A day of traffic

If you’ve driven a car at all around these parts, you’ve certainly spent some time as a part of slow or stopped traffic. Despite how it may feel when you’re parked on the Southeast Distressway, Boston is, relatively speaking, not so bad. There are other cities in the US that have it worse. (See data such as the Urban Mobility Scorecard from Texas A&M.) Outside of special events or bad weather, what we have is a fairly predictable rush hour cycle. Traffic is slow for a few hours in the morning and early evening, and generally fine at other times.

Or so it appears to this layperson, at least. Not wanting to claim any expertise, I will leave this subject with a simple map of the ebb and flow of traffic in Boston. Here’s approximately 20 hours of traffic yesterday, a seemingly ordinary day, according to Google Maps.

The automated screen captures for that animation were collected using a script by Alyson Hurt of the NPR visuals team who was mapping something legitimately fascinating: traffic map as weather map. Next time the internet is abuzz about a winter storm, look at a live traffic map and you’ll get a pretty good idea of where it’s snowing.

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