“America’s Technology Highway”

Patrick Sullivan | April 17, 2014

Route 128, the circumferential highway that rings the Greater Boston area, is known by many as “America’s Technology Highway.” Driving along the highway and observing the names of the corporations that line the corridor today, it’s clear how many major high-tech and biotech companies have a major presence along the highway. But how did Route 128 originally acquire this coveted designation? Because before Silicon Valley and before Kendall Square became the hubs of innovation that they are today, the Route 128 corridor was the center of technological innovation in America. To meet demand for better access to the growing suburbs…
Thursday Traffic: What Gives?

Patrick Sullivan | March 31, 2014

When you commute to the same place every day for an extended period of time, you begin to notice and anticipate the ebbs and flows of traffic along the way. I’ve been either biking or driving the same route to my office in Waltham for over 3 years, so I’ve developed an acute feel for when and where to expect traffic during my journey to work. There are some things I’ve noticed that are probably universal to most people who commute in the Greater Boston area. For example, traffic is worse when school is in session between September and June.…
My Bicycling Challenge

Patrick Sullivan | March 19, 2014

As a believer in sustainable transportation and staff member of an organization that supports commuters who cycle, I find myself encouraging people to ride bicycles on almost a daily basis. This is easy for me because I consider myself a cyclist. Rarely a day goes by where I’m not extolling the virtues of cycling: the health benefits, the positive impact on traffic and on the environment. If you ask me, everyone should try biking to work… Just don’t ask me how often I bike to work. Do I ride my bike to work every day? No. Do I ride a…
Are we Incentivizing Driving to Work Alone?

Patrick Sullivan | February 25, 2014

It’s likely that some people might be unfamiliar with the Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit, a commuter tax benefit that has been part of the Federal Tax Code since 1993.  The Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit provides commuters between $20-$250 dollars per month (depending upon the commute mode they use) to cover costs associated with commuting to and from work. Developed in order to promote the use of mass transit and to improve air quality, this fringe benefit was created in response to tax programs in the 1970s and 1980s that provided tax relief only for commuters that had to pay for…
The Traffic Tipping Point

Patrick Sullivan | February 5, 2014

If you really want to understand how traffic works, then familiarize yourself with the “Traffic Tipping Point” – the exponential relationship between roadway capacity and traffic congestion. Simply put, when the number of vehicles on a congested roadway grows by 1 percent over the roadway’s maximum capacity, vehicle speeds are likely to slow down by 5 percent. This means that a relatively small number of additional vehicles can have a major impact on traffic congestion and delays. Conversely, a relatively small number of cars taken off the road can provide significant congestion relief. A body of research has emerged in the past…
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