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A Word About Boston Streets

Boston, especially where we stayed in Cambridge right next to Hahhhvahhrd, is beautiful. We loved feeling safe enough to walk around at night every night along with tons of other pedestrians. We used Harvard Yard as a short-cut to get to Harvard Square, musing that we were literally walking around on campus. It brought back my college memories.

Driving in Boston and its vicinity, however, was a nightmare. I swear that Boston city streets look like one of those particle pathways:

Credit: starsandspirals/flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

We had GPS on, but it usually said things like “Use the right hand lane to turn left at…” and by that time we’d mistakenly missed that left hand turn and got force-merged somewhere else. I think once we even got forced onto a street that took us over the Charles River when we didn’t want to, and we had to cross the river again to get back to where we got confused.

This picture was an example of an EASY intersection. Elsewhere, there were roundabouts. I don’t know why Europeans are good at roundabouts but Americans seem never to be able to navigate them. We (well, Rob) completely missed going into a roundabout entirely and ended up on the wrong street, going the wrong direction, thus taking a 10 minute detour because the rest of the streets are a pain in the ass. On the positive side, we got to see a lot of areas of Boston, by accident.

Overwhelming amount of angles and traffic lights.

This picture is of the type of intersection we always got messed up on because if we weren’t in the middle lane, we got shunted off to the right if we were on the far right, or we missed the right road further down if we were in the left lane. Also, the image in the GPS was never clear enough to tell us when we would be merging – it showed a thick line until the last second, and if you happened to be in the wrong lane when the GPS zoomed in to show the actual turn, it’s too late.

The way I see it, to navigate those streets, it’s best to have a brain that gets you into Harvard or MIT, because otherwise you’re too dumb to figure it out!

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