A bit more on Boston driving.

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Elder Son writes:

Boston is like a Kama Sutra of intersections.  The number of ways for different streets (or even the same street) to meet exceeds anything I could have imagined before coming here.

Examples:

  • A compund freeway exit ramp that's the better part of a mile long because it leads to about four (?)  different city streets and also accommodates cars entering from multiple unknown origins because in the end it turns into an entrance ramp for the freeway in the opposite direction.
  • The intersection where two streets meet at maybe a 70-degree angle, but one of them makes a soft left turn on the other side of the intersection, and a third street also enters the intersection but just ends there.
  • The intersection perhaps designed by a conceptual artist, wherein a stop light is stuck in the middle of the block with no cross street or crosswalk to justify its existence.
  • The really enormous intersection, a little like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, where you can't even count the number of entering streets before you've driven through it..
  • The many intersections where you come up a steep hill and meet another street at an angle so steep that, with the parked cars, you can't see if anyone's coming.

Like many of us, he is most eloquent when complaining.

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0 Responses to A bit more on Boston driving.

  1. Carrie#K says:

    My Dad was much less eloquent when we were in Boston back in ’75 – he threatened to park on the freeway and walk to the hotel because apparently you couldn’t drive there from ANYWHERE.
    But Boston itself was pretty fab.

  2. Jill says:

    My “quick” trip through Boston last fall to get to the airport meant I spent a great deal of time hearing my gentleman friend (GPS) saying – Recalculating. SO glad “he” came along with me!

  3. gayle says:

    Some years ago, we had visited the Science Museum and just needed to bang a left out of there to head home. Unfortunately, there was a cop directing traffic who was sending everyone to the right, instead. Took over 2 hours to work our way back around to that same spot headed in the correct direction. Inching traffic, cars inexplicably changing lanes (and changing back again), one-ways that were the wrong-way, eccentric traffic-lights, and intersections-you-can-only-find-in-Boston all contributed to a nightmare of driving…

  4. Mary says:

    My family is very New England, and that is pretty much how it goes, street-wise. He missed the part where the locals call the road something other than what the sign on it might say. (Although I have experienced that in the Midwest as well — still don’t know exactly what the Ike is, for instance.) And I have actually given directions including information such as, “turn left at the yellow house that burned down”. Thanks for the smiles, and my sympathy to your son!

  5. Ann in NJ says:

    I was a college student in Boston many years ago, and my first experience after arriving in Boston was a taxi leaving the airport through the Tunnel at rush hour. With an ambulance trying to get through. It left (mental) scars.
    I have driven in Boston a few times in more recent years, but we almost always park the car (excuse me, “pahk the cah”) as soon as we can and take the T or walk.

  6. soxanne says:

    Very eloquent indeed.
    Too bad he has to have a car.
    And btw, finally watched/listened to the previous post’s song. V. funny.

  7. I’ve always found it best not to think about it too hard. Brain explosions and whatnot…

  8. lisa says:

    My brother, who could get lost in a paper bag, was a cab driver for a time in Boston (early 80’s). Once, I was driving with him and he said “stick your hand out the window”. I asked “why????”. He says “because I’m turning that way”. In other words, he was going that way and the hell with the folks behind us and my sticking my hand out the window TOLD them that.
    Yep.

  9. bullwinkle says:

    Those streets are old horse tracks. 🙂 I always marvel at the cities with street grids and organization. At least city planners learned something from Boston.

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