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Monday, June 26, 2006

route 128 add-a-lane plan

ok, route 128, as those of us who commute near boston know, is a mess. it's 3 lanes where most of I-95 is 4. several times a week, accidents back the road up for miles. local streets near the interchanges back up pretty bad as well.

the current solution is to allow travel in the breakdown lane during rush hour (which is kind of dangerous, and you have to be really awake to handle it, not to mention out-of-towners like my friend mark who don't notice the signs and try to run breakdown-laners off the road thinking they are just being jerks). so i was encouraged to see that they are working on adding a lane in the center of the highway, which currently features a very wide grassy area, quite lovely but a big waste of space as i'd rather be looking at a shorter commute than a longer view of grass and trees.

then i read up about the project (which should be complete in about 17 years). here is their list of features of this project:
  • "The restoration of proper safety features by allowing the breakdown lane to be returned to its intended use.
  • The reduction in the duration of congestion. The improved roadway would carry more traffic, with less congestion.
  • The diversion of through traffic from local streets paralleling Route 128 back onto the highway where it belongs."

ok am i missing something? their plan is to have basically the same number of lanes (as they are removing the breakdown lane), bring more traffic from local streets onto the highway, and complete this in 17 years, when there will be that many more commuters. and this will reduce congestion how? that's our tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen!

so i'm giving up on expecting any improvement. someone get to work on developing those hovercraft cars, will ya?


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