Boston traffic

Combating Traffic Congestion: The City of Boston’s Innovative Solutions

boston-traffic-1jpgTraffic on Boston’s Interstate 93, notorious for traffic jams. Photo courtesy Bob O’Connor.

The last time you were stuck in traffic, you probably wondered if congestion could get any worse than it is in Boston. The answer is yes – but not by much. Greater Boston ranks seventh in the nation for traffic congestion (average hours spent in traffic). The city itself has been rated the 18th most congested city in the world.

More than five million residents travel within the Commonwealth each weekday, according to the state Department of Transportation. And Boston is seeing a surge of traffic as the Seaport, Fenway and downtown all experience building booms.

In response, the city and the state are seeking new and unconventional strategies – not only to de-congest morning and evening traffic, but to help in our region’s efforts to fight climate change. (State officials last month approved new rules to reduce the state’s carbon emissions 25% below 1990 levels within the next three years.) The solutions for both range from the familiar to the unusual.

For instance, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) recently announced a plan for a rush-hour ferry service between North Station and the South Boston waterfront. The implementation of the ferry service, which could potentially come by next spring, would create a more efficient means of transit for the nearly 4,000 commuters who go through North Station on the way to the Seaport each day.

salemferry_introjpg Ferry on Boston Harbor. Photo courtesy Boston Harbor Cruises.

Millennium Partners, a major Boston development firm, has suggested a strikingly innovative solution to congestion problems: an aerial gondola between South Station and the Seaport District. Trams of this kind have already been successful in New York and Portland, Oregon, among others.  By removing 15,000 people from the streets, it would avoid additional ground level traffic and leave more space for those using other modes of transportation during their commute.

Tourism Vision1pngProposed aerial gondola in Chicago. Rendering courtesy Crain’s.

The city is also considering an even more creative strategy to reduce the number of cars moving around the city streets – underwater parking garages.  With downtown surrounded by the Charles River, the harbor and Fort Point Channel, there is plenty of space to implement these unique structures, which could help reduce pollution and traffic caused by drivers circling the streets looking for parking and the congestion caused by double and triple parking. A side benefit would be the reduction in asphalt lots, which absorb large amounts of heat and, in turn, raise surrounding temperatures.

amsterdamgarage1jpg Upcoming underwater parking garage in Amsterdam. Rendering courtesy Boston Globe.

Finally, the city and the state are gearing up for the inevitable introduction of driverless cars, which a new study suggests could significantly reduce congestion and air pollution, as well as free up parking space. The report predicts that traffic could decrease between 11 and 28 percent, and that average travel time for commuters could be reduced by 11 to 30 percent.

Boston is not alone in combatting congestion.  Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and others are all facing similar issues. With pressure growing to both ease congestion and make the cities more sustainable, new and innovative approaches will be needed for traffic control – and developers are now beginning to take notice and take action. The development community should both consider the effects of these changes when planning new structures and use its own creative capacity to help solve the issues faced by the city and the region.  It’s not only a civic duty, but it will ultimately have a corporate impact as well, helping to make Boston a more attractive place to work, live, and play.

charles-river-mainjpgBoston’s skyline along the Charles River. Photo courtesy Shutterstock.

Contributor Bio




JM Electrical Co., Inc. was established over 30 years ago by Paul A. Guarracino who wanted to provide the highest level of quality service to the commercial electrical contracting market. Over the years, this commitment to service along with highly experienced and dedicated personnel has allowed our company to grow its customer base and make significant contributions to major projects in the Greater Boston area.


Today, JM Electrical enjoys a reputation as an industry leader in installing building automation systems and HVAC controls. JM Electrical possesses the technical expertise to assist our customers in executing all projects from selection to installation of the most sophisticated and cost-effective building management systems.


