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Commuting

Monday mess on the Expressway

Posted by Nichole Davis January 20, 2014 12:55 PM

Traffic alert for your MLK Day holiday...

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Starting to shovel and sand our way into the holiday season

Posted by Nichole Davis December 12, 2013 02:54 PM

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Ahhh, winter. You have arrived. Not quite to this extent -- this photo from the Boston Globe archives from 1936 shows getting rid of the white stuff has never exactly been easy... but we're at the point where salt's caking our cars and roads, the parking spot savers are making a reappearance and it's time to put the French Toast alert on full power.

(Check out this article for more historical storm photos around the city of Boston.)

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Navigating your way through a busy Boston evening

Posted by Nichole Davis October 30, 2013 01:05 PM

When Boston gets busy, we don't mess around.

Not only is some sort of baseball game happening today (I kid, I kid) ... but President Obama will be coming into town to speak about the Affordable Care Act. But hold on -- that's not all -- Drake will be performing tonight at the TD Garden. All of this, combined, should make for a crazy evening traffic-wise -- especially if the weather continues to be drizzly and messy. However, it could likely not be as bad as you would think. Let's tackle these events one by one:

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Prepping for peaking Pike tolls, and the temporary fate of Amtrak

Posted by Nichole Davis October 1, 2013 12:36 AM

While the countdown most people have been talking about is the one for the government shutdown, Western Massachusetts residents who are frequent users of the Mass Pike are dreading another upcoming date: October 15th.

That's the date tolls will begin to be collected between Exits 1 and 6 -- it will now cost you $1.75 to travel between 291 and the New York state line, and $5.85 to travel the entire length of the Pike. Don't forget, though -- there's a special step you have to take if you're a Western Massachusetts resident who already uses EZ-Pass.

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Narrowing down new navigation aids, and what's in a name?

Posted by Nichole Davis September 12, 2013 04:03 PM

Voting for the MBTA's New Perspectives MBTA Map Re-design contest is well underway. As a self-described transit nerd, of course this is something that's right up my alley (and, if you're reading this blog, I'm assuming it's something that probably interests you too).

If you're not familiar with what the contest is all about, essentially the T put the call out to designers and artists (as well as other transit nerds!) to put their own spin on the well-known T map. There were dozens of entries, but a panel has narrowed it down to just a few for the public to choose from.

Here's my thoughts on the top six entries...

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"Roads and Rails" is back from summer vacation - and so are the students

Posted by Nichole Davis August 28, 2013 06:15 PM

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In the words of a very popular camel, "Uh-oh. Guess what day it is?!"
(Technically, yes, it is "hump day", but that's not what I'm going for here.)

Yes, it's that time of year again - some call it "Allston Christmas", some call it the "student exodus" ... whatever your name for it, the next week or so is going to bring a flood of new arrivals to the city. If you're one of them and have come to this blog for commuting advice, welcome and thanks for stopping by! If there's one thing you need to keep in mind, please remember this:

Do not, under any circumstances (unless being chased by raptors, and even then), bring your moving truck on the river roads. And, if you do, follow the signs! There's an example in the photo above. If you see one of these, DO NOT KEEP GOING. Otherwise, you will likely end up like one of these unfortunate souls and that's just not fun for anyone involved. (Check out the gallery - I think the Weinermobile could have made it without help.)

For more tips, here's the gallery I put together for last year's move-in that provides a general overview of the ins and outs of getting around the city. If you have any other questions, leave them in the comments and I'll be sure to answer them!

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Behind the screens of the VMS, and downtown detours

Posted by Nichole Davis August 7, 2013 01:10 AM

There's more and more of those VMS boards popping up on area highways - VMS meaning "Variable Message Signs":

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Image credit: Rhode Island Department of Transportation

My pal Emil wrote to me recently with an inquiry about the content on these boards:

"I remember a while ago, there was a big stink about "GO SOX" and "GO PATS" showing up on VMS boards on the Pike, and how the boards should only be used to motorist info. Now, I'm seeing them with messages reminding me to renew my registration, and more recently, telling me that fireworks are illegal, and I'm subject to arrest or a fine. A couple of years ago, when they were having that beetle problem in Worcester, they said we shouldn't move firewood. If they're going to put these things up, then I'm OK with "GO BRUINS!" or other such messages.

I kind of question ones like "OUI: Over the limit, under arrest/Use designated driver". I don't think I know anyone who *doesn't* know that driving under the influence is a crime, and I honestly don't think that seeing that message on the highway will make someone think "I should get Charlie to drive, so I can get plastered!" The same goes for the warnings about texting and driving. Most reasonable people know they shouldn't be doing that, regardless of whether they still do it anyway.

Anyway, would you be interested in quizzing your contacts at MassDOT about what is and isn't appropriate for messages on VMS boards, and why I'm seeing more messages that aren't related to motorist info?"

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Nasty delays on Nashua Street, and more proof we're really not terrible drivers

Posted by Nichole Davis July 29, 2013 08:00 PM

What a response I got from my last entry about the Longfellow Bridge! Thanks for all your input - and thank you to all of those who wrote in with your transportation-related questions. I've got feelers out on many of them and am working to get you answers as fast as possible. If you're curious about something transportation related around the city, drop me a line at commuting.boston@gmail.com. Can't wait to hear from you.

By the way, if you're looking for the VMS story, I'm still putting some finishing touches on it - look for it to be published by the end of the week! Here's some other tidbits for you until then...
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Katerina from Cambridge wrote in:

My commute each day takes me down Nashua Street by Spaulding Rehab and the county Jail. For the past few weeks it's been really difficult to get through there because the road is constantly being torn up. You never know when the work is going to be taking place which is equally annoying. Traffic's being rerouted a lot and the delays can be long at times. Do you know if this is going to take too much longer?

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As one bridge closes in Cambridge, another one (unexpectedly) opens

Posted by Nichole Davis July 19, 2013 01:16 AM

A reminder:

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So tonight I took a ride over the Longfellow Bridge on my way home from work. It's going to be the last time for a while that I'll be able to scoot over to Cambridge that way, as they'll be shutting down Cambridge-bound traffic starting Saturday. For up to three years.

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Parking problems on the Fitchburg Line, and another 93 closure

Posted by Nichole Davis June 17, 2013 12:15 AM

Commuters in Leominster are about to be a little more inconvenienced.

If you've been utilizing the shuttle service provided by the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority that runs from the Mall at Whitney Field to the North Leominster Intermodal Transportation Center, we're now learning that's not going to be an option come July 1st. What's going on?

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About the author

Nichole Davis is a Boston-based traffic reporter and news anchor. She’s been seen and heard on television and radio airwaves across New England since 2003, providing commuters with all the More »

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