FRAMINGHAM, MA - In the days before GPS, people asking for directions to Framingham from the east or west would be told to "take the Pike and get off at Exit 12 or Exit 13" depending where in Framingham they were going.
"The Pike" as locals call it, also known as the MassPike, (shortened from "Massachusetts Turnpike"), is the portion of U.S. Interstate Highway "I-90", a toll road that runs from the western border of Massachusetts in the town of West Stockbridge to Boston, MA the state capital.
Along with the rest of the MassPike, (and many other highways), the exit numbers are being changed to a uniform numbering system based on mile markers.
- Exit 12 with on/off ramps to Rt. 9 (Worceter Rd.) near the Framingham / Southborough town line will be renumbered to "Exit 111".
- Exit 13 with on/off ramps to Rt. 30 (Cochituate Rd.) near the Framingham / Natick town line will be renumbered to "Exit 117".
Small yellow rectangular signs noting "Old Exit ##" will be installed near the traditional large green exit signage which will bear the new exit number.
The new exit numbers represent the distance in miles on I-90 from the New York / Massachusetts border with the first exit, "Exit 3" at the beginning of the MassPike, three miles into West Stockbridge, MA.
New signage work begins this month, (December 2020) and is expected to be completed statewide by the spring of 2021.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation, (MassDOT), has put up a website with extensive information about how I-90 and other highways in Massachusetts are having their exits renumbered.
According to the site, "the new [mile marker based] system provides several advantages to the existing sequential numbering system" including:
- Driver friendly navigation
- Allows drivers to quickly determine distances to destinations
- Miles traveled can be calculated more easily
- More accurate emergency response
- Improves reporting of highway incidents, resulting in better navigation of emergency services
- National uniformity - same exit numbering scheme as almost all other states
- Easier to add future exits without renumbering entire corridor
For additional information, visit the MassDOT website: www.NewMassExits.com
Fun Footnote: This article may get those who know 1970's music and "the Pike" wracking their brains for what song it reminds them of -- it's probably singer/songwriter James Taylor's title track of the album by the same name"Sweet Baby James", whch contain the lyrics:
" ... Now the first of December was covered with snow. So was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston..."
Listen to it here on: James Taylor's official Youtube Channel