MassDOT’s travel tips, from apps to free coffee, for July 4

Traffic headache. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki
Traffic headaches are expected to be the worst on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki

MassDOT today sent out a warning to motorists and transit users that holiday traffic will likely impact travel throughout the state over the Fourth of July holiday and recommended travelers plan ahead.

“I encourage our highway users and transit customers to be alert and make safe decisions when celebrating with family and friends this holiday,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey.

Holiday traffic congestion is expected at times over the next several days, particularly on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. To help ease congestion, construction restrictions will be in place across the state from Wednesday at noon through Friday morning.

In the downtown Boston area, work will be restricted from Wednesday at 5 a.m. until midday on Monday. The HOV lane on the Southeast Expressway will not be deployed on Friday.

Transit officials said the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) cash toll booths will be adequately staffed to handle the anticipated volume, but that motorists should consider joining the E-ZPass program ahead of the holiday.

MassDOT offered these tips:

  • Before heading out, consider downloading the free Ride Wise iPhone application that provides access to real-time traffic information on Interstate 93, sections of the Massachusetts Turnpike, Route 3 on the South Shore and Route 6/Mid-Cape Highway.
  • Check out MassDOT’s interactive Traffic Cameras web page, which offers live looks at current traffic, and the 511 telephone service, another way to get up-to-date travel conditions.
  • Drivers should avoid using cell phones while behind the wheel.
  • Get some free java: All 18 MassDOT services plazas will offer free coffee to travelers from 10 p.m. on Thursday to Friday at 5 a.m. The plazas serving free coffee include 11 service plazas along I-90 plus plazas along Route 3 in Plymouth, Route 128 in Beverly, Route 128/I-95 in Newton and Lexington, Route 6 in Barnstable, and the Route 24 northbound and southbound plazas.

Public transportation advisories:

The MBTA and Transit Police are preparing for the July 4 festivities with an increase in service and security for the thousands of people traveling to and from The Esplanade. In addition to increased service, bus, subway and commuter rail fares will not be collected from 9:30 p.m. to the end of service on Thursday.

Visit MBTA.com to learn more.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


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