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We are planning a trip to New England next summer in a car and would like feedback on taking highway 20 vs I-90 in New York state from west to east. My wife wants to go to Salem, MA and I want to avoid big cities as much as I want to avoid my ex, so a go-around is OK. Looked at the New England Riders for roads/sites once we're in the region.

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20 is a better road than I-90 on a bike. I've taken it several times on the Wing on my way to and from Canada. It's a bit slower than I-90 obviously and goes through a number of small towns. In a car, if it was me, I'd probably take I-90 just to save the time.
 

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This possibly could have been posted in the NY sub-forum, but don't know how many from the Empire State pay attention.

Much of the length of I-90 is tolled, so you'll get the opportunity to pay for the privilege of crossing the state in a few hours. :mrgreen:

I don't know about toll status of I-86, but this will also get you to Mass. - unless you have a compelling desire to run along I-90.
 

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My brother and I did a similar trip a few years ago, ended up going through the Holland Tunnel during Rush Hour, "Oh What Fun?" we got through it and really wasn't that bad. besides trying to cross traffic right out the tunnel when no one understands how stop lights work or why the intersection needs to be free. Go Figure. Traffic wouldn't be bad if N'Yers understood traffic. They are in it, but that is not the same as understanding it???
 

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This possibly could have been posted in the NY sub-forum, but don't know how many from the Empire State pay attention.

Much of the length of I-90 is tolled, so you'll get the opportunity to pay for the privilege of crossing the state in a few hours. :mrgreen:

I don't know about toll status of I-86, but this will also get you to Mass. - unless you have a compelling desire to run along I-90.
I-86 is not a toll road. Large parts of it are still State Route 17. Problem is, it ends near Newburgh, NY and then your left with I-84 to I-90 in Mass. I drive NJ to Mass a lot for business and I would not recommend that route unless you have to take it. I-84 is very poorly maintained and you will hit a lot of traffic in Conn.
 
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A couple of times each year I travel to Michigan from northeastern Massachusetts and back. I usually do the trip in my F350, travelling I-90. I have done it several times on the Goldwing too, but dodging tractor trailers is not my favorite kind of motorcycle riding. I have never attempted the ride via Rte 20. Buffalo NY is usually the only place where I've repeatedly encountered real heavy traffic, but there too it really depends on the day of the week and the time of day. A good portion of the ride on I-90 thru NY is scenic with views of Lake Erie and the Erie Canal. East of Buffalo there's lots of rolling hills and scenic farmland. I-90 in MA will take you through the Berkshire Mts.

If you are visiting Salem MA to see the historical places about the witch trials, make a short hop over to Danvers (once part of Salem), the place where it all began and the location of the Witchcraft Victim's Memorial. In Salem another great place to visit is the Peabody Essex Museum.
 

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I just returned from a 12 day 4000 mile trip from Maine to Arkansas, and my riding buddy wanted to go I-90 from Cleveland to Mass. For the past 40 plus years, I have always gone I-80 to I-81 to I-84 to I-90 to get back to Maine. I will never ever travel I-90/New York Thruway on a bike ever again, probably never do it in a car either. The worst experience I have ever had while driving. The most arrogant, self centered, drivers ever. The truckers are fine, the cars, another story. I always thought CT and MA drivers were the worst, but I believe NY beats them all. Just my opinion, stay off I-90!!! Also its a toll road. Good Luck, Kim
 

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I would avoid US20 from Albany to the Finger Lakes. Way too much traffic during the summer.
 

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US-20 is one of those great sweeping secondary highways that meanders through farm fields and small towns, like Altamont, and it's a great ride in the fall with the orchards and leaves. I-90 from Albany to Buffalo is one of the most boring stretches of road ever made.
 

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I'm simple. I'm allergic to interstate highways, so IMHO any route that excludes such roads is the best.
 
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