If were are a fan of Saturday Night Live’s skit “Toll Booth Willie” featuring Adam Sandler you know all too well what it’s like giving people directions to get places. Eastern Massachusetts is one of the oldest parts of the country and we have roads cutting through streets cutting through highways passing through toll booths weaving among each other like tangled computer wires.
So, it comes as no surprise that some people don’t want their streets and highways, especially the exit numbers, tampered with.
“Maybe it’s a New England thing, and Massachusetts in particular, we don’t like change. People get pretty attached to their exit numbers and don’t want to see it changed,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver.
There has been ample warning by MassDOT starting almost a year ago with regular reminders. Massachusetts is one of the last states to abide by the federal government’s requirement to convert sequential exit numbers to a mileage-based system and it can’t wait any longer.
Route 140 exits between Taunton and New Bedford to be renumbered starting Sunday night and continue overnights between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Since the first seven exits going north out of New Bedford already correspond with the mileage markers they obviously won’t be changing. The signs indicating the old exit numbers will stay in place for two years giving everyone time to adjust.
When this is completed the next piece of highway to be changed will be Interstate 195.