Citizen complaint of the day: Wheelie-popping dirt bikes on I-93

An annoyed citizen complains:

These dirt biker gangs need to be off the streets. One was on I-93S just north of exit 18 and was blocking multiple lanes of traffic as well as impeding lane changes. They were driving slowly and performing dirt bike stunts. One of these idiots hit my car with something and left scuff marks and dents in it. It's about time we get a task force together to get rid of them. This doesn't happen anywhere else in this state that I've seen.

Another annoyed citizen also complains about the situation in John Eliot Square in Roxbury:

Minibikes without mufflers being ridden all over neighborhood every evening and weekend. Please impound them.

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Poor bastard

Do these things even have license plates? Does the guy with dents in his car have recourse against the dirt bike operator in the form of a license plate and insurance claim? Are these things even allowed on highways?

I saw them too this afternoon when I was making my rounds. There isn't a vacant lot they can rent to ride around on? Perhaps an enterprising businessman could build them a motocross course or something.

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Summertime...

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Saw a couple on Highland Ave, Somerville this evening after the parade riding tandem and not letting folks pass. (NO, they were NOT Vespas; mini crotch rockets.)

All I ask is the same I ask of Bicyclists and Moped riders in my weak and tired voice: Would you Please Consider not riding on the sidewalks? I can understand if you ride a bit to the nearest driveway / street corner. That's w/in the rights of the Bicyclists, after all. (Don't know what the Motorized Not Car Stuff regulation is, though.)

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At least some of those

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At least some of those annoying bikes fall in the cracks in the law somewhere in that 50cc language we were discussing the other day. Not required to be registered/insured/etc..., so if they bust someone, it's really tough to back up without things like points and insurance surcharges.

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most are illegal either way -

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most are illegal either way - under 50cc still needs turn signals/headlight/brakelight

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This is not true. They do not

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This is not true. They do not need turn signals. You must, however, use your hands to signal turns.

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Other Suggestions?

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I'd rather those kids be riding dirt bikes through the city than shooting each other. Those dirt bikes bring kids and young men together who would otherwise want to hurt each other. Boston has always been an uptight town anyways. If you're out past 230am you stick out like a sore thumb. In any other big city 230am is the beginning of party time. People in the Bean need to get that bone out of their behinds. Is it any wonder why the Olympics don't want to come here? From a city like Rio de Janeiro to Boston....talk about a let down.

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Che Effing Brava!

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Just as I would respond to anyone referring to my Adopted Home or aspects of my particular pudenda as such.

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The Rio Kids have the right

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The Rio Kids have the right to go home to their corrugated roofed shanties in the Favelas. In Boston, the taxpayers who are upset about things let the kids go home to their subsidized housing (let us argue about the quality of those apts ... another fine thing about Boston).

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reckless driving is just

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reckless driving is just substituting one crime for another —these kids are riding on sidewalks, the wrong way on one ways, passing illegally, lane splitting illegally, most of the dirtbikes quads aren't even street legal because they lack turn signals/brake lights/headlights...

You've got it backwards on the olympics — it seems like we're the ones who don't want it here (because there's no guarantee that the inevitable overage costs won't be shoved off on the taxpayers)

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actually...

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..it would be an interesting comparison; Rio is a great city (if you've had the chance to visit)

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Here's a suggestion

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Get on your little dirt bike and get the hell out of Boston. NYC is calling you with it's nightlife beginning at 230am.

From 1630 until now Boston has been a city of peace and quiet. And we've done quite well for ourselves, judging by your presence here. They should change the law regarding dirtbag dirt bike riders allowing them to be chased until they crash, and hopefully the driver will be able to spend a bit of time in the hospital pondering how great his little toy is.

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Quiet?

Very funny. The only reason Boston has anywhere near the infrastructure and interest it does is because of a budding Biotech and Software industry, which is all about long hours and work hard-play hard philosophy. Take your virgin mary bathtub to the nursing home with you, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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They're not riding dirtbikes in Kendall Sqaure

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I think you missed what this article was about. But hey, if San Jose wants to encourage teenagers to drive unregistered dirtbikes and ATVs the wrong way down streets, on sidewalks, and in parks, I hope they spread the word here so these kids can find a place to go.

