Pennsylvania Roads - PA 272/US 222

and US 222/PA 272

After beginning at US 222 in the north, PA 272 comes back to multiplex with it in Lancaster. Between those two points, 272 is more direct than US 222, so you may not be surprised to learn that originally the two had been swapped. Why they changed, I don't know, because 272 is not only more direct, it's better quality as well. North of Lancaster, PA 272 is the original US 222, while 222 now uses a freeway up to Reading. From Lancaster down to Wakefield, PA 272 is again an older (but more direct) alignment of US 222 - but it misses the larger towns of Quarryville and New Providence. PA 272 ends southeast of there, ultimately running into the Maryland border. The photo above is from the Herr's factory on the dead-end of former US 1, on which page I have many more photos of that area.

This - this is how travelers are greeted just after entering the state. No welcome sign, no keystone reassurance shield, just you getting slammed over the head with routes you've never heard of and were never thinking of taking. There isn't even a logical non-truck routing to some of these.

PA 372 is only to the left northbound (with 372 EB straight ahead), yet SB, it's in both directions? I originally took this for the absurdity of signing it as "SR 0372," but there's a deeper absurdity hidden here. For reasons never to be known, PennDOT decided it was far too dangerous to have PA 372 cross PA 272 in the "center" of Buck (just a few roadside businesses), so rerouted it over mile longer to the south. The "old" 372 was converted into right-in, right-out only access to PA 272. If there was really that much danger, and you've turned the old route into glorified interchange ramps, why not take the rest of PA 372 and build an overpass for the money? Otherwise, if there wasn't that much danger, just why bother inconveniencing traffic so? The result is that PA 372 WB has to use Friendly Drive to continue on its way. Oddly, though - certifiably insanely, really - PA 372 EB makes a left turn on PA 272 NB, and then continues on the old road, rather than just stay on Friendly Dr. So the way to make things safer is to increase the amount of left-turning traffic? Not to mention, of course, that with added distance and added turns (from Buck Rd. onto Friendly Rd. is WB's baggage) come added risks of collisions. This isn't even a bypass for the sake of being a bypass. It goes beyond that to the realm of incomprehensibility. Just typing this rant makes me need a drink. In fact, I forgot the first thought that sparked the rant - why would SB traffic have SR 0372 signed to the right, when old PA 372 would be much more direct? Madness.

P.S. Pennsylvania numbers routes in clusters. It's no accident that 272 and 372 cross, and both are near PA 72. Of course, you saw the PA 472 shield above.

PA 272 NB underneath a railroad embankment in Smithville. This haphazard tunnel was the original US 222 (both directions).

Into Lancaster on the US 222/PA 272 duplex. The first photo with the wrongly-ordered assembly is northbound, and then the second photo is on Seymour St. if you follow the first sign. PA 324 only intersects 222/272 SB, so these signs take traffic in a U-turn. (PA 324 comes in on Queen St., which it hands off to 222/272, but by the time it gets to the NB side it's one-way only, preventing the sharp-angled left turn.)

Not as famous as Chocolate and Cocoa Aves., but maybe this street corner in Lancaster has aspirations of grandeur.

US 222/PA 272 SB turn onto McGovern Ave. from Lititz Pike to get over to Prince St. Of course, this kind of jog never happened when roads were all two-way. The question must be asked: why have both red ball and green arrow lit? All traffic has to go right here, there's no crosswalk, and traffic from 222/272 NB making a U-turn or going to PA 72 gets its own lane. So, there really should only be the arrows.

272 shields from the parts bin on 222/272 NB, where Lititz Pike continues on PA 501 and the concurrency turns to follow Oregon Pike.

Because the US 222 freeway ends at US 30, 222 gets carried back to its original route (PA 272), so the duplex starts from there about 1/2 mile north of PA 501. Heading south to that intersection, PennDOT decided to combine the two routes into one shield. There is better still to come.

This photo now appears on three pages, because it involves all three routes. It's the connector road between PA 272, US 222 (on its Lancaster-Reading freeway above), and I-76 (washed out but straight ahead). This view would primarily be seen coming from PA 272, but you could definitely photograph this sign from the US 222 offramp (and believe me, you would want to). Sadly, this last remnant of original button copy Turnpike entrance signage is gone now.

Not content with PA 222 (seen above), PennDOT invented US 272! This is in Adamstown, just south of the beginning of PA 272. I don't have a problem with this, so long as the route connects to US 72, and there's a lot of work to be done in that regard.

Onto US 222 alone

Follow 272 into Maryland
To PA 896, PA 10, PA 41, or US 1
Onto PA 372
Onto PA 501
Onto the PA Tpk., I-76
See more of Lancaster County
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