You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who "loves" traveling Route 20. No matter where it cuts through, the windy route that shifts relentlessly from one lane to two and back, curving through traffic lights from Marlborough all the way into Sturbridge.
Lately, everyone's been complaining about the traffic even more. While Northborough undergoes its Downtown Improvement Plan, and Shrewsbury continues with highway upgrades, the bottleneck during certain times of the day is enough to make the patient otherwise.
Patch set out to see how long it really takes to navigate Route 20 from Marlborough to Shrewsbury. Editors from Northborough and Shrewsbury along with Patch the Pup hit the road at 5:05 p.m. on a recent Thursday, starting at Panera in Marlborough.
According to Mapquest, the trip—from Panera in Marlborough to Williker's in Shrewsbury—of 7.52 miles, should take 13 minutes.
Pulling out of the Panera plaza at 5:05 p.m., it was pretty smooth sailing into Northborough, which was hit at exactly 5:08 p.m. driving at 40 mph. A minute later, Patch the Pup insisted we stop in to the Sea Dog Steak & Ale for a break.
We took a break to talk with Emily Santo, Meaghan Burke and Louis Ramos, who were enjoying some appetizers and beverages on the patio.
At 5:16 p.m., we hit the road again, throwing us seven minutes off our path.
By 5:17 p.m., we passed Beezer's hot dogs and a minute later Freshway Pizza. All is good, until we got to Northborough Septic Service on Main Street. At 5:20 p.m., the traffic is at a complete stop waiting to get through the Northborough center traffic light.
Passing by the Historical Society, it is 5:27 p.m., taking another five minutes to crawl to the corner of Hudson Street near the Gulf Station in Northborough.
We make it through, and Patch the Pup needs to stop to relieve himself at Dunkin Donuts. It is 5:35, and it takes Patch five minutes inside.
By 5:41 p.m., we approach the first entrance to Northborough Crossing, hitting our destination, Williker's Tex Mex and BBQ, at 5:44 p.m.
The breakdown: We left Marlborough at 5:05 p.m., stopping at the Sea Dog in Northborough as well as Dunkin Donuts, and arrived at Williker's at 5:44 p.m. That's 39 minutes, minus 12 minutes for stops, making the trip's total 27 minutes.
Take a look at our video to witness the trip in action.