Boston was much more puritanical when MIT was founded. We don't want to be New York City. We are happy being us, thank you very much.

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It would be in everyone's interest for there to be a dedicated

It would be in everyone's interest for there to be a dedicated track/enclosed area for these riders.

That said, one of the reasons I LOVE Boston is that it is a fairly quiet, mid-sized city with a ton of history and great cultural institutions. Not everyone wants to live somewhere that's on 24/7. You don't like the city's club culture (or lack thereof)? Well, there are lots of megacities out in the world you can move to that do that sort of thing. NYC's just a couple of hours away. Knock yourself out.

And you've got it backwards about the Olympics: they want to come here and exploit our awesome city (and the taxpayers). Those sticks-in-the-mud who oppose the Olympics coming to Boston? Maybe it's because we've seen what it does to over cities and don't want the debt and displacement.

Speaking of world-class sporting events profiteering and ripping off the citizens of the city and country where they land, the World Cup screwed over the people of Rio royally. Wall Street Journal. Think Progress. Bloomberg. Scientific American.

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Quiet and mid-sized? I feel

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Quiet and mid-sized? I feel like size perceptions have become very skewed because of our proximity to New York which is nearly three times the size of Boston. That said, Boston is the sixth largest region in the country and among the top 50 in the world. Not quite quiet and mid-sized.

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As of the 2010 census, we

As of the 2010 census, we were the 20th largest city in the US, putting us comfortably ahead of Denver but behind Memphis. 2014 Census Bureau estimates put us at 24th, between Memphis and Nashville.

So, yes. Quiet and mid-sized.

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A third choice?

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I'd rather those kids be riding dirt bikes through the city than shooting each other.

I'd rather them be doing neither one. It's not like they're restricted to those two ridiculously bad choices.

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Seriously...

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They're ripping down Washington st in Roxbury at least once a day... right past the police station. Guessing the police don't give chase because it's a public safety hazard... but enough is enough.

Last week I was within 5 feet of being hit while walking my dog ON THE SIDEWALK by a kid that looked no older than 14 on a dirtbike without a helmet. Just yesterday I almost had to drive off the road to avoid hitting some idiot splitting my lane while doing a wheelie.

These dirtbikes and ATVs aren't even street legal, period. They lack the general safety equipment (head/tail lights) that the low CC city scooters have.

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DingDingDing on the police deliberately ignoring them

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A friend of mine lives in Roxbury and is involved in the community association of their little corner of the neighborhood. They had a meeting with the police about the dirtbike wheelie kids a few years ago, and the cops said flat out that a) they were not stopping the kids because the kids would flee and the risk of a helmetless teen crashing and dying while being pursued was too high and b) the police were concerned that stopping minority teens engaged in a minor crime wasn't worth the blowback from the community if one of them died in said chase.

So yeah, the police are deliberately ignoring the problem.

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Do you blame them? Both

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Do you blame them? Both points are completely valid.

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Mad max

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I blame community

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OK, so, semi-serious question

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If the cops have flat-out said they're not going to do anything about these idiots unless they're directly implicated in a larger crime (in which case their capture rate from pursuits is hovering around 100%, with no reported crashes), then what are the rest of us supposed to do when they go screaming by our houses at 8000 RPM? I almost got taken out by one on my (quiet, narrow, steep) street three years ago, because I had headphones on and it didn't occur to me to look for anyone driving the wrong way down a one-way street; E-13 never even sent out a car for a report.

Are the police advocating that we take matters into our own hands? I can install tire spikes in front of my house, but something tells me that would draw the police response that I can't get otherwise.

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I can understand the BPD's need to choose its battles....

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... but, having encountered the groups in several very congested areas and also had my own scooter stolen and quickly hacked into more wheelie-friendly form before police recovered it, I can't help wondering if the BPD's motorcycle unit couldn't be useful in shepherding these assemblies. Hell, it'd probably be more interesting than escorting politicians and funeral processions!

