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The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in Boston

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in Boston, MA. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market - to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of Boston's leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you're looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in Boston. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it's easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in Boston, MA. We're proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We're here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That's why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain
Mediterranean Grocery Boston, MA

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in Boston,
what are we talking about?

 Mediterranean Supermarkets Boston, MA

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

 Mediterranean Grocery Store Boston, MA

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.

 Middle Eastern Grocery Boston, MA

Baklava

If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in Boston, MA, you won't want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it's no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.

 Mediterranean Food Stores Boston, MA

Tabbouleh

This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It's best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party - you're almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.

 Middle Eastern Market Boston, MA

Shawarma

We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason - this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in Boston, MA.

 Greek Grocery Store Boston, MA

Hummus

Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That's because it's considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there's one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you're looking to make some positive changes in your life, this "diet" is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures' foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke - especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery - we're always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips

1.

Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It's refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.

2.

Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn't have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.

3.

Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don't start with meats and sweets.

4.

They're tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.

5.

Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.

6.

Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you're essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That's great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

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 Middle Eastern Store Boston, MA

Latest News in Boston, MA

Wu set to overhaul powerful city zoning board

In a move that could reshape development in neighborhoods across Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu on Monday proposed replacing nearly every member of the city’s influential Zoning Board of Appeal, nominating a new slate of community developers, neighborhood organizers, and construction union representatives.The 14-member board rules on everything from roof-decks to midsized apartment buildings — because nearly every real estate project in the city runs afoul of Boston’s decades-old zoning code in one way or another and thus...

In a move that could reshape development in neighborhoods across Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu on Monday proposed replacing nearly every member of the city’s influential Zoning Board of Appeal, nominating a new slate of community developers, neighborhood organizers, and construction union representatives.

The 14-member board rules on everything from roof-decks to midsized apartment buildings — because nearly every real estate project in the city runs afoul of Boston’s decades-old zoning code in one way or another and thus requires a zoning variance — and has enormous sway over what gets built and where. But the ZBA has come under fire for years for what critics say is arbitrary and opaque decision-making and, at times, for rejecting projects that have been approved by other city agencies.

Wu said Monday that changing the makeup of the ZBA is one step in a long-term plan to overhaul the city’s planning, development, and zoning approvals process.

“We are at a critical point for our city’s growth and recovery, and the ZBA has an important role to play in that,” Wu said. “We wanted to ensure that our slate could represent the diversity of our communities, the talents across our neighborhoods, and the expertise in how to build a forward-looking vision and plan for growth.”

As a city councilor, Wu was a frequent critic of the board, especially in the wake of a 2019 bribery scandal that sent a city official to federal prison and led to a ZBA member’s resignation. During her mayoral campaign, Wu said ethical reforms issued by former mayor Martin J. Walsh did not go far enough to restore public trust.

Wu’s changes to the ZBA were not unexpected. All but one member of the current ZBA are in “holdover” status, acting under expired terms, meaning the mayor could replace them at will. Chair Christine Araujo has served on the board since 1998.

Some housing advocates in the city have decried the ZBA for what they deem an arbitrary approval process, with some projects moving forward but not others, such as a proposed 31-unit apartment complex at 4198 Washington St. in Roslindale Square.

WalkUP Roslindale, a nonprofit neighborhood group focused on transit-oriented housing, wrote an open letter to Wu in March calling for her to appoint new members to the ZBA after the board “rejected multiple new 4-story buildings proposed on Washington Street in or near Roslindale Square” and called for additional parking spots for the projects.

“From a neighborhood perspective, you basically can’t get anything built — from an apartment or a condo building of any real scale, down to adding a dormer to your house — without going through the Zoning Board of Appeal,” said Rob Orthman, chair of the housing and development committee for WalkUP Roslindale. “It’s become, in this city, in a lot of ways, the de facto planning board.”

