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AGO Opinions with Topic: HIGHWAYS
AGO 1981 No. 2 >  February 25, 1981
HIGHWAYS - COUNTY ROADS - MOTOR VEHICLES - SNOWMOBILES
LOCAL REGULATION OF SNOWMOBILES ON PUBLIC HIGHWAYS OR ROADWAYS (1) Under RCW 46.10.110, a board of county commissioners (as the responsible governing body in the case of county roads) may open to snowmobiles a county road which is also open to conventional vehicles.(2) Neither the provisions of chapter 46.16 RCW nor those of chapter 46.37 RCW apply to snowmobiles, even when operated on a public highway or roadway which is also open to conventional vehicles.(3) A county may not establish equipment standards or impose age qualifications for the operation of snowmobiles which are inconsistent with RCW 46.10.090 or RCW 46.10.120, respectively.
AGO 1972 No. 3 >  January 17, 1972
MOTOR VEHICLES - HIGHWAYS - FEDERAL - FOREST SERVICE ROADS - APPLICABILITY OF STATE "RULES OF ROAD
MOTOR VEHICLES ‑- HIGHWAYS ‑- FEDERAL ‑- FOREST SERVICE ROADS ‑- APPLICABILITY OF STATE 'RULES OF ROAD The Washington public service commission has the authority to adopt and enforce rules and regulations relating to the safety of operations of motor freight carriers and auto transportation companies including the regulation of vehicle equipment and driver qualifications if such regulations are not in conflict with those of the state commission on equipment or the provisions of chapter 46.37 RCW.
AGO 1972 No. 7 >  February 10, 1972
ELECTIONS - POLITICAL ADVERTISING - HIGHWAYS - EMPLOYMENT - POLITICAL ACTIVITIES BY STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYEES
ELECTIONS ‑- POLITICAL ADVERTISING ‑- HIGHWAYS ‑- EMPLOYMENT ‑- POLITICAL ACTIVITIES BY STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL EMPLOYEES The contents of political advertising as regulated by statute; the placement of campaign signs to be used in partisan political races; and participation by state or local governmental employees in both partisan and nonpartisan political campaigns, including the holding of political party offices.
AGO 1975 No. 17 >  August 5, 1975
COUNTIES - HIGHWAYS - ROADS - POLICE POWER - MANDATORY REMOVAL OF SIGHT OBSTRUCTIONS FROM PRIVATE PROPERTY
COUNTIES ‑- HIGHWAYS ‑- ROADS ‑- POLICE POWER ‑- MANDATORY REMOVAL OF SIGHT OBSTRUCTIONS FROM PRIVATE PROPERTY (1) A county ordinance adopted under Article XI, § 11 of the state constitution may not require the owner of land abutting a county road intersection, without compensation, to remove preexisting trees and other vegetation or structures from within a prescribed distance of the intersection in order to provide an unobstructed view across the owner's land for vehicles approaching the intersection.  (2) A county may, however, secure the removal of such sight obstructions at an intersection by exercising its constitutional powers of eminent domain.
AGO 1963 No. 25 >  May 23, 1963
HIGHWAYS - MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS - PUBLIC HIGHWAY - DEFINITION
HIGHWAYS ‑- MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS ‑- PUBLIC HIGHWAY ‑- DEFINITION The term "public highway" as used in the state motor vehicle code (Title 46 RCW) means any place, way, street, etc., where people are accustomed to congregate in automobiles in numbers sufficient to constitute a use by the public.
AGO 1978 No. 16 >  May 10, 1978
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - URBAN ARTERIAL BOARD - FUNDS - HIGHWAYS - STREETS - ROADS
UTILIZATION OF URBAN ARTERIAL TRUST ACCOUNT MONEYS (1) The Urban Arterial Board (UAB) may allocate urban arterial trust account moneys for construction projects on city arterials which form a part of the state highway system, but only if such moneys are requested by a city and the project otherwise meets all requirements for urban arterial projects.   (2) The Urban Arterial Board is not permitted or required to allocate urban arterial trust account moneys for the construction of state highways outside of incorporated cities or towns.
AGO 1966 No. 111 >  October 10, 1966
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC LANDS - FRANCHISES - HIGHWAYS - COUNTIES - NECESSITY FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION WHERE RIGHT OF WAY GRANTEE OF PUBLIC LANDS GRANTS SECONDARY FRANCHISE USE
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- STATE ‑- COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC LANDS ‑- FRANCHISES ‑- HIGHWAYS ‑- COUNTIES ‑- NECESSITY FOR ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION WHERE RIGHT OF WAY GRANTEE OF PUBLIC LANDS GRANTS... Where the commissioner of public lands, pursuant to RCW 79.01.340, has granted a right of way across public lands to the state highway department, or to a board of county commissioners, for the establishment and construction of a road or street, and has received legally required compensation therefor, the right of way grantee may, in turn, grant a franchise to a public utility for power lines, telephone and telegraph lines, gas lines, water mains, or sewer lines without the payment of additional compensation to the commissioner.
