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Author Topic: How do you define Upstate NY?  (Read 26987 times)

epzik8

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #50 on: August 19, 2016, 12:10:20 PM »

I say it's everything north of Albany. Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse et cetera are all Western New York.
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Rothman

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #51 on: August 19, 2016, 02:56:46 PM »

I say it's everything north of Albany.

O.o

If I were to agree with you, we'd both be wrong.
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empirestate

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #52 on: August 21, 2016, 03:14:52 PM »

I still consider everything north of The Bronx to be upstate, including Yonkers and Mount Vernon […]

And what made you decide to draw the line there? What are the characteristics of "Upstate" that you find to exist in Yonkers and Mt. Vernon, but not in the Bronx?
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D-Dey65

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #53 on: August 22, 2016, 04:06:40 PM »

And what made you decide to draw the line there? What are the characteristics of "Upstate" that you find to exist in Yonkers and Mt. Vernon, but not in the Bronx?
Just not part of New York City or Long Island. Honestly, can you drive along Sprain Brook Parkway (especially around the Grassy Sprain Reservoir) and still think you're in NYC?
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empirestate

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #54 on: August 22, 2016, 05:42:42 PM »

And what made you decide to draw the line there? What are the characteristics of "Upstate" that you find to exist in Yonkers and Mt. Vernon, but not in the Bronx?
Just not part of New York City or Long Island. Honestly, can you drive along Sprain Brook Parkway (especially around the Grassy Sprain Reservoir) and still think you're in NYC?

Mm, possibly. It could definitely seem like parts of Staten Island or outer Queens. But the spirit of the question is, what does "not part of New York City" mean to you? What is it about the landscape, culture, politics, infrastructure, or any number of other factors that you consider "not part of New York City" (and thus, by extension, Upstate)?

If, in fact, you really just count anything other than the seven counties of NYC and Long Island to be Upstate, that's fine, although probably outside the scope of the question. But you mentioned something about the surroundings along the Grassy Sprain, so it seems like there's a bit more to your definition.
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cl94

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #55 on: August 22, 2016, 08:15:24 PM »

And what made you decide to draw the line there? What are the characteristics of "Upstate" that you find to exist in Yonkers and Mt. Vernon, but not in the Bronx?
Just not part of New York City or Long Island. Honestly, can you drive along Sprain Brook Parkway (especially around the Grassy Sprain Reservoir) and still think you're in NYC?

Mm, possibly. It could definitely seem like parts of Staten Island or outer Queens. But the spirit of the question is, what does "not part of New York City" mean to you? What is it about the landscape, culture, politics, infrastructure, or any number of other factors that you consider "not part of New York City" (and thus, by extension, Upstate)?

If, in fact, you really just count anything other than the seven counties of NYC and Long Island to be Upstate, that's fine, although probably outside the scope of the question. But you mentioned something about the surroundings along the Grassy Sprain, so it seems like there's a bit more to your definition.

Downstate isn't just New York City. By the definition of "not like New York City", anything east of NY 112 would be upstate as well. I can accept the "anything north of the Bronx" (even though anyone outside of New York City will disagree with you).
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empirestate

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #56 on: August 23, 2016, 11:31:51 AM »

Downstate isn't just New York City. By the definition of "not like New York City", anything east of NY 112 would be upstate as well. I can accept the "anything north of the Bronx" (even though anyone outside of New York City will disagree with you).

I could accept that definition if I could get a straight answer on how it's decided upon. To re-iterate my example earlier with Street View (this link), why is one half of the picture defined as "Upstate" and the other half not?

That's an extreme example, as the boundary line crosses aribtrarily through the neighborhood, dividing blocks and buildings between Yonkers and the Bronx—between Upstate and not-Upstate—but you'll see similar resemblances between many areas of Yonkers, Mt. Vernon and other close-in areas on one hand, and contiguous areas of the Bronx on the other. (You see the same resemblance along the Queens-Nassau County border, too.)
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cl94

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #57 on: August 23, 2016, 11:42:57 AM »

Downstate isn't just New York City. By the definition of "not like New York City", anything east of NY 112 would be upstate as well. I can accept the "anything north of the Bronx" (even though anyone outside of New York City will disagree with you).

