9.08.2006

York Stater of the Month, September 2006: JP Wing

With Labor Day past, the news has noted (largely in discussion of gas price fluctuations) that the traditional "summer driving season" is over. But there are still many good weekends ahead for road trips before Upstate's legendary snows make casual driving imprudent. As fall colors turn out and crisp weather returns, there is a lot to see across New York State. This is perhaps the nicest time of year for such jaunts, and that is why this month we pay tribute to the consummate chronicler of upstate roads, JP Wing.
a vintage view of Interstate 81 in Syracuse from Upstate NY Roads

Upstate NY Roads is a fascinating and comprehensive website about our state's roads, and has the answers to innumerable questions, such as: How many Route 9's are there? Answer: 11 (not including the 4 decommissioned ones) How many miles does Route 20 cover? Answer: 372.33. Why doesn't Onondaga County have any county routes? Answer: It does, they just aren't marked. Nearly everything you'd want to know about upstate roads can be found on Upstate NY Roads, with the kind of lasting dedication only a true road enthusiast could show. Who else could write an article about new road sign fonts?

Exploring the highways and byways of New York with long time partner Earl, assembling a large body of photographs of everything from mile markers to sign mistakes. The have visited all 62 counties of New York State, and while they are based in Central New York, the site covers the entire state from the western terminus of Route 20 to the Taconic State Parkway and everywhere in between.

JP Wing does more than just research and chronicle the roads of Upstate NY; he endeavors to make them better. Wing's The Renumber New York Project is a project conceived for the public convenience and public good. A step by step plan of rolling the exit numbering system over from sequential numbers to mile distances, he explores the benefits the new system would have for drivers, and how to execute the project at a low cost to the DOT.

Wing has my admiration, for his focus and depth, and his tirelessness (he started Upstate NY Roads in 1997.) His dedication makes him an exemplary York Stater, and that's why he is our September York Stater of the Month!

Posted by Natalie

4 comments:

NYCO said...

While re-numbering the exits might throw locals for a loop, I wish they would just go ahead and do it. I found it very useful in helping to plan my father's trip out West, where they number the exits in that way. As for locals, maybe we're not quite like L.I. or N.J. in this respect (where your place in the world is basically identified by your exit), but it would take some getting used to. I am PROUD to be an Exit 39'er. (Just kidding, there's no such thing, I made it up.)

Anyhow, thanks for highlighting Upstate Roads, which I used to look at but somehow forgot about. I am always amazed someone could be so fascinated with road signs, but he does a very good and informative service. I wonder if he could answer the question of why Syracuse has so many Thruway exits (6 or 7, right?)

verplanck colvin said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with a wierd fetish for county lines, knowing which route numbers go where and the like. Cool website, well-deserved YSOTM.

J.P. Wing said...

Thank you for this kind recognition! :)

And NYCO - I think the Thruway has so many Thruway exits because it passes so close to the city limits, as opposed to Rochester which is some distance away. Also, as a piece of trivia Exits 35 (Carrier Circle) and 36 (I-81) were the only metric signed exits on the Thruway for a long, long while, part of a metric test back in the late 1970s.

J.P.

J.P. Wing said...

Thank you for this kind recognition! :)

And NYCO - I think the Thruway has so many Thruway exits because it passes so close to the city limits, as opposed to Rochester which is some distance away. Also, as a piece of trivia Exits 35 (Carrier Circle) and 36 (I-81) were the only metric signed exits on the Thruway for a long, long while, part of a metric test back in the late 1970s.

J.P.