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Author Topic: Canton to Braintree  (Read 256 times)

roadman

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Canton to Braintree
« on: February 06, 2020, 11:12:35 AM »

Noticed lately that the traffic reporters on WBZ no longer refer to the highway between Canton and Braintree as 128, but instead are calling it 93.  In fact, the other day Kristen Eck started her report by stating "The highway that used to be 128 but is now 93 north is OK from Canton to the Logan Express lot.  The section of I-93 we still call the Southeast Expressway is clear until you get to East Milton."

Only took them just over 30 years to finally figure that out.  Still, it's progress.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2020, 11:37:59 AM »

Many Philly-area reporters still refer to the short stretch of I-76 in NJ between I-295 and I-676 as Route 42 even though such hasn't been signed as such for at least 40(?) years if ever.

Nonetheless: it's about time 'BZ along with other Boston area traffic reporters are now referring to that southernmost leg of the Yankee Division Highway by its current/proper number... especially given the direction cardinal change that the I-93 designation warrants.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2020, 11:41:44 AM »

From a user experience perspective it’s idiotic that we don’t have a single name for the road that forms a roughly ten-mile-radius circle around Boston. Never put engineers in charge of customer service.
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2020, 11:42:39 AM »

Many Philly-area reporters still refer to the short stretch of I-76 in NJ between I-295 and I-676 as Route 42 even though such hasn't been signed as such for at least 40(?) years if ever.

Nonetheless: it's about time 'BZ along with other Boston area traffic reporters are now referring to that southernmost leg of the Yankee Division Highway by its current/proper number... especially given the direction cardinal change that the I-93 designation warrants.

But the temperature in Hades will be -30 with heavy snow before traffic reporters refer to the highway between Canton and Peabody as I-95.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2020, 12:07:04 PM »

But the temperature in Hades will be -30 with heavy snow before traffic reporters refer to the highway between Canton and Peabody as I-95.
While true, at least along that stretch; the direction cardinals for I-95 and MA 128 run in the same direction.  Plus that stretch is still signed as 128 (along w/I-95) though it's somewhat more muted.

Additionally, that I-95 stretch is where the 128 historical legacy is more prominent.
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roadman

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2020, 12:19:41 PM »

From a user experience perspective it’s idiotic that we don’t have a single name for the road that forms a roughly ten-mile-radius circle around Boston. Never put engineers in charge of customer service.

With respect, what's idiotic is this continued insistence that this roadway continue to maintain a single designation for its entire length.  The concept that you leave 128 for I-95 in Peabody, then leave I-95 for I-93 in Canton shouldn't be that hard to grasp.  And government being bullied into maintaining outdated designations along with current ones just because of 'tradition' or history' is poor customer service.
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deathtopumpkins

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2020, 12:32:36 PM »

From a user experience perspective it’s idiotic that we don’t have a single name for the road that forms a roughly ten-mile-radius circle around Boston. Never put engineers in charge of customer service.

Don't blame the engineers for this one, blame politicians. I guarantee most of my colleagues would agree with the benefit of having one number for the whole length of the highway.

cl94

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2020, 12:35:46 PM »

From a user experience perspective it’s idiotic that we don’t have a single name for the road that forms a roughly ten-mile-radius circle around Boston. Never put engineers in charge of customer service.

Don't blame the engineers for this one, blame politicians. I guarantee most of my colleagues would agree with the benefit of having one number for the whole length of the highway.

This. Engineers are generally for common sense. Politicians, on the other hand...
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2020, 12:52:56 PM »

From a user experience perspective it’s idiotic that we don’t have a single name for the road that forms a roughly ten-mile-radius circle around Boston. Never put engineers in charge of customer service.

With respect, what's idiotic is this continued insistence that this roadway continue to maintain a single designation for its entire length.  The concept that you leave 128 for I-95 in Peabody, then leave I-95 for I-93 in Canton shouldn't be that hard to grasp.  And government being bullied into maintaining outdated designations along with current ones just because of 'tradition' or history' is poor customer service.

The reason 128 hangs on is because there’s utility in having such a way to refer to the road. In DC you don’t have one route number but you have a name because common sense—what is missing in this case in Massachusetts—dictates that this is useful.

The way Massachusetts went about this was to create a solution in search of a problem by removing a useful local reference designation. This seems to have left a handful of folks that feel culture should conform to their idea of reason upset that it’s a process of decades over which the public slowly lets go of something it had good use for, a result that surprised nobody but bureaucrats.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2020, 12:54:29 PM »

And I may be misplacing my blame at engineers, but whenever I see someone saying that the public should conform to what looks rational on paper rather than what is more realistic based on human behavior, that’s where my mind goes.
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TheStranger

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2020, 01:29:23 PM »

From a user experience perspective it’s idiotic that we don’t have a single name for the road that forms a roughly ten-mile-radius circle around Boston. Never put engineers in charge of customer service.

