Sign Shop


Commercial Drive (NY Route 5A) approach to NY Route 840.

Location: NY Route 5A westbound, Town of New Hartford.

Current Sign:

NY 5A before
NY 5A after
Or a second option:
NY 5A after

This overhead installation can be found on NY 5A WB as it approaches the NY 840/Judd Rd Extension Expressway in the Town of New Hartford, Oneida County. As shown by the overhead installation, designers are trying to avoid traffic on the busy NY 5 corridor near Sangertown Square by directing westbound drivers to follow NY 5A WEST to NY 5 and eastbound drivers to jump up onto NY 840 EAST to NY 5. I agree that the intentions here are very good. Unfortunately, the design of the middle sign makes it look like drivers need to move into the left lane to get to NY 5 WEST and the right lane to get onto NY 5A west. This is hardly the case, as this roadway reduces to one lane in each direction about 1 1/2 miles further up before getting to NY 5. This is a motorist safety concern.

The current configuration can easily be corrected by the simple addition of "Commercial Drive" across the bottom of the middle sign so that it spans the area between the two arrows. This will tie the two arrows together to one common message. While not a perfect solution, it should reduce the amount of unnecessary weaving in this area.

Another improvement that should be considered for the sign rehab in 10 years or so is the reduction of the number of routes displayed on this installation, opting for the left sign to simply say "EAST 840 / Utica".