AGO 1967 No. 12 >  March 27, 1967
CITIES AND TOWNS - THIRD CLASS - HIGHWAYS - CONSTRUCTION OF SPEED CONTROL BUMPS
CITIES AND TOWNS - THIRD CLASS - HIGHWAYS - CONSTRUCTION OF SPEED CONTROL BUMPS Since state law prohibits the erection or maintenance, without approval of the state highway commission, of any traffic control device on a city street which has been designated as a part of the state highway system, a city of the third class, operating under the commission form of government, may not construct "speed control bumps" (consisting of raised portions of asphaltic paving) on any of its streets which have been so designated without prior approval from the highway commission; in the case of city streets which are not a part of the state highway system, a third class city operating under the commission form of government may install such "speed control bumps" if, under all circumstances, they constitute a reasonable means of controlling the speed of traffic and do not pose an unreasonable danger or hazard to such traffic.
AGO 1959 No. 7 >  February 9, 1959
HIGHWAYS - LEASING AIR RIGHTS FOR PARKING FACILITIES
HIGHWAYS ‑- LEASING AIR RIGHTS FOR PARKING FACILITIES The state cannot enter into a lease to private parties of air rights over the Tacoma-Seattle‑Everett Freeway in the absence of adequate enabling legislation.
AGO 1958 No. 199 >  June 5, 1958
HIGHWAYS - RIGHT OF WAYS - LIABILITY FOR TAXES OR ASSESSMENTS BY WEED DISTRICTS - WEED DISTRICTS - AUTHORITY TO LEVY ASSESSMENTS AND TAXES - TAXATION - ASSESSMENT AGAINST RAILROAD AND HIGHWAY RIGHT OF WAYS BY WEED DISTRICT
HIGHWAYS ‑- RIGHT OF WAYS ‑- LIABILITY FOR TAXES OR ASSESSMENTS BY WEED DISTRICTS -- WEED DISTRICTS ‑- AUTHORITY TO LEVY ASSESSMENTS AND TAXES -- TAXATION ‑- ASSESSMENT AGAINST RAILROAD AND HIGHWAY... 1.  State highway right of ways are subject to taxes or assessments levied by weed districts to be paid by legislative appropriation from the state general fund.   2.  Railroad right of ways are subject to taxes and assessments levied by weed districts based upon the value of the benefits to such property or upon the cost to the district of destroying weeds thereon when the railroad fails to do so.
AGO 1958 No. 195 >  May 15, 1958
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - DUTY TO KEEP ALL COUNTY ROADS FREE OF SNOW DURING THE WINTER MONTHS - AUTHORITY TO REFUSE TO ACCEPT ROAD ABANDONED BY STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT AND CONVEYED TO COUNTY - HIGHWAYS - DUTY OF COUNTY TO MAINTAIN ROAD ABANDONED BY STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT AND CONVEYED TO COUNTY - ROADS
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ‑- DUTY TO KEEP ALL COUNTY ROADS FREE OF SNOW DURING THE WINTER MONTHS -- AUTHORITY TO REFUSE TO ACCEPT ROAD ABANDONED BY STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT AND... 1.  A portion of state highway abandoned by the state of Washington and certified to a county must be maintained by the county.   2.  The county commissioners are authorized to exercise discretion in determining whether or not any particular road can be kept free of snow all winter.
AGO 1958 No. 166 >  February 26, 1958
MORTGAGES - RECORDING OF SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE BY THE STATE OF WASHINGTON DOES NOT REQUIRE A FILING FEE - HIGHWAYS - RECORDING OF SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE BY THE STATE IS NOT SUBJECT TO PAYMENT OF COUNTY FILING FEE - FEES - STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT - NOT REQUIRED TO PAY COUNTY FILING FEE FOR RECORDING SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE
MORTGAGES ‑- RECORDING OF SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE BY THE STATE OF WASHINGTON DOES NOT REQUIRE A FILING FEE -- HIGHWAYS ‑- RECORDING OF SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE BY THE STATE IS NOT SUBJECT TO... Recording of satisfaction of a mortgage by the state of Washington does not require payment of county filing fee.
