% of drive time in bumper to bumper ? Never heard of that as the measure for "worst traffic" --it is potentially a good measure, but so are other things.We did it—according to the boston herald
I don't know much about MD state politics, but in MA the identity or party of the governor matters much less than what Bob DeLeo wants, and being a transportation visionary is not a mantle he's seeking to claim.A system of HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes is the agreed "purple" solution in Virginia (between the state-level Rs and the suburban Ds), and it would seem like a better solution than "do nothing" which has been the response in Maryland and Massachusetts, whose solid-D legislatures seem strangely unable to act regardless of whether they have a D governor (Patrick or O'Malley) or a pragmatic R (Baker or Hogan)
Mass -- ExactlyThe issue is that our highways are not wide enough to have express lanes that are tolled. You'd have to take away existing lanes and that's not going to be a popular idea. Large stretches of 128 are a tangled mess with awful interchanges (93/95 in Canton, 95/90 in Weston are prime examples) and not enough acceleration and deceleration lanes around exits cause some issues. I am not suggesting we need to be Houston or Los Angeles and have 14 and 16 lane highways. But making some modest lane additions and rebuilding and re-configuring some key interchanges could help things out. People who live in Franklin, or Walpole, or Mansfield and work in Lexington/Burlington/Waltham can't take mass transit and will always need to drive.
Unlike 93 into the city in both directions (which can be alleviated with faster and far more reliable mass transit), 128 doesn't have that benefit of sorts.
The problem with declarations like "we're at 95%" is that you assume that modal mix and vehicle capacity are fixed which they are not.When you have reached 95% (or more) capacity of existing infrastructure, then don't build new housing or commercial space without first building new capacity.