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If chasing is too dangerous,

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If chasing is too dangerous, then the police need to get creative.

Maybe some quick-deploying tire spikes would do the trick. They're designed to stop a fleeing car safely.

Or a roadblock with plastic netting. If the NYPD can use those to round up bicyclists, then it can work with ATVs.

Maybe they can snag a micro-GPS tracking device onto the ATV, and come find it later when it's parked at home.

This is a serious problem, and should not be taken lightly by the city. Besides the risk of injuring or killing innocent bystanders, allowing people to terrorize their neighbors can destroy neighborhoods.

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Golf with dirtbikes

They ride through Franklin Park... Last year I watched as those knife-robbers ran through the golf course. Is there someplace else where this would be tolerated?

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surely these aren't allowed on I-93?

Doesn't a vehicle have to be capable of reaching a certain minimum speed to be legal there? I doubt these qualify. Same reason a bicycle isn't allowed there.

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Ya think?

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Sorry for snark but no--they are not allowed on 93. They're not allowed on the sidewalks, in Franklin Park, or in many cases on the street, especially when they take up both lanes, speed, swerve through traffic, and pop wheelies. That's kind of the whole point. I understand how difficult it is for the cops but aside from being a total obnoxious PITA they are a real menace--it seems like only a matter of time until someone, probably an innocent bystander, gets seriously hurt.

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running red lights

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I was driving down blue hill avenue around 5pm yesterday and a group of dirt bikes blew right threw a red light I was stopped at. If a car hits one of these morons are they at fault?

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This is Boston

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If a car drives across a sidewalk, into a building lobby, and pins someone in an elevator, there's at best a 50/50 chance they'll spend more than 30 seconds telling a cop or judge that the building and elevator rider jumped out in front of them

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You caught me

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Yeah, I dehumanize drivers. It's a lot easier to think that a demonically possessed Christinesque car is bearing down on me in a crosswalk than a rational, thinking human being

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Really

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A they built skateboard park, golf course time to build a park for them time for people to open their eyes dirt biking not going anywhere but the kids on those bikes a gang, street whatever members and if riding a bike on the streets going to stop a young man or woman from becoming a memory or spot in my neighborhood where people are leaving candles and liquor bottles because they been shot and killed so if that's keeping bullets from flying they need to keep it up I'm not in a rush to get anywhere that's going to keep at less two murder from happening the city's gang prevention model is just save one so yesterday dirt bike ride saved more l prevention model is just save one so yesterday dirt bike ride saved let them ride it's only on Saturday or Sunday not bothering Boston businesses just saving lives young lives

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Here's the thing

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First, please learn how to write. That "sentence" is very much a run on and barely understandable.

However, from what I gather, you gist is that those who ride around on dirt bikes and ATVs in Boston are not criminals, so they should be given a berth. This ignores the very complaint this post references, of dirt bikers engaging in basically illegal activities on an interstate highway. Throw the various examples given by commenters, one with no first hand experience would conclude that the dirt bikers don't really care about the law. That's a problem. They drive anywhere without regard for anyone.

If you've read stories and comment threads here at the Universal Hub, you could conclude things about other transportation modes. Automobile drivers have no care and concern for bicyclists and pedestrians, but this ignores the fact that drivers are in fact cognizant of others around them enough that a failure to account is serious, considering the consequences. Bicyclists also have little concern for the rules of the road, except that they do abide by a code of their own- cyclists would typically not drive through a red light if cars were coming, for example. Pedestrians step onto the streets all the time, but pedestrians trying to walk across the Southeast Expressway, civil disobedience (possibly) notwithstanding, are viewed as dim bulbs.

Someone I went to grade school with did not attend high school. It's not that he was dumb (though his grades were not that good.) Before the start of 9th grade he drove a moped into the side of a bus. The reality is that when one of these dirtbikers does the same, there will be silent cheering. This is sad, as all human life has potential, but that will be what happens. If this happens to one of your friends, please do not come to the Universal Hub, because it will make the comments at the Globe and the Herald look tame.

