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Post Interchange mileage sign I-81 NB MP 129

Location: I-81 NB, just north of Exit 37.

Current Sign: One line, "Watertown 25"

Exit 37 NB PI

I've mentioned before that I feel post-interchange mileage signs are important, especially since NYSDOT does not utilitize distance based exit numbers at this time. Just north of Interstate 81 exit 37 is a sign that lists the distance to the next control city, "Watertown 25". This is unfortunate, as the motorist is in the middle of the famous "Lake Ontario Snow Belt" at this point and there are several communities between that point and Watertown.

At first I felt that the sign here should read "Watertown 25 / Canada 54". The presence of the single destination of Watertown gives the motorist the impression that Interstate 81 ends in Watertown when it actually goes up to the Canadian border.

Southbound signs starting in Watertown included the destination of "Adams" and then "Pulaski". Unfortunately, the sign for "Adams" was removed in the latest sign replacement project and not replaced. So I redesigned this sign to include the mileage to Adams, as well as Watertown and Canada. I had initially designed this sign to read "Mannsville 4 / Watertown 25", however Mannsville, and the following interchange, Pierrepont Manor, have limited service available at those exits. Since NYSDOT has stayed away from three line mileage signs (though quite common elsewhere in the country), my initial recommendation was with the two destinations. However, three line signs have been appearing more and more over the past couple of years.

Perhaps with the adoption of the National MUTCD in 2007 with state supplement, we will see better signing practices of this type on the roadways of The Empire State.