According to Ehuacom, Boston is the capital and largest city of the state of Massachusetts in the United States. The city has 655,000 inhabitants and a larger agglomeration of 4,900,000 inhabitants (2021) in the urbanized east of the state.
According to mcat-test-centers, the conurbation is located on the Atlantic Coast, on Massachusetts Bay. Except for a few suburbs close to the center, the agglomeration is relatively sparsely built-up and has many wooded areas. The conurbation extends as far as 60 kilometers inland and covers about 100 kilometers of the coastline. Boston has few big suburbs, but all the more smaller suburbs. In fact, the entire eastern part of the state is one large urban area with Boston as the center. Boston is a port city and also an important aviation hub. It is the northernmost city of the BosWash region, the urbanized northeastern United States between Washington and Boston.
Urban Boston covers most of eastern Massachusetts, and the 5 major counties are presented below. The official definition of the metropolitan statistical area includes southern New Hampshire, but it is not part of Boston’s urban fabric. Boston is part of Suffolk County
The city of Boston had a large suburban area as early as the early 1900s, which has grown ever since, albeit at a relatively modest rate of growth. The core urban area, the city of Boston and environs, declined significantly between 1950 and 1980, but has since grown again. Despite this, the growth rate of the entire agglomeration is limited, it took 50 years to grow to one million inhabitants, while urban areas in the south of the country often only take 10 years. In the period 2015-2019, the growth of the metropolitan area virtually came to a standstill, with the result that Boston fell out of the top 10 largest metropolitan areas in the United States in 2019. In 2020-2021, there was a significant contraction in central Suffolk County and the city itself lost 22,000 inhabitants during that period.
The Boston area.
Boston’s highway network is relatively small for a metropolitan area of 4.5 million, and it’s not very well-connected due to the lack of long-term planning and the uncontrolled growth of numerous suburbs in eastern Massachusetts. Boston also does not have a grid pattern in the urban area, and in that respect is somewhat similar to the suburban area of Philadelphia. There are two bypasses for the city, Interstate 95, which forms a half ring road west of the city, and is also the transit route between Maine and Providence, and Interstate 495, which forms a much longer half ring and also serves as the outer boundary. of the urban area is considered.
Additionally, a number of freeways radiate such as SR-3 to the southeast, SR-24 to the south, Interstate 95 to the southwest, Interstate 90 to the west, SR-2 to the northwest, US 3, and Interstate 93 to the north and Interstate 95 to the northeast. Some local highways complement this, such as US 1 and SR-128.
There are also a number of missing links, such as US 1 between Saugus and Peabody (originally planned as I-95), US 3 between Boston and Lexington, SR-2 between Somerville and Boston, and SR-24 between Boston and Randolph. In general, these are highways that already end in the suburbs and don’t connect to downtown, adding extra pressure to I-93, the only toll-free transit route in the city. The I-90 is a toll road.
Plans for the first highways were unfolded in 1948, and in the early 1950s the construction of the first highways in the urban area, which was already extensive at the time, began. In 1951, the first section of what would later become I-95 opened around Boston. The original 1956 plans envisioned I-95 through downtown Boston, which used to be part of the Northeast Expressway (US 1). In the early 1950s, quite a lot of highways were built in and around Boston. In 1959, I-93 through downtown Boston was completed. In 1964 and 1965, the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) through Boston opened to traffic. In 1970 it was decided to delete all highways within the ring road (I-95). Only a missing link of I-93 in the north of the metropolitan area has yet to be built. No new routes have opened in Boston since 1965. I-95 through Boston was scrapped and rerouted onto the beltway, which had been numbered MA-128 until then, and the Northwest Expressway (US 3) was scrapped south of I-95. Boston’s major beltway, I-495, opened in stages between 1959 and 1969, with only one missing link south of Boston opening in 1982. The last new highway to open in the Boston area was a missing link from I-95 at Danvers, which opened in 1988.
The largest project in Boston in more recent years was the so-called “Big Dig”, which consisted of taking I-93 underground in downtown Boston, constructing a new cable-stayed bridge north of downtown, the widest cable-stayed bridge in the world., and the construction of a tunnel that extends I-90 to Logan International Airport. Due to setbacks and mismanagement, this project turned out to be much more expensive than budgeted and set the tone for future urban projects in the United States. Nevertheless, the project was very effective from a traffic and urban planning point of view. The viaduct through the center was demolished and the highway’s capacity was increased.
Employment in the agglomeration is fairly spread out, with many suburban offices and business parks in the woods, but many people work in the center. The greatest congestion occurs on Interstate 93. I-93 was rebuilt from 1994 to 2006 and was placed underground at the height of downtown and was widened from 2×3 to 2×4 lanes. The question is whether this is sufficient in the long run. Traffic jams are quite common around the center and the nearest suburbs. Through traffic can easily avoid downtown via I-95, and better (but longer) via I-495. Because the urban area is vast and sparsely built-up, the pressure on the highways is quite high, as few highways have more than 2×3 lanes. Nevertheless, the intensities are not as high as, for example, in Philadelphia or Washington. The busiest point is on I-93 with 188,000 vehicles per day in 2×4 lanes.