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.