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I though tthe writer you critiqued...

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..was writing in a very opaque style to call attention to the relentless (run-on), no stopping at redlight (no periods), and no slowing or gear-changing (no comma) characteristics of the subject matter on which s/he was essaying.

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"gangs"

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Well, 'groups of youngsters who are jerks about driving their vehicles,' but you know. I realize he could have meant 'gang' as a gathering of people, but it's a completely unnecessarily loaded word. The kids who live across my yard are really into dirt bikes and I'm astonished by how many of my friends have assumed they were up to No Good. I'm 99.995% certain that they just like tinkering with and riding inexpensive motorized vehicles.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/06/30/littl...

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Clueless

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That is a bike gang they only ride in a group and it is coordinated

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I saw a group doing about 60

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I saw a group doing about 60 through Rozzie Square a few weeks ago just as school was getting out going 50 the wrong way up Washington street. Something NEEDS to be done.

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Even if a dedicated dirt bike

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Even if a dedicated dirt bike park were created, where would it go and who would want to live next to it? Secondly, these motocross/ATV "gangs" don't necessarily ride the streets because they have nowhere else to go. Many of them do it to be loud and be seen - strutting their stuff for whatever reason.

When I was driving around the Haitian-American Unity Parade the other week, I ran into a pack of about thirty ATVs and bikes riding around the cemetery off Harvard St. (a few blocks from Blue Hill Ave). I stopped to let them pass (and they were taking up lanes in both directions, might I add), and a few of them went out of their way to drive up on the sidewalk and around my truck as if to surround me, instead of the entire open lane to my other side. That's intimidating behavior if you ask me. On the highway, you'll absolutely run into motorcycle gangs that do the same thing (except at significantly higher speeds). It's not just about riding together, it's about domination.

A lot of those riders are absolutely aware that they're riding around in unregistered, off-road vehicles and that the police can't do much to stop them. In other cities where this practice is known, often times the dirt bikes and ATVs are stolen property (not necessarily the case all the time and I have no idea about those statistics for Boston, but it definitely goes along with the show-off/domination mentality).

By the way, I would absolutely support an in-town off-road park. I drive a built-up offroader every day and head out of town to get muddy as often as I can on legal trails and private property maintained by well-known offroad clubs. I'd love to own a quad and have a place to play with it without having to drive an hour or more. I absolutely think that a lot of our urban bikers would be drawn to such a place and get them away from their dangerous activities. But motorcyclists have tracks to play on and plenty of laws governing them, and there are gangs roving the highways that engage in this same sort of high-risk behavior, so such a park wouldn't necessarily solve the problem.

I guess looking at an ATV/bike group as a positive way for young men (and women) to get together to socialize isn't such a bad perspective, but what happens when these roving groups run into each other?

Finally, here is a relevant article about a similar group in Baltimore:
http://www.vice.com/read/the-wheelying-dirt-bike-gangs-of-baltimore-twel...

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Good heavens

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If I thought a pack of these ruffians were speeding towards me, I might be startled enough to drop the box of thumbtacks I happen to be carrying

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We were traveling on i95

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We were traveling on i95 north on Sunday when a group of approx 20 bikes, some traveling over 100 miles an hour were all around us. Several were screwing with a guy in the left lane, popping wheelies, stopping, etc. we called the police, they never showed, and this group were still jerking around when we approached The Randolph exit ramp, which they had closed by stopping at the entrance.

Pretty freaky, very Mad Max, it feels like the police are not planning to help maintain safety as they are charged to do.

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Police

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it feels like the police are not planning to help maintain safety as they are charged to do

Or they could chase bikers, cause accidents, and then you'll be protesting police brutality and callousness.

#BikersLivesMatter.

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Commissioner Evans said

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Somewhere recently, I can't remember specifically, I heard Comm Evans say that while they don't chase the mini-bikers, they are looking to confiscate them if found illegally parked, etc.

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It seems

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as if some smart targeting by bpd and taking footage or photos of the kids on the bikes would then enable them to ID and track them down rather than having to stop them in their tracks.

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