AGO 1958 No. 163 >  February 21, 1958
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - HIGHWAYS
AUTHORITY TO CONVEY RIGHT OF ACCESS TO STATE FOR LIMITED ACCESS FACILITIES / ACQUISITION OF RIGHTS OF ACCESS THROUGH PROPERTY ACQUIRED BY COUNTY THROUGH TAX... Counties may convey rights of access through property acquired through tax foreclosure to the state for limited access highway facilities.
AGO 1958 No. 158 >  February 14, 1958
CITIES AND TOWNS - HIGHWAYS
AUTHORITY TO PERMIT FREE RIGHT TURNS AGAINST A RED LIGHT -- HIGHWAYS ‑- AUTHORITY OF CITIES AND TOWNS TO PERMIT FREE RIGHT TURNS AGAINST A RED LIGHT Cities and towns, by local ordinance, cannot permit free right turns against a signal device exhibiting a red light by use of a sign reading "stop on red then right turn permitted."
AGO 1958 No. 155 >  February 10, 1958
SCHOOL DISTRICTS - SCHOOL DIRECTORS - AUTHORITY TO EMPLOY CROSSING GUARDS WITH POWER TO ENFORCE TRAFFIC REGULATIONS - HIGHWAYS - TRAFFIC REGULATIONS - AUTHORITY OF DIRECTORS OF SCHOOL DISTRICT TO EMPLOY CROSSING GUARDS
SCHOOL DISTRICTS ‑- SCHOOL DIRECTORS ‑- AUTHORITY TO EMPLOY CROSSING GUARDS WITH POWER TO ENFORCE TRAFFIC REGULATIONS -- HIGHWAYS ‑- TRAFFIC REGULATIONS ‑- AUTHORITY OF DIRECTORS OF SCHOOL DISTRICT... A board of directors of a public school district cannot legally employ school crossing guards to be stationed at intersections where children must cross streets or highways in order to go to or from school, and to vest such guards with the authority to enforce the traffic laws.
AGO 1959 No. 91 >  December 22, 1959
HIGHWAYS - LICENSING OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES
HIGHWAYS - LICENSING OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES Items of road construction equipment within the definition of vehicle under RCW 46.04.670 must be licensed where such vehicles are employed for construction purposes on public highways open to public travel.
AGO 1957 No. 145 >  December 23, 1957
HIGHWAYS - HEARINGS ON LIMITED ACCESS BY STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION - STATE - HIGHWAY COMMISSION - NECESSITY OF HEARINGS TO CHANGE ACCESS CONTROL
HIGHWAYS ‑- HEARINGS ON LIMITED ACCESS BY STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION.STATE ‑- HIGHWAY COMMISSION ‑- NECESSITY OF HEARINGS TO CHANGE ACCESS CONTROL After a highway has become an established limited access facility it is not necessary for the state highway commission to hold a hearing before it can change or modify the plan of access control in a manner that will either provide more restrictive or more liberal access to said highway.
AGO 1957 No. 104 >  July 29, 1957
HIGHWAYS - IMPROPER EXPENDITURE OF HIGHWAY FUNDS
HIGHWAYS ‑- IMPROPER EXPENDITURE OF HIGHWAY FUNDS Under the 1956 federal aid highway act federal funds cannot be made available for the purchase of additional rights of way to accommodate a rapid rail transit system within the highway right of way.  The use of motor vehicle funds as the state's participating money in the purchase of additional rights of way to accommodate a rapid rail transit system within the highway right of way would constitute a diversion of motor vehicle funds under the 18th Amendment to the Washington constitution.
AGO 1958 No. 221 >  September 30, 1958
MOTOR VEHICLE - FUND - USE OF MONEYS WITHIN STATE PATROL HIGHWAY ACCOUNT FOR CAPITAL OUTLAY - HIGHWAYS - USE BY STATE PATROL OF MONEYS WITHIN THE HIGHWAY SAFETY FUND AND STATE PATROL HIGHWAY ACCOUNT IN MOTOR VEHICLE FUND
MOTOR VEHICLE ‑- FUND ‑- USE OF MONEYS WITHIN STATE PATROL HIGHWAY ACCOUNT FOR CAPITAL OUTLAY ‑- HIGHWAYS ‑- USE BY STATE PATROL OF MONEYS WITHIN THE HIGHWAY SAFETY FUND AND STATE PATROL HIGHWAY... Moneys within the state patrol highway account in the motor vehicle fund and in the highway safety fund may be used for purposes of capital outlay if such expenditures are necessary for policing the public highways by the state patrol.
