Follow-up to the Drving in Boston rules, from a ~native, Marc Lippman (SABU) of the DECUS scheduling committee (VAX rep): I can vouch vociferously for most of your points. Here are just a few clarifications, based on years of Boston commuting: 1) The goal of the Boston driver is not to arrive first at their destination. It is to do their part in making the driving experience as challenging as possible for the other drivers, however much it may slow their own commute. This is illustrated by those who come to a complete and total stop, and wait for three clear lanes of traffic, when the turn they are making feeds into a dedicated lane nobody else can use anyway. Note that they do not do this unless there is someone waiting behind them. 2) Note the number one classic technique, the "Mass Pullout". When pulling into traffic on a busy, undivided, two-way, four-to-eight lane street from a parking lot or stop sign, it is simply not acceptable to wait for all lanes of traffic to empty in order to make a smooth entry onto the roadway. This could slow one down as much as 30-40 seconds. Life-threatening behavior is clearly justified to avoid the delay. Take it one lane at a time. When the lane directly in front of you is free, pull into it, perpendicular to traffic, and stop. Repeat until you have blocked all lanes in both directions. Then, slowly turn into the direction of choice, re-crossing as many lanes as possible. Straddle any two lanes of choice and proceed at 20% of the posted speed limit until you are passed angrily by one of the people you cut off. Then tailgate them no matter what speed they go, since the incident was obviously their fault. 3) Massachusetts invented the traffic rotary. Most Boston techniques apply here, but remember several special rules when negotiating a rotary: 1 - Proceed into the rotary regardless of who may already be in that lane, pausing first only if there is no one in front of you and several people behind you. 2 - Proceed directly to the middlemost lane in preparation for abruptly crossing the maximum number of lanes when exiting. 3 - If you want to exit the rotary from the inner "fast" lane and are uncomfortable about doing so, simply stop your car. This will cause other people to stop and try to pass you, effectively clearing the lane to your right, allowing you to pull into it at your leisure. 4 - Remember that only YOU have the right of way in any rotary. 4) Turn signals are a sign of weakness. 5) Misplace your Mass Turnpike ticket, and don't look for it until you are stopped at the toll booth. Never carry exact change, it's considered rude. Never pull into the toll lane you appear to have selected. Always veer two or three lanes to one side or another at the last minute for no apparent reason. Once you have reached the toll booth, ask for directions, even if you're not lost. Repeat them back several times. Do NOT follow the directions you are given. 6) If you are driving a rental car, conceal that fact using "WBCN-The ROCK of Boston" bumper stickers, lest to be identified as a "%@#&* tourist", which would result in a feeding frenzy and your certain annihilation. Questions will be cheerfully answered. Enjoy your driving in Boston! --sabu -From: pixie <EKPPMEO@MVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU> Never park at meters. Meters run out and you will get a ticket. Simply double park next to the empty space, thereby saving not only a parking ticket, but the meter change as well. Don't be fooled by the lines on the road. If there is almost enough room for two cars--move over, it's two lanes. Never put on your signal in anticipation of a turn. Signals are to be used to let other drivers know what you have just done. Always wait until you are well into the turn before signalling. Never, never look for street signs. If you do find one, it is probably turned around. When asking for directions, always ask the person to spell out the name of the street since you will not recognize it from their pronunciation. Directions such as turn left, turn right, or go straight, are almost always useless since every intersection in Boston must have at least 5 points, none of which are left, right, or straight. If you miss your turn, never plan on circling the next block to get back. No two blocks in Boston are parallel. If you are a pedestrian size up the traffic flow and find spots where you can dart in between cars to get across several lanes of traffic. Don't worry that you are crossing against the light. If any startled driver stops when you jump out inches from his car, be sure to give him a dirty look because now he has messed up your traffic pattern. Put away the street maps--they won't help. Follow your nose and you'll have better luck. And last of all don't forget--the expression "You can't get there from here" originated in Boston. From: email@example.com Subject: Driving in Boston, Cairo, and India In Article 2275 of rec.humor.funny, J. Bologna gave the basic rules for driving in Boston. But those rules sound as if they were made up by a tourist. A real Boston driver knows that there is only one rule: Never let the other guy know you see him. Bologna's rule about looking both ways before crossing on a green light violates the prime directive. A real Boston driver stares straight ahead and pretends to have glaucoma. A true pro would really have glaucoma. Yet Boston is only exciting for American drivers. Paris and Rome are much more exciting. But very few places can beat Cairo. When your side of the road is divided into three lanes by two dotted lines, standard practice in Cairo is for two drivers to straddle each of the two lines. That gives each driver maximum flexibility in light traffic (which never occurs). In heavy traffic (the normal case), that increases the road capacity by allowing 5 cars to drive abreast. But those who want to perfect their driving technique should go to India. A friend of mine, Frank Anshen, went to a linguistics conference in New Delhi and took a taxi from the airport. As in New York City, Indian taxi drivers are normally Sikhs, who wear a large turban. As they were driving from the airport, the taxi driver kept his head turned to the back seat while carrying on a running conversation with his passenger. Meanwhile, Frank's knuckles were turning white from gripping the seat and the door handle, as they careened around winding mountain roads and stormed through villages with cows, chickens, and people scattering in all directions. At one point, the driver said "We Sikhs are the best drivers in the world. "Do you know why," he asked, "we Sikhs are the best drivers in the world?" "N-n-no," Frank stammered, "Why are Sikhs the best drivers in the world." "Because," the driver answered, "we Sikhs are not afraid to die!"
(From the "Rest" of RHF)