Boston Driving Rules

Departure Time: 7:10
Arrival Time: 7:50
Weather as I call it: Sunny and amiable...yeah, that's right
Paper Guy: Rockin' the McD's windbreaker again
Shady Gas Price: $2.89
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


The Boston Morning Commute Driving Rules as compiled by me:

Rule 1: Everybody's in a hurry -- Respect that fact.

Rule 2: Never snooze at a red light.

Rule 3: If you are slow, stay right.

Rule 4: If you are going to pull into traffic, never make eye contact…but be swift.

Rule 5: Blinker use is optional when switching lanes.

Rule 6: Pick a lane and stay in it...Do not ride the white dotted line down the middle.

Rule 7: Don't tailgate.

Rule 8: During a “slow merge event”, follow the “one car after another” format.

Rule 9: Exiting on the right from a left lane is never acceptable.

Rule 10: Keep your rage down to a miminum – remember Rule 1 when angry.


Storrow Drive Improvement Study

Departure Time: 7:29 --> Late start
Arrival Time: 8:22
Weather as I call it: Sunny and agreeable...yes, I typed agreeable
Paper Guy: Wearing a black McDonalds windbreaker...which is so IN this spring
Shady Gas Price: $2.89
Yelled at other drivers: Yes
Feared for my life: Yes


You can see that if I leave 10 minutes later, it adds 10 minutes to my trip duration. I think a pre-7:20 departure time is the sweet spot.

Big News: As I was driving by the Museum of Science, I saw a sign that stated something to the effect of: Storrow Drive survey -- please take one...

There were two guys handing out surveys to gather information for the upcoming repair on the Storrow Drive tunnel.

I rolled down my window and gladly took one. If I mail it back with a valid return address, I have a chance to win box seats to a Sox game. Cool.

They were also handing them out at the intersection near the Eliot Bridge. The two guys at this location seemed to be having a bit of trouble just getting peeps to roll down their windows while they were stopped at the red light....When one of the guys started to come towards my car, I held my survey up and smiled. He gave me a thumbs up and walked to the next car.

I swear I saw some dude eating cereal out of a bowl while driving this morning. I may be seeing things.

Also, some station wagon decided to try to exit right from the left lane while I was driving alongside him...I blared my horn at him and called him an idiot.

He almost caused another accident with some other car...I saw the tire smoke in my rearview.

Guy, put down the survey and drive.


Lower Gas Prices => Raise Approval Ratings

Departure Time: 7:16
Arrival Time: 8:00
Weather as I call it: Sunny and pleasant...yeah, I typed pleasant..so what?
Paper Guy: Working the other side of the intersection...I guess the traffic coming down Winter Hill in Somerville was had the dollar bills a-waving this morning
Shady Gas Price: $2.89 My gasoline bill last night was 37 bucks.
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


I saw a guy riding a scooter today...I wonder how many miles per gallon it gets ('city' miles of course...don't want to ride that thang on the highway)...?

Some peeps on Epinions say they get 100-125 miles per gallon. Whoa!?! If Boston didn't have winter 8 months out of the year, I would get one....

Who am I kidding? I wouldn't get a scooter because I would become the laughing stock of the company. My wife entertained the idea of buying a Vespa for her commute...until her sister said that she would throw "things" at my wife as she putt putt putted by.

The Prez is working to lower the cost of gas...Man, that guy will do anything for a higher approval rating.

President George Bush Approval Ratings Graph


Tuesday IS The Most Productive Day

Departure Time: 7:19
Arrival Time: 8:09
Weather as I call it: Sunny...really sunny...very bright as I left the house...probably due to the reflection off the rain
Paper Guy: MIA...must have been in the Dunkin' Donuts bathroom
Shady Gas Price: $2.87
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Lots of congestion today...Sometimes Tuesday can be a tough day in terms of traffic. Not sure why, but probably because Tuesday is the most productive day of the work week. Peeps just want to get to work early...so they all leave the same time I do...and throw off my trip duration average. Man, can't these college kids party on Monday night too? (Party responsibly, of course.) Then, they would leave later and not mess with my 'flow'....as they say in my neighborhood.


