MassDOT message swings and misses

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – We’ve seen our share of interesting messages on MassDOT’s electronic highway signs; from “Use Yah Blinkah” to “F” and “U” mistakenly flashing.  The latest one, in the midst of emergency road repairs and the Memorial Bridge closing this weekend makes us rethink if our tax dollars are being used wisely.

A $37 million dollar investment and drivers are being asked to vote Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts into the All Star Game, the message read “#XASG Vote Xander to the All Star Game.”

That’s the message MassDOT was sending out Thursday night when emergency road work was closing lanes on I-91 in Springfield.

“Vote for red sox for the all star game?,” asked Springfield’s Ray Lewis.
(That’s what the sign said.)

It’s also sending a mixed message. MassDOT has had signs warning us of the dangers of texting and driving and not to use handheld devices while driving trucks or buses, but was asking people to over Twitter and tweet for Xander.

“We need to be safe on the roads, always safety first,” said James Webster of New Hampshire.

By Friday morning the overhanging signs had changed, but still no messages about the road work.
Some of the portable signs on the side of the highway were alerting drivers to the upcoming closures and detours

One electronic sign above I-91 was blank, just hours before the Memorial Avenue Bridge, the Memorial Ave. rotary and parts of Route 5 will be closed for the next three days.

(Do you think its a proper use of our tax payer dollars?)
“In my opinion no a proper use is i’m paying for something that something should benefit me instead of somebody else,” said Lewis.

The 17 message boards and cameras in our area cost us $37 million.   In November, The 22News I-Team had an exclusive look inside Boston’s control room.
The control room is staffed with paid employees around the clock who can change the message.  But in the midst of emergency road work, the Vote for Xander campaign was the message MassDOT displayed.  .

We asked the MassDOT press office for an explanation and so far we haven’t gotten one.

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