But no zoning code is perfect, and it’s the job of zoning boards to weigh each individual project that comes before it, said Karla Chaffee, a real estate attorney at Nixon Peabody in Boston. And the volume of work facing the ZBA is substantial, Chaffee notes. She sits on the zoning board in Rowley, where the board may receive a few requests every few months. The ZBA, for its part, has approved 395 projects and denied 72 since the start of the year, according to a Boston Globe analysis.

“Without a zoning board of appeal, you could see many projects, many important projects driving Boston’s economy, not being able to proceed,” Chaffee said. “Until the zoning code is perfect — which is an almost impossible status, I think, for any community — there is always going to be a need to work with and handle dimensional variations through a board.”

An overhaul of Boston’s real estate development review process has been a key focus for Wu, who ran on abolishing the Boston Planning & Development Agency and, while on the City Council, held up several ZBA appointments. The new ZBA members “will work closely” with her newly appointed chief of planning Arthur Jemison, the city said in a release Monday.

“Together, we can aim to reduce reliance on variances as the BPDA prioritizes planning-(led) development,” Jemison said in a release.

Wu is proposing to keep three current ZBA members — Hansy Better Barraza, Sherry Dong, and Jeanne Pinado — and replace 10 others. Kerry Walsh Logue, a representative of the Building Trades Employers’ Association from South Boston, has a term limit that expires in November. Logue is the only ZBA member with an active term; the remaining 11 members — all appointed by Walsh or his predecessor Thomas M. Menino — have “holdover” status.

The new ZBA will be thoughtful about density, and whether proposed projects make sense in their proposed locations, said Pinado, a longtime nonprofit housing developer who now works for real estate brokerage Colliers.

“I would hope that the BPDA is serious about neighborhood planning that results in new zoning,” Pinado said. “And I would hope to see less on the agenda as a result.”

The appointees will need approval by the City Council, and a vote is on the council’s Wednesday agenda. The group includes at-large mayoral nominees and representatives from neighborhood organizations, as well as nominees from building trade groups and other real estate industry organizations, as is established under state law, with seven “primary” members and seven alternates.

Massachusetts has one of the highest rates of employees working from home

Massachusetts has one of the highest rates in the country of people working mostly from home, clocking in at nearly a quarter of all workers, according to new estimates from the Census Bureau.The data, released earlier this month as part of the American Community Survey, shows that 23.7 percent of employees in the state worked from home in 2021, placing it in the top five states for remote-work rates. There w...

Massachusetts has one of the highest rates in the country of people working mostly from home, clocking in at nearly a quarter of all workers, according to new estimates from the Census Bureau.

The data, released earlier this month as part of the American Community Survey, shows that 23.7 percent of employees in the state worked from home in 2021, placing it in the top five states for remote-work rates. There was more than a four-fold increase from 2019, when just 5.4 percent of people in Massachusetts were estimated to work from home, according to the survey.

In terms of the percentage of remote workers, Massachusetts was behind only Washington, D.C. (48.3 percent), Washington state (24.2 percent), and Maryland (24 percent). Colorado, like Massachusetts, stood at 23.7 percent.

Percent of people working from home in 2021

6.25%

48.29%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau • RYAN HUDDLE/GLOBE STAFF

Nationwide, the number of remote workers tripled from 2019 to 2021, from about 9 million pre-pandemic to 27.6 million. This is the highest number and percentage of people working remotely since the bureau began the ACS survey in 2005.

Related

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“Work and commuting are central to American life, so the widespread adoption of working from home is a defining feature of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michael Burrows, a Census Bureau statistician, in a press release. “With the number of people who primarily work from home tripling over just a two-year period, the pandemic has very strongly impacted the commuting landscape in the United States.”

The Census Bureau asks more than 3.5 million households every year to complete the ACS, which provides annual estimates on subjects like housing, education, and employment.

As the number of people around the country working from home climbed last year, average commute times dipped slightly: One-way travel time to work fell to 25.6 minutes in 2021, compared to 27.6 minutes in 2019. In Massachusetts, the 2019 average time of 31 minutes dropped to 27.5 minutes, though now it seems that commuter traffic has returned in full force.

