Monday, February 11, 2008

Apparently no one uses the Pike anymore

According to statistics in yesterday's Boston Globe, the downtown stretch of the Mass Pike has essentially been abandoned:
It's a vital and busy artery bringing motorists from the western suburbs and beyond in and out of the heart of Boston. While the Mass. Turnpike may not be perfect, it's a roadway many commuters can't do without. Pike officials estimate 100,000 vehicles travel the road between downtown Boston and the Allston tolls every year.
100,000 vehicles a year? That turns out to be about 11 cars an hour. I haven't counted, but I think I get at least 11 cars an hour on the paved cowpath in front of my house that we charitably call a street. If it's that easy to get around Boston these days, I'm going to have to visit the city more often. More...
For at least several weeks now, GlobeWatch has noticed a growing number of lights over both east- and westbound traffic lanes on the Pike are dark, making the six-lane roadway more challenging to navigate at night.
But what makes the six-lane roadway less challenging for those 11 cars each hour is that the road is actually eight lanes wide, if you believe the visual evidence provided by the Globe. Oh, and huzzah! to the photograher for catching the Pike at a particularly busy time. I count at least 29 cars in the photo.

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