Massholes: Nature or nurture?

Dave Alpert discusses douche lanes - lanes on local roads that are full of douchebag motorists, such as the far right lane at "the end of Storrow Drive - where it forks into Soldier's Field Road and the bridge over to Fresh Pond Parkway." But he wonders: Do the roads turn people into Massholes or are Massholes just naturally attracted to them?



    Free tagging: 


    Speaking of Storrow Drive

    Speaking of Storrow Drive and bad lanes, there was quite an accident on Storrow where it squeezes down to one lane around the Cambridge Rt2 exit. I counted at least 5 cars involved in one way or another. My best bet is someone was in the middle lane, realized it was now only one lane to the right and attempted a high speed last second merge.

    Simple sollutions are

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    Simple sollutions are available

    1)Spend money. Put more signs, paint more arrows, and place those yellow reflector poles that block lane changes (as in the storrow drive example)

    2)Make money. Ticket the douches. Illegal lane change, using the horn excessivly and blocking the box.

    Blocking the intersection is the absolute worse because it screws up the entire network. If I were mayor it would be a $500 fine.

    Bizarro turf war

    In Boston at least, the problem is enforcement. It's empirically evident that BPD doesn't do traffic unless they're on a paid detail -- even then, with great reluctance -- and BTD officers are only authorized to manage parking, not moving violations. The Interstates and "parkways" (e.g. Storrow Drive and Mem Drive) are State Police territory.

    With all the overlapping jurisdictions and layers of public agencies around here, you'd think someone would have responsibility for keeping the douches in line -- good luck with that. Maybe a new mayor could fix the "system", but I'll believe it when I see it.

    The worst part is that BPD

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    The worst part is that BPD doesnt doesnt spend any time around college campuses, because they have their own police forces.

    Problem is, campus police isnt allowed to issue traffic violations.

    As such, the BU bridge is BUPD land, and BUPD cant do anything unless theres a party in your van for them to break up.

    Also dont forget Park Drive, another peice of state police land. So even though the red sox crowd uses the two lane road like a highway, tries to run over pedestrians, and blocks streets... BUPD and BPD dont do anything about it.

    This is just nonsense

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    BUPD is a full-function police force and can write tickets for moving violations as they desire. BUPD and city police have both also created speed traps on the BU campus before, including using BU parking lots as setup points.

    Also, BU Bridge is DCR controlled which puts it under the jurisdiction of the State Police. That also has nothing to do with who can write a ticket for moving violations witnessed on the bridge. This isn't the Dukes of Hazzard and you don't get to avoid a city ticket by "crossing the border" onto someone else's "turf".

    I'm not sure there's anything true in your entire post.

    Ill try to find where i read

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    Ill try to find where i read that. Maybe it's a policy instead of a law.

    Have you ever seen univerisyt police pull over a car?


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    I travel through BU's campus every day and I've seen BUPD with cars pulled over before. It's not super-frequent but it does happen. I know they are pretty good about slapping red light runners that they observe (you're a real winner to run a red light in front of ANY cop) and double parking is another one that they crack down on a lot near Agganis Arena and the gym.

    Now that the bike lanes on the east/central areas of campus are ticketable I'd expect to see them out hitting people who stop in front of the student union still too.

    When did BUPD receive that

    When did BUPD receive that authority? I know for a fact, that they did not always have it. When I was a student, that was an on-going issue that BPD wanted traffic enforcement rights and the state would not change the law that restricted campus police from that duty. Can you point to the legislation that changed this?

    Im glad someone else is

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    Im glad someone else is backing me up on this. I did not find a source, but I distinctly remember an article about the redesign of comm ave talking about how it would reduce speeding...and how that was important because BUPD could not stop people from doing so, and BPD did not patrol the street because BUPD could handle other crimes.

    n Boston at least, the

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    n Boston at least, the problem is enforcement. It's empirically evident that BPD doesn't do traffic unless they're on a paid detail

    I live in East Boston. There is an intersection a couple of blocks away from me that is a 4-way stop and it is rare to see a car from *any* direction stop. But police here have seemed to figure that out and I see someone stopped for running the stop sign at least once a day every day of the week. Saratoga St is also a popular place for Eastie cops to stop people for speeding or violating a "no turn on red" from a feeder street to it. I'm absolutely sure that the cops are not on a simple paid detail; they are patrolling like they should be.

    Glad to hear it

    Granted, we do occasionally see BPD staking out the illegal left turn from eastbound Boylston St onto Mass Ave. But managing an intersection to prevent gridlock? I don't know that I've ever seen that done except by paid Red Sox details.

    A similar

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    location that has frequent illegal left turns is from Mass Ave. onto Huntington in front of the Symphony. Which infuriates me because you need to be in that lane to turn left onto Westland Ave. So you either stay in the right lane, and may have to cut your way into the left turning lane (you become the douchebag), or you more often that not end up sitting behind the douchebags trying to make an illegal turn across Mass Ave.

    BPD does ticket traffic law violators

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    It's empirically evident that BPD doesn't do traffic unless they're on a paid detail -- even then, with great reluctance

    Not so. If you drive northbound on Granite Ave from Quincy into Dorchester, there's a light at Hilltop St right after the drawbridge. The right lane is clearly marked "right turn only", and I frequently see Boston cops pulling over and ticketing cars that drive straight in that lane.

    Larry Davidson


    You're right, I take it back. But not the gridlock part.

    More empirical evidence

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    There are two one-way intersections in my immediate neighborhood that often have policemen lurking nearby to catch the (frequent) Massholes who think they can drive the wrong way down these streets because they live on or near them. In fact, I have more than once seen a cop just flagging down the cars as they come sailing through and sending them into a queue on the side of the road where they have to stop and wait for him to finish writing the tickets of the motorists ahead of them.

    Blocking the box

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    (Requisite "huh huh" in response to "blocking the box.")

    Why do they not enforce for that? I think there are all of four or five people in Massachusetts who realize it's illegal to block an intersection, and none of them are cops. Just about every time I stop when the light is green so as not to block the intersection, I get people honking and screaming and revving their engines at me. Twice in the last month this has happened in view of a cop. One time the Masshole behind me actually pulled out and swerved around me so he could block the intersection himself. Cop in next lane didn't do anything.

    A cow orker got yelled at by a detail cop across the street "move it -- you have a green light!" Cow orker said "if I pull out now I'd block the intersection up there." Cop again yelled at her to "get moving."

    Seriously, Boston could get a shitload of revenue if they spent a week sending cops out on a few hours of overtime to write traffic citations.