Sunday, May 17, 2009

Driving Rules Bostonian Style

I've been talking with a friend of mine who just happened to have lived in Boston several years ago. He worked downtown, not too far from Fenway Park, so he's very well aware of how hellacious the traffic can be. He sent me this:

Basic rules for driving in Boston

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Yes, everything you've heard about driving in Boston is true. If you're from some mild-mannered place like Nebraska, just turn around now - or stick to cabs and the subway!
Some rules:

To obtain a general idea of how to drive in Boston, go to a Celtics game and carefully watch the fast break. Then get behind the wheel of your car and practice it.
Never take a green light at face value. Always look right and left before proceeding.
When in doubt, accelerate.
Very generally speaking, the intransigence of the Boston driveris directly proportional to the expense of his American-made car, and inversely proportional to the expense of his foreign-made car. But in applying this formula, bear in mind that they are all more or less intransigent.
In the long run, parking your car in a lot is always cheaper than parking it at a meter.
Drivers whose cars sport "I Brake For Animals" bumper stickers may brake for animals, but they may not brake for you. Watch it.
Never drive behind a person whose head doesn't reach the top of the steering wheel.
Teenage drivers believe they are immortal. Don't yield to the temptation to teach them otherwise.
Taxicabs should always have the right of way, unless you are bent on suicide.
Never, ever, stop for a pedestrian unless he flings himself under the wheels of your car.
The first parking space you see will be the last parking space you see. Grab it.
Learn to swerve abruptly. Boston is the home of slalom driving, thanks to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which puts potholes in key locations to test drivers' reflexes and keep them on their toes.
Steer clear of people with antinuclear bumper stickers pasted on their cars. They are interested in preserving mankind, which is admirable. But they are not necessarily interested in preserving you, or themselves, for that matter. They have more important things to think about.
Never get in the way of a car that needs extensive body work.
Double-park in the North End of Boston, unless triple-parking is available.
Always look both ways when running a red light.
While it is possible to fit a 15-foot car into a 15-foot parking space, it is seldom possible to fit a 16-foot car into a 15-foot parking space. Sad but true.
There is no such thing as a short cut during rush-hour traffic in Boston.
It is traditional in Boston to honk your horn at cars that don't move the instant the light changes.
Never put your faith in signs that purport to provide directions. They are put there to confuse people who don't know their way around the city.
Use extreme caution when pulling into breakdown lanes. Breakdown lanes are not for breaking down, but for speeding, especially during rush hour.
Never use directional signals, since they only confound and distract other Boston drivers, who are not used to them.
Similarly, never attempt to give hand signals, Boston drivers, unused to such courtesies, will think you are waving them on to pass you.
The yellow light is not, as commonly supposed outside the Boston area, a signal to slow down. It is a warning to speed up and get through the intersection before the light turns red.
Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right.
In making a left turn from the right lane, employ the element of surprise. That is, do it as suddenly as possible, so as to stun other drivers.
Speed limits are arbitrary figures posted only to make you feel guilty.
Whenever possible, stop in the middle of a crosswalk to insure inconveniencing as many pedestrians as possible.
Remember that the goal of every Boston driver is to get there first by whatever means necessary.
Above all, keep moving.

And good luck. You'll need it.


It's all so true!

1 comment:

Bunnylord said...

Dave Barry summed up the experience by saying everyone there drives like they're trying to build up enough speed to jump a bridge.