Slippery When Wet Isn't Just A Bon Jovi Album

Departure Time: 7:18
Arrival Time: 8:02
Weather as I call it: Light mist...colder.
Paper Guy: Brown hat and in the middle of the street making a sale.
Shady Gas Price: $2.87
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Hey...It's rainy...it's Monday....Here's the story:

This guy with New York plates was really annoying me today...he was trying to merge...and had his right blinker on...but there was no room for him to merge over.

I have to thank Paper Guy...since he made a sale in the middle of the street, it caused the break in traffic that allowed annoying NY plates guy to get the heck out of my way.

Some school van braked hard on Storrow in front of me...so I did the same. I skidded about 10 feet...just enough to freak me out...yet I didn't fear for my life.

Need to put together the Boston Driving Rules post....I should remember to do that this week.


Commuting for Dummies

Departure Time: 7:20
Arrival Time: 7:56
Weather as I call it: Sunny...High 50's
Paper Guy: Like a beacon of life...standing strong in the sun...wearing shades..no hat
Shady Gas Price: $2.79
Yelled at other drivers: Kept quiet
Feared for my life: Cherished my life.


Ideal driving weather conditions...low volume...no hassles...

If I were training peeps to be Boston drivers, today would be a good introduction.

Off tomorrow...see you out there on the roads ---> Monday.


I'm A Smoker...I'm A Joker

Departure Time: 7:16
Arrival Time: 7:52
Weather as I call it: Overcast...kinda damp...makes my bones ache. That's how I know I am old.
Paper Guy: Same outfit as yesterday. Too cold in the mornings still
Shady Gas Price: $2.73 and rising
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Since school is out of session for the kiddies in town (April vacation, you know), getting through has been very easy.

I saw a guy with the LOUDEST shirt I have ever seen. I swear I saw it as a bright spot from two miles away.

Lots of smokers in town. I saw many peeps flicking butts out of their windows...all opne only three inches...just the right width to let smoke out and not a lot of cold air in.


You Better Listen To Your Radio.

Departure Time: 7:18
Arrival Time: 7:58
Weather as I call it: Mostly Cloudy
Paper Guy: I think he's back to a brown winter cap. Mornings are still cold for him.
Shady Gas Price: $2.69
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


No radio station vehicles to knock me off the road today.

The leaves are shooting off the tree branches again...soon we won't remember what a bare tree looks like.


How's your Patriot's Day?

Departure Time: 7:17
Arrival Time: 7:48
Weather as I call it: Mostly Cloudy
Paper Guy: I think I saw him wearing a crimson winter hat...as I zoomed by!
Shady Gas Price: $2.67
Yelled at other drivers: Yes
Feared for my life: No


So, if you are driving a school bus to help runners get to the Boston Marathon's start in Hopkinton...then you can cut in front of traffic to pull into the Museum Of Science parking lot. OH! OK...NOW I get it....I didn't know that before today.

The worst thing that happened was the person who was driving the truck for the radio station WFNX who cut me off on Storrow. There was a maintenance truck stopped in the right most lane...with his hazards on So, as I was merging onto Storrow, I saw this truck ahead of me and I tried to merge over one lane....I saw that everyone else was following the "one car after another" rule...very harmonious...Well, when it came my turn to merge....'FNX truck wouldn't let me in...and cut me off. I yelled out something not nice...

When I got into work, I used their site's feedback link and sent them this message.

"I don't know who was driving the FNX truck around 7:30 this morning, but that person cut me off on Storrow Drive. It doesn't make a good case to tune in when your moving billboard is causing near accidents during the morning rush. Please let the person know that they should be a little more considerate on the roadways, especially when driving a vehicle that is promoting the station."

It was probably some intern...or even worse... Stephen Mindich driving to the Phoenix offices near Fenway.

Hey next time, be nice...


