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Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract

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kramie13:

--- Quote from: bob7374 on September 24, 2021, 11:52:32 PM ---With the Exit Renumbering Project completed, I've summarized my views on both the good and the not so good aspects of the project on the Gribblenation Blog Site:
https://www.gribblenation.org/2021/09/massachusetts-exit-renumbering-good-bad.html

--- End quote ---

I agree with some of the comments in this blog post.  Most notably, the I-95/MA 128 exit off Rte. 2 not being Exits 128 A-B, some of the exit numbers on "standalone" 128 in Beverly being off by 2 in some cases, the exit number font/sizes being inconsistent, and the dual-mileposts along I-290.

However, the "old exit" signs are temporary, so they don't need to be critiqued.

mrsman:

--- Quote from: Alps on August 31, 2021, 09:08:20 PM ---
--- Quote from: bob7374 on August 31, 2021, 11:44:29 AM ---
--- Quote from: bob7374 on August 29, 2021, 09:40:07 PM ---
--- Quote from: vdeane on August 29, 2021, 03:41:35 PM ---
--- Quote from: JWF1959 on August 29, 2021, 02:12:22 PM ---Not sure if this has been discussed, but it looks like 395N is now concurrent with I-290 all the way from it's old end point (at I-290 and the Mass Pike) to I-495.

The mile markers now show the mileage points for both I-290 and I-395.

However, the signage still shows "End 395, Begin 290" at 290/MA Pike interchange.

--- End quote ---
That's MA's dual milemarker plan.  They're not actually extending I-395 at this time.  It would have been simpler to just have I-290 itself continue I-395's milemarkers directly, but that option seems to have required too much imagination for MassDOT's bureaucrats.

--- End quote ---
Agreed. Given they wanted dual milemarkers, couldn't they have put up the new ones without the I-395 shields? Seems like they're going out of the way to confuse people, or they are seriously considering dropping I-290 for I-395 north of the Pike, which they said they would consider if it caused too much confusion (a self-fulfilling prophecy?). Why not simply post 'Exit Mile' or 'Total Mile' markers instead?

--- End quote ---
Here's the first set of dual mile markers heading east on I-290:


In a few cases they put new I-395 mile markers up where the I-290 marker was not present, that isn't confusing, is it? Here's an example in Shrewsbury:


--- End quote ---
What's weird is I was just through there at the beginning of August, looked for these, and didn't see any.

--- End quote ---

I wonder if this was done because of a (mis)interpretation of the FHWA regulations regarding mileage based exit numbers.

- The old system had sequential numbers where the numbering of 395 continued seamlessly onto the numbering of 290.
- The state wants to continue that pattern in the mileage based system, 395's numbering continuing onto 290
- The state also (at least for the present time) wants to keep 395 and 290 as two separate highways, as opposed to renumbering 290 as part of 395 or vice versa
- An interpreation of the FHWA regs would require exit numbers to start at zero at its southernmost or westernmost point within a state
- An interpretation of the FHWA regs would also require that the exit numbers match the milepost numbers that are posted along the shoulder
-The above means that where 395 ends and 290 begins, the exit numbering must restart
- This could lead to some level of confusion, particularly in the US 20/MA-12/I-90 area where it all comes together.
- To avoid that, continue 395's exit numbering onto 290 and also continue 395's mileposts onto 290
- But 290 needs its own milepost numbers, hence the double milepost system that is now in place
- Whether there is now a (secret) multiplex of 395 onto 290 is an unresolved question


In my mind, the result is needlessly complicated.  It would have been far better for the driving public to have one set of mileposts and one set of exit numbers. Period. If it means that 290 starts at milepost 12, instead of milepost 0, so be it.

There are examples of interstates where the mileposts and/or exit numbers don't start at zero.  Most often, because of planned extensions to the west or south that never ended up being built.  Also, this tends to happen where the Interstate is concurrent with a longer state or US highway and the road follows the mileposts and exit numbers of the underlying state or US highway.

vdeane:

--- Quote from: mrsman on October 19, 2021, 11:57:44 AM ---- An interpretation of the FHWA regs would also require that the exit numbers match the milepost numbers that are posted along the shoulder

--- End quote ---
Such interpretation is incorrect.  Strongly prefers, yes, requires, no.  See the actual text of Section 2H.05:


--- Quote ---Guidance:
13 Zero distance should begin at the south and west State lines, or at the south and west terminus points where routes begin within a State.

--- End quote ---

Should, not shall.  I would say that this area is a reasonable exception.  As such, the situation strikes me as similar to NCDOT assuming that the even/odd rule holds for 3dis and posting I-587 as north-south.

yakra:
Sounds like a case of south state line to me.

bob7374:

--- Quote from: vdeane on October 19, 2021, 09:57:52 PM ---
--- Quote from: mrsman on October 19, 2021, 11:57:44 AM ---- An interpretation of the FHWA regs would also require that the exit numbers match the milepost numbers that are posted along the shoulder

--- End quote ---
Such interpretation is incorrect.  Strongly prefers, yes, requires, no.  See the actual text of Section 2H.05:


--- Quote ---Guidance:
13 Zero distance should begin at the south and west State lines, or at the south and west terminus points where routes begin within a State.

--- End quote ---

Should, not shall.  I would say that this area is a reasonable exception.  As such, the situation strikes me as similar to NCDOT assuming that the even/odd rule holds for 3dis and posting I-587 as north-south.

--- End quote ---
For those who believe MassDOT was wrong in posting the dual mileposts because of a violation of federal guidance, remember that the FHWA signed off on MassDOT's plans so that they could get 90% federal funding for the project. They therefore did not apparently have a problem with the continuous exit numbering along I-395/I-290 or saw it as a violation of the MUTCD.

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