JM Electrical Company, Inc. >>

Related News

Aerial view of boston harbor and financial district at sunset in boston  massachusetts  usa  1087520112
Developments to Watch in 2020
Jan 22, 2020 - 2020 is here, which means a new chapter in Boston’s development...
Winter boston jm tl
Staying Safe and Staying Warm This Holiday Season
Dec 15, 2019 - Winter is here, which means two things for New Englanders, cold and (...
What makes cities attractive thought leadership
What Makes Cities Attractive for Businesses and Residents?
Nov 15, 2019 - Earlier this month, the City of Boston announced it had reached a maj...
Jm electrical october thought leadership
Field Innovation and Automation
Oct 24, 2019 - As technology continues to improve, the systems being installed conti...
Revere beach
Greater Boston Development
Sep 13, 2019 - Here are a few recent projects we think embody the modern revitalizat...
1907 future of airports beijing daxing international airport china zaha hadid architects 01
Global Architecture in 2019
Aug 20, 2019 - Here’s a glimpse at some of the most exciting projects and buil...
Apprenticeship jm electrical
Developing Young Talent and the Value of Apprenticeships
Jul 22, 2019 - Investing in employees through education and training helps ensure co...
Img 3713
10 Boston Development Moves to Watch in 2018
Jan 03, 2018 - After several years of what is possibly the biggest building boom in...
The boston housing market's battle of amenities jm electrical new construction
The Boston Housing Market’s Battle of Amenities
Sep 24, 2017 - The ongoing growth of the Boston development market has spurre...
Stay cool boston
The Hidden Systems Keeping You Cool
Jul 19, 2018 - As the summer heats up, many New England residents find themselves re...
Envoy hotel boston
The 8 Most Unique Open Space Locations in Boston
Jan 30, 2018 - As Boston experiences its biggest building boom in decades, public sp...
Sports stadiums rebuilding local neighborhoods enhancing local economies fenway boston jm electrical company inc
Sports Stadiums: Rebuilding Local Neighborhoods, Enhancing Local Economies
Nov 16, 2017 - For years, building sports stadiums – particularly in urban ar...
Boston Development’s Edge in the Life Science Market
Jul 25, 2017 - Earlier this summer, Governor Baker doubled down on the state’s treme...
Bostons best
Boston Named Top Summer Vacation Destination
Jun 21, 2018 - Recently, US News World Report reported that Boston was named the top su...
Dsc 1465
Massachusetts Building Code Updates' Impact on Local Development
Jul 10, 2017 - Recently, the state Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced that ...
Boston top tech
These Top Tech Companies Continue to Call Boston Home
May 11, 2018 - Amazon's enhanced presence in Greater Boston and the possibility it w...
Boston landing
In Addition to the Seaport, These Boston Neighborhoods are Flourishing
Apr 20, 2018 - At nearly 1,000 acres, and with $18 billion in public money invested,...
1024px emerson college boston ma
Learning and Community: Colleges Moving Towards Flexible Spaces
Mar 22, 2018 - Colleges and universities around the country are working with a new b...
Imagine boston 2030 plan jm electrical
Imagine Boston 2030: Walsh’s Impact on the Future of the City
Aug 21, 2017 - As the Boston Globe recently observed, the awarding of the 202...
Block 8 assembly row luxury apartments retail somerville mbta orange line federal realty stantec
With Housing Prices Rising, Developers May Be Under Increasing Pressure to Address Affordable Housing Need
Jun 21, 2017 - As housing prices skyrocket and more and more neighborhoods become ge...
33322161963 eb3878830c
Trump Budget Proposal: What it Means for Development Projects in 2017
Apr 14, 2017 - Many millennials and other young people walking through Somerville’s ...
Going green how modern atriums benefit the workplace jm electrical company inc
Going Green: How Modern Atriums Benefit the Workplace
Feb 21, 2018 - A recent study conducted by Harvard reaffirmed the positive impact th...
Liberty hotel boston's best buildings
JM Electrical’s Top 10 Buildings in Boston
Aug 21, 2018 - Recently, Boston Magazine published an
Boston construction jobs
Top Construction Jobs – September 2018
Sep 21, 2018 - According to recent studies from 
Boston autmn fall back
Fall Back 2018 & Winter Weatherization
Oct 16, 2018 - Fall is officially upon us, bringing colorful leaves, cooler weather ...
Boston's banking boom
Bank Branches 2.0
Nov 27, 2018 - As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston ha...
One seaport boston ma
One Stop Holiday Shopping
Dec 18, 2018 - The holiday season is in full swing, and according to a rec...
One dalton january 2
Projects to Watch in 2019
Jan 20, 2019 - Boston continues to experience its largest building boom in years. Ac...
Shutdown govt
Government Shutdown’s Impact on the Construction Industry
Feb 26, 2019 - According to the Congressional Budget Office, the five-week shutdown ...
Jm tl march
The Green New Deal
Mar 21, 2019 - The Green New Deal, is a popular topic of discussion which was recent...
Jm construction industry tl
The Construction Industry’s Response to Workforce Challenges and Meeting the Skills Gap Head-On
Apr 16, 2019 - With the latest uptick in building and development, it’s never ...
Construction stock
Substance Abuse in the Construction Industry
May 19, 2019 - The construction industry has one of the highest rates of s...
Jm freedom trail new developments
New Developments and Renovations along the Freedom Trail
Jun 23, 2019 -   As visitors walk the trail, they will also c...