New Hampshire is one of four states that numbers exits on interstates sequentially, instead of by mileage from the start of the road. I wrote about this issue in 2017, when Rhode Island made the switch: If the 15th exit is 39 miles from the border, should it be Exit 15 or Exit 39?
Now it looks like we’ll soon be one of just three states who do it – Massachusetts is finally going to make the change. That will leave only us, Vermont and Delaware.
But maybe that won’t last: The New Hampshire Department of Transportation endorsed the idea this week. That’s not the same thing as providing to do it, however.
The federal government has long threatened to withhold funding from states that don’t number exits by mileage – the thinking being that the national interstate system should be nationally consistent in something as important as exit numbers. But the threat hasn’t been too serious, so New Hampshire has balked at spending $1 million-plus to make the switch.
The process is so expensive because it has to be all or nothing. All the signs have to be changed, and our interstates and turnpikes have an awful lot of signs.
Vermont has been talking about making the switch for a couple of years, and plans to change some time in the future, but right now there’s no budget or schedule. Maine changed in 2014.
This drives me nuts. NH has way too many signs on the interstates, many of them quite costly. Now, we’re going to be required to change them all? If we don’t change them we get penalized? We’re already fined because we don’t require adults to wear seatbelts. That doesn’t see to bother DOT. This goes on when we clearly have needs like keeping the trees and shrubs alongside and in the median strips from growing any taller. How many have noticed that some of the spectacular views of Franconia Notch are starting to disappear? This is also noticeable between Ashland and Plymouth and in much of I89. That means trees are growing in the median strip that not too long ago were little saplings. Trees mean more of the highway is shaded meaning it takes longer for winter ice to melt.
NH needs to do proper maintenance on our interstates, then if there’s any money left over, let’s spend it taking down some of those unnecessary signs!
this would just change the exit plaque not the whole sign.
New Hampshire is not penalized for not requiring adults to wear seat belts. The 1995 law that abolished the federal 55/65 mph speed limits also removed penalties for not having motorcycle helmets laws and Maine and N.H. not requiring seat belts.
i am on board with this. if its only three states left lets just make the switch. its either replacing tabs or just putting patches over the existing numbers
I’m on board with it it makes total sense. It’s better than wasting taxpayers money to fight it in court for something that’s inevitably going to change anyways if you’re at exit 22 and getting off at exit 41 you will now know tha exit is about 19 miles away.I’m sick of the comments saying our highway signs mean something. What does exit 5 mean that it came after exit 4?