Exit Number Identification Signs
Location: Throughout the entire state.
Current Sign: As shown with sequential exit numbers.
According to the latest word received from NYSDOT (as forwarded to me by an anonymous source), New York will be switching to distance based interchange numbering for all freeways. While no time table has been established for the conversion, mostly because of budgetary concerns, it would be very helpful for engineers to start planning for this now by designing all new sign panels to include room for future interchange numbers by leaving extra space where warranted.
On freeways that currently do not have exit numbers, ideally it would be best to start putting numbers up (based on distance) as signs are replaced. However, this may cause driver confusion if some interchanges are numbered and some are not. So I recommend putting blank exit tabs up in this situation.
The cost of doing this would be negligible, as we're basically talking about extra space on exit "tabs". There would be a little more cost involved in putting up exit tabs where they currently do not exist. Again, I'm recommending this for new construction and sign rehabilitation projects at this time.
The three examples above show how this can easily be accomplished. First example is on I-790, with the exit number based on mileage from my new "Interstate 790/NY 790 proposal." The second example is on "Free 90" in the Albany area and the third is on Interstate 81 in Oswego County.