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Author Topic: New York State Thruway  (Read 441191 times)

Zeffy

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New York State Thruway
« on: September 22, 2014, 12:00:32 AM »

Apparently, in my search for a general New York Thruway topic, I came up empty handed. The Thruway is major enough to warrant it's own general topic. So here it is. And if I somehow missed it, well you can merge my post with the other one.

While streetviewing the Thruway, I saw these gaps in the median where I presume law enforcement is permitted to use for U-turns. Am I correct in assuming that the yellow sign is a reference mile marker for emergency services?



Second, are these one-off installs of Clearview, or is the Thruway switching to it?



Third, it seems a lot of signage on the Thruway (at least west of Albany) is ground mounted. Any particular reason for NYSTA's choice on using ground mounts versus overheads?

And finally...I can't say I have seen too many of these on highways (let alone Interstates):

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Flyer78

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 12:42:07 AM »

Law enforcement can use them for speed enforcement as well. Yes, the numbers under it are the reference location, also common on other NY Interstates. (I-690 around Syracuse has them. I forget which county on NY17/I-86 - but it actually uses the NY Reference Marker instead of the lapsed/elapsed distance).

Clearview has been popping up all along the Thruway.

As for the deer warning sign, are you commenting more on the 16 mile advisory, or in general? Quite common in NY, as well as PA.
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Duke87

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2014, 02:03:03 AM »

Second, are these one-off installs of Clearview, or is the Thruway switching to it?

Pretty much all new signs installed by NYSTA have been Clearview for at least five years. This isn't anything new.
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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014, 12:53:37 PM »

Law enforcement can use them for speed enforcement as well. Yes, the numbers under it are the reference location, also common on other NY Interstates. (I-690 around Syracuse has them. I forget which county on NY17/I-86 - but it actually uses the NY Reference Marker instead of the lapsed/elapsed distance).
I-81 is Oswego and Jefferson Counties has its turnouts numbered sequentially.  They start at 1 near Oneida Lake and increase into the 60s near the border.  I-781 does as well (numbered 1 and 2).
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Flyer78

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014, 02:15:38 PM »

Now that you mention it, Cortland county on I-81 is the same way, sequentially. I think there are even some with suffixes.
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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2014, 05:46:07 PM »

Law enforcement can use them for speed enforcement as well. Yes, the numbers under it are the reference location, also common on other NY Interstates. (I-690 around Syracuse has them. I forget which county on NY17/I-86 - but it actually uses the NY Reference Marker instead of the lapsed/elapsed distance).
I-81 is Oswego and Jefferson Counties has its turnouts numbered sequentially.  They start at 1 near Oneida Lake and increase into the 60s near the border.  I-781 does as well (numbered 1 and 2).

The Northway (I-87) in Warren and Essex Counties do as well.
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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2014, 05:54:55 PM »

Now that you mention it, Cortland county on I-81 is the same way, sequentially. I think there are even some with suffixes.
Cortland uses letters.  Broome and Onondaga use the same hundredth mile indicators as the Thruway.

It's odd that every area uses something completely different - not even a change at regions, but at counties.
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machias

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2014, 06:58:27 PM »

Law enforcement can use them for speed enforcement as well. Yes, the numbers under it are the reference location, also common on other NY Interstates. (I-690 around Syracuse has them. I forget which county on NY17/I-86 - but it actually uses the NY Reference Marker instead of the lapsed/elapsed distance).
I-81 is Oswego and Jefferson Counties has its turnouts numbered sequentially.  They start at 1 near Oneida Lake and increase into the 60s near the border.  I-781 does as well (numbered 1 and 2).

Oswego County had them first on I-81 and then I think Jefferson County just continued the sequence.

The Thruway started out with vertical signs mounted on one post in the Syracuse area and then they switched to horizontal.  Some of the sign posts still have a shorter than normal reflective strip to accommodate this.

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2014, 08:27:01 PM »

As far as ground-mounted signs vs. overhead, it's because they're cheaper. You're supposed to have overhead signs with 3 or more lanes of traffic, but you don't need them with 2 lanes. (I believe that's MUTCD, but it might be AASHTO Green Book.)

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2014, 09:14:37 PM »

It's odd that every area uses something completely different - not even a change at regions, but at counties.

Probably what the local law enforcement and emergency services dispatchers prefer in each locality, since they're the personnel who will be using the median crossings.

As far as ground-mounted signs vs. overhead, it's because they're cheaper. You're supposed to have overhead signs with 3 or more lanes of traffic, but you don't need them with 2 lanes. (I believe that's MUTCD, but it might be AASHTO Green Book.)

Kentucky installed ground-mounted signs for Exit 96 on I-64 after it was widened to three lanes. Also for Exit 87. However, the exit between the two (Exit 94) has an overhead.
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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2014, 12:59:01 AM »

Now that you mention it, Cortland county on I-81 is the same way, sequentially. I think there are even some with suffixes.
Cortland uses letters. 

