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Neighborhood Photo: Traffic Chaos on Commercial Street

The Fall tour season has brought total chaos to Commercial Street, shown in this photo shared by Paul Foster on Saturday morning. He notes that the Commercial Street gridlock has extended into the interior North End as Charter Street is in gridlock between Hanover and Commercial. “I fear for the passage of emergency vehicles,” he adds.


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25 Replies to “Neighborhood Photo: Traffic Chaos on Commercial Street

  1. One thing that isn’t gridlocked is that bike lane. Smooth sailing for all of the riders…oh wait I don’t see anyone using it.

  2. Why are so many tour buses allowed to park illegally on Commercial Street?

    All the tourists should be forced onto bicycles and to use the cycle track.

    It was called Connect Historic Boston after all.

  3. The tour buses cause problems. At times they are double-parked. Seems that no one has been able to solve this problem…..not even Genius who suggested bikes for the tourists!

  4. For the record, people were definitely double parked for a funeral and likely youth soccer games, so quit whining about the bike lane.

  5. Planners obviously DID NOT but should have taken into considerstion neighborhood sporting events (which include family spectators both local and from out of town), funerals and tour buses BEFORE the not well planned bike lane. Whining?! Shame on you!

    1. let me guess, you have a car? how do you think traffic would be if every resident in the north end felt the need or had to have a car like you (and others)? more than anybody, the relatively few car owners should welcome bike infrastructure that supports having fewer cars on the street. i am sorry, but it does not make sense to be pro-car and anti-bike at the same time if you live in the north end. .

        1. Yes. How many North End residents have cars kept in the North End?I have a feeling the percentage it is relatively low.

  6. The bike lane is less than ideal but the city needs to actively ticket/tow the double parking that occurs along the athletic fields. It was a problem before the bike lane and still creates problems today.

  7. Thank you to my friend, Paul Foster, for posting this revealing photo.
    Paul knows a lot about this subject, he was Associate Commissioner of Traffic & Parking in the Kevin White administration.
    He is absolutely right about emergency vehicles not being able to get through this gridlock. My other concern is what will happen in the winter during and after snow storms. The plows will pile up snow on both sides of Commercial St and Atlantic Ave further restricting the already narrowed roads. Did anyone think about these issues beforehand?

  8. Boston is ahead of itself….too many buildings going up and there is much more congestion in streets. Soon we will all be banned from driving cars in Boston proper ….I truly don’t understand why so many huge buildings are going up. What do the big shots of Boston want? In the interim, the city is losing its charm and becoming ugly with construction here and there

    1. I agree Heather!!!! I only drive from 11:00am – 2pm and sometimes still get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Whoever thought traffic would control when one should drive their car to do errands or get to their appointments, whether medical or business.
      It’s a disgrace what they are doing to the City of Boston.

  9. Stop the tour buses from slowing down and stopping on Commercial Street. It is a very dangerous situation. The 311 number is a farce…. buses AND delivery trucks double park and you cannot seen when making turns.
    Built bike lanes …. where are the bikers?

  10. Seems like this is JUST THE BEGINNING !!!! It ~~~~~ WILL GET WORSE !!!
    Remember the saying~~~~They have too much money, and don’t know what to do with it ??? FEED THE HUNGRY OR CLOTH THE POOR !!

  11. It took us 45 minutes to get from North End to rink in Charlestown for our kids hockey. It was insane.

    I think Saturday it was a “perfect storm”: construction on Charlestown Bridge, tour busses taking up a ton of space, & probably a funeral.

    One factor I do not think gets enough attention is the population of aimless Uber drivers that also double park. Most Uber drivers drive in from out of town and have zero clue what they are doing.

    I would propose that so long as there is construction going on around the bridge, tour buses are banned from parking on Commercial. These tour buses are dangerous as well – they take away all visibility.

    Call me crazy, but I think there is a market opportunity for Pedicabs now that the bike lanes are open. Looking forward to my kids getting older so we can all ride bikes

  12. I sat in this two weekends in a row (I would have avoided it if I could avoid the two appointments I had) which took 25+ mins to get out of the neighborhood and saw:
    – backup caused from partial closure of Atlantic Ave / Cross St. by the Carousel along with normal Haymarket closure
    – tour buses blocking the lanes when the bus spots were full (both by Haymarket and the Steriti rink and Langone field)
    – double parking on North St. by Haymarket. (I did NOT see double parking at fields this past weekend)
    – gridlock from drivers and buses blocking intersections.

    A few things I think would have helped:
    -1. enforcing requirement to not block intersection – police tickets or transportation official should have appeared when it got this bad.
    – 2. requiring buses to park offsite after they unload so they don’t fill up then cause other buses to be lurking around
    – 3. having police / transportation official on scene in the Autumn tourism season to enforce items 1/2
    -4. NOT closing Cross street during the day when there is already a Haymarket closure or during the weekend height of tourism. Common sense…

  13. This was an epic disaster, but what made it worse was the construction equipment taking away a lane by the rink. So you had tour buses, ubers, and regular people merging into one lane before the bridge…. we turned around… it’s becoming impossible to leave the north end. congestion everywhere. Also, this was 10 am on a Saturday, not a heavily trafficked time….

  14. I am amazed that people are surprise with the result, I remember folks speaking in favor of the original bike lanes for Commercial street. I asked at our local council meeting about the cost and what studies had been made on the subject and during the discussion those in favor spoke in the typical progressive tone about the positive environmental impact and the benefit of alleviating traffic through bike commuting. I did not agree, in a city where inclement weather with freezing tempetkres and feet of snow fall the benefit seemed more like the propaganda to impose a “shovel ready project” that would only benefit its political advocates and their supporters. What amazes me more is that the outcome not surprisingly is the opposite, in a city runned by Democrats “the crusaders for the environment” our city is now in traffic gridlock with hundreds of cars stuck in endless traffic idling, the time when engines are less effective and pollute the most.
    The same can be said about the towing and ticketing “keep or streets clean” program that does not deliver results an contributes to traffic and pollution by mobilizing vehicles that otherwise would not be use and therefore not pollute . The city,s administration takes pride in moralizing by diesel tow trucks thousands of cars almost every day, contributing to the gridlock that plagues our streets and adding to the congestion bicycle lanes cause by reducing the numbers of motor vehicle traffic lanes. Heavy fines and the necessity to retrieve once vehicle add to our traffic problem and add to vehicle pollution. Our streets are crowded with traffic, our air quality is deteriorating while our representatives negotiate the next enterprise to benefit their base at the expense of our city’s infrastructure and our environment. It is a shame.

    1. I agree Jorge it’s all about the local politicians and all their cronies lining their pockets with kickbacks !!! great to be a FOS politician today!!!

  15. Every time I have been driven (Taxi, uber, etc.) down Commercial Street, I have seen Bicycle drivers rolling right along~~~~
    IN THE STREET !!!!! And to make matters worse, they DO NOT OBEY THE TRAFFIC RULES~~~~Then when there is an accident, the driver of the car gets the blame !! Not fair !!
    Regarding the buses parking on Commercial Street~~~~that was a good decision because the North End streets (especially on the Freedom Trail) cannot maneuver the small streets and corners ! Tourism will not go away !!!

  16. I have just become a Democrat and firmly agree with Heather. We should ban fossil fuel vehicles in Boston, sack the oil companies and save the whales.

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