Like the rings in a tree, certain clues can help you identify the age of street signs found around NYC. This one, at Beverley Road and East 21st Street, is particularly aged. For one thing, it was installed by the “Department of Traffic” which was reinvented as the Department of Transportation in 1977. According to the Gotham Gazette, the Department of Traffic was created in 1950, and this sign probably goes back about that far, as it doesn’t employ the Highway Gothic font (which is increasingly becoming Clearview these days).
It’s survived on a succession of lampposts or utility posts for perhaps over sixty years!