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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

Road signs

  • 06 Feb 2023 8:44 PM
    Message # 13087413
    Deleted user

    We have about a mile of private road and a not for profit association that works quite well.  Our roads are accessed by town roads obviously.  We recently had an ambulance call and due to poor signage on our roads, the ambulance spent valuable time looking for the right address.  I went to the town and asked for them to provide some additional road signs to improve the situation.  They were hesitant to commit funds for the signs on private roads.  Seems like the town would be interested in making sure the ambulance and fire have clear directions........

    Is the town obligated to provide signage for private roads?

  • 07 Feb 2023 7:22 AM
    Reply # 13087809 on 13087413
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I live at the end of a shore road about a half a mile long. The last ~800 feet of this road is a private section maintained by our statutory road association. The Town of Freeport maintains the initial public section. The Town will not provide signage on the private section but will allow us to order signage from their supplier at reasonable expense to us.

    At the beginning of the shore road the Town placed a sign, "Not a through way", and at the end of the public section a sign, "End of Public Way". All signage from that point on is from our private road association. Hope this helps.

    Last modified: 07 Feb 2023 7:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 07 Feb 2023 9:11 AM
    Reply # 13087938 on 13087413
    Deleted user

    Thanks Allen, thats helpful, seems like we may be heading that way as well. 

  • 07 Feb 2023 11:30 AM
    Reply # 13088140 on 13087413
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Under 9-1-1 regulations, towns are required to provide a road name sign where the private road meets the public road.  For town ways, signs are supposed to be green with white lettering.  To distinguish private roads, signs are supposed to be blue with white lettering.  But many towns ignore that requirement.  It would make things less confusing if all towns followed the same system.  

    Once you are within the subdivision, I don't believe the Town is required to provide further signs.  If you can get them through the Town at the Town's price, that's probably your best bet, as they will be uniform (and cheaper!)  If not, there are places you can go online and order custom signs. 

  • 07 Feb 2023 11:31 AM
    Reply # 13088142 on 13087413

    Perhaps you can convince the town to fund proper signage by pointing out the state law requiring towns to maintain the national Enhanced 911 system - 25 M.R.S.A. § 2926.  That law led to rules for appointing an E-911 Addressing Officer with responsibility for maintaining the E-911 Road Network including “all public and private roads.” By logical extension (but not necessarily by law that I could find) there cannot be an effective E-911 Road Network without proper road signs to guide responding emergency vehicles. Ask the town to research it's responsibilities under the law and exposure to liability if it does not do so properly. Check out Maine's Emergency Services Bureau 

    And see E-911 Addressing Officer Manual for some guidance:

    On the other hand, Freeport cost for private road signage is quite reasonable:–-how-do-i-apply-private-road-sign  even though it may or may not be legal given the town’s responsibility to maintain the E-911 Road Network. Perhaps cheap may be easier and quicker to accomplish than free.

  • 07 Feb 2023 5:43 PM
    Reply # 13088668 on 13087413
    Deleted user

    Thank you Ray and Roberta, lots of good information there.  I'm trying to get the town to do the signs but we are prepared for getting them ourselves through the town vendor.  I will let you all know if we succeed!

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