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Pole stops drunk driver's jaunt through the Harvard Square bus tunnel, police say

Smashed SUV

Photo by TPD.

Transit Police report arresting a man they say was drunk when he drove into the Harvard Square bus tunnel and then crashed his SUV into a pole, around 12:30 this morning.

Police say Patrick Michael Burke, 33, of Boston, sustained a "minor knee injury," and was charged with OUI.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

Reckless operation? Trespassing?

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Yes, I know, 12:30 AM. But it takes a while to move the car and check out the poles for stability ...

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He's lucky he didnt kill anyone. Hope this is the wakeup he needs to get into AA.

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Maybe 25 or 30 years ago, a driver managed to kill himself when he slammed into one of those poles. It was about the same time of night, maybe 1:00 am. That one didn't involve alcohol; it was the conclusion of a high speed chase that started in Concord and came in Route 2. Driver thought he could elude police by taking the tunnel.

We lived on Concord Ave. in Cambridge then, and we heard the whole procession, including the police sirens, sail past our house, minutes before reaching its untimely end.

For years afterward, you could still see the marks on the pole where the car hit.

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Can someone with more knowledge of civil engineering explain to me why we are not jumping on the retractable bollard bandwagon that much of Europe seems to have sorted just fine; even if only for T property?

I get that snow and ice could be concerns here, but everything else seems so easy. Outfit every T vehicle with a cheap transponder for access and call it a day. You could probably set them up in every station that has a dedicated bus area for less money than the boondoggle that is the ever-forthcoming new payment system. No more random car intruders in Harvard, Forest Hills, Ruggles, etc.

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I think they have enough to worry about as it is, especially since this rarely happens.

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I’ve seen it several times over my years of commuting through this station. Don’t think it needs an expensive fix, but this guy is far from the first.

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They wouldn't be able to keep hydraulic bollards operational.

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"I am actually a Silver Line driver and the vehicle malfunctioned!"

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I hafta say he musta been hella drunk to be able to get into that busway. From where the car is in that photo, looks like he most likely entered on the Common side. You gotta actually **want** to turn into the busway. There's all sorts of signs and no left turn signal at that intersection. He musta been coming from Mass Ave South because the road geometrics don't allow for any turns into that busway except from Mass Ave. (or he was that drunk he did a hard, hard left turn from Cambridge St/Return to Sq lanes.)

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Looks more to me that he entered the upper busway at Mt. Auburn Street. The space to the left of the columns is the waiting area for the 71 and 73 buses. He probably was coming toward where the picture was taken, hit the column and the rear end skidded out toward the wall.

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on the right (inbound) side of the Common entrance, so they go into the left (outbound) side. They think it's a Harvard Square bypass or something.

I saw one of those while waiting for the 77. Very confused driver who was lucky not to get hit by a bus :-(

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A very confused driver in Cambridge? I don't believe it

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the parking garage under Harvard Yard.

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You see, if our dang subway stayed open later, he wouldn't have been in such a hurry and lost control in the tunnel.

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Helpful suggestion: if you're going to take the bus home because you drank too much to drive, it helps to walk into the busway, not drive there.

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Old school alcohol showing other mind altering substances that it will make u stupid and dead and others in your path dead easily.

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