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Author Topic: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract  (Read 61776 times)

kramie13

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #350 on: June 07, 2019, 02:55:56 PM »

However, between Neponset and Somerville (including the O'Neill Tunnel), the interchanges are closer together enough to warrant suffixed interchange numbers along the way.  As a result, I-93's mile-marker-based interchange numbers north of Neponset would numerically decrease from their current sequential ones.  Examples: the current Exits 37A-B (I-95/MA 128) interchange in Reading/Woburn would likely become Exits 28A-B.  The northernmost interchange in MA, Exit 48 (MA 213) would likely become Exit 46.

The fact that I-93 in Massachusetts has "more" exit numbers than miles makes absolutely no sense!  And why did MassDOT assign "Exit 1B" for traffic going from Canton to Dedham?  Yes, they're going from 93 south to 95/128 north, but they don't exit the highway, they just travel in a straight line!
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #351 on: June 07, 2019, 03:08:33 PM »

They do the same thing at the south end of I-391 in Chicopee where I-91 North (clearly a ramp) is signed as Exit 1B, and I-91 South (which is the thru route) is signed as Exit 1A.  They may change to 0A and 0B in mileage based.  You might see a similar treatment in the future for Exit 24 on the Thruway if the Thruway gives mileage based numbers based on the individual highways, since you generally don't number the TOTSO's.  Exit 156 NB would be the connection from I-87 North to I-90 West and Exit 347 would be the connection to I-87 South from I-90 East, even though you're staying on the Thruway (the thru route)  Same with Exit B1 westbound on I-90; staying on the Berkshire Spur would be Exit 368 while the I-90 TOTSO is unnumbered.
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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #352 on: June 07, 2019, 04:57:56 PM »

I am deeply skeptical that Massachusetts will revive the milepost exit numbering conversion plan. When those Cape Cod officals complained, the Massachusetts DOT probably figured everyone in the state opposed mileage-based exit numbers. Massachusetts will probably keep the existing sequential exit numbers for many decades to come, even if every road in the surrounding states had mileage-based exit numbers.
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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #353 on: June 10, 2019, 01:43:21 AM »

I am deeply skeptical that Massachusetts will revive the milepost exit numbering conversion plan. When those Cape Cod officals complained, the Massachusetts DOT probably figured everyone in the state opposed mileage-based exit numbers. Massachusetts will probably keep the existing sequential exit numbers for many decades to come, even if every road in the surrounding states had mileage-based exit numbers.

Eventually the FHWA will ensure compliance....
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Rothman

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #354 on: June 10, 2019, 08:24:13 AM »

I am deeply skeptical that Massachusetts will revive the milepost exit numbering conversion plan. When those Cape Cod officals complained, the Massachusetts DOT probably figured everyone in the state opposed mileage-based exit numbers. Massachusetts will probably keep the existing sequential exit numbers for many decades to come, even if every road in the surrounding states had mileage-based exit numbers.

Eventually the FHWA will ensure compliance....
What gives you that idea?  FHWA is big on writing manuals, not so big on enforcement outside of a few key areas.  At the Division level, FHWA enforcement can be outright laughable, with it being horrifically inconsistent as their staff rotates through their musical chair programs.

Not concerning engineering, but in regards to fiscal constraint (e.g., STIP), FHWA even relies on State DOTs querying FMIS to generate reports to prove fiscal constraint.  That's right, FHWA does not know their own fiscal management system well enough to run their own reports reliably and instead has told DOTs to run their own reports out of it and then have meetings where they review the reports.

Why State DOTs don't just make up numbers to make all their balances show zero is beyond me, given the situation.  Good thing certain State DOT staff still think they should do their job "properly," I suppose.

(personal opinion emphasized)
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PHLBOS

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #355 on: June 10, 2019, 09:32:36 AM »

However, between Neponset and Somerville (including the O'Neill Tunnel), the interchanges are closer together enough to warrant suffixed interchange numbers along the way.  As a result, I-93's mile-marker-based interchange numbers north of Neponset would numerically decrease from their current sequential ones.  Examples: the current Exits 37A-B (I-95/MA 128) interchange in Reading/Woburn would likely become Exits 28A-B.  The northernmost interchange in MA, Exit 48 (MA 213) would likely become Exit 46.

