Were you ever under the impression that Massachusetts traffic lights are coordinated to force you to stop? I can’t speak for the entire state, but several years back I made a 6 week experiment, and made sure while driving (mostly around Newton, Waltham, and Watertown) to follow the posted speed limits, and to note the state of traffic lights when I got to them. I found that 62% of the time they were red. That is significantly worse than random!
Time in traffic burns gas, transferring money from MA to oil producing states and countries, many of which are our sworn enemies. Time in traffic isn’t spent with our families, neighbors, and friends, degrading our quality of life. The burnt gasoline ends up in our air, contributing to pollution and global warming.
It turns out that traffic lights in MA are managed by the cities and towns, a situation that right off the bat lends itself to mis-coordination at town boundaries. Worse than that, what city or town has the budget to pay for appropriate skills for (moderately complicated) light coordination? Worse yet, cities might choose to slow down through traffic, in comparison with neighboring towns, to avoid increased congestion. Worst of all, if traffic light management is contracted out, there is no accounting whatsoever for the motives and performance of the companies that so badly mis-coordinate these lights.
Suggestion: transfer traffic light coordination responsibilities to the state or to the MDC.
There are two significant problems affecting the usability of public transportation in the Boston metropolitan area: lateral connections, and counter-rush connections.
Have you ever tried to go from Alewife to Newton Corner by public transportation? Although both are major hubs of public transportation, they are very poorly connected with each other. The (T) has many hubs outside Boston that are poorly connected to each other, practically forcing commuters who need to go from one to the other to either take their car, or suffer public transit via Boston.
If commuters opt, as I have when I worked in Woburn, to go by public transport through Boston, they run into the second obstacle, namely, that rush-hour buses more often go empty out of Boston in the morning, and empty into Boston in the evening. Not even taking passengers from terminus to terminus!
This means, for example, that it is hard to get by public transportation from Newton Corner to West Newton in the morning rush hours, or return in the evenings.
Simple low-cost changes, such as a few express lateral connections between transit hubs and two-way passenger traffic on express buses during rush-hours (at the very least terminus to terminus), can make public transit significantly more attractive to many commuters.
Such changes will go a long way to reduce congestion, pollution, and monetary support of Saudi Arabia.