I could accept that definition if I could get a straight answer on how it's decided upon. To re-iterate my example earlier with Street View (this link), why is one half of the picture defined as "Upstate" and the other half not?

That's an extreme example, as the boundary line crosses aribtrarily through the neighborhood, dividing blocks and buildings between Yonkers and the Bronx—between Upstate and not-Upstate—but you'll see similar resemblances between many areas of Yonkers, Mt. Vernon and other close-in areas on one hand, and contiguous areas of the Bronx on the other. (You see the same resemblance along the Queens-Nassau County border, too.)

Oh, I'm well aware of that, but there are some in the City who think Upstate does start at that arbitrary point. Such as whoever advised a former Senator to say she was moving "Upstate" after buying a house in Chappaqua (political figure only inserted to illustrate how some define "Upstate" as including Westchester).
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CobaltYoshi27

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #58 on: August 24, 2016, 10:49:29 PM »

Honestly this question comes down to perspective. Long Islanders will think of Upstate NY boundaries further south because they spend so much time in NYC and on Long Island. It's much easier to call places like Oneonta, and even places like New Rochelle as upstate for them.
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cl94

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #59 on: August 24, 2016, 11:02:02 PM »

Honestly this question comes down to perspective. Long Islanders will think of Upstate NY boundaries further south because they spend so much time in NYC and on Long Island. It's much easier to call places like Oneonta, and even places like New Rochelle as upstate for them.

Oneonta is Upstate and there is no question about that. Only people who don't think it is live in Buffalo or along the Quebec border, but Buffalo also thinks anything east of I-81 is downstate.
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The Nature Boy

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #60 on: August 25, 2016, 10:20:15 AM »

Are there any defining qualities that define Upstate other than "Not New York City or Long Island (and possibly its surrounding counties)?" Buffalo and Plattsburgh are both "upstate" but share almost nothing in common. Buffalo is pretty similar to Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit whereas Plattsburgh is similar to Vermont.

I consider Upstate to be an all-encompassing region with subregions (Western New York, the North Country, the Finger Lakes region) within it.
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D-Dey65

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #61 on: August 25, 2016, 10:24:50 AM »

Downstate isn't just New York City. By the definition of "not like New York City", anything east of NY 112 would be upstate as well. I can accept the "anything north of the Bronx" (even though anyone outside of New York City will disagree with you).
Ahh, now we're getting into the issue of the definition of Eastern Long Island. I've seen maps and websites that consider "Eastern" Long Island to be as far west as the Town of Oyster Bay of all places.

Now with that particular map, the only real difference I can see is in the street name signs. But since it's in Yonkers, it's still Upstate to me.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 10:27:31 AM by D-Dey65 »
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cl94

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #62 on: August 25, 2016, 04:38:13 PM »

Are there any defining qualities that define Upstate other than "Not New York City or Long Island (and possibly its surrounding counties)?" Buffalo and Plattsburgh are both "upstate" but share almost nothing in common. Buffalo is pretty similar to Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit whereas Plattsburgh is similar to Vermont.

I consider Upstate to be an all-encompassing region with subregions (Western New York, the North Country, the Finger Lakes region) within it.

Basically, the defining quality is being a commuter town for New York City. The most commonly-accepted definition is that New York City, Long Island and the City's commuter towns within New York are "Downstate". Ulster, Sullivan and Columbia are almost always Upstate in their entirety, while Westchester and Rockland are Downstate. Orange, Putnam and Dutchess differ depending on who you talk to. Given the large commuter population living in the latter two, I consider those south of Poughkeepsie to be Downstate, while most of Orange south of I-84 is the same way. You'd be hard-pressed to call extreme northwestern Orange or northern Dutchess "Downstate".

