A Little Pride In The Empire State
I proudly call myself a native of Upstate New York. Aside from living two and a half years in Massachusetts, I have lived in Upstate New York for over three decades. There are thousands of us born and raised right here that are "Empire State Proud". With our famous Upstate New York winters, beautiful lakes, breathtaking scenery and majestic mountains, we proudly call New York our home.
With the construction of the Interstate Highway System in the mid 1950s, the now familiar red, white and blue Interstate route marker made it's debut. The original design of this route marker included the state name of it's location. Naturally, those signs along the new superhighways in The Empire State proudly carried the "NEW YORK" name under the Interstate banner. However, few of these markers exist on our roadways today, as a more generic version without the state name has been the standard for 25 years or more. The generic version of the Interstate marker allows for slightly larger numerals for the route designation. Unfortunately, this design no longer carries the name of the state we proudly call home.
With the adoption of the National Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices with New York State Supplement, the inclusion of "NEW YORK" on the Interstate route marker is now allowed under Section 2D.11:
Standard: The "Standard Highway Signs" book (see Section 1A.11 [not included in this text]) shall be used for designing route signs. The designs of other route signs shall be established by the authority having jurisdiction, subject to review and approval of the New York State Department of Transportation.
Interstate Route Signs (see Figure 2D-3 [not included in this text]) shall consist of a cutout shield, with the route number in white letters on a blue background, the word INTERSTATE in white capital letters on a red background, and a white border. This sign shall be used on all Interstate routes and in connection with route sign assemblies on intersecting highways.
A 24 x 24 inch minimum sign size shall be used for Interstate route numbers with one or two digits and a 30 x 24 inch minimum sign size shall be used for Interstate route numbers having three digits.
Option: Interstate Route signs may contain the State name in white upper-case letters on a blue background.
I believe NYSDOT should start utilizing this option on newly installed ground mounted Interstate route markers. Many states still exercise this option and we should follow their lead. I believe this is a way to show motorists that we are indeed "Empire State Proud."