Reading The Signs Along State Road 4

Los Alamos County Transportation Board

Confusing signs along State Road 4 were the topic of a nicely done presentation by Travis Moulton at the September 1 meeting of the Transportation Board.

Neither Mr. Moulton nor any of the other persons present, including me, could find any basis in law for the “Ride Single File” signs. There is some indication that they might be advisory, but their color and design is normally used for signs describing a legal requirement.

Apparently “Share The Road” signs are also deprecated now, except in very specific circumstances. The DOT standard Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which has been adopted by New Mexico, encourages other options.

Another confusing problem is the Los Alamos County requirement for five feet of clearance when passing. There is no state law addressing a specific distance, and nobody at the meeting felt competent to say if the county could post such a law, or even enforce it.

The Board was requested to petition the state for changes, but it turns out the state has not yet been contacted about the matter by interested parties, mostly because it’s hard to figure out who to contact. So the board and staff instead offered to help locate the proper state channel. After hearing the state’s reaction the board will consider further action.

We also reviewed the status of the state engineering parameters for street lighting, so we might lobby for more night-sky friendly installations in the future. It turns out this is a fluid situation at the state level, and we’re going to have to keep on top of it as matters evolve. For now, we have nothing specific to report.

The board and staff are trying to figure out who might be able to improve walking and biking of the downhill section of the upper Truck Route. As usual, there is some jurisdictional confusion.

For the Sherwood Avenue folks, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Major operations are winding down, though there have been a few more surprises. With any luck, the Canyon Road/Trinity/Diamond situation will improve over the next few weeks also. The best news is from Cumbres Del Norte, where the project is very near completion.

We still have a single vacancy on the Transportation Board. You can email the board as a whole at, or me directly at for further information.