Effect of Southwest Expressway cancellation?

From Flickr, regarding this image:

sds70has posted a comment:

Looking back now, do you think folks wish I-95 was run thru downtown Boston vs. around it? Yesssss, I understand folks houses were saved but in the long term, do you think not fully completing the Interstate plan around Boston is what caused the traffic mess that is in place today ?

This is just my opinion, but no. Building more highways doesn’t seem to fix traffic problems. There’s two sets of traffic problems that this cancellation could conceivably have made worse. One is Rt 128; the other is the Southeast Expressway.

I’ll take the second one first, because it’s easier – adding another route for vehicles to get into the city would have made central Boston’s traffic problems much much worse. It’s not like the highway would have added capacity to the rest of the roads. It certainly could have delayed the traffic on the Expressway, but really it would have just moved it further into the city.

As for 128, I believe that even with 95 signed through the city, folks just passing through would go around Boston as they do with New York. The traffic on 128 suggests a need for better options connecting the suburban towns rather than improved options into the city.

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