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Once I get a critical mass of these, they’ll get their own page. This is an example of mid-20th Century traffic signs– in general, signs pointing to bridges would be arrowhead-shaped, while those referencing tunnels would be circular. They were phased out when the large green traffic signs became prevalent, but some are still in place around town.

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Categorized in: One Shots Signs

17 Responses to ARROWHEAD SIGNS

  1. andy says:

    I remember these very well. The sign shown for the BW Bridge is a good example of Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority directional signs. Each separate crossing had its own unique variation on the basic arrowhead (bridge) or circle (tunnel) design. The Triborough Bridge sign had a flat top with a white background and blue lettering, for example. The Queens Midtown Tunnel sign had a gold background with black letters. When the Throgs Neck Bridge opened in 1961 it received its own sign similar to the Whitestone one (with the keystone style at the top). Its newest crossing, the Verrazano, also had its own sign but I don’t remember too many of those because when that crossing opened in 1964 it was the beginning of the large green signs that are associated with expressways and freeways everywhere. The following year I received my first driver’s license so adding the time prior to that I’ve been observing these signs for 50+ years.

    The region’s other big bridge and tunnel operator, the Port Authority of NY and NJ, used a large rectangular sign with white background and black lettering for all of its directional signs – the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, the GW Bridge, and the three Staten Island/NJ bridges.

  2. Steve says:

    These are still around the Boroughs. I love them, especially the one’s pointing to the airports, and the 1964 Worlds Fair. They are so small, hard to believe they were uselful even when they were new.

    • dave in milwaukee says:

      . . . kinda like those really old bus stop signs that pointed up toward the sky. Flying buses, perhaps?

  3. Fred says:

    I wish they still used unique signage. They were easy to pick out when you were trying to wind your way thru a maze of congested streets.

    • dave in milwaukee says:

      I agree. When it comes NYC street and highway signs, uniformity is overrated–i.e., if it ‘s not broken, don’t fix it! I especially loved when each borough had its own unique street sign color, back in the late 60s to around the early 80s. There was a good FNY feature on those, a few years ago. l’ll have to look it up.

      • somebody says:

        By the way, they have had white-on-blue and white-on-black street signs for a while. Oh, and by the way, the different-colored street signs for each borough were the norm in the late 20th century, but are now a rare sight like these triangular/circular street signs. Speaking of which, I saw a circular sign for the Midtown Tunnel somewhere in Manhattan.

  4. John Telesca says:

    At Kings Highway & Flatbush Avenue were an amazing set of unique signs, pointing to the Marine Park bridge, Belt Parkway, and the bizarre peanut shaped Atlantic Beach Bridge sign.

  5. somebody says:

    I saw one for the Verrazano bridge at Clearview Expressway somewhere. Has anyone seen that one?

  6. Leonard Brokowsky says:

    Lived in the Bronx for the the first 20 years of my life 1946-1966 Remember the signs as if it was yesterday. My dad took us all over the Bronx on sundays for a drive. I lived next to the Washington Bridge (US 1) and there were signs for all of the bridges including the GWB.Next time I go for a ride in the Bronx even though I live in Central Jersey I will look for them

  7. ron s says:

    Rarely, the signs had a “L” or “R” instead of the arrow. Not sure why they didn’t use a sideways arrow.

    • Jake says:

      > Rarely, the signs had a “L” or “R” instead of the arrow. Not sure why they didn’t use a sideways arrow.
      > RS

      the signage standards mandated “L” and “R” instead of the “up and over” elbow arrows until 1948.

  8. Joan Carr says:

    Memories! As teenagers and early 20′s, if we were lost all we did was follow the signs to the Queens-Midtown tunnel, and we arrived safely in our neighborhood. Better than any map.

  9. Gregaaron says:

    They have some of those Whitestone and Throgs Neck Bridge signs in Nassau County too (Lawrence, I think) too…

  10. Joan says:


  11. Ken B. says:

    Those unique “arrowhead” and “circle” signs are no longer being produced, but current day directional signs honor their older cousins. Modern rectangular or square signs that incorporate those old arrowheads and circles within them can be found around town. Those new signs also include “EZ Pass” to remind motorists of that fare paying method.

  12. Green Acorns says:

    That’s true.

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