People such as John D. Ryan, who commutes to work in Charlton from Putnam, and Timothy Enright
, who commutes to work in Marlboro from Andover, typify commuters in the region.
...Mr. Enright, the information technology director for REON Broadband Corp., commutes to work on I-495 everyday.
The ride is smooth, he
said, but an accident, holiday weekend or snowstorm can turn his
40-minute ride into a four-hour nightmare."You have to check the traffic before you leave.If there's an accident, forget it, I go watch a movie and wait," he
said.Mr. Enright leaves work after 7 each night because the rush-hour traffic on I-495 is "a different crowd."Between 5:30 and 7 p.m. on weeknights, he
said, people drive faster, and there are more "road rage" incidents."It's more frantic.People like me who leave work after 7 have accepted their lot in life," Mr. Enright
said.Study after study has shown that the I-495 region was transformed from rural New England to a modern suburban beltway almost overnight.The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative found that more than 80,000 cars now travel on I-495, south of Exit 20 and north of Hopkinton each day -- up from 28,000 two decades ago.The population in the I-495 region, which the state classifies as 42 towns along and near the interstate stretching from Westford to Plainville, grew from 536,000 people to 605,830 people in the last decade.The number of people working in the region has dramatically increased, as well, and many of the new jobs are concentrated between Milford and Marlboro.The number of jobs increased in the I-495 area dramatically during the last 10 years, bringing even more people into the region during the work week.According to state Department of Employment and Training figures, the number of jobs in the I-495 region between Milford and Marlboro increased by 33 percent between 1990 and 2000, from 72,000 to 96,000.The city of Worcester
, by comparison, experienced a 5.5 percent job growth during the same period, bringing the number of jobs to 101,000.