eli5 What is “adopt a highway”?

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idk if this is just a midwestern thing, but there are so many signs i see titled “adopt a highway” what does that mean? how can you “adopt” a highway?

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19 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s a national thing (at least it exists in all the states I’ve driven through) where a group or organization “adopts” a section of highway and goes out to pick up trash occasionally. It’s a charity/public service activity.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Ya know, it’s faster to type simple questions like this into your search window. ELI5 is supposed to be simple explanations of complex concepts. 

Anonymous 0 Comments

Somebody – usually a business, but occasionally a wealthy individual – makes a “donation” to the company that does cleanup/maintenance for that stretch of road.

In return, they get the sign, which serves as a little advertising.

I don’t believe it’s truly a donation – the company that runs the program in my state doesn’t appear to be a charity. They market this as an advertising opportunity.

[https://newyorkadoptahighway.com/](https://newyorkadoptahighway.com/)

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s advertisment space that can be attained through volunteer work in keeping the highway clean. Or I guess you could also just pay others to clean it while you take the credit.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In my state Private citizens or groups “adopt a highway”, usually a 1 mile section where they assume responsibility and pick up the trash 2 or 3 times a year. The road is usually a county or state road and by me, are mostly roads with houses. It is pushed as a way to “give back to the “community”. Stupid me thought that the homeowners should pick up the trash infront of their house?

My club has been asked to do so but I say no as that’s what I pay taxes for.

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

You can adopt a highway, but without a social security number, you will not be able to claim it on your taxes.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s basically an opportunity for a group to try and get some PR by getting their name on the sign. The idea is they’ve signed up to go out periodically and pick up trash and that sort of thing. Not sure what if any sort of enforcement mechanism there is to make sure they actually do it.

Funny story about: In, I think it was Missouri, the KKK wanted to adopt a highway. The state didn’t want to let them do it for somewhat obvious reasons but the courts ruled they couldn’t bar them for just being distasteful. What the state opted to do instead was to rename the highway the Rosa Parks Memorial Highway.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Usually, they get “adopted” by a scout troop or church group or some other group that wants to do an annual volunteer event.

Some don’t keep it up, but it means they pledge to once a year come walk along their stretch of highway and pick up all the trash.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s basically purchasing a sign on the highway. You “adopt” a section of highway, meaning you pay money to a fund that maintains the highways and then you get a sign with your name or the name of your company or whatever you want to go on the roadside.