A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 18, 2007
Poor Boy (four lane undivided highway)

A “poor boy highway” is a four-lane undivided highway (usually converted from a two-lane highway, with paved shoulders). It’s a “poor boy’s” way to make a four-lane highway. The term has nothing to do with the “poor boy sandwich,” but both are also called “po’ boy.”

“Poor boy highway” is used throughout Texas and parts of the South, and is cited from 1967 (Florida).

Publication Index
Accession Number: 00368287
Record Type: Component
Abstract: A research project was undertaken to develop upgrading warrants for use in determining when to add paved shoulders to rural two-lane roadways or when to convert two-lane roadways with paved shoulders into four-lane undivided roadways by low-cost treatments such as remarking the shoulder to indicate that it is a travel lane. The latter treatment is known as a “poor-boy” highway in Texas. 
Publication Date: 1982
Serial: Transportation Research Record
Issue Number: 855
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
ISSN: 0361-1981

Number of Lanes
1981. Turner et al. analyse three years (1975-1977) of accident data (15334 accidents, 8815 non-intersection accidents) from 85 sites (1255 km) thought to be representative of two-lane roads without paved shoulders, two-lane roads with paved shoulders, and four-lane undivided roads without shoulders in Texas. These four-lane roads were referred to as “poor boy” roads since they were originally two-lane roads with full paved shoulders.

Research Recommendations for Uniform Rumble Strip Applications in Texas
ERSs (edgeline rumble strips—ed.) were also installed on a two-lane highway with narrow shoulders and a Texas po-boy (a four-lane undivided highway with no shoulders).

27 December 1967, Playground Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, FL), pg. 2, col. 1:
Solon To Talk
On Proposed
“Poor Boy” Plan
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UPI)—Rep. Bill Reedy, D-Eustis, said Tuesday he has been invited to appear before a committee of the state association of boards of county commissioners to explain his proposed “poor boy” highway concept. 
Reedy has been an advocate of the so-called “poor boy” road concept in which existing two-lane roads are widened to four lanes by adding shoulders. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, March 18, 2007 • Permalink