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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.
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.

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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.