As Upstate is so diverse, most of us here refer to the subregions. Western New York is everything west of either Geneva or Rochester (depending on who you talk to) and people in Buffalo hate hearing they live anywhere but "Western New York". "Central New York" is the area between NY 28 and the Finger Lakes. The "North Country" is typically considered to be everything north of the Essex-Warren county line. Do note that the "official regions" are not what is used in everyday speech and the border counties are often considered to overlap. The "Adirondacks" and "Catskills" are not official regions, but they are used colloquially to refer to those parts of the state.
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empirestate

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #63 on: August 25, 2016, 11:35:05 PM »

Are there any defining qualities that define Upstate other than "Not New York City or Long Island (and possibly its surrounding counties)?"

That's precisely the question that this thread is entirely about. :-) But I've been having trouble coaxing that information out; many people are only mentioning where they draw the line, but not why they draw it there.
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The Nature Boy

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #64 on: August 31, 2016, 01:07:57 PM »

Are there any defining qualities that define Upstate other than "Not New York City or Long Island (and possibly its surrounding counties)?"

That's precisely the question that this thread is entirely about. :-) But I've been having trouble coaxing that information out; many people are only mentioning where they draw the line, but not why they draw it there.

I almost feel like Upstate New York originated as a way for NYC people to refer to the areas of the state not within their sphere.
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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #65 on: August 31, 2016, 01:59:59 PM »

I saw the news yesterday about Mariah Carey's sister being busted for prostitution in Saugerties, which was referred to as "upstate" in multiple stories. I guess that makes sense, since it's north of Kingston and is closer to Albany than it is the Tappan Zee.
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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #66 on: August 31, 2016, 11:09:49 PM »

Me, I usually use a "everything north of the Catskills" definition for Upstate.  If you follow the line of thought from Colin Woodard's book American Nations, Upstate is those areas that were colonized by Yankeedom and is thus essentially Greater New England (this is also claimed for much of Suffolk County, which is not Upstate), sharing cultural similarities and political and social attitudes with New England, portions of the Midwest, and across the international border into Atlantic Canada.  (Compare that with Downstate, where except for Suffolk County much of it belongs to what Colin Woodard calls "New Netherland", with its own separate cultural traditions and attitudes.)  Within that definition, I'd define at least three basic regions - Eastern New York, consisting of the upper Hudson Valley, plus most of the North Country and the Albany area, and which retain ties with New England (Plattsburgh, especially, shares the same media market as Vermont); Western New York, which I'd define as the Finger Lakes region and points west and which share more in common with the Golden Horseshoe (which sounds better than the GTA in my opinion) and Southern Ontario in general; and Central New York, which has the Thousand Islands region in the north, including Fort Drum, and the Southern Tier in the south (and, by extension, the Northern Tier in Pennsylvania) as border areas and thus has the I-81 corridor within the region.  Basic, yes, but it works for me.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 11:20:13 PM by dcbjms »
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The Nature Boy

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #67 on: September 01, 2016, 03:33:39 PM »

Me, I usually use a "everything north of the Catskills" definition for Upstate.  If you follow the line of thought from Colin Woodard's book American Nations, Upstate is those areas that were colonized by Yankeedom and is thus essentially Greater New England (this is also claimed for much of Suffolk County, which is not Upstate), sharing cultural similarities and political and social attitudes with New England, portions of the Midwest, and across the international border into Atlantic Canada.  (Compare that with Downstate, where except for Suffolk County much of it belongs to what Colin Woodard calls "New Netherland", with its own separate cultural traditions and attitudes.)  Within that definition, I'd define at least three basic regions - Eastern New York, consisting of the upper Hudson Valley, plus most of the North Country and the Albany area, and which retain ties with New England (Plattsburgh, especially, shares the same media market as Vermont); Western New York, which I'd define as the Finger Lakes region and points west and which share more in common with the Golden Horseshoe (which sounds better than the GTA in my opinion) and Southern Ontario in general; and Central New York, which has the Thousand Islands region in the north, including Fort Drum, and the Southern Tier in the south (and, by extension, the Northern Tier in Pennsylvania) as border areas and thus has the I-81 corridor within the region.  Basic, yes, but it works for me.

