BOSTON (CBS) – Getting onto Storrow Drive West has never been the easiest maneuver for drivers. Vehicles are coming from 93, Route 1, and Route 1A, and all of them are posed with the challenge of merging into the correct lane.
“They come out and they merge immediately. It is very dangerous,” driver Barbara White pointed out.
“A lot of people use this road and it’s delaying a lot of people going to work,” driver Maribel Caban added.
Now one of the lanes has been eliminated in a crucial spot. Markings on the pavement block off the right lane of Storrow Drive westbound in front of Mass General Hospital. Drivers are abruptly told to merge to their left.
David Boles commutes from the Fenway area to Salem every day. Out of the entire commute, he says this part of Storrow Drive is the worst.
“The traffic was backed up all the way to 93 and it took me an hour to get from there to get into the tunnel just to get into Storrow Drive.” The change, he says, has made it worse. “It’s making more traffic.”
Other drivers told us the pavement markings come up so suddenly, it is hard to see them with any notice.
“Better signage might help,” driver Bob Chase observed.
MassDOT says the change is part of a pilot program to see if the traffic will get better with the new configuration, which opens the left lane at the Longfellow Bridge exit back up to through traffic, rather than being an ‘Exit Only’ lane.
The department told WBZ that traffic modeling indicates these changes may be beneficial. However, they are still evaluating actual conditions and driver behavior before making the change permanent.
While some drivers can see where the idea came from, they aren’t sure the change is worth it.
“The problem is all the people that would just be able to use the right lane; it is now backed up to the Museum of Science,” Boles said. “Everybody has known how to do it this way so far and to change it now, you’re just going to upset everybody,” he added.
MassDOT will be evaluating the pilot program results for the next week before deciding if it stays, or if it goes.