New England road marking system
The New England road marking system was an interstate system of marked numbered routes in New England, United States. The routes were marked by a yellow rectangular shield with black numbers and border. Many shields were painted on telephone poles. The routes were approved by the highway departments of the six New England states in April 1922.
Prior to the New England road marking system, through routes were mainly marked with colored bands on telephone poles. These were assigned by direction (red for east-west, blue for north-south and yellow for intermediate or diagonal routes). The Massachusetts Highway Commission convinced the rest of southern New England and New York to use this system in 1915 (New Hampshire and Vermont already had their own schemes, and Maine also opted out), and it was the main system until 1922.
The New England road marking system, while limited to New England, was designed for expansion to the whole country. One- and two-digit numbers were assigned to major interstate routes, with three-digit routes for state routes (marked in a rectangle, with the state abbreviation below the number). In general, odd numbers ran east-west and even numbers ran north-south. The main exception was Route 1, which was to run along the Atlantic coast from Florida to Calais, Maine. A few of the major auto trails were not to be assigned numbers, instead being marked with letters—for instance, L for the Lincoln Highway and R for the Roosevelt International Highway.
In 1926, several of the routes were supplanted by the national United States Numbered Highways. Except for Route 1, which became U.S. Route 1, the old numbers were not used, since the U.S. Highway system uses odd numbers for north-south routes and even numbers for east-west routes. While some of the routes that did not become U.S. Routes were disbanded in the 1930s, many of these other routes still have their numbers today, although the unified signage is no longer used.
|Location:||Greenwich, CT–Calais, ME|
Route 1, or the Atlantic Highway, began in Greenwich, Connecticut, from which the main highway of the Atlantic Coast continued to New York City. The highway followed the coast of Long Island Sound through Stamford, Norwalk, and Bridgeport to Stratford, where the highway met the southern end of Route 8. Route 1 continued through Milford and had a junction with Route 2 in New Haven. The highway continued east to Old Saybrook, where it met the southern terminus of Route 10 and crossed the Connecticut River. Route 1 met the southern ends of Route 12 and Route 32 in New London and Groton, respectively. The highway intersected the eastern end of Route 17 in Stonington immediately before entering Westerly, Rhode Island.
Route 1 immediately intersected the southern end of Route 1A on entering Rhode Island. Route 1A followed a shorter, more inland route between Westerly and Providence. The highway paralleled the Block Island Sound coast to Narragansett, where the highway turned north along Narragansett Bay toward Warwick and Providence. In the state capital, Route 1 collected the other end of Route 1A and intersected Route 3. The highway passed through Pawtucket and entered Massachusetts. Route 1 went straight toward Boston, where the route met the eastern ends of Route 5 and Route 7 and intersected the north–south Route 6 and Route 28. The highway left Boston for the North Shore of Massachusetts, then passed through the Seacoast Region of New Hampshire to Portsmouth, where the route met the southern end of Route 16.
Route 1 continued along the Southern Maine Coast, where the highway had junctions with Route 9 and Route 11 in Wells and Biddeford, respectively. The highway met three route termini in Portland: Route 18, Route 25, and Route 26. Route 1 continued northeast to Brunswick, where the highway intersected the eastern and southern ends of Route 19 and Route 20, respectively. The route continued through the Down East cities of Belfast and Ellsworth before turning north to its terminus in Calais, where the highway met the southern end of Route 24 before entering New Brunswick.
The general course of Route 1 is today followed by US 1, which served as the main highway of the Atlantic coast of not just New England but the United States until it was eclipsed by I-95. Route 1A was replaced with Rhode Island Route 3.