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How we might do worse

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February 3, 2008

TRAFFIC | Even if thousands more people would stay home and telecommute, there are far more people on the roads now than in 1978. Since the 1970s, traffic has at least doubled on Route 128 and every major route in and out of Boston, and increased 500 percent on Interstate 495, state data show.

COMMUTING PATTERNS | Many people are making longer automotive commutes than 30 years ago, as job growth has moved out to office-park communities, where riding the T isn't an option.

LOGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT | They have bigger and better plows now, but Logan also handles more than 27 million passengers annually, compared with fewer than 15 million in 1978, when the airport was shut down for commercial flights for nearly six days.

COASTAL DEVELOPMENT | Areas of Hull, Cohasset, Scituate, Marshfield, and Plymouth that were still mostly summer-cottage colonies in 1978 today are more heavily developed and populated year-round communities - albeit with stricter building codes for coastal homes.

MARTIAL LAW | Governor Michael S. Dukakis banned all nonofficial traffic from Massachusetts roads for five days after the storm to make way for Army and National Guard snow-removal operations, and the populace overwhelmingly complied. It's debatable how smoothly today's Bay Staters would accept a five-day home confinement.

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