As Beacon Hill prepares to revisit transportation issues early next year, lawmakers should listen to happiness researchers, who have found that morning commutes are the most miserable time of the day. We can’t build our way out of traffic congestion by laying down more highways. Our commutes will only become bearable if Massachusetts starts charging drivers for peak-hour travel — and that, in turn, could yield money to ease the state’s transportation financing woes.
The Texas Transportation Institute estimates that congestion costs our region $2.4 billion annually. As the Commonwealth performs much-needed maintenance on our roads and bridges, such as the Larz Anderson Bridge over the Charles that carries me to work, congestion intensifies, ramping up the pain.