Sunday, November 16, 2008

Big Dig update

I know I've complained about Boston's Big Dig and how it's funneled billions of highway dollars away from Western Massachusetts. And I've griped about the $15 billion price tag and how Massachusetts will be paying for bonds and repair costs until kingdom come. But at least it's reduced the traffic congestion around Boston.

Or not.

Susan Scribner was pumping gas just off Interstate 93 and getting ready to rejoin the sea of red brake lights flowing north. She had already been inching along the highway for 30 minutes.
"Look at it - traffic is worse than ever," said Scribner, an accountant who, since 1994, has commuted between her home in North Reading and Cambridge. "It's worse since the Big Dig - totally worse."
She's right.
A Globe analysis of state highway data documents what many motorists have come to realize since the new Central Artery tunnels were completed: While the Big Dig achieved its goal of freeing up highway traffic downtown, the bottlenecks were only pushed outward, as more drivers jockey for the limited space on the major commuting routes.
Ultimately, many motorists going to and from the suburbs at peak rush hours are spending more time stuck in traffic, not less.
Thanks again, Ted Kennedy. Government rocks!

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