Use of public transportation also took a hit during the pandemic, falling from 5 percent of workers using it to commute in 2019 to 2.5 percent in 2021, the lowest figure ever recorded by the ACS. In Massachusetts, the drop was even more drastic, from 10.4 percent of workers commuting on public transportation in 2019 to 4.5 percent in 2021, which is consistent with the dip in ridership the MBTA reported during the pandemic.

Where workers lived affected remote-work rates. In 2019, the percentage of people living in metropolitan areas and working from home was roughly the same as those living outside of metropolitan areas and working from home (6 percent and 5 percent, respectively). By 2021, the gap had widened to about 19 percent of workers in metropolitan areas working from home, compared to 9 percent of workers outside of metro areas.

See the 20 cities with the highest share of people working from home

Work-from-home rates soared between 2019 and 2021. Among cities with a population of 65,000 or more, these 20 communities had the highest rates of residents who worked from home

Rank

City

2019 share

2021 share

Change

Rank

1st

City

Redmond, Washington

2019 share

3.70%

2021 share

55.20%

Change

51.5

Rank

2nd

City

Bethesda, Maryland

2019 share

n/a

2021 share

54.50%

Change

n/a

Rank

3rd

City

Mountain View, California

2019 share

4.10%

2021 share

50.50%

Change

46.4

Rank

4th

City

Fremont, California

2019 share

7.10%

2021 share

48.90%

Change

41.8

Rank

5th

City

Palo Alto, California

2019 share

9.70%

2021 share

48.80%

Change

39.1

Rank

6th

City

Arlington, Virginia

2019 share

6.10%

2021 share

48.80%

Change

42.7

Rank

7th

City

Washington, District of Columbia

2019 share

7.40%

2021 share

48.30%

Change

40.9

Rank

8th

City

Bellevue, Washington

2019 share

9.70%

2021 share

48.10%

Change

38.4

Rank

9th

City

Sunnyvale, California

2019 share

3.80%

2021 share

47.10%

Change

43.3

Rank

10th

City

Seattle, Washington

2019 share

7.90%

2021 share

46.80%

Change

38.9

Rank

11th

City

Berkeley, California

2019 share

12.60%

2021 share

46.50%

Change

33.9

Rank

12th

City

Kirkland, Washington

2019 share

7.40%

2021 share

45.70%

Change

38.3

Rank

13th

City

San Francisco, California

2019 share

7.40%

2021 share

45.60%

Change

38.2

Rank

14th

City

Santa Monica, California

2019 share

14.00%

2021 share

45.20%

Change

31.2

Rank

15th

City

Cambridge, Massachusetts

2019 share

6.80%

2021 share

44.40%

Change

37.6

Rank

16th

City

Cary, North Carolina

2019 share

10.90%

2021 share

44.20%

Change

33.3

Rank

17th

City

Newton, Massachusetts

2019 share

10.50%

2021 share

43.90%

Change

33.4

Rank

18th

City

Boulder, Colorado

2019 share

16.00%

2021 share

42.60%

Change

26.6

Rank

19th

City

Frisco, Texas

2019 share

12.20%

2021 share

41.70%

Change

29.5

Rank

20th

City

Alexandria, Virginia

2019 share

6.00%

2021 share

40.90%

Change

34.9

No results found

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Bay Area Council Economic Institute • RYAN HUDDLE/GLOBE STAFF

In Massachusetts, the number of remote workers hinged strongly on locality. According to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, which compiled the ACS data into searchable tables, Cambridge had the state’s highest percentage of people working from home in 2021 at 44.4 percent (compared to 6.8 percent in 2019). Boston trailed not far behind at 30.3 percent in 2021, up from 4.1 percent in 2019.

By comparison, New Bedford stood at just 5.9 percent of people working from home in 2021, a modest jump from 1.5 percent in 2019.

