Insight of Boston Driving

I've lived in this city long enough to know that getting from one place to another by car is more than just the physical act of driving – in Boston it's a competitive sport. For newcomers, navigating here can be frustrating, even unnerving to the point of tears. (Seriously, I once came upon a traffic jam that I assumed was the result of a major accident, but which turned out to be nothing more than a single driver from Missouri who was paralyzed by Kenmore Square! The poor guy had pulled over and put his flashers on, and he was trying to ignore the angry drivers around him; he had a map spread across his steering wheel as a succession of locals blasted their horns at him! I felt bad for the guy, but truth be told, I also blasted my horn as I made my pass.)...

So let me offer a few insights about our ways behind the wheel.

Act as though you know where you're going, even if youre lost. This means driving at the speed of the cars around you, and yes, that will mean above the speed limit  – and if you miss your turn, DO NOT jam on your brakes and try to make it, even though you're well past it. Move along; find a place to turn around, and try again.

Drive like a badass, because everyone else does. This means NOT using turn signals, because – repeat after me – Turn signals are a sign of weakness, and badasses are not weak. Especially the female drivers.

Don't expect much from street signs, even if they suggest clarity and logic, because in Boston, signs are anything but clear or logical. Local lore has it that streets evolved out of cow paths. That’s probably true – and the colonists’ cows were apparently suffering from some sort of undiagnosed learning disorder. Best to navigate using the sun – oh, wait, that would assume that the sun is visible, and if you’ve spent any time here at all, you know that this is a very Irish city, right down to the climate. So don’t count on seeing the sun very much.

If you see metal tracks running down the center of the street, you need to remember that those tracks accommodate subway cars – and yes, those cars are large, unyielding and have VERY loud horns. So don't screw up anywhere near them.

Still feel like driving in Boston? No? Don't worry, if you don't feel like driving in Boston, don't worry, you can always take a taxi. Come to think of it, that's probably the best you could do: You won't be clogging up traffic, and our cabbies need the money.


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