreational signs like trails and campgrounds.  Using consistent colors and shapes gives people a clue about what a sign will say, before they can even read it.
MUTCD section 1A.12 Color Codes designate colors & uses. Section 2F discusses toll plazas where purple is used.


Resources:
MUTCD
https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009r1r2/mutcd2009r1r2edition.pdf
New York/New Jersey Trail Conference Recommended Blaze Colors Website:
https://www.nynjtc.org/document/recommended-blaze-colors


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