Driving the Streets of Boston

I just spent a few days in Boston.  I stayed in South Boston. The streets are incredibly complex, often one-way,  and often separated by a fixed median. I ended up seeing my destination on the other side of  the street, with no way to get there. Lost, I would circle miles out of my way, challenged to find my way back. The freeway grid seems to be disconnected from the street grid. Finding exits and entrances is difficult. Missing an exit is a major production. Once I literally ended up in Cambridge, miles out of the way, just to make a u-turn to get back to where I wanted to go. Oh, the joy, when I got to pay $1.25 toll to get off at the Cambridge exit, and then $1.25 toll again to get back on the other way! And then there are the roundabout (I use the English term) or “rotaries” as they are called in Boston.  They are supposed to make traffic flow easier. Try to navigate your way around a 3-lane rotary if you are not sure where you are going. The signing is sparse, if existent at all, and the speed at which you travel is too high to sort out where you want to go.

What gets me the most is this: I drove a rental car with New York license plates, obviously from out-of-town. So to be safe and find my way, I probably drove a bit slower at key junctions or in rotaries. Incessantly people would honk their horns, clearly after I had done something wrong, like cut somebody off, and as they pass they would give me dirty looks.

Now what am I supposed to do after alleged traffic offense is over, and clearly I don’t even know what the offense was in the first place, or I would not have committed it? The honking and accompanying dirty looks just add more stress and confusion, and make the city that much more unpleasant.

Boston is generally a neat place,  but give me Texas style traffic interchanges any time.

One thought on “Driving the Streets of Boston

  1. Terri Sullivan

    Oh, Norb, I have to laugh, thinking of you struggling with Bostons roadways and those crazy, irate drivers. Did anyone not tell you to buy a Charie ticket? You can turn in your car and then take a water taxi or the sub into the city,from the airport, much less taxing. Although Brian and I were there recently and the escalator up to Copley Sq. was not operating, so the stairs and suitcase seemed like bagging a peak.

Leave a Reply