Massachusetts Roads - MA 2A - Concord and E.

MA 2A, Concord-Boston

The way MA signs town boundaries along surface roads.

During its tercentenary in 1930, MA signed a bunch of historical things, including the historic route to the Lexington Battle Green (at this time, 2A would have been 2) and various sites such as one on the 2/3/16 multiplex.

WB, showing typical button-copy shields.

Just off 2A in Arlington. 2A is missing one critical sign WB - the road that looks like it's through suddenly bears right without warning. These signs are on the road that goes straight. If you then turn around and bear right, the road suddenly has no center stripe for awhile. It then regains its composure, and you intersect route 2A a short distance later. In other words, MA 2A's missing the sign that turns it off of the through road in the first place. EB signage is better.

I lost where I took this photo, but it's another SLO sign.

A few WB signs in Arlington, including either end of the multiplex with US 3. The last one, courtesy Matt Kleiman, looks straight onto US 3 as MA 2A turns left. Note in the second one that US 3 SB isn't signed except as TO RTE. 2 (there is other signage, though).

Tercentenary (1930) sign, EB.

A pair of sign goofs in Cambridge. The first is EB in Harvard Square, another place 2A signage needs to be installed (2A bears left onto Mt. Auburn St., and doesn't go straight toward Mem. Drive). Look carefully, and see if that Q doesn't seem a bit funny to you.
Does this look like a Q to you? How about now?
The second picture's error was repeated by the contractor on Vassar Street, but now both signs have been removed. No, MassHighway didn't hide them out of the shame of looking like NJ - the zoning ordinance that brought about the signage was challenged.

On Mt. Auburn St. (MA 2A EB) at Mass. Ave. (MA 2A WB) - at least, EB-WB would be the left turn you can't make on red. Unlike in NJ and some states, MA and other states allow left turns on red from a one-way street to a one-way street. Because there is a cross street involved as well, though, it's banned here.

WB on 2A in Central Square in Cambridge, just past Prospect Avenue. Among Mass Pike signs, this could be tied for the oldest, with the old font and no reflectivity.

Ugly street sign in the foreground, Mass. Ave. pre-striping in the background. It's been under reconstruction for several years, and I don't want to say an end is in sight, because as soon as one project ends, another begins.

Yours truly shooting a piece of the old trolley rail that recently poked its way up through the surface of Mass. Ave. just south of Albany St.

10% of all handicapped people are left-handed. Look it up.

The great Harvard Bridge MDC Mix-up. The US 3 shield is actually correct here, since MA and US 3 trade places underneath this overpass. If you're really observant, you'll notice that while 3 is signed N-S, Mem Drive is signed E-W, which is really the direction the road goes. This is similar to the situation in New York City, where I-95 runs N-S on the E-W Cross Bronx Expressway. Of course, since Mass Ave intersects Mem Drive at a 90-degree angle, it must go N-S (even though the road is really NW-SE at this point and turns more E-W as one continues NW). So, if you're both observant and knowledgable, you'll notice the second mistake, which is that MA 2A is an E-W route, signed as a N-S route because of the road it uses. Ah, MDC, how we don't miss you. (Yes, MetroParkways is a euphemism, nothing more.)

Gee, DCR née MDC never screws anything up. This sign replaces the one above. Well, the new left turn is signed wonderfully, except as much as they wish for it, MA 2 doesn't appear until the next bridge. So this should be [US 3 N] TO [MA 2 W].

(Ignore the little US 3 at the moment, it was erected by a roadgeek.) This was recently erected on the Memorial Drive WB onramp from MA 2A. You know, if you just take away the MA 2 shield, this would actually be a legitimate reassurance assembly. But not only does MA 2 join at the NEXT bridge, it would in fact be westbound and not northbound. Finally, to make everything completely wrong, technically US 3 begins underneath Mass. Ave., taking over from MA 3. Now, back to the homemade shield - it does make things a little better, and is placed so as to not be removed (instead of over the middle of the MA 3 shield), but it can't possibly help anyone figure out where they are who doesn't know based on the square 3, and it won't explain why MA 2 suddenly goes north.

The old SB Mass. Ave./EB MA 2A ramp to EB Storrow Drive, converted to a dog park. It curved through the median of Storrow Drive with a very tight loop and a left merge. In the third photo, the fence and a few pavement remnants clue that this used to be a state roadway.

Random Boston public alley.

Continue west on MA 2A
Back to MA 2A main page

Follow Mass. Ave. into Boston
Onto I-95
Onto parent MA 2
Onto Memorial Drive (US 3/MA 3)
Onto Storrow Drive
More Cambridge signage
See more of Middlesex County
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