How Good is Friday?

Departure Time: 7:17
Arrival Time: 7:54
Weather as I call it: Partly Cloudy...had to put the shades on in Somerville
Paper Guy: The MAN IN BLACK..no hat...shades.
Shady Gas Price: $2.65
Yelled at other drivers: Nope
Feared for my life: Nope

Schools out of session today...some businesses are closed...Tis Good Friday.

I didn't see if the new "Reverse Curve - Reversed Curse" sign was still there. Storrow was unusually congested...and I had to pay attention to the road. Wah.


Dependency On Foreign Oil

Departure Time: 7:14
Arrival Time: 8:01
Weather as I call it: Overcast...storm clouds abrewing
Paper Guy: N/A
Shady Gas Price: N/A
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Took the Tobin into work today...because I had to fill up the tank before I drove to work...My gas line actually came on when I was stuck in traffic waiting to get onto Storrow. Probably another reason I yelled.

35 bucks...ooooof.


Frustration Times Three

Departure Time: 7:18
Arrival Time: 8:14
Weather as I call it: Sunny and warmer
Paper Guy: Still winter for Paper Guy
Shady Gas Price: $2.63...wah.
Yelled at other drivers: yeah
Feared for my life: Nope


Where do I start? So much to talk about.

1. Lots of bikes out today...with talk of gas prices rising to 4 dollars a gallon this summer, I might be biking to work soon...(Note to self: lock down bikingtowork.blogspot.com domain)

2. It was a bear to get on to Storrow Drive today. I originally blamed it on pedestrians since there is a crosswalk right before the ramp. (Of course, this was my theory before I knew what was happening further along Storrow......wait for it....wait for it)....Hey peeps, when the light is green, you gotta go. To my fellow commuters on foot...when the light is green...please patiently wait until the walk signal tells you it is safe to cross. Believe me, there will be pull-lenty of time to cross the street.

So, after sitting in the line of cars to get onto Storrow for over 10 minutes, I yelled out "COME ON!"...and then beeped my horn at the dude up front when the light turned green.

3. Somebody has replaced the "Reverse Curve" sign with a small replica...This green sign is probably one tenth the size of the original sign...it is hanging down from the Longfellow bridge on small chains...it's painted green and has two phrases on it

"Reverse Curve"
"Reversed Curse"

Sweet A. I hope the Mass. Highway Dept. lets it stay up.

4. The real source of everybody's Storrow Drive issues was of course an 18 wheeler that was stuck underneath a foot bridge that had a height of 12 feet. Remember, Storrow Drive is for pleasure vehicles only....

Here's a photo of the old sign...the day they took it down...If they take down this new sign, it won't be a photo op.


Major Boston Holiday

Departure Time: 7:16
Arrival Time: 8:03
Weather as I call it: Sunny and seasonal
Paper Guy: Crimson hat again
Shady Gas Price: $2.59
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: Nope


Pretty uneventful drive today. Paper guy walked right in front of my car to make a sale. It was a gutsy move since I hadn't come to a complete stop yet.

Opening day at Fenway this afternoon...the third biggest Boston holiday...next to Evacuation Day (which just happens to be March 17th) and Patriots Day (third Monday of every April)...It does make sense that Boston Holidays happen in the spring. We like to celebrate winter's end.


It's just another manic....ah, shut up.

Departure Time: 7:17
Arrival Time: 7:57
Weather as I call it: Sunny 45 degrees
Paper Guy: Wearing a crimson winter hat...must be a Harvard fan
Shady Gas Price: $2.59
Yelled at other drivers: Nope...
Feared for my life: No



Check out that arrival time...40 minute duration...are you kidding me? Right on.

It's sunny, but it's still cool...

No yelling. No fears...just love for everyone....yes love...ok, how about fond wishes?


