News item: Boston ranks No. 8 on the list of top 10 traffic-congested cities in the country. “The average commute during worst driving hours is 33 percent longer on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Boston is at its worst on I-93 between Exit 5 and Exit 15. This 10.4-mile stretch of road usually takes 10 minutes to complete with no traffic, but can take 29 minutes during rush hour and even up to 38 minutes Wednesday mornings. Another study finding: Rush hour is no longer rush hour. It's nearly 24/7. Those are among the conclusions of a study by INRIX, a Seattle-based provider of traffic and navigation services.” – boston.com Not surprised, right? On the other hand, what does surprise me is that alternative means of transportation are largely dismissed as viable, either for commuters who continue to drive cars, or for legislators who apportion tax revenue to road projects that encourage people to drive them more and more. It’s like voluntarily sticking needles in our eyes while complaining about the pain. Ever wonder what amazing projects to boost bicycling could be done with even half the money spent on road construction? I fantasize about it frequently. How elevated bikeways along highway routes and main city streets? One of my favorite dreams became real, albeit temporarily, when I participated in the Hub on Wheels bike ride for the first time, last year. On the first few miles of the ride, bikers pedaled without a care in the world along Storrow Drive, which was closed to motor vehicles. That’s right. Not a car or truck in sight. I was euphoric, cranking along on my bicycle along thousands of other proud pedal people. That’s the kind of congestion for which Boston and its suburbs should be gaining national headlines. For now, I’ll have to settle for my daily 6.5-mile Beverly-to-Salem cyclute, during which I routinely pass more cars than pass me. No surprise there, either.