Sign Shop

Thruway traffic stay on I-87 NORTH to I-90 WEST

This signshop recommendation is the Thruway / I-87 northbound at Exits 21A and 24.


The "mainline" of the New York State Thruway predates the interstate system. It currently starts at the Bronx-Westchester County line and follows Interstate 87 north to Albany, where it then turns west along Interstate 90 towards Buffalo and eventually the Pennsylvania State Line. The interstate designations were added after the construction of the roadway. Interstate 90 leaves the Thruway eastbound at Exit 24 and then rejoins the Thruway along the Berkshire section, east of Exit 21A at Thruway exit B1.

Due to the rather unconventional way Interstate 90 is routed along the Thruway, Exit 21A is signed for "To I-90 EAST / Mass Tpke / Boston". Northbound travelers also encounter a sign that says "To I-90 WEST / Buffalo / KEEP LEFT" at both exits 21A and 24. Unfortunately, these signs are ambiguous enough to create unnecessary weaving among motorists.

When drivers unfamiliar with the area see the "KEEP LEFT" message, they slow down and move to the left lane unnecessarily, creating a traffic hazard on the roadway. This is especially dangerous at Exit 21A, as they then linger in the left lane, expecting a left exit where there is none. The Thruway actually continues along Interstate 87 for several more miles before moving to Interstate 90, and even then you must exit the Thruway to stay with Interstate 87.

The intent of the supplemental panels is admirable but need to be worded a little better to reduce the amount of unnecessary weaving in this area. Since this is a busy portion of the Thruway, this may improve traffic flow in the area. The addition of the word "Thruway" and the simple message of "DO NOT EXIT" bring further clarification to the motorist.

I recommend the above sign to replace the aforementioned panels at both Exits 21A and 24.