One Man’s View: exit signs

Anyone who has ventured along the local freeways has no doubt noticed that many exit numbers have been changed. This is true on routes 2, 495, 190 and 290. Far be it from me to question the need for such changes, I am sure there is a very good reason for this. Maybe this reason will even be shared one day. But how they have changed in some cases seems to defy logic.

Some exits are now in three digits. For example, under a green exit sign that says “Exit 109” is a yellow sign that says “Old Exit 40”. What?! Have more than 40 exits been added along Route 2? As a proud UMass alumnus and avid traveler in the western part of the state, I can assure you that it is not necessary to add a single freeway exit in this direction. Pioneer Plastics City probably won’t be on any list of the most cosmopolitan places to live, but we’re a sophisticated and thriving metropolis compared to those mosquito swamps in Hooterville. Beautiful, quaint towns and you won’t find a prettier, more scenic drive. I would be living there in the blink of an eye, but you can’t convince me that they had to add another exit leading to, for example, the town of Erving (which at one point I thought she was named after Dr J).

Now they certainly could have tried to block a few more easterly exits on Route 2 – because getting into Logan isn’t painful enough like that. But 40 ?! I wouldn’t be living in one of those crowded smog dens if you paid me, but even for people who like to sit in traffic for hours or play “Where’s Charlie?” When it comes to finding a parking space, it doesn’t seem like adding dozens of exits would be particularly helpful.

I admit that this is not the first time that I have been intrigued by missing figures. I’m not an expert or a classical music enthusiast, but among the many elective courses I took because I thought they were going to be easy, there were music lessons. The titles of certain pieces have always piqued my curiosity. Chopin did a “Minute” waltz, which lasted over a minute. Did he follow that up with a 3 minute waltz, on the other side of 45? Satie produced something called Gymnopedie No. 3. Was there a 1 and a 2? Heck, he could have done an entire album, one through twelve, so why start and stop at 3? And it’s not just classical music. A few years ago there was a successful wonder called “Mambo Number 5” (“A Little Monica …”). Did we miss one to four?

And now the Department of Transportation has decided what we need are new output numbers – just the way we need to convert to metric, I guess.

Maybe soon you will read “Ten Men’s Views” with a caption: Old column “One Man’s View”. Who knows?

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