The fact that I-93 in Massachusetts has "more" exit numbers than miles makes absolutely no sense!
One needs to remember that those sequential numbers were set back when the Central Artery was still around & fully operational (circa 1987).  Here's what the numbers were pre-Big-Dig between Mass Ave. (Exit 18) to US 1 North (Exit 27):

Exit 19: Albany St.- southbound exit only (leaves I-93 southbound mainline with Exit 20 ramp)
Exit 20: I-90 West/Mass Pike (access to South Station/Kneeland St. from northbound exit ramp)
Exit 21: Kneeland St./Chinatown - southbound exit only
Exit 22: Atlantic Ave./Northern Ave. (northbound)/South Station (southbound)
Exit 23: High St./Congress St. - southbound exit only
Exit 24: MA 1A North/Callahan Tunnel/Logan Airport
Exit 25: Causeway St./North End (northbound)/Haymarket Square (southbound)
Exit 26: MA 3 North to MA 28/North Station/Storrow Drive

Another thing to keep in mind that when the Central Artery/South Station Tunnel originally opened; there were additional ramps present (& open) as well.  Most of them were closed off/removed during the 1970s.

Since MA traditionally only uses suffixed numbers for either multiple ramps at one interchange or for a new interchange built between two existing ones; the sequential exit numbers can increase very quickly when several interchanges are located close together.

And why did MassDOT assign "Exit 1B" for traffic going from Canton to Dedham?  Yes, they're going from 93 south to 95/128 north, but they don't exit the highway, they just travel in a straight line!
Those EXIT 1B tabs were recent add-ons.  The signs were up for just over a year(?) prior to such being added.  MassDOT's rationale, despite this particular interchange's history (such was once through-128), for adding such was indeed due to the change in primary (Interstate) route number at this location. 

Had 128 been fully truncated to the I-95/MA 128 interchange in Peabody; a similar left exit tabs would've been placed on the through 95 SOUTH Waltham signs.
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vdeane

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #356 on: June 10, 2019, 08:49:30 PM »

I am deeply skeptical that Massachusetts will revive the milepost exit numbering conversion plan. When those Cape Cod officals complained, the Massachusetts DOT probably figured everyone in the state opposed mileage-based exit numbers. Massachusetts will probably keep the existing sequential exit numbers for many decades to come, even if every road in the surrounding states had mileage-based exit numbers.

Eventually the FHWA will ensure compliance....
What gives you that idea?  FHWA is big on writing manuals, not so big on enforcement outside of a few key areas.  At the Division level, FHWA enforcement can be outright laughable, with it being horrifically inconsistent as their staff rotates through their musical chair programs.

Not concerning engineering, but in regards to fiscal constraint (e.g., STIP), FHWA even relies on State DOTs querying FMIS to generate reports to prove fiscal constraint.  That's right, FHWA does not know their own fiscal management system well enough to run their own reports reliably and instead has told DOTs to run their own reports out of it and then have meetings where they review the reports.

Why State DOTs don't just make up numbers to make all their balances show zero is beyond me, given the situation.  Good thing certain State DOT staff still think they should do their job "properly," I suppose.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Reminds me of all the issues the railroad grade crossing projects have right now because the FHWA would rather have a clean spreadsheet that includes them alongside highway projects that follow completely different processes rather than realizing that rail projects get done when the railroads want them to get done, not when the state DOT schedules it, and the railroads would rather give up federal money than control over how they schedule work crews.

(personal opinion)
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Rothman

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #357 on: June 10, 2019, 08:53:20 PM »

So, so true.

(personal opinion emphasized)
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J N Winkler

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #358 on: June 11, 2019, 11:55:18 AM »

Eventually the FHWA will ensure compliance....

A while ago we had a practitioner pass on inside information that mileage-based exit numbering and exit numbering for non-Interstates are not currently enforcement priorities for FHWA.  So, yes, those requirements are in the MUTCD, but their enforcement is an open question.  Kansas certainly shows no signs of any preparation for exit numbering on its (fairly substantial) mileage of non-Interstate freeway.
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #359 on: June 11, 2019, 12:34:36 PM »

Apparently, there are people in Massachusetts who think mile-based exits are stupid:
https://www.reddit.com/r/massachusetts/comments/bwo5v7/what_is_the_holdup_with_massachusetts_renumbering/

Seriously though, the state should at least convert the Mass. Pike and I-93.
They wont think their stupid when they get docked FHWA funding for noncompliance.
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Rothman

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #360 on: June 11, 2019, 12:45:15 PM »

Apparently, there are people in Massachusetts who think mile-based exits are stupid:
https://www.reddit.com/r/massachusetts/comments/bwo5v7/what_is_the_holdup_with_massachusetts_renumbering/

Seriously though, the state should at least convert the Mass. Pike and I-93.
They wont think their stupid when they get docked FHWA funding for noncompliance.
I am really beginning to wonder what fantasyland some of you live in when you think FHWA will actually withhold funding of some sort because of refusal to convert to mileage-based exit numbering.