You are right. I was thinking they were numbered then suffixed with letters, but they are lettered, suffixed with numbers:

I1: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6336378,-76.1738213,3a,75y,130.84h,68.31t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1seEsQYdEniCtiNi5RyVLkeQ!2e0
I: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6089034,-76.1712981,3a,75y,99.86h,71.55t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sZYFpC1tUPfR8VySCM7bgGw!2e0
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shadyjay

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2014, 05:34:03 PM »

As far as ground-mounted signs vs. overhead, it's because they're cheaper. You're supposed to have overhead signs with 3 or more lanes of traffic, but you don't need them with 2 lanes. (I believe that's MUTCD, but it might be AASHTO Green Book.)

New England varies wildly.  MA is converting all of its limited-access highways to "all overhead", be they 2 lanes, 3 lanes, urban, rural, etc.  The reasoning is visibility and not having to trim around ground signs.  NH has several of its signs along I-95 (which is 4 lanes each way) on the ground.  CT, on the other hand, is going the opposite direction as MA, with moving several signs that were overhead down to the ground, and I'm not just talking about bridge-mounted ones either.  Some entire supports are being removed and signs placed at ground level. 
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empirestate

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2014, 02:02:54 AM »

Law enforcement can use them for speed enforcement as well. Yes, the numbers under it are the reference location, also common on other NY Interstates. (I-690 around Syracuse has them. I forget which county on NY17/I-86 - but it actually uses the NY Reference Marker instead of the lapsed/elapsed distance).

That's Tioga. They use the bottom line of the reference marker plus a sequential letter.
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cl94

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2014, 08:19:48 PM »

Law enforcement can use them for speed enforcement as well. Yes, the numbers under it are the reference location, also common on other NY Interstates. (I-690 around Syracuse has them. I forget which county on NY17/I-86 - but it actually uses the NY Reference Marker instead of the lapsed/elapsed distance).

That's Tioga. They use the bottom line of the reference marker plus a sequential letter.

So does Cattaraugus. Think Chautauqua is the same way. Pretty standard along that stretch of NY 17. Never seen it elsewhere in the state.

I-390 in Region 6 uses sequential numbers, while Region 4 uses mile markers to the nearest tenth plus a sequential letter. Region 5 does NOT have them outside of NY 17, but I could swear I saw sequential numbers on I-190. I don't go up that way often, so my memory of it very well might be incorrect.

On the topic of overhead signs, most highways outside of inner-ring suburbs have ground-mounted signs unless there is a lane drop at/near the interchange. I-87 really sticks out, as the only interchanges with overhead signs north of I-90 have semi-directional/loop ramps or lane drops, even though the southernmost ~50 miles is 6 lanes. Not even northbound Exit 9, a 2-lane exit, gets a gantry.
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storm2k

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2014, 02:39:59 AM »

As far as ground-mounted signs vs. overhead, it's because they're cheaper. You're supposed to have overhead signs with 3 or more lanes of traffic, but you don't need them with 2 lanes. (I believe that's MUTCD, but it might be AASHTO Green Book.)

New England varies wildly.  MA is converting all of its limited-access highways to "all overhead", be they 2 lanes, 3 lanes, urban, rural, etc.  The reasoning is visibility and not having to trim around ground signs.  NH has several of its signs along I-95 (which is 4 lanes each way) on the ground.  CT, on the other hand, is going the opposite direction as MA, with moving several signs that were overhead down to the ground, and I'm not just talking about bridge-mounted ones either.  Some entire supports are being removed and signs placed at ground level. 

Jersey's done that. They took down several overheads on 295 and replaced them with ground mounted signs even though 295 is 3 lanes wide north of 76/42. you can see here (at 52A going NB) that they took down the overhead but left the support masts up!
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PHLBOS

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2014, 08:37:58 AM »

Jersey's done that. They took down several overheads on 295 and replaced them with ground mounted signs even though 295 is 3 lanes wide north of 76/42. you can see here (at 52A going NB) that they took down the overhead but left the support masts up!
That particular case was the result of an I-295 reconstruction project (which involved lane closures & shifted through lanes) that took place several years ago.  IIRC, the current replacement ground-mounted BGS' were (at least initially) planned to be a temporary situation.

It's possible that the overhead portion of the gantry that was removed was originally intened to be reinstalled after the project ended but was damaged in the process.  Note: such is only a guess on my part.
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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2014, 10:57:16 AM »

Jersey's done that. They took down several overheads on 295 and replaced them with ground mounted signs even though 295 is 3 lanes wide north of 76/42. you can see here (at 52A going NB) that they took down the overhead but left the support masts up!
That particular case was the result of an I-295 reconstruction project (which involved lane closures & shifted through lanes) that took place several years ago.  IIRC, the current replacement ground-mounted BGS' were (at least initially) planned to be a temporary situation.