Vlad Jr. walks it off for the Jays in extras

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J.D. MartinezDH2000000.269.338.425
R. RefsnyderRF2010000.303.378.486
T. Casas1B2000001.125.300.375
B. Dalbec3B2000000.209.280.357
Y. Chang2B2000000.215.293.325
C. WongC2000001.229.282.371
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B. Bello (L, 2-7)6.062124095-614.39
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Cora addresses relationship with Bloom after trying Red Sox season

o say the Boston Red Sox underachieved in 2022 would be an understatement.After reaching Game 6 of the 2021 American League Championship Series, the Red Sox are set to finish under .500 and last in the AL East for the second time in three years. Despite those poor results, team president Sam Kennedy said both chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and manager Alex Cora ...

o say the Boston Red Sox underachieved in 2022 would be an understatement.

After reaching Game 6 of the 2021 American League Championship Series, the Red Sox are set to finish under .500 and last in the AL East for the second time in three years. Despite those poor results, team president Sam Kennedy said both chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and manager Alex Cora will return in 2023.

But how strong is Bloom and Cora's relationship after a taxing season in which there was speculation that the team wasn't thrilled with the moves Bloom made at the MLB trade deadline?

Cora insists he and his boss are on the same page.

"I think it’s a really good dynamic," Cora told The Boston Globe's Alex Speier. "I think little by little, we keep growing. I told him, ‘Man, you’ve been in a tough spot. You come here, they suspend your manager, then COVID, the pandemic, and then last year was so fast. Everything happened so fast.’

"And now, I think finally we’re able to slow down -- not in a good way; we hate this. But I think finally he’s able to say, ‘OK, here’s what I want to do, this is what we’re going to do,’ and go from there. [The relationship] has been really good."

Bloom and the Red Sox appeared caught between buying and selling at the deadline, trading away starting catcher Christian Vazquez but bringing in veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer while declining to move pending free agents J.D. Martinez and Nathan Eovaldi. While Cora wasn't publicly critical of the team's moves, ESPN's Tim Kurkjian noted last month that he was "not so sure this is the perfect marriage (of) general manager and manager."

But Cora told Speier that any suggestions of "misalignment" between him and Bloom are "inaccurate," and that he feels empowered to provide his input on front-office moves.

"This is an organization that values the way I see stuff," Cora said. "And (Bloom) has taught me a lot on the other side of the ball. I’ve learned a lot about evaluating players and seeing the game a little bit different than probably I saw it before."

The Red Sox face a critical 2023 offseason with many important decisions to make, including whether to extend franchise cornerstones Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. Those decisions ultimately fall on Bloom, but if chief baseball officer and manager can work together in a meaningful way this offseason, it will go a long way toward a better on-field product in 2023.

Traffic is so bad, it could hurt our economy. But there’s a way to fix it.

Here’s a puzzle:Badge into almost any building in Boston, and try to find all the lawyers, bankers, and architects who populated vast warrens of offices in 2019. Many simply aren’t there. Others have adopted hybrid schedules, with a slim slice back full-time.Then head out onto the highways, where gridlock rei...

Here’s a puzzle:

Badge into almost any building in Boston, and try to find all the lawyers, bankers, and architects who populated vast warrens of offices in 2019. Many simply aren’t there. Others have adopted hybrid schedules, with a slim slice back full-time.

Then head out onto the highways, where gridlock reigns during the morning and evening commutes, pretty much no matter where you are: I-93, I-95, Route 2, Route 1. It’s a numerical grab bag of terrible.

So, who the heck is on the roads and why?

“What really never changed” during the pandemic, says Michael Manville, an associate professor of urban planning at UCLA, “was the idea in people’s heads that ‘when there is a place to go, I drive there.’”

Related

More tolls? Congestion pricing? Mass. lawmakers set to launch study on new road fees.Pandemic shifts ‘supercommuting’ into high gear.How traffic has changed through the pandemic

Manville, who spoke to me during a visit to his hometown of Reading, says there are a few reasons that the roads aren’t a lot better than they were in 2019, despite all the bond buying, corporate lawyering, and executive assisting going on from home.

