Archives Guide ~ Transportation Department (5100)

Historical note

The Boston Traffic Commission was established by Chapter 263 of the Acts of 1929. The Commission consisted of a commissioner and four associate commissioners. The Police Commissioner, Commissioner of Public Works, Chairman of the Parks Commissioners, and the chairman of the Board of Street Commissioners served as the associate commissioners, ex officiis.

The Commissioners had exclusive authority to adopt, amend, alter and repeal rules and regulations relative to vehicular street traffic, and to the movement, stopping or standing of vehicles on, and their exclusion from, all or any streets, ways, highways, roads and parkways, under the control of the city. The Commission had the power to erect, make and maintain, or cause to be erected, made and maintained, traffic signs, signals, markings and other devices for the control of such traffic in the city and for informing and warning the public as to the rules and regulations adopted by the commission.

The Acts of 1957 chapter 253 and Acts of 1962 chapter 338 reorganized the Boston Traffic Commission. Acts of 1962 chapter 338 broadened the powers of the Commission to include offstreet parking. Ordinance of 1962 chapter 9 changed the name of the Boston Traffic Commission to Traffic and Parking Commission and the name of Traffic Department to Traffic and Parking Department.

The powers and duties of the Traffic and Parking Commission, the Traffic and Parking Commissioner, and the Traffic and Parking Department were assumed by the Transportation Commission, the Transportation Commissioner and the Transportation Department respectively under the provisions of section 20 of Chapter 608 of the Acts of 1986.

The mission of the Boston Transportation Department is to promote public safety, manage the city's transportation network, and enhance the quality of life for residents of city neighborhoods. Accomplishment of the mission is ensured through the use of planning coordinated engineering, education and enforcement.



5100.001 Publications 1986-1987, 1989, 1999 4 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Includes publications produced by the Transportation Department from 1986-1987, 1989, and 1999.



5110 Traffic & Parking Department


5110.001 Proceedings 1957-1959 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Minutes of the meetings of the Traffic and Parking Commission.


5110.002 Photographs 1948-1949 1 photograph box

Scope and Contents note
Photographs of streets scenes, intersections and crosswalks in downtown area and neighborhoods.


5110.003 Annual reports and publications 1935-1985 13 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Includes the annual report for 1960; Traffic Rules and Regulations from 1935, 1949, 1959, 1965 and 1976; and other reports produced by the Traffic & Parking Department. Annual reports can also be found in the City Documents series.