the Massachusetts Highway System
Overview of some Suggested Route changes for the Boston Area, details
Travels from NH border to Cambridge where it ends at Mass. Avenue and
continues as to
portion ends at
due to cancelling of freeway project, takes surface streets between
Burlington and Cambridge. Runs concurrent with , and
for portions of its route, ends in Cambridge at .
the NH to Cape Cod route by making all of 'Route 3,' . MassDOT already defines it
as one route and continues the mileage of
How? Option 1.
MassDOT officials state the reason they cannot extend is the failure of Memorial
Drive in Cambridge to meet AASHTO US Route Standards. You could solve
this be rerouting
from its current ending at Mass Ave, having it turn south at Mass Ave
across the Charles River into Boston and ending it at the interchange
with / / .
Then simply change route shields along 's route to .
Option 2. Make
all of "Route 3" both
and a freeway by continuing the existing concurrency along / north (east) to and then down South to
Boston where it would pick up the current
route. All you would have to do is change the route shields from there
south to .
(Another possibility is simply ending
in Burlington and redesignating from Braintree to Bourne as
something else, see Suggested New Routes section below).
Transcontinental Route ends at in Kenmore Square.
route ended at State House, then at end of Commonwealth Avenue.
route back onto (mostly) its historic alignment along Commonwealth
Avenue to end/start at .
How: East would travel length of
Commonwealth Avenue, take right at Arlington, then left at Boylston and
South at Charles Street at Boston Common.
West would begin at intersection with
South at corner of Beacon and Arlington Streets, and turn right at
freeway ends in Cambridge, takes circuitous route on surface streets
from Cambridge to Boston Common.
routing is result of the cancellation of the rest of the MA 2 expressway
east of Alewife Circle. MA 2 thus runs mostly concurrently with other
routes, and not in a logical manner as it crosses into Boston and then
twice. This section is also not signed very well.
Idea: Reroute it
along a simpler path through Cambridge to Boston.
How: From end of
freeway, reroute along
East to current East, use 's
routing through Cambridge, end at
at Commonwealth Avenue in Boston (see idea for ). If first rerouting proposal is adopted,
can end at Memorial Drive (see below).
concurrently from CT border with
to Holyoke, then north to NH border.
originally a New England Interstate Route from CT to NH, the routing was put on to it in
1927. The concurrency is unnecessary.
from its concurrency with .
How: Remove route
shields, simplifying route and potentially saving money on extra
shields, ConnDOT could do the same for similar reason.
in Wareham to
portion is a continuation of .
Is a short route at only 10 miles long.
Idea: Extend it
along route of
from Bourne to Orleans.
Why? Would help
solve misdirected routing of
between Falmouth and Orleans which is signed North/South but is mostly
East/West, would be part of the suggested decommissioning of south of Bridgewater (see
Travels from Orleans on Cape Cod at
at the Orleans Rotary to the NH Border.
Issue: is a successor to another one
of the original NE Interstate Routes from the 1920s, designed to take
people from Cape Cod to New Hampshire. The route has been made redundant
since the development of the expressway system since the 1960s. Not many
people would take the route its entire length today, but rather faster
alternative such as and .
Decommission the route south of the
intersection in Bridgewater. While
serves as a good backup route to
from Boston to New Hampshire, most of the route in and south of Boston
serves local traffic, runs concurrently with other routes, or simply
from Middleborough to Wareham.
How: The route
can simply be removed south of Bridgewater in its concurrency with to
Middleborough. A new number could be used from in Middleborough to in Wareham, if having a backup
route is important for .
can take over its routing on Cape Cod.
Note: I received
comments that the portion of
is too important not to have a number. One way to solve it would be to
proposal further and extend it west as well as east along the current to
Middleborough. This would require, however, a new number for the current
freeway. The simplest thing to do would be to extend along the route, but even digit
three-digit interstate routes are supposed to end at other interstates,
there are exceptions (like
in NY), this could be another. Or you could extend
route instead, or make the route east of , MA 495.
at intersection to ramp to , runs concurrently with
along new surface roadway.
formerly ended at along an elevated expressway along
Fall River's waterfront, thus viaduct was removed in 2016 placing
along surface route with
and having it end suddenly at intersection with a street that leads to
ramps to .
back to new end of expressway at
signage south of
by itself take over new surface street alignment.
from Carver Road in Plymouth, formerly ,
in Kingston, total of 6.5 miles.
