A trip through Massachusetts can feel like touring a living history museum. Although one of the smallest states, its 187 historical landmarks is second only to New York. The Bay State has so much more to offer than just a history lesson though. Boston is known for its baked beans, cream pie and sports teams. However, Beantown is also a nexus for culture, innovation, green spaces and quality of life. Some of the best and brightest minds come here for the prodigious list of top-flight colleges including MIT, Harvard and Tufts, just to name a few.
Take a break from city-living and head south to take the Sagamore Bridge to Cape Cod or the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. Or perhaps head west to explore the Berkshires range known for music, arts and outdoor recreation. With so much to see and do in such a small area, it’s little wonder that some of the nation’s longest commute times are found here. Adding to the frustration of congestion is a highway system that is rated as 1 of the 5 worst in the United States with 1 in 3 bridges in need of repairs.
Here is The Advocates list of the 5 Most Dangerous Roads in Massachusetts to help you prepare for a road-trip through Massachusetts.
#5 Interstate 93
Starting out near Canton, I-93 is a north-south freeway passing through downtown Boston before heading north through Andover on its way to Manchester, New Hampshire. The Big Dig created a 1.5 mile tunnel for I-93 to pass under the heart of downtown Boston to help to ease the congestion.
- Heavy rain pools up causing hydroplaning near Exit 42
- Ubiquitous heavy congestion in the Greater Boston region
- Interchange with I-495 most dangerous exchange in state
I-93 bravely pierces straight through the heart of some of the worst congestion in the United States. Carefully consider the time of day if taking this route in or near Boston to avoid the worst of the traffic nightmare.
#4 The Massachusetts Turnpike
The Mass Pike is a toll road that traverses the middle of the state from New York to Boston and connects to Logan International Airport via short tunnel under the Boston Harbor. Congestion on this stretch of highway has reached crisis levels. Lawmakers are pondering time-of-day toll pricing in an attempt to impact the crushing traffic.
- Heavy congestion and commuter traffic present year around
- Multiple dangerous interchanges with major freeways
- Stressful driving conditions serve as a precursor to frequent road-rage incidents
If traveling through the Boston area, chances are you will need to use this toll road at some point. Consider alternate routes during peak hours and allow for extra travel-time to account for traffic.
#3 Interstate 95
Starting north of Providence, I-95 passes close to the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium in Foxborough before circling west around Boston and heading north to New Hampshire. Another road permeated with heavy traffic and congestion year-around. The stretch of I-95 from Rhode Island to Cape Cod in the summer is flooded with bumper-to-bumper beach goers.
- Heavy congestion especially around Boston
- Nor’easters bring slick and ice winter conditions
- Summer drivers headed to the Cape flood the roads
- Missing signage and poorly marked shifting lanes
Frequency of traffic fatalities across Massachusetts are less than half the national average, although that number has spiked in recent years. I-95, however,has consistently had more than its share of accidents. With almost 70 fatalities in a 4-year span, it is one of the most dangerous roads in Massachusetts.
#2 Interstate 495
Starting 10 miles north of Cape Cod, I-495 circles west to form the edge of the greater Boston region before skirting close to the New Hampshire border in the north. Circumnavigating the city of Boston at a range of about 30 miles, I-495 is an important alternative to I-95 and remains busy with commercial and local traffic.
- Interchange with Mass Pike is especially dangerous and frequently backs up
- Heavily congested from both commercial and local traffic
- Constant flux of merging traffic clogs up on and off ramps
With almost 500 accidents in 4-years at the Mass Pike exchange alone, I-495 has earned a reputation for being one of the most dangerous roads in Massachusetts. The heavy traffic from trucks and big-rigs passing through and the exit hopping suburban traffic form a potent mixture that can spell trouble for distracted or impaired drivers.
#1 State Route 24
The main connecting route for several major southeastern cities to the Boston metropolitan area is Route 24. Although relatively short at 40 miles, Route 24 is under a constant deluge of commuter traffic. Offering little in the way of twists and turns, this straight shot suffers from design problems and reckless drivers.
- Antiquated road is narrow with short and dangerous merge lanes
- Police cite frequent speeding and distracted commuters
- Frequent weaving in and out of lanes by hurried drivers
Already known as a hot-spot for car accidents in the state, recent statistics show that car accident rates on this stretch of highway are on the rise. Cramped shoulders leave less room for maneuvering. With 629 car crashes in 2009 alone, this short highway is one of the most perilous for drivers.
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