It's been long-standing knowledge that one of the worst traffic days of the year is the day before Thanksgiving. Everyone and their mother, dog, and best friend all hit the roads at the same time and clog things up to immense levels. In fact, according to AAA, there are going to be 43.4 million people on the highways nationwide this year -- so you can imagine that a significant portion of those are going to be messing things up here in New England.FULL ENTRY
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:
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.FULL ENTRY
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...FULL ENTRY
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.FULL ENTRY
Ah, welcome to one of the busiest travel days of the year - the day before July 4th.
Many would think, "Why is the day before the holiday busiest?" Lots of people are taking off and they want to beat the traffic - but, of course, they're going to be the traffic themselves, as everyone is going at the same time. There won't be as many people this year, however. The International Business Times reports that, according to AAA, only 40.8 million people will be hopping in their cars and heading out of town (to a destination at least 50 miles away). Now, you might wonder, why is that an "only"? That number's down at least one percent from this past year for a variety of reasons - money and time, namely.
Either way, it's going to feel like all 40 million are on the road with you at once for the next few days at times. Expect gridlock through this afternoon on all of your major highways heading out of the city to the usual vacation spots.FULL ENTRY
There's been word all week about the DOT closing down two popular ramps to the O'Neill Tunnel and Zakim Bridge northbound for work over the weekend. However, the wet weather has foiled the plans, and it looks like that won't be happening.
Michael Verseckes of the DOT says the work was going to be taking place on the ramps from Haymarket Square and the Sumner Tunnel. They were set to be closed at 8:00 PM tonight and 10:00 PM tomorrow night. There's been no word as to when the work will be rescheduled for, but of course, when I find out, I'll pass it on.
Keep in mind, though - there's more in the way of closures coming up in the next few days...FULL ENTRY
So you're sitting on the Green Line, for example, at Copley Station. Your phone's not showing any sign of service, as you're used to in that stretch of tunnel. All of a sudden, you hear what you think is a ringtone. Really? Underground? Here?
Sure enough, the train starts going, and someone starts up a loud conversation. (Which, as any courteous T rider knows, is just downright rude, but that's for the Courtesy Critters to determine.) Wait a minute. There's cell phone service here? Why are they having a conversation and I'm stuck here, devoid of connectivity (as pleasant as that may be at the time)?FULL ENTRY
Here in the traffic operations center, we usually see the busiest traffic days around major holidays - not that Mother's Day isn't one, we all love our moms - but more like Thanksgiving, Columbus Day, Memorial Day, etc. So upon reading the news that today could possibly be the busiest traffic day of the year, some of us were a little perplexed.
Mother's Day? Really?FULL ENTRY
It would be difficult to argue that traffic here in Boston, at times, is anything but mind-numbingly horrible. Think about it - especially in the summer, on a Friday evening ... a commute that normally takes you half an hour can jam up to easily two or three hours.
Every so often, a survey comes out comparing our traffic to other cities - and, this time, a survey by INRIX, a traffic information group, has put us in the top ten (but just barely!).FULL ENTRY