The redesign of Rutherford Avenue could keep more suburbanites from rolling down Rutherford Avenue in the mornings due to a “well known phenomenon among traffic engineers,” according to the Boston Cyclists Union.
The union published their own take Friday on last week’s Rutherford Avenue redesign meeting, and noted the sharp difference between inbound and outbound traffic on Rutherford Avenue.
“Michael Hall of the consulting firm Tetra Tech told an audience of over 100… [that] traffic counts also indicated that inbound traffic flow was three times as heavy as outbound traffic,” the union reported. “Hall explained that this was likely due to the one-way toll scheme on the nearby Tobin Bridge.”
Hall told the crowd that many suburban commuters use Rutherford in the morning to avoid the $3 toll on the Tobin Bridge, but take the Tobin home in the afternoon because the toll doesn’t apply in that direction.
This is significant because when the new design for Rutherford is implemented several stoplights will be installed, slowing traffic from the 50 to 60 miles per hour speeds of today to roughly 30 miles per hour. Literally dozens of projects from around the country have shown that when a city decides to slow down traffic, the traffic disappears—because a certain percentage of commuters find faster ways to get where they’re going. The price of the Tobin is going to seem a little more reasonable to people who are trying to get to work on time or shave off several minutes of their daily commute.