July 20, 2012 Update Regarding U.S. Flag
MnDOT installed U.S. flags on a number of bridges along Hwy 610, Hwy 10 and Hwy 252 in the northwest Twin Cities metro area.
The flag installation meets safety and legal concerns and complies with the U.S. Flag Code.
MnDOT is developing a policy to determine when and where other flags may be installed.
Why do laws regulate the placement of objects in the highway right of way?
Objects along roadways pose hazards for drivers and maintenance crews.
Minnesota Statutes, section 160.2715 says in part that it is unlawful to paint, print, place, or affix any object within the limits of any state highway.
Specific laws for advertising and other signs
The Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Control Act (Minnesota Statutes, section 173.15) prohibits erecting advertising devices:
- on private land without the consent of the owner or occupant;
- on public utility poles;
- on trees or shrubs; and
- by painting or drawing on rocks or natural features.
The state law that prohibits the placement of signs in the highway right of way applies to all state, county, city and township roads and highways.
The Federal Highway Administration office in Minnesota monitors Minnesota's compliance with federal highway beautification laws. State transportation employees are responsible for administering these laws on state highways and must remove signs that violate the laws. County, city, and township employees administer these laws on their roads.
Illegal signs will be removed. MnDOT is responsible for state highways. County, city, and township employees are responsible for their roads. Local municipalities also have their own regulations, which may differ from city to city and county to county.
Contact your local MnDOT office for assistance when signs are being placed where the specific highway right of way cannot be clearly identified.
Can I get my sign back?
When improperly placed signs are removed by department employees, every effort will be made to temporarily store the sign and to notify the owner where the signs can be retrieved.