Bostonians love to complain about traffic and road conditions. We also like to complain about the Red Sox and a lot of other things. But is the traffic in Boston really that bad compared other big cities? The answer is yes, according to various sources. Our roads are in poor shape and our traffic is really slow.
A combination of historical, political, and geographic factors makes Boston a nightmare for commuters who spend way too much time waiting in traffic every year. This creates an atmosphere where cranky drivers are constantly insulting one another and cutting other drivers off in their fruitless attempt to save a little bit of time.
The Worst Roads in the Country
It’s not just Boston that has a problem with faulty roads. Consumer Affairs ranks Massachusetts as having the fifth worst roads of any state. They base their findings on pavement roughness, reports from drivers, and other factors.
INRIX, a company that provides location-based data and analytics, has a brutal assessment of the traffic situation in Boston. According to their research, Boston has the worst roads in the country. INRIX estimates that the average Boston driver wastes 164 hours every year just sitting in traffic. That’s almost a whole week!
Historically Bad Roads
The main reason why traffic is so bad in Boston is because the city is really old. In fact, many of our existing roadways were originally built before automobiles even existed. At this time, there was almost no central planning to speak of.
Over the years, making roads was a largely ad hoc process. People built the roads they needed to get them from one place to another, without concern for the overall design of the city.
In other major cities, the roads are planned out in advance. That’s why they have a grid-like structure, with roads laid out in north-south and east-west patterns. But roads in Boston go every which way.
One reason why we don’t have central planning in Boston is because our ancestors never thought of the city as a single integrated unit. Instead, over twenty highly independent neighborhoods developed on their own, without any sort of overriding plan. Eventually, these neighborhoods were cobbled together to create one highly illogical city.
Unlike other American cities, Boston never incorporated its nearby towns. That’s why the crazy patchwork of nonsensical roads extends beyond the city’s borders and into many of its suburbs, making it difficult to commute to the city.
Massachusetts never underwent a massive restructuring program to help make sense out of its transportation system. In New York, domineering transportation czar Robert Moses caused major havoc and destroyed a lot of neighborhoods, but he also built bridges and highways that made it easier to get around the city and state.
The Politics of Bad Roads
Poor maintenance, bad planning, and harsh winters all play a role in the horrible condition of our roads. Boston’s roads are in serious disrepair with way too many potholes and other hazards. Our harsh winters really take a toll on the asphalt. Road salt and snowplows cause a lot of deterioration, too.
Bad roads aren’t just a problem in Boston, they’re prevalent throughout Massachusetts. Even though the state ranks third in overall highway funding, it does a horrible job of maintaining its infrastructure. According to the federal government, Massachusetts has 472 bridges and 1,194 miles of highway that are in poor condition.
People in Massachusetts pay a heavy price for the state’s faulty roads. It’s estimated that the average driver spends $620 per year in auto repair costs due to defective road conditions.
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Bad Roads and Angry Drivers
Drivers in Boston are notorious for their impatience and terrible driving etiquette. Irritable drivers make it even more difficult to get around safely. And bad roads and restless drivers also cause a lot of accidents.
If you were harmed in a car accident caused by another driver’s careless behavior, you shouldn’t have to pay for your own medical expenses. At DiBella Law Offices P.C., we’ll file a claim to help you get the money you need.
Our attorneys have won millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. Our founder Chris DiBella was named a Top 10 Personal Injury Attorney in Massachusetts by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys.
Call (978) 327-5140 to schedule a FREE consultation today.