Outside of roadgeeks, the conversion is a very unpopular idea.  For FHWA and by extension the President to draw that line in the sand would be politically stupid and therefore a waste of everyone's time.

Sure, I want the conversion to happen, but thinking FHWA will do something about it is downright idiotic if you know how FHWA operates (i.e., think about why FHWA went after NY about the Cuomo signs rather than mileage-based exits...).
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PHLBOS

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #361 on: June 11, 2019, 02:04:08 PM »

Sure, I want the conversion to happen, but thinking FHWA will do something about it is downright idiotic if you know how FHWA operates (i.e., think about why FHWA went after NY about the Cuomo signs rather than mileage-based exits...).
Actually, NY now is slowly phasing in mile-marker-based interchange numbering.  New signs being erected along I-84 show such a conversion at least for that road.
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Rothman

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #362 on: June 11, 2019, 02:12:43 PM »

Sure, I want the conversion to happen, but thinking FHWA will do something about it is downright idiotic if you know how FHWA operates (i.e., think about why FHWA went after NY about the Cuomo signs rather than mileage-based exits...).
Actually, NY now is slowly phasing in mile-marker-based interchange numbering.  New signs being erected along I-84 show such a conversion at least for that road.
Yes, NYSDOT is slowly doing so on a couple of roads, but not out of fear of FHWA.  The fear of FHWA is to what I was referring.

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PHLBOS

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #363 on: June 11, 2019, 02:17:32 PM »

Sure, I want the conversion to happen, but thinking FHWA will do something about it is downright idiotic if you know how FHWA operates (i.e., think about why FHWA went after NY about the Cuomo signs rather than mileage-based exits...).
Actually, NY now is slowly phasing in mile-marker-based interchange numbering.  New signs being erected along I-84 show such a conversion at least for that road.
Yes, NYSDOT is slowly doing so on a couple of roads, but not out of fear of FHWA.  The fear of FHWA is to what I was referring.
I don't know about fear per se; but what would be their (NY) reasoning for even starting such?  It's possible (guess on my part) that NY's moving towards mile-marker-based numbering, however slowly, may have been indirectly induced by the threat of federal funds being revoked over the Cuomo sings.
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Rothman

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #364 on: June 11, 2019, 02:21:13 PM »

You have the timing wrong. FHWA never threatened NYSDOT with penalities over the slow (almost dead) adoption of mileage-based exits, whereas they did so just last year regarding the Cuomo signs.  Keep in mind how long mileage-based exits have been included in the MUTCD and compare it to how quickly FHWA came down on the Cuomo signs.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #365 on: June 11, 2019, 04:34:59 PM »

You have the timing wrong. FHWA never threatened NYSDOT with penalities over the slow (almost dead) adoption of mileage-based exits, whereas they did so just last year regarding the Cuomo signs.  Keep in mind how long mileage-based exits have been included in the MUTCD and compare it to how quickly FHWA came down on the Cuomo signs.
Respectfully, you may want to reread my earlier post.  Nowhere did I state that the FWHA threatened NY funding-wise with regards to mile-marker-based interchange numbering.  Yes, such has been in the MUTCD for years but no official deadline to fully implement such was ever listed.  With no written official deadline for implementation; how would such be enforceable?  NY's recent gradual phase-in of such may be in anticipation of a coming future deadline.

The reason why the FWHA clamped down on the multiple Cuomo signs comparatively quickly was because such, in their eyes, were considered to be distracting to motorists.
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Rothman

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #366 on: June 11, 2019, 05:37:13 PM »

You may want to revisit the context of the conversation, where Robbie claimed that DOTs would fear FHWA's fiscal wrath for noncompliance.  That is what we were talking about.

There is no impending deadline for the conversion.  I suspect mileage conversion is actually occurring out of voluntary compliance as signage is in need of replacing.  Don't know if changing I-81 or I-88 over is even thought of yet, let alone programmed (I'll check when I have the chance).

And, despite the stated objection to readability, I believe there was a healthy political motivation to go after a blue state by this red federal administration -- it was an easy pot shot to take against NY.

(personal opinion emphasized)
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Alps

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #367 on: June 11, 2019, 07:56:59 PM »

Will also note that sometimes, the guy in charge of signs at an agency is partial to the MUTCD.

vdeane

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #368 on: June 11, 2019, 08:55:19 PM »

Everything I'm aware of with respect to converting I-81 is in reference to tearing down the viaduct in Syracuse.
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PHLBOS

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #369 on: June 12, 2019, 09:02:42 AM »

You may want to revisit the context of the conversation, where Robbie claimed that DOTs would fear FHWA's fiscal wrath for noncompliance.
And further down in the thread, I stated that I didn't know (in the context of agree) of fear of such per se.  Whether the recent start of conversions is due to lessons learned following the funding threat due to the Cuomo signs or simple voluntary compliance (your words) via sign replacement projects on NYSDOT's part is anybody's guess.

