Highway Exit Numbers Changing

MA is changing their highway exit numbers to match the mile marker at that exit. According to the article this is becoming (or has become) the national standard. I kinda like the idea…but it’s going to be fun for some people to get use to it. Especially when they’ve been driving on those roads and getting off at that specific exit for decades.

Massachusetts to begin changing highway exit numbers (boston25news.com)

It has been the national standard for many year’s in most of the country once you get used to it it is a very good idea just like year’s back when they changed adress’s to be the 911compliant.


I doubt NH will ever change over…we’re kinda stubborn that way. I actually like the idea…actually makes sense.

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I don’t know about NH but I was still working when it started to take effect and I saw it slowly spread across the country. You suprise’d me with you post as I thought all state’s were that way now. Now you got me wondering if there are any more than Ma. and NH that you mentioned.

NY VT MA NH are NOT that way. The exit numbers on the highways I’ve traveled in those states still use the old way. I’ve traveled a lot in other states…but I really never paid attention (mainly because I use GPS and just let it guide me).

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Thank you for that information that is interesting to know as you can probably tell it has been a long time since I retired and did any traveling.

My dad, the traffic engineer, pointed this out to me even before I started driving. Helped quite a bit when reading maps - mom had issues with maps!

Most places I’ve driven in the US were marked with the mile-marker. I like that system as it allows me to anticipate how far to my exit, or even the next fuel or food stop exit, by catching mile markers at the side of the road.

Apparently civil (or traffic) engineers in some states have a sense of humor… exit 69 on I-75 in Michigan is Big Beaver Road. There is a big east-west jog in the highway just south of Big Beaver that adds a bit of extra mileage… coincidence?

Any other oddly funny exit numbers and road names out there?

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Learned something. I had no idea this was not standard through out the US. I thought all interstates had to meet federal specs and mile markers and exits numbers were just part of it. Maybe the roads that were there before the interstate system was adopted were just grandfathered in or something.

Then there’s I-19 in Arizona, From Nogales to Tucson, It’s signage is in kilometers.

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Back in the days when there was talk of The US converting to the metric system (the '70s, I think…) there was a letter to the editor in my local newspaper from a woman who stated that converting to metric was a very bad idea because, “my car takes gallons of gas and if you change over to liters I’ll have to buy a new car”.

I wish I knew that she was being sarcastic, but… somehow… I don’t think that she was…


Dunno about your vicinity but back when gas prices first exceeded $1/gal. stations in southern Illinois started pricing it by the half gallon. It freaked mom out and she freaked out again when the same stations changed the price again, this time to per liter.

No, that never happened in NJ.

Again, that never happened in my area.

I grew up driving the freeways of Los Angeles. I remember seeing numbers being put up on freeway exits in addition to the exit names and thinking it was redundant and a waste. The exits are clearly named–Western Ave, Santa Monica Freeway, Sunset Blvd–and drivers are looking for a specific street, not a number that doesn’t get them anywhere. People live on Main Street, not exit 62. I guess I just never understood the need for numbering exits.

I do see the benefit of numbering mile markers on highways, in case you need to call a tow truck or emergency service or for traffic control. The metro LA area also had a nice system of a “Call Box” every quarter mile on the freeways. If you were stuck and needed help you just picked up the phone. They were all numbered, you just had to say you were at call box GS104 and they knew you were on the Golden State Freeway at box number 104.

I think it was the 1960s. The National Bureau of Standards was promoting it heavily in the late 70s. I still have the conversion book I got from them.

That gallons vs liters quote is like ordering pizza in a way. I knew someone that used to walk into a pizza parlor and tell them he wasn’t very hungry and to cut the pie into 6 pieces instead of 8 just to see what they would say.

In UK the prices were in liters but for pounds. So the sign said 89.9. So who knows how much that was in US but I figured what difference did it make-not like I wasn’t going to buy it, and the bottom line was the bottom line. A cockleburr by any other name and so on.

I think that people who have a mental picture of their route think in terms of route numbers and street names, not exit numbers. However, people who can’t seem to manage that (who are probably the same ones blindly following their GPS systems even when the directions don’t make sense) are the ones who seem to rely on exit numbers.

I’ve lived in my current area for 30 years and I still struggle to remember the local exit numbers when needed because they just don’t register with me when I drive.

Not sure about all GPS units but ours announces exit numbers, not names. So just to gripe again, the 2017 rav4 is $700 to update the GPS at the dealer.

I think it just depends on where you drive. If the only place you drive is in a big city then sure, street names are fine. But if you are out on the open road, you might want to know that the next exist is at mile marker 152, 40 miles away. Also lets you know that you are 152 miles from the state line-depending which direction you are going.

Then again it’s winter. So try reading those dang signs that are covered in slush or snow anyway. Then I guess your GPS and Nav systems are your best friend. Not to mention states that don’t replace their worn out signs that don’t reflect anymore at night.


When I updated the Acura, like I said, 90% of the update was for the food, beverage, and lodging institutions, not the new roads. It was only $200 though but wouldn’t do it again.

Exits numbers that fit along with the mile numbers make a lot of sense. For now, if interested, you can calculate how far it is. For the future, if exits are closed or new ones made, the numbering sequence for the farther ones does not have to be changed. The actual mile location is the number of the exit.

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