Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) arrows logo

Interpretation Letter 2-554(I)--No Parking-Limited Area or Zone

DOT Logo

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

400 Seventh St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590

September 15, 2004

Refer to: HOTO-1

Ms. Julie Crimmins
21 Williams Street, Apartment #2
Roselle Park, NJ 07204

Dear Ms. Crimmins:

Thank you for your letter of July 10 requesting an interpretation of "a limited area or zone" as it applies to parking restrictions.

The term "limited area or zone" is included in Section 2B.40 paragraph 5 of the 2003 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD); however, no definition is included in the MUTCD of this term. To assist you, the Federal Highway Administration offers the following as an official interpretation of the MUTCD as to the application of the term "limited area or zone:"

A "Limited area or zone" applies to short distances within a block or portion of a street. An entire street is not a limited area or zone. Arrows or supplemental plaques are only necessary if the parking restriction applies to a limited area or zone.

In accordance with the interpretation detailed above, the situation that you described in your letter is not a "limited area or zone" but rather an entire street and the guidance requirement for the use of arrows or supplemental plaques would not apply.

For recordkeeping purposes, your request has been entitled "2-554(I) No Parking-Limited Area or Zone." We hope the interpretation helps to clarify the language in the MUTCD. We will consider including this clarification in the next revision of the MUTCD. If you have further questions, you may contact Mr. Fred Ranck of the FHWA MUTCD team at 708-283-3545.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ Regina McElroy

Regina S. McElroy
Director, Office of Transportation Operations

21 Williams Street Apt. #2
Roselle Park, N.J. 07204

July 10, 2004

Federal Highway Administration
Office of Transportation Operations
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20590

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to request an interpretation of Section 2B.40, Paragraph 5 of the MUTCD (2003 edition). Specifically, I'd like to know what the manual defines or interprets as a "limited area or zone" in regards to parking restrictions.

This interpretation is needed to resolve the following situation. Three (3) "No Parking Tuesday 7 am-11 am" signs have been placed more than 300 feet apart along one side of a 1/4-mile-length street. There are neither arrows nor additional wording to designate the entire side of the street as a prohibited area during the aforementioned times. As such, it may be possible for a motorist to assume the parking prohibition applies only to the space adjacent to the sign, and not to other sections of the street where no sign exists.

It is understood that minimizing the number of signs is optimal. However, a further refinement of the phrase "a limited are or zone" is needed in order to determine if arrows, supplemental plaques and/or additional wording are warranted.

A copy of the section is question is enclosed. Also find a SASE for your reply.

Thank you very much for your attention and anticipated response to the request.


Julie Crimmins