Suffolk County is interesting. I went on a date with a girl from the area who insisted that Suffolk County had more in common with coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island than it did the rest of New York. She was from eastern Suffolk County so maybe what she said had some validity, I've never been so I can't adequately judge. 
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Rothman

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #68 on: September 01, 2016, 05:53:03 PM »

Me, I usually use a "everything north of the Catskills" definition for Upstate.  If you follow the line of thought from Colin Woodard's book American Nations, Upstate is those areas that were colonized by Yankeedom and is thus essentially Greater New England (this is also claimed for much of Suffolk County, which is not Upstate), sharing cultural similarities and political and social attitudes with New England, portions of the Midwest, and across the international border into Atlantic Canada.  (Compare that with Downstate, where except for Suffolk County much of it belongs to what Colin Woodard calls "New Netherland", with its own separate cultural traditions and attitudes.)  Within that definition, I'd define at least three basic regions - Eastern New York, consisting of the upper Hudson Valley, plus most of the North Country and the Albany area, and which retain ties with New England (Plattsburgh, especially, shares the same media market as Vermont); Western New York, which I'd define as the Finger Lakes region and points west and which share more in common with the Golden Horseshoe (which sounds better than the GTA in my opinion) and Southern Ontario in general; and Central New York, which has the Thousand Islands region in the north, including Fort Drum, and the Southern Tier in the south (and, by extension, the Northern Tier in Pennsylvania) as border areas and thus has the I-81 corridor within the region.  Basic, yes, but it works for me.

Suffolk County is interesting. I went on a date with a girl from the area who insisted that Suffolk County had more in common with coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island than it did the rest of New York. She was from eastern Suffolk County so maybe what she said had some validity, I've never been so I can't adequately judge. 

Hm.  Newport = Hamptons?
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cl94

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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #69 on: September 01, 2016, 09:06:02 PM »

Me, I usually use a "everything north of the Catskills" definition for Upstate.  If you follow the line of thought from Colin Woodard's book American Nations, Upstate is those areas that were colonized by Yankeedom and is thus essentially Greater New England (this is also claimed for much of Suffolk County, which is not Upstate), sharing cultural similarities and political and social attitudes with New England, portions of the Midwest, and across the international border into Atlantic Canada.  (Compare that with Downstate, where except for Suffolk County much of it belongs to what Colin Woodard calls "New Netherland", with its own separate cultural traditions and attitudes.)  Within that definition, I'd define at least three basic regions - Eastern New York, consisting of the upper Hudson Valley, plus most of the North Country and the Albany area, and which retain ties with New England (Plattsburgh, especially, shares the same media market as Vermont); Western New York, which I'd define as the Finger Lakes region and points west and which share more in common with the Golden Horseshoe (which sounds better than the GTA in my opinion) and Southern Ontario in general; and Central New York, which has the Thousand Islands region in the north, including Fort Drum, and the Southern Tier in the south (and, by extension, the Northern Tier in Pennsylvania) as border areas and thus has the I-81 corridor within the region.  Basic, yes, but it works for me.

Suffolk County is interesting. I went on a date with a girl from the area who insisted that Suffolk County had more in common with coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island than it did the rest of New York. She was from eastern Suffolk County so maybe what she said had some validity, I've never been so I can't adequately judge. 

Hm.  Newport = Hamptons?

I'd agree, actually. Quite a few Red Sox fans on the east end and Montauk is closer to Boston as the crow flies than it is to Manhattan, believe it or not. East of Brookhaven town, there is a huge culture shift.

Warren/Washington Counties north is culturally part of Vermont, as mentioned above. This comes from someone who grew up in Queensbury. Generally speaking, everything east of Utica is very similar culturally to New England, while everything west of Rochester is the Midwest. South of the Finger Lakes and west of Binghamton is effectively an extension of Pennsylvania. Honestly, the only portion of the state with a unique identity is Central New York, probably because it is landlocked without major ties to other states. Think about it- the Albany area is tied to Vermont and Massachusetts and Downstate is tied to Connecticut and New Jersey.

