Skip to main content

Northway "Send Help" Sign


A number of years ago, the New York State Department of Transportation offered foldout Motorist Assistance Maps at rest areas along the Adirondack Northway section of Interstate 87. At the time, cellular phone service was quite sporadic, especially as you descended upon the Adirondacks north of Lake George, and then picked up again once you got out of the mountains near Plattsburgh. So what was the stranded motorist with vehicle issues to do? In Essex County, there were call boxes once every two miles. But there were also the motorist assistance maps which displayed "SEND HELP" in bold letters when folded out. But there were more to signs than just a means to convey that you needed help with the situation at hand.

Sign from May 2007 from I-87 in northern Warren County, New York indicating that there were emergency phones every two miles for the next 64 miles. And yes, there were call boxes alongside the highway for emergency purposes.
Cover of the Interstate 87 Motorist Assistance Map.

The insides of the foldout include such useful pieces of information as a map of the Northway from Albany to the Canadian border, an exit guide showing exit numbers, destinations and mileposts along the entire stretch of the Northway, along with tidbits on emergency motorist aid information and how to read mile markers. In the winter of 2007, there was a controversy regarding cell phone service on the Northway after two men had died while being stranded on I-87 in the Adirondacks and there was no way to call for help. Within a few years, cell phone service was introduced along the highway and these motorist assistance maps were phased out, but not before I could grab my own copy. This particular version was published in April 2007.

Map of the Northway, including rest areas and parking areas (they were not also serving as text stops back then).

Exit guide, traveler information.

The author of this blog article, jokingly flashing the Send Help sign to a security camera back in 2011.


Sources and Links:
Adirondack Northway Cell Phone Controversy - Adirondack Almanack

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Midway Palm and Pine of US Route 99

Along modern day California State Route 99 south of Avenue 11 just outside the City limits of Madera one can find the Midway Palm and Pine in the center median of the freeway.  The Midway Palm and Pine denotes the halfway point between the Mexican Border and Oregon State Line on what was US Route 99.  The Midway Palm is intended to represent Southern California whereas the Midway Pine is intended to represent Northern California.  Pictured above the Midway Palm and Pine can be seen from the northbound lanes of the California State Route 99 Freeway.   The history of the Midway Palm and Pine The true timeframe for when the Midway Palm and Pine (originally a Deadora Cedar Tree) were planted is unknown.  In fact the origin of the Midway Palm and Pine was referenced in California's Gold Episode #608 during which Huell Howser examined numerous points claimed to be the Center of California.  During Episode #608 Huell Howser interviews Caltrans employee Bob Thompson who emphasizes there wa

Erie Canal: Little Falls and Moss Island

  Little Falls, New York is a small city in the Mohawk Valley that has been shaped by the forces of water throughout its history. Nowhere in Little Falls is that more evident than at Moss Island. Representing the Industrial Age, this is home of Lock 17 the tallest lock along the Erie Canal, but there is also evidence of the Ice Age in the form of 40 foot deep glacial potholes from when there was an ancient waterfall that was even larger than Niagara Falls at this spot, once draining Glacial Lake Iroquois when other outlets (such as the St. Lawrence River) were blocked by retreating glaciers. While Little Falls does not have the amount of industry around the river and canal than it once had, checking out what Moss Island has to offer is a great way to see what the city has to offer. Visiting Moss Island allows you to experience the engineering marvel that is the Erie Canal plus the wonders of nature by taking a hike around the island and seeing the glacial potholes. A

California State Route 33 and legacy of US Route 399 on the Maricopa-Ventura Highway

California State Route 33 is a 290 mile (about 323 including multiplexes) State Highway spanning from Ventura at US Route 101 north to Interstate 5 near Tracy.  California State Route 33 offers a scenic alternate from the Pacific Coast over former US Route 399 via the Ventura-Maricopa Highway to San Joaquin Valley.  Within San Joaquin Valley California State Route 33 largely is known as the main street connecting it's western communities.  Depicted above is an overlook of California State Route 33 and the Maricopa-Ventura Highway snaking through Wheeler Gorge.  Pictured below is reverse view of the Maricopa-Ventura Highway shortly after it opened in October 1933.  The Maricopa-Ventura Highway would become part of US Route 399 in 1934 and would be absorbed into California State Route 33 in 1964.   The present alignment of California State Route 33 can be observed below.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 33 The origin of modern California State Rou