4 Words Make a Major Difference

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Just a year ago, I proclaimed my freedom from the Tyranny of the Commute in a post on this blog.  The chief culprit in the absurdly long commutes I’d suffered for over a decade was the incredulously Rube Goldberg style design of the the traffic pattern at the on ramp to Rt. 95/128 north coming from the Mass Pike.  Numerous merges and crossover created an automotive version of a battle royale; a free for all in which everyone lost…

This past July, as a test, Mass Highway made a minor adjustment to the traffic flow.

  1. They reserved the right lane of Rt. 128 for traffic merging on from the on ramp.
  2. The put up a programmable billboard with 2 clear messages, using 4 simple words:
    1. Keep Moving
    2. Merge Later
  3. They painted traffic lines on the on ramp to try to get drivers to merge into a single lane prior to hitting the final on ramp.

20130903_084405The results were astounding.  No traffic backups that I can remember for July or August.  Instead of my normal 1.5 hour commute, it has been taking me an hour, or less.

This morning was the big test.  School is back in session.  The normal backups along the Mass Pike occurred, just after Rt. 495, at the Reservoir, then again just after Rt. 30.  Prior to the change, this would be a clear indicator of at least a 30 minute backup at the tolls.  This morning, not a single car waiting, everyone sailed through.

Oh that this change had happened a decade ago!

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