November 23, 2003

Disappearing state highways

While looking through the Cornell Plantations Path Guide, I noticed the Cayuga Trails Club's 1971 Cayuga Trail map in the back. Though it clearly wasn't the focus on the map, two small labels stood out: "Ellis Hollow Rd. NY 393" and "NY 392 Forest Home Dr."

Route 366 and the New York Department of Transportation's control over the road, its speed limits, its passing zones, and its width seem to define Varna in a lot of ways, few of them fortunate. Somehow Ellis Hollow and Forest Home Drive escaped that, with Ellis Hollow becoming a county road and Forest Home Drive becoming a town road.

According to New York Routes (and Everything in Between), Route 393 ran from Route 366 (itself formerly Route 13) through the City and Town of Ithaca along Mitchell Street and then Ellis Hollow to the intersection with Turkey Hill and Quarry Road.

Route 392 "was assigned to Forest Home Rd. in Lansing and Ithaca until it was decommissioned in 1974", which is a little confusing since Forest Home doesn't go through Lansing. The Route 392 designation shifted to its current road, linking the Village of Dryden with US Route 11 in the Town of Virgil.

If anyone has more information on how or why this happened, I'd be very curious.

Posted by simon at November 23, 2003 9:14 AM in , , , ,
Note on photos


To answer your questions, at least in part, about the fate of Route 393 and the former 392:
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the New York State Department of Transportation decommissioned a number of highways that did not meet certain standards (for width, road quality, etc.). The aforementioned highways were two of the casualties. Another one in your area was Route 330, which started at Route 79 near Brooktondale and went to Route 38 north of Owego via Brooktondale Road, Valley Road, Central Chapel Road, Old 76 Road and 76 Road. I hope that helps.

fritz ernemann said:

Mr. Olmstead,

I was wondering where I could find more information pertaining to the decommissioning of state highways. More specifically, I am wondering about route 392 and its decommissioning. When decommissioned, does the land revert to the adjacent land owner or the people of the state? Why was 392 decommissioned? And where can I find this type of information?