Services Signs on Freeways
Location: Interstate 790 westbound at approximately reference marker 790I-2601-1024 in Oneida County, however, this type of concern is apparent throughout the state and especially in NYSDOT Region 2.
Current Sign: A collection of symbols and arrows preceding and at exit ramps.
Because of the convergence of several freeways and the multiplexing of numerous touring route numbers in the city of Utica, there's a limited number of exits leading to important facilities in the city. Because of this, there are a good number of trailblazer sign installations leading to and at exit ramps, including markers for hospitals, bus and train stations, park 'n ride and local colleges. Each of these destinations are important, however, because of the number of markers on one sign assembly, it often leads to erratic sign spacing and large installations that may be confusing to a driver. This can lead to last minute weaving issues.
I've mentioned before that one way to alleviate this problem is to number all interchanges on all freeways. Currently, NYSDOT only numbers interchanges on interstates and NY Route 17 upstate and the parkways downstate. There are a number of freeways upstate that could use exit numbers, whether they conform to the current practice of sequential numbering or the more popular distance based numbering system. On my New 790 Proposal, I've included exit numbers on a suggested exit listing for a future Interstate 790 and NY Route 790 facility along current NY Route 49. As a result, this example sign shows my proposed exit number at this particular location. If exit numbers are not employed, "NEXT RIGHT" could easily be substituted.
When designing this sign panel, I put the hospital designation on top because it is the most important destination in the event of a motorist emergency. This is also the reason for the white on blue legend on the top half of the sign.
The current trailblazer assembly at this location has signs for the SUNY Institute of Technology as well. While I understand the SUNY signs are to encourage drivers to take the Edic Road exit to the college instead of NY 12 North, I feel the sign is unnecessary and adds to sign clutter.
In addition, the NYS Supplement to the National MUTCD, slated to take effect on 9/13/2007 indicates the following:
Sections 2H.01 and 2H.02:
Standard: Unless otherwise noted, symbol signs shall not be used along the main roadways of freeways in New York.