Western/Southern end is not at a signed route, is signed as East-West
when travels more North-South.
Idea: Extend to
in Plymouth, relabel it as a North-South route.
signage east along Carver Road/Samoset Street 2 miles to .
from Charlestown to Malden, partly over the pre-1971 routing of north of .
southern end of the route in Charlestown is ambiguous, and route is
inconsistently signed in Boston.
route to downtown Boston over Charlestown Bridge on North Washington
route through City Square, across the Charlestown Bridge to the end of
North Washington Street at Haymarket Square and ramp to Tunnel.
Signage at end of
at Haymarket Square, the proposed beginning of North:
The current route
could also be signed better. This is the last South reassurance marker, it is in
Everett, there are none in Boston itself, though it appears on several
in Milford to former
/VFW Parkway in Dedham.
should end at another route and hasn't since
was taken off its original parkways routing in 1989.
route east of
How: Remove route
signs east of
suggested alternative is to have continue to the VFW Parkway and
continue the former
routing to ,
or even take over
(see below) to
in Dorchester. The resulting route though would be quite circuitous. I
find the truncation of a simpler plan.
in Canton to
Issue: The route
runs concurrently with
from Canton to Peabody and is barred from being signed, except with
ground mounted signs, by FHWA regulations.
Idea: Truncate it
to Peabody, make it an East-West route that runs from to Cape Ann
How: Remove the
between Canton and Peabody
and its predecessors, ever since
was routed along part of
due to the cancellation of its proposed routing through Boston, has been
trying to remove the
designation south of Peabody, without success due largely to public
sentimentality towards the route. The media and traffic reporters even
today, nearly 50 years later, still mostly refer to from Canton to Peabody (and
between Canton and Braintree) as .
Certainly the cost of maintaining duplicate route signs for along could be better spent
elsewhere. Having it reduced in length, and changed to an East-West
route would seem the most logical way to go. The upcoming exit
renumbering project would have been a perfect time to truncate to simplify the route
numbering in the Boston area, they could blame the FHWA for forcing the
truncation. MassDOT's response though was to just change the numbers
from Peabody to Gloucester based on mileage from Canton responding that
route changes were 'outside the scope of the renumbering project.' This
and the public's attachment to the
route number likely means this change is highly unlikely.
from Centre Street to
in Boston, a total of 5.3 miles
end is not at state route, but at the former ,
truncating it to end at
would make it only 2.6 miles long, you might as well decommission the
route, or you could extend it.
Idea: Extend it
to meet another state route.
How: Route it
north along the Arborway, Centre Street and Jamaicaway to end
for last 8 miles from Bedford to in Lexington.
Unnecessary concurrency since both routes end at same point, those
traveling between Cambridge and Bedford will be taking
route to its intersection with .
How: Remove signs
south of Bedford along ,
simplify routing and save money on signage.
Travels from in Rockland to Nantasket Beach in
Hull where it ends at George Washington Boulevard.
exact route of old
since its came into existence in 1967, doesn't need to be restricted to
that route's path which is only 9 miles long.
Idea: Extend the
route at both ends, to Weymouth to the south and to the north end of
further north 4.8 miles along Hull Shore Drive, Nantasket Avenue,
Fitzpatrick Way, Spring Street, and Main Street to the Pemberton
Commuter Boat dock at the tip of Hull. Would provide easier directions
for commuter traffic and for tourist sites such as the Lifesaving Museum
and Fort Revere which are along the route. The proposed elimination of
one-way traffic on Nantasket Avenue in the Nantasket Beach area would
make the extension easier.
Photo at the
proposed northern end of
at the Pemberton Commuter Boat pier:
At the southern
end, extend it 2.5 miles first along Rockland Street, then right at
Reservoir Park Road then on William Delahunt and Patriot Parkways
through the Union Point development, to Trotter Street to end at . Route would give traffic an alternate route to
South, provide a route address for businesses, and put commuter rail
station at intersection of 2 state routes. As part of the proposal, I
would raise the speed limit along Delahunt Parkway from its current 30
MPH to 45 MPH in the undeveloped portions of Union Point.
southern end at recently widened
headed east through Union Point:
(c) Robert H. Malme 2020