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Did traffic get worse this year? It’s not just you.

A 2021 report ranked Boston as the fourth most congested city in the country.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff
Traffic on the Massachusetts Turnpike on Nov. 12.

As we continue to adjust to life in this ongoing pandemic, one thing that’s quickly getting back to normal is one of the worst parts of pre-pandemic life — Boston’s infamous traffic.

Boston was ranked the fourth most traffic-congested city in the country for the second year in a row, with the average driver losing 78 hours due to traffic, according to the latest INRIX 2021 Global Traffic Scorecard. This is a 63% increase from 2020 when pandemic lockdowns forced many people off the roads and Boston drivers got a reprieve from living in the most congested city in the country. 

Thankfully, traffic levels aren’t fully back to their 2019 numbers, when Boston drivers lost more than 149 hours stuck on the roads of the most congested city in the country, but for those who’ve returned to their regular commute, the increase in traffic has not been welcome. 


Earlier this year, after Boston lifted many of its pandemic restrictions, we asked readers if they had noticed a difference in driving conditions as they returned to their commutes. If it’s possible, readers said they felt driving in the city had only gotten worse, with people “driving like maniacs,” seemingly forgetting how to read traffic signals, and more instances of “speeding, tailgating, weaving.”

“The people clogging up the roads have become feral and have forgotten how to drive,” said O. from Plainville. 

While it seems traffic isn’t quite as bad as it was pre-pandemic, readers were right to notice a change in the roads between this year and last. Now that many more people have resumed their regular commutes, we want to know what it’s really like out on the roads. 

What’s the traffic been like on your commute this year? Have you experienced delays and bad drivers or have you noticed an improvement from when you were last regularly driving through the city? Tell us more about your experience by filling out the survey below or e-mailing us at [email protected] and we may feature your response in a future article.