marklaurence@mac.com marklaurence@mac.com
Tue Jun 3 10:38:06 EDT 2008

On Tuesday, June 03, 2008, at 08:54AM, <markwa1ion@aol.com> wrote:
>128 is almost a "brand name" like Route 66, known widely around the 
>country.  It is, of course, the birthplace of many high-tech innovator 
>companies which started and then flourished during the Cold War years 
>('50s to '80s).  Many still play a big part in the economic vitality of 
>the region today.

The "problem" is that 128 serves two purposes.  For long distance travelers, most of it is part of the route from Maine to Florida, and needs to be signed 95.  For Boston commuters it's the Inner Belt and needs to be signed 128 for the entire route from Gloucester to Braintree.

Why not allow both designations?  Mostly politics.  It probably dates back to the fight over the Southwest Expressway, and certainly involves the Big Dig and whether through traffic should be encouraged on the Southeast Expressway and Central Artery/Tunnel.

The Feds insisted on what roads got the 95 designation, turned 128 South into 93 North from Canton to Providence, and that's why we're forced to have "128 Ends" signs in Canton.  It's also why newer entrance signs direct traffic to 95, without mentioning the evil 128 designation, forever stranding travelers who got directions from a native to take 128 North.  (Turnpike signs, not coming under the same highway laws, still emphasize 128.)

I wish both sides would come to their senses sometime and permit dual signs along the entire route 128.  Good for Massachusetts drivers - and broadcasters - for refusing to let go of 128.


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