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So the roadways are actually … worse? Let us know about your behind-the-wheel experience.

And be careful out there.

Just looking at this photograph makes us itchy, frankly. Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

In a sign that the COVID-19 pandemic is truly receding in our collective rearview mirror, state Highway Administrator John Gulliver made a momentous announcement earlier this week: “Traffic, for all intents and purposes, is back to about 2019 levels on most roadways in Massachusetts at this point,” he said.

Um … Yay?

Of course, Gulliver’s traffic assessment is probably not news for most people who’ve returned to (or perhaps never left) a daily commute, or who are just unfortunate enough to be out on the roadways as more and more folks peek out from pandemic hibernation and take to the streets. There’s cars out there — and lots of them.

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But wait, there’s more: In case you’ve spent the last 18 months willing yourself to forget the Bay State’s traffic woes, the Washington, D.C., transportation research nonprofit TRIP is here to remind you. According to a new report the group released this week, Massachusetts ranks sixth in the country in terms of road congestion, and an average of 68% of the state’s highways are congested during peak times. Which, frankly, sounds low.


And as if that all weren’t bad enough, it seems that the more people head back out on the roads, the less good at it they are. GBH’s Adam Reilly summed it up well on Twitter:

And the replies back him up: It seems the sparsely populated pandemic roadways may have fostered a (shall we say) lackadaisical attitude among Boston drivers, one that’s proving problematic now that traffic has returned.

But we want to know about your experience: Respond to the poll below, or email us at [email protected], and we’ll share your thoughts on the great Boston traffic comeback in a future article.


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