Boston mayor: Traffic congestion report misleading

by admin

Mayor Martin J. Walsh pushed back on a recent traffic report that claimed Boston had the worst congestion in 2018 — writing in an online post Tuesday that a study calculating drive times tells less than “half the story.”

“Independent analysts have pointed out that this annual report, historically, prioritizes fast driving over steady progress and punishes older, denser cities, where distances are shorter and alternatives to driving are more plentiful,” Walsh wrote in a post to his Medium account. “In Boston, for example, fewer than 50% of commuters travel by car, so a drive-time study is telling less than half the story. Our focus is on helping people move safely and reliably, not just in cars and trucks but on foot, on bikes, and on public transit.”

Walsh’s post was in response to the INRIX report Monday that contended an average driver in the city lost $2,291 while waiting in increasingly gridlocked traffic and waited 164 hours stuck at a standstill last year. Boston was the seventh-worst city in the country in 2017 based on the total amount of traffic in one full day. But, in 2018, the study shifted focus to time lost due to congestion. Washington, D.C., ranked second, while Los Angeles, a city notorious for bad traffic, was fifth.

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