No clear answer on blue parking signs


The in basket: Kim Cunningham recently wrote to say, ” I recently renewed my drivers license and was reviewing the information booklet provided at the drivers license office regarding traffic signs. 

“A common regulatory sign is a stop sign,” Kim said. “It is required to be red and white, and the other common type required to be red and white is No Parking. But I noted in downtown Bremerton (around the Norm Dicks Government Center) the No Parking signs are a dark blue with white letters.

“If I got a no-parking ticket while parked in a stall marked with a blue and white sign, could I contest it as it’s the incorrect color?”

The out basket: The city of Bremerton has put a lot of effort into dolling up its downtown street signs, using white on blue in most cases.

I wouldn’t expect a city official to encourage a challenge such as Kim proposes, and Larry Matel, city street engineer said, “Any ticket is contestable,” and left it at that. What he, I and Kim don’t know is whether such a challenge would prevail.

The section on no-parking signs in the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices does appear to require red lettering or symbols on a white background, as  “Spanky Arbuckle” and Jane Rebelowski note in comments below.

If anyone gets a ticket for parking where a blue No Parking sign forbids leaving your car, he or she can find out if the sign’s color is grounds for a successful challenge by challenging it. I won’t attempt to predict the outcome.

2 thoughts on “No clear answer on blue parking signs

  1. The MUCTD does address this in section 2B-40. It is specific that the colors be red on white. White on blue are colors for service signs, those types of things or place where a driver can take a break.

    An intentional cagey ploy to entrap drivers and fill the coffers of the city? Probably not but a winnable case is court, almost certainly.

    Just supeona the city’s Traffic Engineer to “prove” these colors are appropriate for all users, literate or not. Literacy is one reason for consistency in color & shape of signage, along with driver expectations and lessening confusion of the drivers part.

  2. Travis,
    The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices states that parking prohibition signs “SHALL” have red lettering on a white background. Not Should, but “SHALL”. When you have restrictive (say 2 hour limitation) the MUTCD states it SHALL be white background with green lettering. Many agencies have gone to symbols such as the letter “P” with the internationally known red circle with a slash on a white background.

    If the city of Bremerton goes to the time and expense to write their own sign code and not accept the MUTCD I guess they could, they have wasted plenty of other dollars. It is just part of the Disneyfication of Bremerton, no wonder the city’s Traffic Engineer gave you a non answer.

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