Gov. Baker rolls out plan to reduce traffic congestion across Massachusetts

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker announced a new plan Thursday to cut down on traffic congestion across the state.

In a 157 page report, the governor laid out his plan to hopefully alleviate some of the traffic issues not just in Boston but across the state, and commuters could soon have the option to pay a little bit more money to go a certain speed.

The governor was joined by Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack to release the data that they collected on traffic congestion across the state.

They found that things like weather, car accidents and road work nearly doubled commute times for people coming in and out of Boston.

“By 6 o’clock in the morning, 1 in 4 miles of roadway inside 128 is already congested or highly congested, and the afternoon rush hour essentially begins at 3 p.m. in the afternoon,” Secretary Pollack said.

Transportation officials want to use what they call “managed lanes” where commuters can pay a fee to go a certain speed, while others can ride for free in the rest of the lanes but they aren’t given that speed guarantee.

“While drivers have a choice to commute in a faster lane for a cost, drivers who remain in the untolled lane will also experience lighter volume from those who peel off for the faster lane,” Gov. Baker said.

The governor wouldn’t specify how much that toll fee would be to commute in the faster lane, but he did say that a lane would need to be added to several highways across the state in order for the plan to work.

The state’s population and economy continues to grow so this report looks at ways to both improve public transportation and offer incentives for people to work from home so that fewer vehicles will be clogging up the roadways.

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