With respect, what's idiotic is this continued insistence that this roadway continue to maintain a single designation for its entire length.  The concept that you leave 128 for I-95 in Peabody, then leave I-95 for I-93 in Canton shouldn't be that hard to grasp.  And government being bullied into maintaining outdated designations along with current ones just because of 'tradition' or history' is poor customer service.

The reason 128 hangs on is because there’s utility in having such a way to refer to the road. In DC you don’t have one route number but you have a name because common sense—what is missing in this case in Massachusetts—dictates that this is useful.

At one point in the 80s and 90s (after the 95 project into the heart of Washington DC was canceled), 495 and 95 indeed covered halves of the Beltway only - I remember seeing signage in that regard in 1992 - and public reaction to that led to the 495 number being restored for the whole route.  (Which bolsters your general point re: 128)

For completely non-belt route example of how common usage is factored into number choices: California's State Route 180 thruogh Fresno has existed almost unchanged since its inception in 1934, even though the advent of the Interstate era meant that this left one odd numbered 3di unavailable.  (The practical result of this was that the proposed I-180 along Route 17 between Richmond and San Rafael was instead made into an extension of I-580; the not-so-great result was the creation of I-238 due to the unavailability of either 180 or (former) I-480).  Interestingly, other state route numbers though were changed to make room for Interstates, but these were all local routes: the old Route 15 (Long Beach Freeway), Route 10 (Manchester Avenue/Firestone Boulevard through Inglewood), 1934-1964 Route 5 (Skyline Boulevard in SF and San Mateo County), pre-1964 Route 8 in Stockton, etc.
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Chris Sampang

PHLBOS

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2020, 02:55:16 PM »

Don't blame the engineers for this one, blame politicians.
Correct.  The blame for such lies squarely on Gov. Sargent for caving in to the NIMBYs & abandoning plans to build the missing I-95 pieces inside of MA 128.

The reason 128 hangs on is because there'’s utility in having such a way to refer to the road. In DC you don'’t have one route number but you have a name because common sense —what is missing in this case in Massachusetts— dictates that this is useful.
I stated such before in other threads & I'll state it here again; if the 128/Yankee Division Highway had a more catchy street name, then the public would've/would be still referring to it as such regardless of how many route numbers/changes the corridor has/underwent.

The way Massachusetts went about this was to create a solution in search of a problem by removing a useful local reference designation. This seems to have left a handful of folks that feel culture should conform to their idea of reason upset that it’'s a process of decades over which the public slowly lets go of something it had good use for, a result that surprised nobody but bureaucrats.
Rather than regurgitate the whats and the whys; simply see this thread where you, I & others made past contributions to.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2020, 03:26:05 PM »

The way Massachusetts went about this was to create a solution in search of a problem by removing a useful local reference designation. This seems to have left a handful of folks that feel culture should conform to their idea of reason upset that it’'s a process of decades over which the public slowly lets go of something it had good use for, a result that surprised nobody but bureaucrats.
Rather than regurgitate the whats and the whys; simply see this thread where you, I & others made past contributions to.

But it feels good to vent when this comes up again!
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1995hoo

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2020, 03:57:13 PM »

At one point in the 80s and 90s (after the 95 project into the heart of Washington DC was canceled), 495 and 95 indeed covered halves of the Beltway only - I remember seeing signage in that regard in 1992 - and public reaction to that led to the 495 number being restored for the whole route.  (Which bolsters your general point re: 128)

....

The situation you mention was also an example of "highway engineer logic" because during that era, VDOT (but not MDOT in Maryland) posted the thru movements on the Beltway as an "exit," using the "logic" that you could not go from I-95 to I-495, or vice versa, unless you were to "exit." Based on the comments in the newspaper and elsewhere, the vast majority of the driving public quite rightly did not view that movement as an "exit," regardless of what highway engineers and MUTCD drafters might think. Some of the newspaper columns about it were pretty scathing, though I doubt I'd be able to locate them over 20 years later.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Canton to Braintree
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2020, 04:32:21 PM »

At one point in the 80s and 90s (after the 95 project into the heart of Washington DC was canceled), 495 and 95 indeed covered halves of the Beltway only - I remember seeing signage in that regard in 1992 - and public reaction to that led to the 495 number being restored for the whole route.
IIRC, the return of the I-495 shields along the eastern/I-95 half of the Capitol Beltway (more as a courtesy & not an official redesignation from what I've been told) coincided w/VA adopting mile-marker-based interchange numbering; although the roughly 7-mile segment of I-95 (& I-495) along the Beltway wouldn't receive its I-95-mileage-based interchange numbers until years later.
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