Last night, whilst driving in Waltham (home to my lovely hairdresser who does wonders with the walking disaster that is my hair), I saw a sign that said: "No jake braking." Which kind of made me step on my brakes, but then I let up immediately for fear that I was jaking. What the hell is "jake braking" and why have I never noticed this sign before?
She discovers the answer, natch.
When it comes to Mercedes-Benz, Carpundit says: never again:
... I like it when it works, and I like the prestige, but I won't buy another. It simply isn't well-made. Something is always breaking. (Usually something electric.) ...
Yesterday, car owners had the chance to complain about evil pick-up trucks.
Today, Dave, who drives a big manly-man SUV, complains:
... [T]his morning I was cut off twice by the same douchebag in a little Jetta. It was some guy driving his girlfriend's car, all shined up just like his hairdo. And suprisingly enough, this little tits-and-ass-mobile didn't have blinkers that worked either! What are the odds?
I watched him (and I use this term loosely, because seeing a man in a Jetta just doesn't compute), where was I? Oh right, this Boi went on down the highway cutting others off, including large tractor-trailers, seemingly intentionally passing them then darting back into their lane with no directional, just mere feet from their front bumpers. ...
Bonus Masshole link: Jetta/Hot Chick Theory.
Lisa digs up a page that not only lists complaints about MDC (or DCR or Mass Highway or whatever it is today) roads but provides responses from the state! Of course, this being Massachusetts and all, the page hasn't been updated since last April.
Ben, meanwhile, claims a Quincy police cruiser crashed last Thursday on a lightly dusted Furnace Brook Parkway, you know, one of those state parkways that got Katherine Abbott fired as DCR commissioner and that the crack crews at Mass Highway would henceforth clean up lickety-split:
So who was responsible for keeping the Parkway safe on Thursday night, acting DCR Commissioner Steve Pritchard, or MassHighway Commissioner John Cogliano? And if their negligence caused a police officer to crash and "our focus has to be on public safety. That comes first, and there really can't be any latitude on that front," can we have another blood sacrifice? Please?
Invoke Precedent Romney! Pritchard or Cogliano must go! Actually, since a police officer was involved, Pritchard and Cogliano must go. ...
It's amazing to me how many incidents, in the very short time since I started driving again, I have had with Ford trucks. I've been bullied, cut off, or otherwise treated meanly, and it's almost always by owners of that particular vehicle. It's weird.
Carpundit, though, attempts to show how the Beths are wrong in singling out the F-150:
... The F-150 has been the single best-selling vehicle in America for more than 20 years. They're only giving you their proportionate share of trouble. ...
To which I feel compelled to add: Sorry, but Toyota Camrys and Ford Tauruses are also very popular vehicles, but when's the last time you got cut off by one?
Jason loves his Dodge pickup, but concludes it's time to trade it in for a vehicle that gets better mileage, like, oh, a car.
Beth concludes the Ford F150 is the vehicle of evil, after some jerk in one nearly kills her in the equally evil Lowell Connector this morning.
Chris, meanwhile, is forced to write a breakup letter to his overly clingy Saturn dealership - and beg it to stop stalking him:
... I think it is time that I start seeing other dealers. To be honest, taking my picture while getting into my car for the first time was a bit weird and I felt as if you were coming on too strong. To make matters worse, when I was in getting my oil changed one day, I noticed a picture of me in this big binder with other new car owners. How long have you been selling other cars to people behind my back? ...
Clayton Cramer lives in Boise, Idaho, but he grew up driving the freeways of Los Angeles, so he figured navigating our fair Hub by car would be tolerable - even after friends warned him about our traffic. He now knows better:
... I was attempting to get from Storrow Drive to Boylston Drive, and I was in the right lane. This was not a right turn only lane, but the taxi driver behind me kept honking, trying to force me to make a right turn a couple of blocks earlier than I needed. I'm a pretty accommodating person, and I became tired of the honking. Also I have a natural sympathy for some guy who, if he is lucky, is making about $6 per hour in exchange for risking holdup or murder, so I made a right turn that I didn't want to make. I figured that I would go make a grand circuit, and return to Storrow Drive. Nope. By the time I was able to finally get headed the right direction again, I was across the Charles River in Charlestown. ...
