By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s hard to believe this is possible, but Boston’s traffic is getting worse. And a new report from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council found ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are pulling 42% of their local riders off public transit and into the traffic snarl.

So – what can we do about it?

From redesigning the roads to running mega-buses that ferry drivers in their cars, there is no shortage of creative ideas for easing urban traffic.

Boston is already trying dynamic pricing for parking to discourage car travel into the city.

In comparably congested cities like Stockholm, fees for entering the city center at peak times have helped cut traffic jams.

In some sections of Rio de Janeiro, traffic lights adjust to changes in traffic volume, facilitating steady flow.

Urban planners have been talking about these and other great-sounding ideas for years, and we’re likely better off exploring them than waiting for technology to bail us out.

Chinese entrepreneurs recently touted a mega bus that allows cars to pass underneath it as a congestion-reliever, but it turned out to be more of a publicity stunt than a viable option.

And while the drone-mobile of 1960s TV fantasy shows like “The Jetsons” is now a reality, can you imagine thousands of them jockeying for space over downtown Boston?

Ditto for jetpacks, great if you can afford to burn a gallon a minute and can make it to work in their ten-minute maximum flight time.

Let’s face it, the easy ways out of our traffic nightmare are a costly upgrade of our public-transit infrastructure and a cheaper but perhaps less attainable change in our local culture – more driver courtesy.


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