New York

“Don’t Mess with Texas” Starts Program in New York

NIR Group Corey RibotskyIf you’ve ever seen the Adapt-A-Highway signs on the side of the road in New York, or on your travels across American, you might wonder exactly how this program works.   It actually began with the State of Texas through their “Don’t Mess with Texas” program in the early 1970s.   Organizations and individuals were asked to volunteer to adopt sections of Texas highways.

Adopt-A-Highway New York

From these humble beginnings, the Adopt-A-Highway Program has become a national model.   In 1990, legislation was based in New York for the Adopt-A-Highway Program and companies like the NIR Group with Corey Ribotsky have adopted portions of the roads in New York to clean up highway roadsides.

Seinfeld, Midler & Others Adopt Highways

The Adopt-A-Highway Program has had its share of time in the limelight.   Bette Midler made a stink in New York a few years back, putting pressure on the Yankees to step up to the plate and adopt a portion of the highway outside the stadium.   Seinfeld carried the Adopt-A-Highway torch on one episode entitled “The Pothole” when character Cosmo Kramer adopted a mile of the fictional Arthur Berkhardt Expressway and narrowed the four lane highway into a two lane one so that he could have “leisure lanes” for himself.

Overall, the Adopt-A-Highway Program in New York, and around the country, is a huge success. People and organizations appreciate the aesthetics of having clean roadsides; and government bodies often don’t have the extra funding to take away from highway safety and other pressing issues.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)