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After East Boston Toll Booths Were Automated, Some Miss the Old Way

Construction and increased traffic have Bostonian drivers complaining about slow highways on the city’s East Side.
December 16, 2018, 5am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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There’s a lot of traffic on Boston Toll roads. Some think it might flow better if the toll plaza hadn’t been removed. “Getting into the tunnel is something of a daily crisis, with changing traffic patterns during construction confusing drivers and causing long backups on neighborhood streets, while a surge in volume has overwhelmed the road network,” Adam Vaccaro reports for the Boston Globe. Some argue that the toll plaza filtered drivers to the appropriate lanes, and that the sorting trumps any benefit from time saved in not physically paying tolls.

Whatever the case, it’s true that traffic is up. Possible culprits include a strong economy that boosts driving, trips to Logan airport and ride-hailing vehicles that cruise the highways waiting for fares. All that additional traffic, hasn’t translated to empty trains, MTBA has seen strong growth in train riders. “That spike comes even as ridership on the MBTA’s Blue Line — which also connects East Boston to downtown — grows,” Vaccaro writes.

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Published on Monday, December 10, 2018 in The Boston Globe
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