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As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

Mass Ave Into Arlington

Mass Ave into Arlington

What's Up With Traffic as Mass Ave Goes Into Arlington?

Somethings wrong on Mass Ave going into Arlington…

I’ve done my best to keep Centers and Squares rant-free  – not always easy for a natural born ranter.  But today I’m going to indulge myself.

In the 90s I  lived in New Hampshire for a few years and with my city-bred impatience was often aggravated by New Hampsherites’ odd behavior in lines (aka queues).  Inefficiency was the norm – lines that didn’t move, lines formed for no good reason, etc.

I’d tap my toe impatiently as the line at the post office failed to move despite the 6′ space that had opened up between waiting customers.  I’d bang the steering wheel as cars waited behind a stopped car  in traffic despite the wide expanse of pavement on the right that allowed for plenty of room to drive around.  “This would never happen in Massachusetts!” I’d exclaim.

Except, now it is.  Inefficiency rules.  At least on Mass Ave at the Cambridge / Arlington line.

I’ve driven through the intersection of Mass Ave and Route 16 countless times.  Never had a problem.  But now the intersection has become the source of intense aggravation.

Mass Ave approaching Route 16 has three lanes – the left lane to turn to go to Route 2, the middle lane to go straight into Arlington on Mass Ave, and the right lane to go straight onto the two-lanes of Mass Ave in Arlington or to turn right to go onto Route 16.

Something’s fallen apart.

Drivers line up in the middle lane despite the empty right lane.  Traffic backs up further and further as we get closer to rush hour.  Always the right lane remains empty or close to.  Fewer and fewer cars manage to make it through the light cycle.

I’ve steamed.  I’ve honked.  I’ve even tweeted for cripes sake.  I rant out loud “Two lanes!  Not one – but two!”  But the dozen cars in front of me don’t budge.

Today I left a message for a traffic engineer at the Cambridge Traffic and Parking.  My suggestions so far – maybe repainting or adding another set of the white lines on the pavement that show the 3rd lane as a straight / turn right lane may help.  Even better – one of those neon yellow signs that show the lane configurations should be installed.

Something’s gotta give.  Don’t make me get out there with my flag to direct traffic.

Categories: Living Here

  1. Paul

    Hi Liz,

    It would be quite a site to see you out there directing traffic. I regret it would likely have a reverse effect given what the curiosity factor does to traffic.

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