Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Why is Boston Traffic So Bad? Your Question Finally Answered

An early 2019 report crowed Boston with the title of the worst rush-hour traffic congestion in the U.S.A. Other reports have reached similar conclusions and proved that not only is Boston's gridlock particularly terrible, but that commutes are outrageously long. Why exactly does Boston have such horrible traffic? We have the explanation on exactly what led to Boston's reputation for having such terrible traffic. 

1. More than "Boston"

Boston isn't just "Boston". The city of Boston is part of a densely packed confederation of cities and towns that stretches for dozens of miles, and that united encompasses more than four and five million residents. In fact, if the Boston area were it's own city rather than a collection of municipalities, it would be more populous than any U.S city other than New York. 

2. Relatively Excess and Cheap Parking 

Several municipalities in the Boston region, including the city of Boston itself, give away free resident parking permits excessively. Or, they charge relatively low fees such as $25 per household for an initial parking permit. Furthermore, metered parking in Boston is some of the cheapest available in urban America. Condo and apartment developments often include parking as well. 

3. Constantly Increasing Population 

The population of Boston is expected to grow from 685,000 to 709,000 by 2030. Surrounding municipalities like Cambridge and Somerville are growing as well. Based on these recent trends, the Boston region could contain 5 million residents in the next few years. A large population will most likely lead to more drivers, and more cars on the road from car-hailing applications like Uber and Lyft.

4. The Demand for Car Hailing Apps

Car-hailing applications like Uber and Lyft have been growing in popularity throughout Boston and the surrounding areas. The number of rides completed through car-hailing applications increased about 25 percent in 2018, to 81.3 million, compared with 2017, according to a recent report from the state Department of Public Utilities. 80% of these rides began in Suffolk and Middlesex counties, which include most of the Boston region, including the city of Boston itself. In fact, 42.2 million, or more than half of all car-hailing rides, began in Boston.

Along with the popularity of Lyft and Uber growing, Amazon Prime has become super convenient for Boston residents who utilize Instacart and other home delivery services, which can drop off household goods with just a few mouse clicks. Although these vendors and services bring convenience to people's lives, these businesses translate to more cars on the road, and more congestion in daily Boston traffic.

Monday, November 25, 2019

5 Amazing Kitchen Upgrades Without Remodeling

Kitchen renovations can be strenuous, requiring a lot of time, money, and effort. However, if you don't have the financial resources or time for a full renovation, there are numerous affordable upgrades which will provide your kitchen with a brand new look. From refacing cabinets to replacing old lighting, a few cosmetic tweaks can give you the kitchen you always desired.

1. New Cabinets

The trend of refacing kitchen cabinets is growing among homeowners, who are looking for an easy and affordable way to modernize their kitchen. Refacing involves replacing the doors, drawers, and hardware, and covering the entire exterior of the cabinets with a brand new veneer. If you are happy with the layout and function of your kitchen, but desire a new aesthetic feel, cabinet refacing might be your answer. While a full kitchen gut and renovation may take several months to complete, cabinet resurfacing typically takes only 3-5 days.

2. New Backsplash

Installing a new backsplash is an easy and effective way to powerfully change the aesthetic of your kitchen. Be sure to choose a timeless material which will compliment your cabinetry.

3. Change Up Your Counter Tops

If you want to reinvent and look and feel of your kitchen even further, consider splurging on new countertops. If you are on a budget, head to your local stone yard and choose a granite at the lower end of the price range. Formica, a more affordable option than natural stone, has a variety of beautiful countertop pattern options and textures. If you are short on counter-space and are not looking to add more cabinetry, consider purchasing a pre-made island or bar-height table that you can float in the center of your kitchen. 

4. Add Shelving

Shelving is an overlooked yet brilliant way to powerfully change the look and feel of your kitchen, while adding functionality. If your cabinets don't have lip molding on the interior, remove cabinet doors to show off your beautiful serving dishes. Or, if you have an empty wall, introduce floating shelves from stores like Pottery Barn or IKEA, to add both style and more storage to your kitchen.

5. Introduce Proper Lighting 

Lighting can quickly and powerfully change the look and feel of any room. Get rid of harsh flourescent lights and replace them with soft can lights. Make food prep an easier experience by having an electrician install under-cabinet halogen fixtures, or ambient light tape. Also, over the kitchen sink is the ideal place for a statement piece like a sculptural pendant light.