Don’t read too much into epic Pike traffic jam

Mass. Pike motorists converged at Interstate 495 tolls.
david l ryan/globe staff/file 2033
Mass. Pike motorists converged at Interstate 495 tolls.

RE “EPIC 45-mile traffic backup should prompt Pike changes” (Editorial, Oct. 11): As someone who travels the entire length of the Mass. Pike a minimum of 20 times a year, including last Friday, I can tell you that the 45-mile backup had nothing to do with tolls, the Interstate 84 merge, or the lack of E-ZPass drivers. It’s like this every year on the Friday of Columbus Day weekend.

The issue is one of sheer volume — leaf peepers and people looking to grab one last decent three-day weekend. Few cars get off at 495 while thousands get on. Same at I-84.

The real backup occurs on the Pike itself at Worcester before Exit 10 and near the Charlton rest stop. It’s a matter of road design as much as anything.


Before I left Friday I told my colleagues I expected to be in a 45-mile backup. Maybe I should have put an electronic highway sign on my roof.

Emily Rooney