And, despite the stated objection to readability, I believe there was a healthy political motivation to go after a blue state by this red federal administration -- it was an easy pot shot to take against NY.
Actually, the Cuomo sign debacle started during the final year of the prior federal administration.  So, the initial reasoning wasn't completely political per se.
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Rothman

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #370 on: June 12, 2019, 09:18:59 AM »

I know that the conversion was discussed at NYSDOT multiple times over at least the last decade.  Most times (earlier on), the opposition would just say there would be the usual issues with it to backburner the effort.  However, a few years ago, the conversion actually made it into a planning document -- long before the Cuomo sign nonsense.  Wish I could remember which one; it wasn't the master plan.  I dismissed it as a paper tiger at the time -- NYSDOT waxes quixotic in such documents all the time to appease anyone's desires (anyone remember the plan to time all the signals on Central Ave/State St between Albany and Schenectady?  So much for that... :D).  And, given how such documents are created, I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up in there accidentally! :D

In any matter, opposition to the conversion has definitely not been monolithic at NYSDOT, so I'm basing my "guess" that it has little to do with the Cuomo signs on my own experience and observations.  I do have to say that I was surprised when the conversion was announced for the Taconic Parkway given the discussions I witnessed prior to that, but the decision has been brewing for quite a while, rather than being pushed by allegedly readability issues regarding I Love NY signage (which was definitely pushed directly out of the Governor's office itself in the first place).

(personal opinion emphasized)
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #371 on: June 12, 2019, 11:40:58 AM »

Apparently, there are people in Massachusetts who think mile-based exits are stupid:
https://www.reddit.com/r/massachusetts/comments/bwo5v7/what_is_the_holdup_with_massachusetts_renumbering/

Seriously though, the state should at least convert the Mass. Pike and I-93.
They wont think their stupid when they get docked FHWA funding for noncompliance.
I am really beginning to wonder what fantasyland some of you live in when you think FHWA will actually withhold funding of some sort because of refusal to convert to mileage-based exit numbering.

Outside of roadgeeks, the conversion is a very unpopular idea.  For FHWA and by extension the President to draw that line in the sand would be politically stupid and therefore a waste of everyone's time.

Sure, I want the conversion to happen, but thinking FHWA will do something about it is downright idiotic if you know how FHWA operates (i.e., think about why FHWA went after NY about the Cuomo signs rather than mileage-based exits...).
They would (by 10%) if a state lowered their drinking age.
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Rothman

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #372 on: June 12, 2019, 11:48:10 AM »

Apparently, there are people in Massachusetts who think mile-based exits are stupid:
https://www.reddit.com/r/massachusetts/comments/bwo5v7/what_is_the_holdup_with_massachusetts_renumbering/

Seriously though, the state should at least convert the Mass. Pike and I-93.
They wont think their stupid when they get docked FHWA funding for noncompliance.
I am really beginning to wonder what fantasyland some of you live in when you think FHWA will actually withhold funding of some sort because of refusal to convert to mileage-based exit numbering.

Outside of roadgeeks, the conversion is a very unpopular idea.  For FHWA and by extension the President to draw that line in the sand would be politically stupid and therefore a waste of everyone's time.

Sure, I want the conversion to happen, but thinking FHWA will do something about it is downright idiotic if you know how FHWA operates (i.e., think about why FHWA went after NY about the Cuomo signs rather than mileage-based exits...).
They would (by 10%) if a state lowered their drinking age.
That is very different, since that calculation happens specifically by federal law right when FHWA calculates apportionments for each state rather than some fiscal penalty on the fly at their regulatory whim due to noncompliance with the MUTCD.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #373 on: June 12, 2019, 02:00:04 PM »

I wonder to what extent FHWA's ability to set enforcement priorities is constrained by the "arbitrary and capricious" test.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Massachusetts milepost exit numbering conversion contract
« Reply #374 on: June 12, 2019, 04:20:44 PM »

Has anyone ever seen this page?: Massachusetts Highways for the 21st Century: A Guide to Current Roadways and Proposals For Their Future: http://www.malmeroads.net/mass21c/index.html

I've checked it periodically to see if Massachusetts will ever change their mind about converting to mileage-based exits (which I doubt).
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