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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Planned gridlock

Speaking of transportation disasters -- what brilliant person is behind the rebuilding of the BU Bridge-Commonwealth Avenue nightmare.

And do they have a clue how to time traffic lights?

Between the drizzle and the challenging experience of going against Red Sox traffic in Kenmore (when will the elevator be done?) Station, I decided to hop the 57 bus for a trip out to Harvard Avenue in Allston.

It would have been quicker to walk.

The intersection around Carlton Street and University Road -- where inbound traffic circles around to head to either Storrow Drive inbound or over the BU Bridge has never been a piece of cake. But the new situation is a joke of epic proportions.

Light cycles are now set so that folks come streaming over Carlton, stall out on the Green Line tracks and back up traffic on Comm. Ave. almost all the way to Kenmore Square.

And this is all before they start serious work on repairing the bridge.

I asked the bus driver if this was influenced by the Red Sox traffic and the answer was no. When I hopefully suggested it would be gone by the time he returned from Oak Square after 6 p.m. he said no again.

Luckily no emergency vehicles needed to get up Comm. Ave. yesterday evening. But luck eventually runs out.



Blogger Marq 2.0 said...

Welcome to my daily commute. It wasn't that bad a couple of weeks ago and then, one day, everything went down the tubes. I sat in gridlock, not knowing what was happening for a bit, until I saw the steady stream you speak of. It's unbelievable, made only worse by the fact that it wasn't this bad before.

September 12, 2009 8:36 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

My sincere condolences. And I should have added, where are the cops to try and control it?

September 12, 2009 9:30 AM  
Blogger Marc said...

In Kenmore, babysitting the construction they've decided to do in the middle of the road during rush hour.

September 12, 2009 9:47 AM  
Blogger Chris Rich said...

Yikes. And people wonder why I never want to leave Inman Square.

On a related note, when I did the Maine road trip last thursday, we mainly followed old route one from York all the way to Belfast with one leg along 295 after Portland.

Old 1 is fairly congested around town centers and we passed through several road improvement projects.

The traffic flowed as well as one could expect and this flow was an outcome brought to us by civilian flaggers.

There they were, just like me when I did it in Seattle. Hardhat, orange safety vest, Stop/Slow sign on a pole and utterly focused on the job, which in Maine probably paid em 15 bucks an hour, tops.

Think what a squad of four or so skilled flaggers could do for that intersection. The experienced ones are all about teamwork and are like traffic choreographers.

Masshole cops, by contrast, see it as a dumb but lucrative chore. They have far more important contributions to make but the siren song of easy fat money lures them and they loaf in squad cars on the clock figuring a show of the cruiser will make motorists nervous enough to attain the desired effect.

September 12, 2009 2:39 PM  
Blogger Japanese Masshole said...

It's not only timing of traffic signal they fucked it up there but also number of lane. There used to be 2 lanes that goes from Comm Ave to BU bridge. They reduced it to one which is hugely contributing to that gridlock.
Darwinism goes to the civil engineer who designed this.

September 13, 2009 11:08 AM  

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