Alewife Morning Commute Gridlock Nightmare


I drive in to Cambridge/Somerville on Rt 2 every morning, and head east toward Medford on the Alewife Brook Parkway Extension as part of my commute.
Every morning I am struck by the sheer rudeness of drivers blocking the box trying to squeeze through the light (and failing) to get towards Alewife Station from Alewife Brook Parkway. This morning I was forced to sit and watch these trolls jam my lane for THREE consecutive light cycles. (That means that all eastbound traffic was blocked for THREE LIGHT CYCLES). I was so furious, I actually debated in my head ramming one of them deliberately with my car as they blocked the green light. At least that way the police might notice what’s happening.

What would it take to get a New York-style ‘don’t block the box’ camera on that intersection, or at least an officer serving up tickets? I think a few $300 tickets would go a long way to correct the self-centered behavior of these trolls.

8 replies on “Alewife Morning Commute Gridlock Nightmare”

  1. Thanks for your prompt response!
    The intersection is the three-branch where Rt. 2 (Concord Highway) terminates into Alewife Brook Parkway to the right (south toward the shopping centers) and north (towards W.R. Grace and the Mass Ave intersection). The light cycles to allow ABP traffic to continue south of ABP, to allow Alewife station traffic onto Rt. 2 westbound, and to allow eastbound traffic from Rt. 2 north on ABP.

    The commuter behavior that I find the most outrageous is when the cars coming from the north on Alewife Brook Pkway want to continue south- there’s a short lane there until the next light, maybe 100 ft or so. When the light turns red, they overflow and fill the box, blocking northbound traffic from Rt 2 from going anywhere. This causes cars behind this to form a second lane to the side, and they try to cut off the original lane when the box gets blocked. Then aggression levels just rise even further.

  2. Got it. I know the spot well. We’ll reach out to the State Police and report back to you about any enforcement statements that they are willing to share with us. Feel free to call my office at 617-722-1280 with additional observations of whether and how the situation is improving. The congestion itself may make it harder to conduct enforcement operations.

  3. Sounds like the BU Bridge at Comm Ave. People often block Comm Ave for multiple light cycles, and even sit on the Green Line tracks blocking that too.

    That whole intersection is awfully designed.

  4. Coming through this morning I saw no change in the behavior… two inconsiderate cars hanging into the box had funneled two lanes of traffic down into one, and there was a lot of frustration at the funnel point. It’s only a matter of time before a fender-bender happens there.

  5. Re: BU Bridge Comm. Ave. If that whole stretch of Mass Pike was underground there, think of how much luxary housing could be built above it. Right next to the Charles River there.
    That would bring in all kinds of land tax revenue. For the City of Boston and possibly Brookline.
    There could be a nice tree lined boulevard similar to Beacon Street with all of that traffic below ground. The Pike adds to that tangled mess there but they’re talking about re-doing that whole area. Hope they take the time to consider at least putting it underground and improving the walkability of that area esp. if the traffic was going a new window to the Charles River there.

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