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Basic rules for driving in Boston


                Basic rules for driving in Boston

     Boston is often acclaimed as the most exciting city in America in
which to drive.  Who would argue?  Herewith, for newcomers and visitors,
are a few basic rules of the road for driving in these parts:

     - 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 driver
is 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
     - 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
     - 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
     - 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
     - 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
     - Speed limits are arbitrary figures posted only to make you feel
     - 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.

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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