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Boston-area commutes have many residents thinking about leaving, poll says

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Survey results follow news of region nearing 5 million residents

A traffic jam in Boston. Boston Globe via Getty Images

More than one-fifth of full-time workers living within Route 128 has considered moving away from the Boston area because of long commutes. That is according to a new poll from the MassINC Polling Group that the nonprofit Barr Foundation sponsored (h/t WBUR too).

Some 23 percent of respondents who work full-time finished the sentence “In the past few months, have delays on the roads or public transportation caused you to ...” with “consider moving out of your area altogether.”

Eighteen percent of voters polled—regardless of whether they work full-time—also said their long commutes had them thinking about leaving the Boston area.

Other results of the poll had high shares of respondents saying that delays on the road and public transit made them late for work and appointments as well as had them rearranging their schedules to avoid the crush of fellow commuters. Some 72 percent of full-time workers said their commutes had made them “stressed, angry or frustrated.”

The poll surveyed 1,200 registered voters from March 15 to 25.

Its results are probably not surprising to most Boston-area residents who commute regularly. The area has some of the worst traffic in the United States, and its mass transit system routinely struggles to provide consistently reliable service at peak hours.

Meanwhile, the area is growing in population, slapping on hundreds of thousands of residents just this decade, with 5 million total a real possibility sooner rather than later. And housing costs continue to be among the highest in the nation, meaning that more residents often have to push farther and farther out from work for decent digs.

The trends—growth and housing costs—contribute to the number of people spending so much time on the roadways and the T.