AGO 1954 No. 202 >  February 11, 1954
HIGHWAYS - STATUTORY LOCATION - DEVIATION FROM UNDER TERMINOLOGY "IN THE VICINITY OF TOWNSHIP LINE COMMON TO TOWNSHIPS 38 NORTH AND 39 NORTH"
HIGHWAYS ‑- STATUTORY LOCATION ‑- DEVIATION FROM UNDER TERMINOLOGY 'IN THE VICINITY OF TOWNSHIP LINE COMMON TO TOWNSHIPS 38 NORTH AND 39 NORTH' A legislative act authorizing a highway in the vicinity of a township line is directional only, and construction in the general vicinity of the legislative designation would be legal.
AGO 1954 No. 271 >  June 14, 1954
HIGHWAYS - CATTLE‑CROSSING SIGNS - COUNTIES
HIGHWAYS ‑- CATTLE‑CROSSING SIGNS ‑- COUNTIES A county has authority to post signs at cattle crossings, but is not liable for failure to continuously maintain them.
AGO 1953 No. 187 >  December 28, 1953
CITIES AND TOWNS - DUTY TO ILLUMINATE STATE HIGHWAYS WITHIN CORPORATE LIMITS - HIGHWAYS
CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- DUTY TO ILLUMINATE STATE HIGHWAYS WITHIN CORPORATE LIMITS -- HIGHWAYS RCW 47.24.020 (Chapter 220, Sec. 5, Laws of 1949 as last amended by Chapter 193, Laws of 1953) provides for illumination to be furnished by cities and towns and in cities over 15,000 population for the installation, operation, maintenance, and control of traffic and signals.  The method of control of access has no bearing on cities' responsibility.
AGO 1952 No. 417 >  October 15, 1952
HIGHWAYS - FERRY SLIP AND DOCK AREAS
HIGHWAYS ‑- FERRY SLIP AND DOCK AREAS. Purchase of ferries and leasing of ferry terminals changes status of ferry slips and dock area approaches from private to public highways.
AGO 1953 No. 139 >  September 30, 1953
HIGHWAYS - ABANDONMENT - COUNTIES
RESPONSIBILITY OF COUNTIES FOR HIGHWAY ABANDONED BY THE STATE The bridge across the Columbia River between Kennewick and Pasco lies outside the corporate limits of both cities and can therefore be abandoned by the state under chapter 57, Laws of 1953, and the responsibility for the care and maintenance of the bridge falls upon the counties of Benton and Franklin even though neither county has a road connecting to the bridge.
AGO 1951 No. 121 >  September 5, 1951
HIGHWAYS - MOTOR VEHICLES - EXCESS WEIGHTS - PENALTIES - COMPUTATION OF
HIGHWAYS ‑- MOTOR VEHICLES ‑- EXCESS WEIGHTS ‑- PENALTIES ‑- COMPUTATION OF Section 32, chapter 269, Laws of 1951, is susceptible of two constructions, and thus the construction most favorable to the violator must be adopted, which is that excess weight payments apply only to the weights in excess of those allowed by sections 30 and 31 for vehicles and combinations of vehicles.
AGO 1953 No. 148 >  October 16, 1953
HIGHWAYS
LIMITED ACCESS A Limited Access hearing is not required by law when the proposed improvement will be established on a different location than that occupied by an existing highway.
AGO 1953 No. 151 >  September 23, 1953
HIGHWAYS - LOGGING VEHICLES - SPECIAL TOLERANCE PERMITS
GROUNDS FOR CANCELLATION A special permit issued under RCW 46.44.047, as amended by section 10, chapter 254, Laws of 1953, must be cancelled upon first violation of the terms or conditions of the permit.
AGO 1951 No. 86 >  July 2, 1951
HIGHWAYS - SALES OF GOODS - PROHIBITED WITHOUT A PERMIT
HIGHWAYS ‑- SALES OF GOODS ‑- PROHIBITED WITHOUT A PERMIT Sales of merchandise along a state highway from boxes carried by the vendor or from pushcarts are prohibited by section 78, chapter 53, Laws of 1937, unless the vendor has a permit.
AGO 1951 No. 070 >  June 12, 1951
HIGHWAYS - MOTORISTS DRIVING OVER FRESHLY PAINTED LINES LIABILITY
HIGHWAYS ‑‑ MOTORISTS DRIVING OVER FRESHLY PAINTED LINES LIABILITY
Motorists smearing freshly painted traffic lines of highway paint crews may be charged with a misdemeanor and convicted of violating several provisions of the motor vehicle code.
