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 Dummy Lights of New York

  A relic of the early days of motoring, dummy lights were traffic lights  that  were  placed  in the middle of a street intersection. In those early days, traffic shuffled through busy intersections with the help of a police officer who stood on top of a pedestal. As technology improved and electric traffic signals became commonplace, they were also  originally  positioned on a platform at the center of the intersection. Those traffic signals became known as  " dummy lights "  and were common until  traffic lights were moved  onto wires and poles that crossed above the intersection.  In New York State, only a handful of these dummy lights exist. The dummy lights  are found  in the Hudson Valley towns of Beacon and Croton-on-Hudson, plus there is an ongoing tug of war in Canajoharie in the Mohawk Valley, where their dummy light has been knocked down and replaced a few times. The dummy light in Canajoharie is currently out of commission, but popular demand has caused the dummy

Colorado Road (Fresno County)

Colorado Road is a rural highway located in San Joaquin Valley of western Fresno County.  Colorado Road services the city of San Joaquin in addition the unincorporated communities of Helm and Tranquility.  Colorado Road was constructed between 1910 and 1912 as a frontage road of the Hanford & Summit Lake Railway.  The roadway begins at California State Route 145 near Helm and terminates to the west at James Road in Tranquility.   Part 1; the history of Colorado Road Colorado Road was constructed as frontage road connecting the sidings of the Hanford & Summit Lake Railway.  The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway spanned from South Pacific Railroad West Side Line at Ingle junction southeast to the Coalinga Branch at Armona.  The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway broke ground during August 1910 and was complete by April 1912. The Hanford & Summit Lake Railway established numerous new sidings.  From Ingle the sidings of the line were Tranquility, Graham, San Joaquin, Caldwell, H

Madera County Road 400 and the 1882-1886 Yosemite Stage Road

Madera County Road 400 is an approximately twenty-four-mile roadway following the course of the Fresno River in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Road 400 begins at California State Route 145 near Madera and terminates to the north at Road 415 near Coarsegold.  Traditionally Road 400 was known as "River Road" prior to Madera County dropping naming conventions on county highways.  Road 400 was part of the original Yosemite Stage Route by the Washburn Brothers which began in 1882.  The Yosemite Stage Route would be realigned to the west in 1886 along what is now Road 600 to a rail terminus in Raymond.  Parts of Road 400 were realigned in 1974 to make way for the Hensley Lake Reservoir.  Part 1; the history of Madera County Road 400 Road 400 is historically tied to the Wawona Road and Hotel.  The Wawona Hotel is located near the Mariposa Grove in the modern southern extent of Yosemite National Park.   The origins of the Wawona Road are tied to the Wawona Hotel but it does predate th