When I visit with friends from out of town or newcomers to the area, they inevitably bring up Boston drivers. Yes, they are crazy. And there is really no way to prepare you for the amount of crazy you will encounter. Living in the city itself only amplifies it.
Yet, when I try to explain it to someone who hasn’t visited they don’t quite get it. After all, everyone thinks their city has the worst drivers so how can the ones in Boston possibly be that different?
To help you learn a bit about Boston drivers I’ve developed this helpful quiz. All of these are situations I’ve encountered in the last week or so.
#1: You (the Blue car) are trying to turn left at an intersection. The car in front of you has not yet turned. Do they not know you have somewhere to be?? What do you do?
A) Wait patiently for the car to turn and hate them silently.
B) Honk your horn to let them know they need to get a freakin move on.
C) Just turn anyway.
The answer, of course, is C. And this happens to me on a regular basis. Not that I am the blue car, no I am the red car and while I am a reasonable driver I’m not totally crazy. I prefer not to turn when cars are speeding towards me. But it happens all the time that the person behind me finds me to be too wussy and just turns, leaving me out there, still in the intersection.
The first time this happened I thought the driver was crazy. Then it happened all the time and I started to realize the hell I had descended into.
#2: You are leaving a parking lot and need to turn left. The side of the road you’re turning into is full while everyone is at a stop light. What do you do?
A) Wait until it’s clear. Even if it might be a while.
B) Wait until the light turns green, then quickly pull out and wedge your way in.
C) Just go. Screw the traffic coming from the opposite direction.
The answer, of course, is C. This happens at a parking lot right by our house every time I go by it. EVERY. TIME. It doesn’t help that this parking lot is home to a Dunkin drive-thru with 2 windows which is always packed. Even worse, the stop light is timed so that the traffic going right-to-left turns green long before the traffic going left-to-right. So the stupid Boston car sits there, blocking at least one lane, while traffic gets all backed up behind him.
And now your last test:
#3: You are trying to turn right but the intersection is all in gridlock. What do you do?
A) Wait your turn and vocally curse the other stupid drivers who blocked the intersection.
B) Honk loudly because obviously that will change things.
C) First of all, this diagram is all wrong. Let’s try this one instead.
Because why would you be in the right turn lane? Because that lane is slow. You would be in the wrong lane. And then when you got stuck you’d just drive around everybody because hey, screw them.
And what if the left lane is backed up? Well that’s easy, too.
Just drive on the opposite side of the street.
Last time this happened to me, I was in the right turn lane and there were FOUR cars all across the road, taking up the whole thing, trying to turn right. Because this was obviously going to make things go faster for everyone.
See, all those answer A’s are what good drivers do. Answer B’s are what normal bad drivers do, the kind you run into every day, and we all indulge in Answer B behavior now and then. But C… that is a special level of bad-ness reserved for Boston drivers.
So how did you do? Ready to conquer the crazy Boston streets?
I didn’t think so….