State doubts it can square away Leverett Circle problems before afternoon rush hour

This just in from MassDOT:

Motorists should seek alternate routes or expect delays heading into Leverett Circle during this afternoon’s commute. Motorists are proceeding cautiously over a plate that is covering a roadway defect on the ramp from Leverett Circle to I-93 Southbound. As motorists take the ramp at a reduced speed, this is creating a queue along the roadways feeding into Leverett Circle.

Massachusetts State Police will be assisting with traffic flow this afternoon. Work began last night to repair the road surface and work will continue overnight tonight. If the repair is not completed tonight, State Police will assist with traffic flow again tomorrow afternoon.

To help alleviate congestion, the I-93 Expressway Southbound HOV lane will open at 2:30pm today.

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Comments

Magic!

How does opening the HOV... which starts south of the tunnel... help with traffic getting INTO the north-side of the tunnel?

Yesterday

I ran into this yesterday as I headed from Cambridge to 93 South. Backed up traffic all along the Craigie Drawbridge in front of the Museum of Science and past Land Blvd on O'Brien Highway, and that was at 1:30pm on a federal holiday. Good luck to those who take this route every day!

Blocking the box

Badly needed Staties in this area yesterday ( Presidents Day). Museum traffic was bad, and maybe this plate issue, and combine result was everyone "blocking the box".

Very few cars were getting thru at each light cycle. Badly red some enforcement at a minimum. (Of course, enforcement will tie up traffic in other ways....). #cantwin

The article says they looked

The article says they looked at cell phone records to see where people were going and where they lived, and match that with the most congested stretches of road.

It's an interesting idea. But it's still very far away from becoming a list of recommendations for how to fix things.

It would be much easier to identify the traffic chokepoints, and see which ones can easily be improved.

Here are some problem areas I'm familiar with:
- Poorly-designed merge areas. Why can't Parkway north -> 2 west have two lanes, and the T garage exit road have a third, and then the three lanes taper to two after the traffic light? Instead, drivers from the T exit have to be aggressive. If there's one timid driver, nobody gets through. http://goo.gl/maps/0IwwX
- Light timing that traps cars in the middle of the intersection, causing gridlock. The second light should turn red a few seconds after the first, not at the same time.
- The 2 east -> 16 north ramp starts out as 2 lanes, then suddenly narrows to 1.5 for no reason, then widens again.
- Not enough green time at Mass Ave/16, which backs up to Alewife and beyond (which is especially bad for bus commuters)

- At Porter, Mass Ave's red lights are way too long for no reason, and both lights are green for only a few seconds. It's an unusual situation when any vehicles make it through at all.

- Comm Ave through BU. Why the heck isn't it possible to hit a *single* green light while you're still moving? They just rebuilt the whole system -- what were they thinking?

You want to race down Comm Ave?

- Comm Ave through BU. Why the heck isn't it possible to hit a *single* green light while you're still moving? They just rebuilt the whole system -- what were they thinking?

Could it be that the tens of thousands of people who walk along Comm Ave through BU didn't want to be treated like targets on a racetrack?

Nah, probably not that -- "traffic engineers" don't give a shit about pedestrians. They just didn't bother.

Some of your other suggestions sound reasonable. But let me point out that fixing one choke-point is useless if it just spawns several others. That's where the holistic approach is required.

And, you know, there's other users of the streets such as Mass Ave and Comm Ave, and they appreciate not being squished or treated like dirt.

No, I want to drive down Comm

No, I want to drive down Comm Ave at a safe speed, and reach at least some of the lights while they're green.

Unsynchronized lights encourage people to jam on the gas and run fresh reds at 50 mph.

Do you find Comm Ave particularly friendly to pedestrians? I don't.

No it's pretty crummy

But it could be worse.

I think you're over-exaggerating. I see people make it through multiple lights all the time on Comm Ave.

But if you want "Green Path" that ain't going to work on a 2-way street. Lights that are synchronized for one direction are going to be worse for the other.

You could have them "stepped" or "alternating" in a symmetrical fashion but that would probably make you stop every other light.

There's no way to make everyone happy. I thought Storrow Drive and the Mass Pike were there for people who wanted to speed through? Where else in the city do you find two grade separated highways so closely in parallel?