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Route 128 and changing radio market (Was Re: Traffic / Non-Radio stuff)

>John Bolduc wrote:
>As a part-time map collector, I have a map in my cube at work of New England
>dated 1931. It shows a route 128 going in a semi-circle from Salem MA to
>Weymouth MA. It appears in many cases, however, not to be taking the path
>of the
>current route 128.

        Oh, but it can be related to Boston radio history. The spread of
the metro area population to the west after World War II, helped by the new
Route 128, left many radio stations with signals, especially at night, that
were not that good out where the population was booming toward Framingham
and other places. And then in the late '60s 495 was built. I'm thinking of
590, then WEEI, in particular, with signal trouble to the west. More
correctly, it's interference trouble. There's plenty of signal, you just
can't listen to it. And WNAC/WRKO/680 has trouble, and 850/then WHDH, to a
lesser extent. In 1967, WNAC/WRKO put on a new day pattern mainly to
greatly improve its signal out west, although it couldn't do anything about
nighttime, as listening as close in as the eastbound Pike rest area in
Natick at night will tell you. Meanwhile, WBZ was throwing its ERP of 90 kW
or 110 kW or whatever it is straight west.

        About your map: In the book Historical Atlas of Massachusetts,
co-edited by my all-time favorite professor, historian Jack Tager of
UMass/Amherst, there's a small map showing a loop highway from up around
Salem going around to what looks like Route 20. It's east of the current
128. Highway numbers are not given. But the color code shows it was there
before 1929. What appears to be the section of the current 128 north of
Route 9 is shown as being there before 1950. The rest of the current 128
loop around to Braintree is shown as being there before 1986 (the next
bracket of years available in the map key).
        The book mentions a Massachusetts master plan for roads in 1948. I
believe from dates in the concrete on bridge abutments (maybe gone now) and
other stuff I've seen, that parts of 128 opened around 1948-49-50-51 and
other sections later, but that it was all there like it is now by around
1955. The book says that between March 1954 and June 1956, 68 new high-tech
and electronics plants were built along 128. By 1963, there were 400 new
plants, it says.
        Between 1950 and 1980, the "metropolitan ring" of population puffed
out to 25 miles from downtown Boston, representing a four-fold increase in
"urbanized space," the book says. There's a great map showing urbanized
areas in 1950 and 1980. The areas added as urbanized over the 30 years make
a huge semicircle from the NH border, from the ocean west to about where
the border becomes a straight line, all the way to the ocean at the RI
border. The only part of eastern Massachusetts not included, in addition to
the Cape, is an area down around Carver-Plymouth-Middleborough. The 1950
urbanized ring is basically Boston and the suburbs that just about touch
it--the inner area, Medford, Malden, etc. That's it. It goes up to Salem
and down to Hingham on the coast. It looks like it goes as far west as
around Norwood. It gives an example of Burlington, population 3,000 in
1950, 23,000 in 1980.

        So, if this message, as long as Route 128 traffic jam, doesn't get
the whistle blown on the highway discussion, nothing will <g>.