Another brilliant example of Boston engineering

Departure Time: 7:14
Arrival Time: 7:55
Weather as I call it: Basically the same day as yesterday
Paper Guy: Basically the same outfit as yesterday...no smile though
Shady Gas Price: $2.59
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No

TGIF! Another easy ride...so I will take time to talk about this dangerous intersection that I drive through each day:

Click image for a larger view

The photo above is from local.live.com...check the site out when you can. Anyway, this photo captures one of the most interesting intersections in the Boston area. It's always a crazy time in the place where the Monsignor O'Brien Highway and Cambridge St. and the Green line railway meet.

The trolley cars you see on the bridge are a part of the MBTA's Green line subway system....America's oldest subway system....They are rolling into the stop called Lechmere..which is the most north of all the Green line stops.

The issue with this intersection is that you have three (3) lanes of traffic that are set to travel under the trolley bridge...but the space under the bridge can really only accommodate two lanes!!

If you look at the photo, you can see two arrows which indicate that these lanes are for cars going straight under the bridge. (The white van is stopped above the third arrow...I HATE VANS.) Do you see how the white dotted lines sorta trail off as they get closer to the bridge? That's because the beams that hold up the bridge are only two car widths wide....well, maybe more like two and a half car widths wide...but it still makes for tight passage...especially with peeps who are driving Grandma to MGH or something...and the beams are real old Lower Deck type beams...painted green but still the rust comes through.

If you are in the area, give it a try. There is nothing like driving so close to the person next to you that your sideview mirrors touch.


Riding down your freeways......

Departure Time: 7:15
Arrival Time: 8:00
Weather as I call it: Sunny and 45 degrees
Paper Guy: Big smile on his face...shades..and a brown winter hat
Shady Gas Price: $2.55
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No
A pretty effortless ride to work today. Paper guy looked like he just won the street-corner-worker lottery...(a little known lottery) his smile was infectious.
Kudos to the dealership. They fixed everything I needed fixed in the CR-V for no charge....but there's still not getting a link from me.


01:02:03 04/05/06

Departure Time: N/A
Arrival Time: N/A
Weather as I call it: Dude...it's snowing.
Paper Guy: N/A
Shady Gas Price: N/A
Yelled at other drivers: N/A
Feared for my life: N/A


Yeah it snowed this morning...and anyone who said they couldn't believe it...well, this is Boston...not L.A.

I had to drop the CR-V at the dealership so they could fix some stuff...drove down 128...peeps were driving in the breakdown lane...legally...but I don't know about driving at 85 MPH.


When the Rain Comes....

Departure Time: 7:15
Arrival Time: 8:05
Weather as I call it: Rain...heavy at times
Paper Guy: He has his umbrella...and his hat back on his head.
Shady Gas Price: $2.49...but the station down the street had it at $2.59
Yelled at other drivers: Once, but I will explain.
Feared for my life: Twice.


I think we all know by now that rain lengthens my commute. I wish it had snowed more this winter (not really) because I would have been able to compare rain traffic with snow traffic...since I do believe that peeps drive better in snow than rain.

The crawl to Storrow Drive was puddle-ridden...and getting wetter as time went on...not from the rain falling down...but from another source...

There was this guy...in a green Chevy Cavalier...opening his door and spitting on the ground...every light cycle when we were stopped, he would open his door and spit...and spit...and spit....and spit...It didn't make the bagel I ate for breakfast feel all that good in my stomach...


As for the fear or in this case fears...I hydroplaned a little bit and then I didn't see a red Prelude when I was trying to change lanes...thankfully, I stopped myself before I hit him...but the heartrate jumped to 147 BPMs...(that's an estimate).


Opening Day

Departure Time: 7:17
Arrival Time: 8:00
Weather as I call it: Partly sunny
Paper Guy: No hat on his head...but hat in his hand...not ready to let go of winter yet.
Shady Gas Price: $2.49
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


First Monday after the clocks 'spring ahead'...I was really expecting lots of sleepy drivers on the road...not so much...People seemed to have their wits about them.

Sox open up their season in Texas today...soon, Paper guy will be wearing Hawaiian shirts. Now that will be a photo op.