According to a newly released Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDot) study, traffic is only getting worse in the Commonwealth.
Some of the most congested areas in the state are I-93 North from Braintree to Neponset, Route 2 East around Alewife, and I-93 South in Medford.
“People in Massachusetts don’t need this study to confirm what they experience every day: congestion has gone from bad to worse, from occasional inconvenience and frustration to a constant and daily reality,” transportation secretary Stephanie Pollack wrote in the report.
“Traffic and congestion are a nuisance for too many residents,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “From this report, we have identified several ways to address congestion by expanding capacity on our transit system, adding more housing, and exploring managed lanes to help make people’s commutes be more reliable.”
MassDot recommended to reinvest bus transit for the MBTA, increase MBTA capacity and ridership, and develop more affordable housing near public transit as possible steps to handle the issue.
Another suggestion was to charge drivers a fee to get into certain lanes during rush hour.
“A growing body of evidence suggests that dynamically priced lanes, in locations with parallel and free general travel lanes, can provide a real option for those willing and able to pay more to avoid congestion while simultaneously improving the performance of the entire corridor including the non-tolled lanes,” said the report.
The study also revealed that about 17 percent of roads in the Greater Boston area are still congested even when it is not rush hour. More than two thirds of the roads within Route 128 are congested by 5 p.m. The same is true for the morning commute.
“The system is full, if not overflowing, with what traffic professionals call ‘recurring congestion’ that occurs every working day,” the reports says.
Baker said one of the biggest difficulties for drivers about the congestion is the “unpredictability.”
“When you have a 20 to 30 minute ride but have to assume it might take much longer then yeah, that’s a tipping point,” he said during a press conference.