AGLO 1982 No. 24 >  October 4, 1982
MOTOR VEHICLES - FUNERAL DIRECTORS - HIGHWAYS - TORT LIABILITY
MOTOR VEHICLES PARTICIPATING IN FUNERAL PROCESSIONS (1) Motor vehicles otherwise lawfully participating in a funeral procession, whether or not accompanied by escort vehicles, are required to obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable thereto unless the particular funeral procession is escorted or controlled by a traffic or police officer who otherwise directs. (2) A county or city ordinance purporting to provide an exemption for funeral processions not provided for by the state motor vehicle code would be invalid.
AGLO 1975 No. 4 >  January 15, 1975
MOTOR VEHICLES - HIGHWAYS - LICENSES
ADDITIONAL GROSS WEIGHT PERMITS Although additional gross weight permits may be purchased at any time during a calendar year under RCW 46.44.095, this statute, as amended by § 3, chapter 150, Laws of 1973, 1st Ex. Sess., does not permit such permits to be purchased for single or multiple monthly periods not necessarily extending for the balance of the calendar year in which the permit is obtained.
AGLO 1975 No. 35 >  March 28, 1975
HIGHWAYS - FUNDS
USE OF MOTOR VEHICLE FUND BY PROPOSED DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION The state motor vehicle fund may be used to finance the operation of a proposed state department of transportation only to the extent that the activities and services of such a department would be related to highway purposes within the meaning of Article II, § 40 (Amendment 18) of the state constitution.
AGLO 1978 No. 4 >  February 23, 1978
RAILROADS - MOTOR VEHICLES - LICENSES - HIGHWAYS - OPERATION OF RAILROAD TRAINS
RAILROADS ‑- MOTOR VEHICLES ‑- LICENSES ‑- HIGHWAYS ‑- OPERATION OF RAILROAD TRAINS

A person need not have been issued a Washington state motor vehicle operator's license in order to operate a railroad train within the state.

AGLO 1973 No. 51 >  May 10, 1973
HIGHWAYS - CONDEMNATION - EMINENT DOMAIN - GAME
HIGHWAYS ‑- CONDEMNATION ‑- EMINENT DOMAIN ‑- GAME The department of game is not entitled to compensation under Article I, § 16 (Amendment 9) of the state Constitution when the state highway department acquires property for a highway through an area designated by the game department as a game reserve pursuant to RCW 77.12.040.
AGLO 1974 No. 32 >  March 15, 1974
TAXATION - MOTOR VEHICLES - GASOLINE - HIGHWAYS
BICYCLE PATHS To the extent that House Bill No. 1295 (chapter 141, Laws of 1974, 1st Ex. Sess.) is constitutionally valid, it permits municipalities to use gasoline tax revenues for the construction of bicycle paths.
AGLO 1974 No. 41 >  April 3, 1974
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - URBAN ARTERIAL BOARD - CITIES AND TOWNS - MOTOR VEHICLES - HIGHWAYS - FUNDS
BAY FREEWAY The city of Seattle may not use moneys in its arterial street fund to repay the urban arterial board for state funds expended by that city in the purchase of right-of-way for the now abandoned Bay Freeway project.
AGLO 1974 No. 46 >  April 15, 1974
MOTOR VEHICLES - POLICE OFFICERS - SHERIFFS - HIGHWAYS - ABANDONED
REMOVAL (1) A police officer may employ the services of a commercial towing truck to move a parked automobile from a highway under RCW 46.61.565. (2) In such a case, the tow truck operator will have a statutory lien against the owner of the automobile for payment of his charges, and will also have a contractual right to payment by the county or city which retained his services if the vehicle involved later turns out to have been abandoned and is not claimed by its owner.
AGLO 1974 No. 47 >  April 16, 1974
HIGHWAYS - BILLBOARDS - SIGNS
MAINTENANCE OF SIGNS IN COMMERCAL AND INDUSTRIAL AREAS If a person has lawfully erected and maintained a sign visible from the main traveled way of the primary highway system within commercial and industrial areas on June 1, 1971, such sign is permitted to remain and be maintained after May 10, 1974 because of RCW 47.42.063, even though it does not comply with such provisions as RCW 47.42.040, RCW 47.42.045 and RCW 47.42.060.
AGLO 1973 No. 112 >  December 10, 1973
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - COMMISSIONERS - HIGHWAYS
CONTRACTS(3) Where a board of county commissioners makes a consolidated publication covering all day labor projects of more than $2,500 for the preceding year, as provided for in WAC 136-16-060, this publication will not constitute compliance by the board with the statutory requirements of RCW 36.77.070.
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