Media Coverage

State of Gridlock: How do we get ourselves out of this traffic mess?

Senior Research Manager Branner Stewart discusses wide-ranging effects

Yesterday, WCVB (Boston ABC Channel 5) aired the news special, "State of Gridlock" that covered the increasing traffic congestion in Massachusetts and it's effects quality of life, including the economic prospects for the commonwealth.

Branner Stewart, senior research manager at the Economic & Public Policy Research group, shared his expertise in transporation planning and economic impacts. 

Massachusetts is booming, and that's part of the problem.

More people means more vehicles: Massachusetts has 1 million more of them registered than in 2010, according to Registry of Motor Vehicle records.

And there are more jobs for people to get to. The state added 350,000 people and 435,000 jobs since 2010, mostly in the Boston area, according to the UMass Donahue Institute.

“We've added these jobs and people but we have not added commensurate roadway capacity,” said Branner Stewart, senior research manager at the Donahue Institute, who has studied the economic impact of traffic congestion.

“Growth will moderate, and we'll also miss perhaps some economic opportunities that would have come our way had we had the transportation capacity to bring in the workers,” he said.

Read article: State of Gridlock: How do we get ourselves out of this traffic mess?

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