Atlantic Avenue, near South Station.
It's the cone that really brings this ensemble together and so we're pleased to present this week's award for Best Use of Crap to Save a Boston Parking SpaceÂ to the "owner" of this space on Belgrade Avenue in West Roxbury.
It used to be "guy who kills his parents then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he's an orphan. Lis says Gov. Romney has redefined the term by firing the head of the state department responsible for plowing on the VFW Parkway in West Roxbury because those four kids got hit by a car, even though the department's budget has been cut 37% since 2001 and it has more roads to plow AND he used part of the department's limited funds for that Super Bowl rally last week:
... Um, governor? How is the agency expected to plow without money to pay the drivers? Where does the buck stop, anyway?
Note: What's also galling to those of us who regularly drive that stretch of road (raises hand) is that the kids were walking in the road TEN FEET FROM A PLOWED SIDEWALK and yet this woman gets fired. And never mind the city should never have built a high school in a place that can ONLY be reached by crossing what is basically a highway - a sure recipe for disaster when dealing with teen-agers, who are convinced they're invincible and so routinely saunter along/in the road before and after school, regardless of how much snow is on the ground.
Apparently, lots of Cantabridgians wait until the absolute last minute to get a new Cambridge parking sticker (and apparently, Cambridge doesn't let you get one online like its more enlightened neighbor across the river):
... I considered bagging it but then we all agreed the meter maids will be running wild on the first day of the new permits. All those snow covered cars will be easy targets as it would not be impossible for them to have the newer stickers in place. Two hours later, and half way through Coetezee, my time approached. Did I have everything? I went through the careful interrogation and, fortunately, they accepted my papers. As I left, precious permit in hand, I noticed the evening rush was even longer.
Post script - I noticed that the meter maids were indeed out and all the cars on my street with old parking stickers sported new tickets. ...
Chris proposes a way to end all the cone/chair battles:
[F]rom late December to mid-March, create assigned spaces. Such spaces could be adjudicated in whatever way seems appropriate - through a lottery, through a market-rate fixed cost, or tied to units and property tax payments. Those without space to park would need to find alternate arrangements. ... It may not be a perfect solution but would keep people from beating each other up over plastic cones.
In a Globe report on the Traffic Tieup from Hell, Carpundit notes this snippet:
"Josh Resnek, 55, editor of the Chelsea Record, said it took him 1Â½ hours to drive from North Station to Mass. General, where his wife was in surgery."
To which Carpundit adds:
Josh, you can walk it in ten minutes. Park the car.
Frecklegirl tries the Warp-Factor-9 approach to getting into her re-snowed-in on-street parking space in Cambridge and, of course, gets stuck in a snowbank and blocks traffic:
I jumped out of the car, grabbed my trusty little shovel and start trying to get my car out. I do a little dorky wave to the disgruntled Harvard guys and they look at me like I am the stupidest girl on the planet. Which, of course, I am.
Then, out of nowhere, my savior comes! Even weighed down with a gigantic backpack, he shovels like a madman!
Another guy jumps out of one of those F3000 trucks and helped push me out of the devil space with the help of Backpack guy.
Shelley owns up:
... This morning I left a blue recycling bin to reserve the parking space I painstakingly cleared the other day. I have never "hosied" a space before, but I defy anyone else to enjoy the fruits of my hard labor whilst I cruise the neighborhood looking for parking tonight, muttering expletives all the while.
How to save a parking space, Roslindale style (although what would've been really cool is if they'd run an extension cord out to the lamp).
Michael gets pulled over near his BU office for running a yellow light and gets an earful from the cop:
... First he told us that BU was pressing the Boston Police to write more tickets on campus, and bigger fines, in order to instill a sense of automotive respect for the laws of a civilized society. It seems that the privileged rich kids in their BMW's and Mercedes act like that the traffic laws were written only for the rest of the peons, and write off parking and traffic fines as one more cost of doing business, the business in this case consisting of using Daddy's money to get through college with the least amount of physical and mental effort possible. ...
However, he was just getting warmed up in his oratory. He immediately launched into a diatribe against FOREIGN STUDENTS who he said were the worst of the worst, both because they were uniformly ignorant of local traffic laws and regulations and because they were so rich and spoiled that they practically laughed in his face when he wrote them up. ...