About time officials tackle problem, but do fixes have to be so car-centric?
It’s good news that the Baker administration finally recognizes what we already know: Traffic congestion is making our region unlivable (“Baker pitches solutions for easing traffic,” Page A1, Aug. 9).
But the governor’s proposal to create what some aptly call a “Lexus lane” would only encourage more cars to clog our city streets. Since vehicle pollution accounts for a large share of the world’s CO2 emissions, we need to find more sustainable alternatives. Why not look to European cities that have taken a different approach? A few have banned cars altogether, while others, such as Madrid and Brussels, prohibit older, more polluting cars from their city centers. Other cities have pledged to become diesel-free, while some enjoy car-free Sundays. European cities also have expanded dedicated bike lanes and improved public transportation.
Let’s hope the Baker and Walsh administrations can come up with more creative, nonpolluting ways to make travel easier for everyone — not just those who drive luxury cars.
One household, three commutes, to three suburbs
Traffic will not subside unless there are fewer cars on the road. Period.
Additional lanes invite more cars. Opt-in toll lanes promote inequity.
We need two things: safe, reliable, and competitively priced public transit, and new public transit offerings for commuters traveling from one suburb to another.
When I need to commute into Boston for an occasional business meeting, I am discouraged by the unreliability, time, and cost of public transit.
This summer, there are three adults in my household, working in three different suburbs along Interstate 95 or I-90. Since we own just two cars, we rented another to enable the third adult to get to work.
Would public transit along major highway routes, such as I-95, I-93, and I-90 (west of 95), help us and others? There could be buses in the short run, monorail in the long term. Why not test new offerings and give people incentives to try them?
As I observe my own small staff where I work, I worry which of them have reached a tipping point, exhausted after their own commutes.
Alleviate traffic congestion by using our waterways
Yvonne Abraham’s column “Time to fix the traffic” (Metro, Aug. 11, 2019) is right on point. Among the many proposals in this ongoing traffic discussion, I am perplexed (notwithstanding the incident Friday in which a ferry from Hull ran aground off Long Island) as to why the most obvious solution has not risen to the top: making use of our waterways. The Boston Harbor and the Charles River, which has been neglected as a transportation route, are free from congestion and provide a lovely commute. I regularly ride the ferry from North Station (Lovejoy Wharf) to the Seaport, and it is a relaxing way to start my workday each morning.
Why not have a ferry from North Station to the overcongested Kendall Square area? Or from points west, like Newton, to downtown Boston? As for the much-discussed North Station-South Station connector, wouldn’t a ferry be more efficient and economical than building a train line, the construction of which would cause great disruption and take years?
Let’s take advantage of Boston’s underutilized waterways to alleviate traffic and finally provide Massachusetts residents with a more pleasant commuting option.
Nicole R. Hadas
What are we waiting for?
Anybody who has traveled within Interstate 495 in the last 10 years knows what a disaster traffic is around here (“Time to fix the traffic”). The question is, will our governor lead the way to increase investments in our transportation system? We the people, our legislators, and the executive branch need to follow the urging of former state transportation secretary Fred Salvucci, and just “get moving.” That way we can all get moving.
Inadequate investments will keep us stuck in the 20th century and away from today’s complex human and workforce needs.
Zipper lane is not exactly an express way
In her Aug. 10 Business column “Traffic study is a no-brainer — and a good start,” Shirley Leung asks whether so-called managed lanes would make rush hour more manageable.
She writes, “Take the so-called zipper, or HOV, lane on the Southeast Expressway from Braintree to Dorchester. During rush hours, only buses and passenger vehicles with at least two occupants can use it.”
My wife and I got into the HOV lane heading south at 4:30 p.m. We monitored a conspicuous vehicle traveling outside of the HOV lane. We got to Braintree 30 seconds faster than the vehicle we were monitoring. What are we accomplishing here?