It's possible that the overhead portion of the gantry that was removed was originally intened to be reinstalled after the project ended but was damaged in the process.  Note: such is only a guess on my part.
Most times this is not because of a construction project in the area.  It is more likely the result of periodic inspection of the structures finding issues with the existing components -- safety precaution to take the span down.  I have seen at various times other locations in the state (I-295 at Exit 65 and I-195 at Exit 3, for two) where smaller "temporary" guide signs were in place while the overhead gantry was down.  Eventually whatever necessary repairs are made and the span gets put back up.  The time varies by location, but could be more related to the extent of repairs.  Sometimes, the small signs do not seem that temporary.
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PHLBOS

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2014, 12:58:30 PM »

Most times this is not because of a construction project in the area.  It is more likely the result of periodic inspection of the structures finding issues with the existing components -- safety precaution to take the span down.  I have seen at various times other locations in the state (I-295 at Exit 65 and I-195 at Exit 3, for two) where smaller "temporary" guide signs were in place while the overhead gantry was down.  Eventually whatever necessary repairs are made and the span gets put back up.  The time varies by location, but could be more related to the extent of repairs.  Sometimes, the small signs do not seem that temporary.
As one who has used that stretch of I-295 for many years when traveling to/from New England; I know that particular overhead gantry (bridge portion) only was taken down when NJDOT was reconstructing a roughly 10-mile stretch of that highway several years ago.  During some of the phases of that project, one side of the road was closed off while the remaining side was reconfigured & restriped (including a temporary Jersey barrier) for 4 total lanes of travel (2 per direction).

While the reasoning you described may be true for those other locations; the timing of such with respect to a concurrent reconstruction project is just too coincidental.
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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2014, 01:58:56 PM »

I had a scary thought today about the lack of a plan to pay for the Tappan Zee Bridge (especially since Cuomo ruled out using the drug bust money for it).  A couple years ago, he proposed merging NYSDOT and NYSTA.  This was rejected due to the various legal hurdles that a merger would face.  But Cuomo's a patient man, and he always gets what he wants in the end.  What if he's trying to bankrupt NYSTA so that the political support for a merger would materialize?  At that point NYSTA and NYSDOT will already share the same building anyways... all that would need to be done is to re-structure the bureaucracy and eliminate redundant jobs.
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cl94

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2014, 03:44:36 PM »

I had a scary thought today about the lack of a plan to pay for the Tappan Zee Bridge (especially since Cuomo ruled out using the drug bust money for it).  A couple years ago, he proposed merging NYSDOT and NYSTA.  This was rejected due to the various legal hurdles that a merger would face.  But Cuomo's a patient man, and he always gets what he wants in the end.  What if he's trying to bankrupt NYSTA so that the political support for a merger would materialize?  At that point NYSTA and NYSDOT will already share the same building anyways... all that would need to be done is to re-structure the bureaucracy and eliminate redundant jobs.

Don't picture him planning it that way, but I'd be for anything that might bring a merger. Would certainly get rid of a lot of redundancy. Merge the 4 Thruway regions into Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8, get rid of the leadership and redundant positions, and voilà- there's money available to replace bridges and possibly get rid of/ move some tolls that were supposed to disappear eons ago (cough Grand Island cough I-95 cough Ardsley cough).
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vdeane

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2014, 05:54:52 PM »

The upper leadership would just get reappointed elsewhere or the organization would be restructured to retain them; most of the jobs lost would be lower-level titles like mine.  As someone who works for the state, I don't like anything that reduces the workforce and therefore threatens my job (especially since I just started and would therefore be the first on the chopping block).

I highly doubt a merger would reduce or eliminate tolls.  Plus I like the Thruway ;)
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cl94

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2014, 07:27:12 PM »

Guess what I just found: Plans for the Exit 50A bridge replacement. A few important points:

  • Monotube cantilever gantry for the Exit 50 overhead. Didn't know New York was adopting these things. I certainly haven't seen one here.
  • Full closure between Exits 50 and 51 for 3 nights on a single weekend with signed detour routes. This will be a mess, especially with the large amount of Canadians here any given weekend.
  • 8 through lanes under the bridge. The lane from the Exit 50A ramp becomes an auxiliary lane that ends immediately. Until the Thruway is widened to Exit 53 or further, the rightmost lane from I-290 will be an exit only for 51W, eliminating the merge that currently exists under the bridge and any associated congestion.
  • This obviously doesn't mean anything, but the signs shown in the plans are not Clearview. Everything in the area except for the signs currently on the bridge and a lone button copy just NE of there is Clearview.
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vdeane

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2014, 01:27:05 PM »

Monotube cantilever gantry for the Exit 50 overhead. Didn't know New York was adopting these things. I certainly haven't seen one here.
You mean like this?

Region 4 has a few.
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cl94

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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2014, 01:41:37 PM »

No. I mean the curved arm type that Pennsylvania loves
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Re: New York State Thruway
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2014, 11:03:15 AM »

  • Monotube cantilever gantry for the Exit 50 overhead. Didn't know New York was adopting these things. I certainly haven't seen one here.

I'm pretty sure this will be a first.

I am a traditionalist and have always liked the triangular gantries (I am 44 and began my roadgeek experience on NY 17 watching the Southern Tier Expressway get built). Admittedly, the "beefy" new box gantries have been taking some getting used to - but a monotube - in NY?? Wow.
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