One reader’s idea to improve traffic in Boston: Diagonal crosswalk markings at scramble intersections, like the stripes at this (very crowded) intersection in Tokyo.
It’s that time of year when everything comes in lists: top-10 lists, best and worst lists, lists of biggest and funniest and most shocking incidents of 2013.
No doubt about it: Transportation-wise, the past year in the Bay State was ripe for list-making.
The gas tax jumped by 3 cents in a controversial transportation finance bill, and we dodged another round of T fare hikes — though we may not be able to avoid them much longer. We traveled by train between South Station and Cape Cod for the first time in two decades. A beer truck — yes, remember that? — plowed through an I-93 guardrail and dangled over the Leverett Connector. Fares on The Ride were rolled back by $1. The entire T system was completely shuttered — twice. The T promised, finally!, to launch late-night weekend subway service. Half of Longfellow Bridge closed, and the world didn’t come to an end. Callahan Tunnel temporarily closed this weekend, though it remains to be seen if the effects will be catastrophic.
But instead of looking back at 2013, this might be a good opportunity to think forward to the coming year, and the ways in which we might see our commuting woes improve in 2014 — a wish-list of transportation hopes for the new year.
Through this column and on Twitter, I’ve solicited readers’ traffic gripes and transportation solutions. I also dug into archived e-mails to uncover reader’s e-mail missives from the past 12 months. The stipulations were that the messages be simple, concise (a.k.a., Tweet-sized), narrowly focused, and imminently fix-able — straightforward problems that could feasibly be put right with a relatively uncomplicated repair.
Some entries have been edited (in some instances, severely!) to meet the 140-character limit.
In the spirit of collective self-improvement à la New Year’s resolutions, let’s toast to some traffic solutions! May all our travels in 2014 be merry and bright.
Silver Line bus sits for 1:30 at D Street. Needs transit signal timing. Stat.
Ari Ofsevit, @ofsevit
Improve the conditions at Logan cell lot. Tampa Intl.’s lot has a flight arrival board, rest rooms, and snack machines — even a food truck!
Intersection of Rte. 28 and Chickatawbut Road [in Milton]. Major jams every day; need for dedicated left-turn signals from all 4 sides.
Paula Szuflad, Randolph
Centre St. at Burgin Pkwy [in Quincy] is a nightmare. Install right-turn only lane so cars waiting to enter Home Depot won’t block us right-turning folks.
Eileen Glaven, Scituate
Signage coming out of Rt. 128 Amtrak Station [in Westwood] needs to be more clear. A “Braintree/Cape Cod” sign would let folks know which lane to enter.
Judith Griffin, Hingham
At entrance to Rt. 128 Station, stop sign is faded. Vehicles leaving garage seldom stop or slow. Major safety issue for people walking.
Silver Line riders can’t cross Congress St. at WTC without Massport cop acting as crossing guard, but there are more cost-effective methods.
Lisa Jacobson, @liserbether
Can’t understand why Greenbush Station [in Scituate] forbids overnight parking. Upper level is mostly empty; would be easy to make extended parking area.
Rose Anne Concannon
Sidewalks in Boston, ugh! Try to walk from Chinatown arch to So. Station on left-hand sidewalk. Very challenging for healthy walkers…near impossible for handicapped.
Harvey Leong, Boston
Took 10 mins. to go east on Rte. 139 through Rte. 37 [in Holbrook]. I counted 43s green, 78s red. Only two cars waited for left turn. Adjust signal timing?
Diane Madden, Hyde Park
The elevators for the Red Line at South Station are very poorly lit, with platform buttons impossible to read. It needs to be fixed.
Anne Van Nostrand, Boston
At Alewife garage, top-level lights broken for a year. Very dark. It’s creepy and dangerous. If lightposts failed, string temporary lights.
On Rt. 24, signs indicate exit to dog track. Now dog racing is no longer legal in the state, leaving me to wonder why we still have signs.
There are two signs on Rt. 24 south in the Bridgewater area, about one-half mile apart — both say “2 miles to I-495.” One must be wrong!
Barry Rubin, Wareham
“Right-turn only” arrow finally painted on Westland Ave. at Hemenway St. — but only one car length back from intersection. Defeats the purpose.
Fred Nelson, Tewksbury
The MBTA must start posting maps with major streets and landmarks. My wife would’ve gotten off at Fenway Station to get to the Sox game.
Liam Kelly, Brighton
I wonder if @MBTA has contacted [Red Sox first baseman Mike] Napoli about sponsoring the late night T?