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MBTA lifts full-length Green Line speed restriction, but slow zones remain across 25% of the system

A new apartment building by the Green Line on Huntington Ave. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
A new apartment building by the Green Line on Huntington Ave. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from WBUR's daily morning newsletter, WBUR Today. If you like what you read and want it in your inbox, sign up here

Goodbye, winter. Spring officially begins this evening. Meteorologist Danielle Noyes writes that the Boston area is expected to get another warmer-than-normal season, though it’s not the time to go out and plant your garden just yet.

The new season also means it’s time for our 2023 spring arts guides, which will be rolling out all week! But first, the news:

WBUR’s Walter Wuthmann reports that thousands of revelers braved the widespread MBTA slow zones to make it to yesterday’s South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade — but riders will have a marginally faster commute this week. While it took longer than expected, MBTA officials announced last night that the end-to-end speed restrictions on the Green Line are now lifted. However, smaller slow zones will still cover about 18% of the Green Line. So, we’re not out of the woods yet.

MBTA slow zone tracker (Transit Matters)
MBTA slow zone tracker (Transit Matters)

Home sales in Massachusetts dropped again last month. A new report this morning from the state’s realtors association found that 1,900 single-family homes were sold in February — 20% less than in February 2022. (Condos sales were also down 23%.)

  • Prices, however, are still higher than last year, due to the state’s concerning lack of inventory. (The median sales price was $520,000 for single-family homes and $465,000 for condos.) New listings were also down over 20% compared to 2022. And the realtors’ association has said the combination of high prices, mortgages rates and few options has scared off many buyers.
  • The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS says they’re optimistic that a “more balanced market” will return this spring — thanks to national inventory increases and falling mortgage rates.

Heads up, Cape Cod travelers: A multi-week, 24/7 lane closure begins today on the Sagamore Bridge. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say that traffic will be reduced from two lanes to one in each direction from now into May so crews can do “critical” repair work on the 88-year-old span. Expect delays during the morning and afternoon rush hours if the Sagamore is your pick for crossing the Cape Cod Canal.

  • Squeezing it in: While the project’s start date has been delayed since the start of March, the Corps says they still plan to have the work finished before the busy Memorial Day weekend.
  • The long-term plan: State officials have been lobbying for federal help replacing the two aging Cape Cod bridges. President Joe Biden’s recently proposed budget includes $350 million for the bridges, which Gov. Maura Healey described as a “down payment” on what is ultimately estimated to be a $3-4 billion project. But as the The Boston Globe notes, there’s still a long road ahead through a divided Congress.

P.S.— Bob Oakes is back at ‘BUR tonight! Join the former Morning Edition host at CitySpace for a conversation with New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik about a foundational human question: how do we learn and master a new skill? They’ll discuss why people seek to better themselves in the first place and how true mastery — in any field — requires mastering other people’s minds. You can get tickets here.


Nik DeCosta-Klipa Newsletter Editor
Nik DeCosta-Klipa is the newsletter editor for WBUR.



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