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First, he says, “it just doesn’t take that many people to screw up the road.” And there’s tremendous latent demand — especially in a place where the economy has been strong — for road space. So if a few people stay home, and traffic gets marginally better, others will eagerly jump into their cars to fill the void.

Second, Manville notes, “a road like 95 or 93, it’s not just a way to Boston. It’s a way to a bunch of other things.” And people use highways to go to the airport, a restaurant, the dentist, the supermarket. “Close to half,” Manville says, “and sometimes more than half, of the people in cars are not on their way to work or school in the morning.”

Indeed, one of the nice parts about working from home is that you can meet someone for lunch. You can pick up dry cleaning. You can get the kids from school. Just because your office is empty doesn’t mean your car is.

And many, many people never stopped commuting. It is pretty much impossible to deliver packages, stock grocery stores, help hospital patients, or clean offices from home.

Manville says he’s not surprised that our traffic is still awful. We remain one of the most congested metro areas in the country.

So, what should we do? Manville says it’s simple: Price the roads.

And the pricing has to adapt to demand, like the price of an airline ticket. After all, being on the road at 8 a.m. is a lot more desirable — and therefore should be a lot more expensive — than being on the road at midnight.

In essence, he argues, we need to treat these strips of incredibly valuable real estate like the limited resource they are. Roads are a public good, like water and electricity. But we rarely run out of water or electricity, because they’re priced. By contrast, we run out of space on the roads every single day.

Some Massachusetts lawmakers want to explore “congestion pricing” and have proposed a commission to study it, though Governor Charlie Baker vetoed the idea in 2021, believing that the pandemic might permanently alter the way we work.

Chris Dempsey, a former assistant secretary of transportation for Massachusetts, says that “of the 10 highest-population metro areas in the US, Greater Boston is the only one that doesn’t have any time-of-day pricing on its tolled roads... We owe it to long-frustrated drivers to explore the use of a tool that has reduced and even solved congestion in other metro areas.”

In Singapore, congestion in the central business district got so bad several decades ago that they turned to congestion pricing. Average speeds quickly rose to about 25 mph.

Several roads in Southern California price specific lanes to keep traffic moving at a brisk clip. And Stockholm and London have also adopted forms of congestion pricing, prompting both declines in traffic and — particularly in London’s case — a spike in mass transit use. (New York is also considering congestion pricing.)

Dempsey believes that traffic in Massachusetts will hold our economy back, and he worries that politicians may shy away from congestion pricing. “What I often say is that we’re 10 years away from a sophisticated road management system here in Boston. But 10 years ago, we were also 10 years away.”

But if we priced the roads, lessening congestion and — importantly — curbing the massive environmental impact of stop-and-go traffic, would the poorest people be hurt most?

No, says Manville.

Being caught in traffic, after all, is not free. It costs gas, and it costs time. If you work at a restaurant, you might lose an hour that you could have been making money. (This is also true for higher-income hourly workers, like lawyers.) And if you have kids, you might have to pay for an extra hour of nursery school, babysitting, or after school, because you were caught in traffic.

Manville argues that “the status quo isn’t fair.” Pollutants from traffic — which can increase the incidence of asthma, lung cancer, and low birth weight — tend to be most harmful to poor communities, which are often situated near highways. Both Manville and Dempsey also point out that some of the poorest workers don’t drive and are instead caught in overcrowded MBTA buses, fighting for road space with trucks and SUVs.

Still, if a banker is better able to cope with a daily $4 toll than a janitor, there’s a simple remedy. You’ve just collected a huge pile of money; distribute it.

Manville advocates finding an income level — maybe double the poverty level — and cutting everyone under that level a check, using the money collected by congestion pricing. It’s simple and low on administrative costs. If the family needs the money to drive, fine; if they can adopt mass transit instead, they can keep the money.

It’s one of those solutions that’s so wonky that mostly technocrats and Europeans have embraced it. But it’s smart. Good for your mental and physical health. Environmental. Progressive. A lot of things we imagine ourselves to be.

Now, Massachusetts has a chance to put its money where its mouth is.

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