How to avoid traffic around Boston this Memorial Day weekend

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Whoever’s been engineering these rainy weekends is taking a bow and saying, “and scene.” Yes, we’re back to beautiful weather… on a Monday.

Perhaps we’ll have better luck next weekend. Speaking of which…

Memorial Day weekend is nearly here, and this year, AAA estimates approximately 43.8 million people will travel 50 miles or more to their long weekend destination. The good news? That’s a 4% increase since 2023, and the first time we’ve exceeded pre-pandemic levels. The bad news? There will probably be a lot of traffic. You don’t want to spend the weekend stuck in “bumpah to bumpah,” so here are some tips on when to hit the road:

  • Worst times to drive: According to data from INRIX, a transportation analytics company, travelers will likely hit the most holiday traffic between noon and 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Over the long weekend, you can expect the most traffic between 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.
  • Best times to drive: Hit the road before 11 a.m. or at night if you’re leaving Thursday or Friday. When heading back toward Boston, AAA recommends traveling before 1 p.m. on Sunday, and before 3 p.m. or after 7 p.m. on Monday since roads will be busiest in the afternoon.
  • And don’t forget: The annual Boston Calling music festival is also back this weekend at the Harvard Athletic Complex. If you’re traveling around Cambridge or Allston, know that N. Harvard Street in Allston and many streets in and around Harvard Square will be closed after 9 p.m. You can also expect delays along Soldiers Field Road.

Quincy’s City Council will meet today to discuss a potential raise for Mayor Tom Koch, who has led the city for the last 17 years. An outside consulting firm has suggested that Koch — who currently makes about $159,000 a year — should be paid anywhere from $298,000 to $370,000. That would make him one of the highest-paid mayors in the country.

  • Since its announcement, the topic of Koch’s new salary has been a topic of controversy. Koch has not received a raise in nearly a decade, but the suggested salary for being mayor of Quincy (home to just over 100,000 people) would surpass those of New York City’s Eric Adams (who made about $258,000 in 2022 and presides over 8.3 million people) and Boston’s Michelle Wu (who made around $207,000 last year and presides over 650,000 people).
  • Dorminson Consulting said its recommendation was based on an income survey of chief administrative officers in the Greater Boston area, as well as an assessment of Koch’s responsibilities. Still, it’s “just a recommendation,” Quincy City Councilor James Devine told The Boston Globe. Koch claims he plans to ask for a salary “below the low number” suggested by the consultants.
  • What’s next: Koch will introduce two ordinances at today’s city council meeting that should clarify how his salary — and the salaries of Quincy’s city councilors — will be factored into the 2025 fiscal year’s $424 million budget proposal.

Massachusetts’ struggling emergency shelter system may soon receive some assistance through federal funding, according to state Senate President Karen Spilka. She told WCVB the state “might be able” to secure funding within “a few months” to help “defray” the system’s projected $932 million in operating costs. The exact amount of aid from the feds is still TBD.

Heads up, Orange Line riders: Starting today, free shuttle buses will replace service between North Station and Oak Grove after 8:30 p.m. The disruption will continue every night through Thursday, May 23, in order to accommodate bridge and track work. On the bright side, the T is making the commuter rail free to ride between Oak Grove, Malden Center and North Station during this time.

P.S. — Join us at CitySpace tonight at 7 p.m. for a live taping of “Song Exploder,” a music podcast that explores how artists bring their songs to life. This episode’s guest is folk singer Fenne Lily, who will also perform after the interview.

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