NYSDOT Region 2

What Makes NYSDOT Region 2 A Little Bit Different

Freeway Entrance Ramps.

The primary freeway facility in Region 2 is the Utica-Rome Expressway, currently signed as NY Route 49. This freeway runs from the Griffiss Technology and Business Park to Thruway Interchange 31 in Utica. There is an additional expressway facility west of Griffiss Park that extends to Rome at the Erie Canal, as well as a separate expressway that follows NY Route 365 to Thruway Interchange 33 in Verona.

There are other freeways and expressways in Region 2, including the new NY Route 840 (Judd Rd Extension), NY Route 12 north of the city of Utica, NY Route 8 south of the city of Utica and NY Route 5S east of Utica. In addition, the one non-Thruway interstate in Region 2 is Interstate 790, currently signed along portions of the aforementioned NY Route 12 (approximately 1.5 miles) and Utica-Rome Expressway freeway facilities (approximately one mile).

At entrance ramps to these freeways, Region 2 has a habit of installing a "RAMP XX MPH" (NYS MUTCD sign W1-19, section 231.8 and National MUTCD sign W13-3, section 2C.36) advisory sign much like the one pictured:

Cavanaugh Rd

The NYSMUTCD states the following (underline emphasis mine):

(a) Application. (1) These signs are for use where motorists leave a roadway by diverging into a connecting roadway commonly called a ramp. The signs are intended to provide approaching drivers with advisory speed information in a manner which clearly indicates it applies to the ramp, and not the roadway.

The W1-20 and W1-22 signs are for use on freeways where the ramp is generally regarded as an "exit" to another facility. The W1-19 and W1-21 signs are for use where the ramp is also referred to as being an entrance, or simply a connecting ramp, to the other facility. Chapter V Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Section 231.8, page 2147, dated 02-28-2005

Engineers outside of Region 2 interpret this much like the rest of the country does, the "EXIT XX MPH" or "RAMP XX MPH" sign is used for an interchange exit ramp to caution motorists about slowing down on an exit ramp. However, Region 2 seems to interpret an "exit ramp" to be any ramp, including an entrance ramp from a two-lane road to a freeway or expressway.

While I understand the need for motorists to use caution when navigating a freeway entrance ramp, the use of this sign discourages motorists from accelerating to freeway speeds to safely merge into traffic. This can be a safety concern to motorists trying to merge into traffic and to motorists already on the freeway facility.

I believe the intention of Region 2 is to caution drivers regarding the geometry or curves on these ramps, and in these cases the proper sign would be something similar to this:

[Ramp Entrance]
National MUTCD: W1-1 through W1-5, W1-11 or W1-15 and W13-1 or W1-1a through W1-2a
NYS MUTCD: W1-1 through W1-10, W1-26 or W1-27 and W9-1.