Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How Many Roads?

OK, this pisses off my highly honed sense of order:

The Parkway West from the Fort Pitt Tunnel to Interstate 79 has been redesignated as Interstate 376, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced today.

Its former designation as Interstate 279 now applies only to the Parkway North.

I-376 now stretches from the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Monroeville to the I-79 interchange in Robinson. Eventually, PennDOT will extend I-376 along Routes 22, 30 and 60 on the Airport Expressway and Beaver Valley Expressway to Mercer County,
And here's why. From der Wikipedia:
Auxiliary Interstate Highways are circumferential, radial, or spur highways that principally serve urban areas. These types of Interstate Highways are given three-digit route numbers, which consist of a single digit prefixed to the two-digit number of a nearby primary Interstate Highway. Spur routes deviate from their parent and do not return, with a few exceptions; these are given an odd first digit. Circumferential and radial loop routes return to Interstate Highways, and are given an even first digit. Due to the large number of these routes, auxiliary route numbers may be repeated in different states along the mainline.

So, if you caught all that, PennDOT has assigned a circumferential route number to what will now be a spur route and a spur route number to what will eventually (I presume) be a circumferential route. Really the numbers should be changed to I-379 and I-276! They could have at least kept it I-279/I-376 to the I-79 interchange, rather than making a complete switch.

I mean, what the point of a system if you're just going to throw out numbers willy-nilly! Might as well just call the damned things "Interstate Sunday in the Park with George Wentz" and "Interstate Be like the seventh level donkey in space: PING!".


IOZ said...

Interstate Be like the seventh level donkey in space: PING! should be the name of the new 8/28 interchange when it's completed, even if, admittedly, neither is an interstate.

Anonymous said...

Parkway West is now Parkway South, Parkway East is now Interstate Eastbound, and Parkway North is now Parkway Sideways.

New signs will be posted behind the old signs, to be unveiled in an overly ceremonious ribbon cutting next week.

None of the new designations will affect any of the construction that will continue for no conceivable reason.

Anonymous said...

Now will they rename the Blue Belt?

And who uses the Belt system :)

MH said...

What is the belt system? I mean, I see the signs and know they mark routes that tend to go in useful directions, but I've never seen anything like it in other cities.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Do you suppose the same big cheeses from Monroeville that have been foisting the MFX upon us are also responsible for this parochial clinging to noncomforming nomenclature and extending their precious "376" banner all the way to Pittsburgh International Airport? If so, I propose lumping them into an Axis of Evil with Mt. Oliver and commencing bombing runs.