Exit 11 is Dead. Long Live Exit 11.

The route to Beacon has a new number

By Brian PJ Cronin

If you’ve noticed that Beacon’s exit number on I-84 has changed from Exit 11 to Exit 41, relax. You’re not hallucinating.

Katy Behney with an Exit 11 sweatshirt at Mountain Tops Outfitters (Photo by B. Cronin)

The change is part of an initiative by the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to renumber I-84 exits so they correspond to how far they are from Pennsylvania, as opposed to arbitrary numbers. Beacon, as it turns out, is 41.4 miles from the border.

Weather permitting, the DOT expects to have all the new exit signs installed in Dutchess County by the end of the month and in Orange County by the end of the year. (Putnam County is done.) The signs are also “retro-reflective,” which makes them easier to read.

As of Wednesday (Aug. 14), the numbers had only been changed on westbound I-84. Drivers going eastbound were still being being greeted by Exit 11, followed by Exit 44 for Fishkill.

The Beacon exit number may have been arbitrary, but Exit 11 has long been a part of the city’s identity. In the early 2000s, Katy and Buddy Behney, lifelong residents, began selling “Exit 11” T-shirts, even before they opened Mountain Tops Outfitters on Main Street.

Worry not. The couple say they plan to continue to make them. “It helps define everyone who arrived in Beacon prior to now,” explains Katy. “We’re the Exit 11 generation.”

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