Aug 07 2007

7 “Rules” For Driving In Boston And Surrounding Areas

bostonsignsI have lived in the Boston area my entire life (except for when I went to College in NH) and have gathered together the most important rules for driving in Boston. Due to the craziness of Boston streets and construction, here is the way one sign may look to a person driving in Boston…and I understand this by the way! Now back to the 7 rules

Example of Rule: I was explaining to my friend Vasken who used to live in Boston my strategy for informing someone of their mistake while driving.

Me: If you’re driving along and someone does something that got you mad, you hold down your horn until they look in their rear view mirror and then you honk twice.
Vasken: Well how do you prevent someone from making eye contact with you through your mirror.
Me: If you notice, I don’t have a rear view mirror (it fell off a few days before, but it was great timing to prove the point)

Note: I will use some Boston slang…look it up if you don’t understand. Also, do not take any of these as the actual rules of the road as this is meant to portray humorous situations.

  1. Never Make Eye Contact: The cardinal rule of driving in the Boston area is never make eye contact because it shows weakness. If you cut in front of someone and they beep at you, pretend it doesn’t phase you…as long as it doesn’t conflict with rule 2 with you as the one beeping
  2. The Horn Is Your Friend: Make sure that when someone makes a mistake, you let them know…because how else are they going to learn. Make sure you have a good sounding horn because otherwise no one will pay attention to something they can’t hear. Refer to example above on proper honking techniques.
  3. Turn As Soon As The Light Changes: If there is a “cah” in front of you who is not from Mass, they will expect to go, but they are now in your state. Let them know the proper etiquette for Boston and turn before they have a change to go (Mass drivers just accept it). Also, NEVER let someone in who is waiting to turn. If you let one person go, it is free hunting for the next 20 “cahs”.
  4. Speed When In A Rush, Don’t When Trying To Piss Someone Off: Now I don’t condone speeding, but Mass residents have places to go and things to do and we can’t be bothered with the little things of obeying speed limits. However, there are times when another person will ride your tail (even at 85mph) and try to pass you. If you are in a two lane road, pull next to someone who is going a decent speed and put it on cruise control. Watch how the person behind you squirms and moves trying to get by…it is very fun if you don’t have a time crunch.
  5. “Pahking” Spots: If you see a space that is open, even if it is 3/4 mile away from your destination, take it as it is the last spot you will see. I have seen people miss meetings to try and get a better spot and still not get one.
  6. One Way Streets: Boston has many one way streets, but that doesn’t mean anything. When on a one way street, stay to the right to allow traffic to pass coming from the other direction.
  7. Know The Area By Streets: Back Bay streets are in alphabetical “oddah”: Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, etc. So are South Boston streets: A, B, C, D, etc. If the streets are named after trees (e.g. Walnut, Chestnut, Cedar), you’re on Beacon Hill. If they’re named after poets, you’re in Wellesley.

The final part to this list is not on there because it is my biggest pet peeve. USE YOUR BLINKER!! I know most Mass drivers do not use it and that is why people call us “Massholes” but honestly, it is not that hard to do. I have had too many people almost get in accidents because of this tiny little problem.

driving, rules, boston, masshole, boston area, 7 rules, car, cah, funny, humor

About the author

Timothy Haroutunian

Timothy Haroutunian is a ServiceNow Cloud Implementation Specialist at Acorio. ServiceNow is an IT Management solution that allows for a complete view of your IT and physical environment.

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