Rte. 128

The first circumferential highway (yes, highway; Bostonians don't drive on freeways) in North America, roughly 12 miles from downtown. Also the generic name for the state's high-tech region (even if most new high-tech companies now open up along Rte. 495 another 15 miles to the west).

It's also our equivalent of New York's Sixth Avenue - a roadway with a perfectly good name that bureaucrats are determined to change. The official reason for renaming Rte. 128 as I-95 and I-93 (depending on section) is that the interstate system cannot survive without having all of its roads connected to each other. Rte. 95 was originally going to be rammed through the heart of Boston and Cambridge; when Gov. Frank Sargent stopped the project, the 'crats found themselves with a gap between 95 north of the city and 95 south of the city. So now the Rte. 128 signs are gradually shrinking and disappearing.

Glossary: 

Comments

re: Rte. 128

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The best part about 128 is that you can be going North on 93 and south on 128 at the same time.

re: Rte. 128

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In Berlinton (Burlington)you can be going North on 128/I-95, but it's also US Rt. 3 South.

re: Rte. 128

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don't forget that 128 is pronouncied wuntwennyate. Also my great aunt who was born in 1913 used to say "hiwee" instead of highway, and occasionally "expresswee" same deal as tuesdy instead of tuesday, ect.

re: Rte. 128

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Jus wanna comment ahn the word ~ highway. Most I come awcross don't use 'highway'. This maybe ah Bosstin thing. I've hadtah correct and say expressway for clarification in othaw states!

re: Rte. 128

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When you give directions, you hafta remembah how old thu person is. Ya hafta say wontwennyate for thu oldah crowd. Thu youngah kids know 'bout 95 an' such but thu oldah people still call it wuntwennyate.

re: Rte. 128

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Most people from the "128" area (greater boston) think that you're a hick if you live west of the 128. Its "out in the boonies".

re: Rte. 128

I totaled a car on 128 once, going southbound in Peabody (someone three cars ahead of me was repeatedly slowing down to a near stop IN THE LEFT HAND LANE but I wasn't aware of this as I had just entered the lane. Got to wait on the median with a cop for the 'junker' to arrive).128 around Peabody is quite evil. Lots of entry ramps that have stop signs (instead of gradual speed up ramps) and to further complicate things it seems that most entry points are on HILLS. Nothing like drving uphill into 70 mph traffic on an old four lane highway to get the adreniline flowing. When the highway joins up with 95 again in Wakefield or whereever, it suddenly opens up and becomes calm and smooth... until ya get to Burlington and Woobin.

re: Rte. 128

also. The Modern Lover's biggest hit was 'Roadrunner' (which also covered by the Sex Pistols, who probably couldn't appreciate 128 if they tried) which exclaims:"I'm in love with modern moonlight!128 when it's dark outside!I'm in love with Massachusetts!I'm in love with the radio on! "

re: Rte. 128

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In the car, when we were little, my sister and I used to sing, "Route 128 makes the world go around!" But maybe that was just us.

re: Rte. 128

i was driving on 128 and got lost. but then i was lost before getting in the car. suddenly i realized my muffler had fallen off. also, after a bad night at taco bell my seat needed cleaning.

re: Rte. 128

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I never heard of a "highway" until I moved away. It was always the "freeway" even the toll ones. But, I'm OFD. loozah

re: Rte. 128

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I think most people still think of it as 128, not 95. I'm in my early 20s and grew up along 128 and still call it that.It's also important to note that it is pronounced "root" 128 not "rought" 128.

re: Rte. 128

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no one thinks "west of 128" is the boonies, it's "outside 128" that's the boonies; (oops, pahdon me, i think the term is "metro west" now). and i have no idea what the story is with sixth avenue, guess i'll go look that up.

re: Rte. 128

I still have to correct myself when I give my wife directions to someplace and call it "128." She looks at me like I'm a retahd.Same with "highway." That's "the freeway" to her. But she's cute so it's ok. She must have been a wicked hot hoodsie.

Freeway vs. Highway

Calling them highways isn't just a Boston-area thing. I'm from NY and NJ and we always called them highways. I lived in CA and had to start calling them freeways because nobody knew what I was talking about (or I'd get teased mercilessly)...then when I moved to Mass I had to reteach myself to say highways. :-)

128

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As a true masshole drivah, I must say that I see all of the 128 signs everywhere. If anything, they ah bein' updated regulahly, so I don't see why it says that they ahnt any new ones. Wicked strange.

128

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All of the traffic reporters call it 128.