fb-pixel Skip to main content

Traffic is getting worse in Massachusetts (but it’s not back to pre-pandemic levels... yet)

Back in December a truck on Interstate 93 in Canton rolled over and the contents spilled across the highway, causing a rare pandemic sight of a long traffic jam on the highway.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Traffic in Massachusetts has been increasing in recent months but hasn’t reached pre-pandemic levels, at least for now.

From March 29 to April 11, statewide traffic volumes were down between 5 and 14 percent from 2019, according to the state Department of Transportation. That’s quite a jump when compared to April 2020 when traffic levels plummeted by about 60 percent, officials said.

Several areas that are prone to traffic jams — such as I-93 North between I-95/128 and the Zakim Bridge; the Mass Pike between I-95 and I-93; and Route 1 between Copeland Circle and I-93 — are still seeing faster travel times and shorter rush hours, according to the latest state data. But that’s not the case on the southbound side of I-93 between Boston and the Braintree split, which is currently experiencing travel times and peak periods similar to April 2019,MassDOT officials said.


As of April 12, weekly traffic counts on the Mass Pike in Newton and Framingham were down about 27 percent; traffic on Route 1A in Revere was down about 10 percent; and traffic on I-495 in Raynham was down just over 11 percent, according to MassDOT.

Trips to retail stores, recreational facilities, and transit stations are still below pre-pandemic levels, the data show. But people are increasingly venturing out to parks.

Trips to parks are “especially elevated since pre-Covid times and are significantly higher than the national average,” the MassDOT website states.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.