Time to get back on topic...
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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #70 on: September 01, 2016, 10:42:28 PM »

Here's a better line about how I'd put it. I'd put it north of Binghamton. My reason is that this is roughly where New York's sprawl ends, north of Poughkeepsie, and there's not much Metro-North service. I've also noticed a large dropoff in development past the line, and you don't really see a big city up until Albany.
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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #71 on: September 02, 2016, 04:45:25 AM »

Anything above and to the west of Sullivan, Ulster, and Dutchess Counties I consider Upstate.
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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #72 on: September 02, 2016, 11:59:18 AM »

Me, I usually use a "everything north of the Catskills" definition for Upstate.  If you follow the line of thought from Colin Woodard's book American Nations, Upstate is those areas that were colonized by Yankeedom and is thus essentially Greater New England (this is also claimed for much of Suffolk County, which is not Upstate), sharing cultural similarities and political and social attitudes with New England, portions of the Midwest, and across the international border into Atlantic Canada.  (Compare that with Downstate, where except for Suffolk County much of it belongs to what Colin Woodard calls "New Netherland", with its own separate cultural traditions and attitudes.

Interesting; this is the first I've heard of early settlement patterns being a defining factor, and it sounds like a very useful one. How would you characterize those of "New Netherland", as distincit from "new New England"? (And yes, eastern Long Island is very decidedly part of New England, in spirit if not in fact.)

Here's a better line about how I'd put it. I'd put it north of Binghamton. My reason is that this is roughly where New York's sprawl ends, north of Poughkeepsie, and there's not much Metro-North service. I've also noticed a large dropoff in development past the line, and you don't really see a big city up until Albany.

You see the end of NYC sprawl well before you get as far north as Binghamton; there are rural areas through much of Orange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties, and of course all of Delaware County is sprawl-free.

Anything above and to the west of Sullivan, Ulster, and Dutchess Counties I consider Upstate.

OK, but again (and again, and again, and again), why? What's different about Sullivan and Ulster Counties than, say, Delaware County, that's noticeable right at the county line? You're pretty much in the middle of the Catskill Park there; what tangible difference do you see in one half of the park that you don't see in the other?

Remember, folks, it really helps the question not to think first about what specific places define your border—in fact, it may be best not to use any named places (counties, municipalities, etc.) in your answer at all. The idea is that you decide that on one side of the line, things look like ABC, and on the other they're more like XYZ. Based on that description, we should actually be able to draw the line on the map for you—and the whole idea is to see whether the line actually falls where you thought it would. Is there a quantifiable way to say "yes, that location is Upstate" and "no, that location isn't," if any such thing is possible. If your definition is based only on the names of locations, the question is already answered and thus the topic doesn't arise in the first place.
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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #73 on: September 02, 2016, 09:18:26 PM »

I wouldn't think of it in terms of one half of the park being different than the other but in the park being a buffer between greater NYC development and everything else.

Sullivan is definitely downstate.  Just look at Schumer's push to widen NY 17 from I-87 all the way to the casino (which would probably get much of the Quickway upgraded to I-86 in the process)!  IMO an area isn't truly rural if the freeway is six lanes wide, which would point to the area being a suburb/exurb of NYC.

There isn't as convenient a divide east of the Hudson, but Poughkeepsie is definitely downstate since so many people there commute to NYC.  We do have Metro-North giving us a decent approximation, though.
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Re: How do you define Upstate NY?
« Reply #74 on: September 02, 2016, 09:58:01 PM »

I wouldn't think of it in terms of one half of the park being different than the other but in the park being a buffer between greater NYC development and everything else.

Sullivan is definitely downstate.  Just look at Schumer's push to widen NY 17 from I-87 all the way to the casino (which would probably get much of the Quickway upgraded to I-86 in the process)!  IMO an area isn't truly rural if the freeway is six lanes wide, which would point to the area being a suburb/exurb of NYC.

There isn't as convenient a divide east of the Hudson, but Poughkeepsie is definitely downstate since so many people there commute to NYC.  We do have Metro-North giving us a decent approximation, though.

The Thruway needs to be 6 lanes south of Albany. Doesn't mean Albany is Downstate. There's a whole lot of nothing between Middletown and Monticello and 6 lanes on NY 17 is only needed for trucks. Volumes drop very sharply west of Middletown (60K to 31K from I-84 to Exit 119)

If you say nothing with 6 lanes is rural, I-71 in Ohio and widened sections of the Pennsylvania Turnpike would like to have a word with you.
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