Let me start by saying I have been a Boston commuter from the Merrimack Valley for over 20 years now. Due to the infrequent and unreliable public transportation system, I have always reverted back to driving. It gets me home to my family earlier than any other method, which is my priority.
The recent opening of the carpool lane has had a positive effect on morning traffic for all commuters. There are no longer single passenger vehicles speeding down the left lane until the very end only to cut into the third lane where the HOV lane begins. There is also no slow down in traffic due to people being curious about who got pulled over in the HOV lane by the cop sitting at the end of it. And now the highway only drops one lane from four to three for all commuters.
There has also never been a great benefit to carpooling north of Boston since there is no HOV lane outbound leaving the city. Sure we can get into work a little earlier but every other major city benefits carpoolers on the way home as well which is the main focus of most family members. For that reason I don't feel the current HOV lane is being utilized by many anyway. That being said, I have never known why the state has not widened 93 South where the HOV lane starts. Its obvious that most of the traffic is due to the highway abruptly going from four lanes to two. There is plenty of space in the road to at least add one additional lane while keeping the HOV open to carpoolers.
I feel the state needs to add the HOV lane outbound using temporary movable barriers like New York has to benefit commuters getting home, and they need to utilize the space inbound and permanently expand the highway so it doesn't drop two lanes at the busiest point entering a major city. I hope people will find that this temporary expansion of lanes is the long term solution to Boston traffic, not an underutilized HOV lane.
13 Hartford Circle