Has traffic looked worse around the Boston area since Labor Day? you are not alone.
Massachusetts transportation officials and other experts have warned that traffic will be even worse, when people returning from vacation and students starting school will block roads already strained by the Orange Line train’s closure — it entered the 30-day shutdown last week.
Sure enough, plenty of local drivers reported the traffic jam last week:
MBTA General Manager Steve Bufftak said Friday that the previous day, when BPS students returned to class, was the busiest day on city streets the agency had seen since the Orange Line shutdown began.
“With the traffic after Labor Day, we saw a slight increase in traffic,” he said. “We’ve had students come back on the north side of the line. The bulk of the students in the Boston area came back yesterday, and we also saw very difficult traffic conditions.”
The Orange Line is set to remain closed until September 19, and the MBTA says 66% of the work is complete.
But traffic has been increasing in the area since before Labor Day, according to data shared by Waze, the navigation company that operates the NBC10 Boston and NECN traffic pages.
In the Boston metropolitan area, traffic actually decreased between the Thursday before the Labor Day holiday, September 1, and the Thursday after that. Traffic is down 4.7%, according to Waze. The decline was less in the city itself: traffic decreased by 0.7%.
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Waze said that Thursday’s traffic was higher in the Boston metropolitan area than two weeks before, Thursday, August 25, at 1.1%, and in the city it was up 3.7%.
Traffic was heavy on the Thursday before the weekend, according to Waze. Here is the traffic volume in cities around the region:
- Boston: 15%
- Brooklyn: 35%
- Framingham: 14%
- Somerville: 16%
- Cambridge: 9%
- Waltham: 13%
- Lowell: 13%
- Salem: 10%
- Quincy: 4%
- Newton: 1%
- Woburn: 0.1%