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Public Transportation

Tord | Feb 17, 2000 01:17 PM

Seth wrote -----
"Public transit is good in Boston, although not as extensive as New York, by comparison. One could certainly live a full life in Boston without a car (make sure you bring a bicycle, though), although having a car in Boston couldn't hurt, so long as you're willing to pay for a parking spot or endure Boston's insane parking regulations and lack of adequate street parking."

---- Reply --------
I had an appointment at the Boston Medical Center yesterday. I left our church (working on the heating system) at 1:10 PM and arrived for my 2 PM appointment at 3:10. It took two hours to go about five miles. This is all too typical of the Boston public transportation system -when you are forced to take the buses in Dorchester. The Red Line trains run on time and the schedule is frequent -- every ten minutes usually. Buses are another matter entirely. In Cambridge and the more affluent places around Boston the buses are probably OK - but NOT in Dorchester.

I could get to the Medical Center in about 10 or 15 minutes on a bike as an alternative to Boston's incredibly bad bus system -- but --- some years ago I happened to find a funky ten speed at a yard sale - it cost me 20 bucks. The bike had Italian gears and brakes. - and the frame was painted white but was very light and strong. I took it on the T to a bicycle coop in Cambridge to get it tuned up. The guys said it was a very expensive bike and did the work. My first trip was the mile or so to our local medical clinic. The first thing I experienced - in this brave new world - was the incredible pot holes and broken glass, etc. on the road sections that one has to ride through in Dorchester. The second fact of life is that Dorchester drivers will actually try to run you over and leave the scene - on a bike or anywhere in the street, you are somebody's idea of a virtual reality game. Generally speaking, a significant number of Dorchester Asian drivers are out to lunch, some PRs are extremely aggressive behind the wheel and some AAs don't like white folks. As far the Anglos - "You don't have to be crazy to live here -but it helps." If the cops set up a roadblock on Dot Ave. or Columbia Road the courts would be full of cases of people driving without licenses and with no insurance - which is usually why they leave the scene after they run somebody over.

We are told that Boston car insurance rates are the highest in America. Poor people can not afford insurance and they drive without it - and sometimes without a license - and often with absolutely no common sense.

I got to the clinic and chained my new old bike to the bike rack by the door. I was inside for a half -hour eye appointment. When I came out, the heavy chain was cut and the bike was gone. That was my first and last bike-ride in Dorchester as an adult. The cops at Station Eleven thought I was hilarious to suggest that they could recover my bike. Bicycle theft is big in Boston - but I hardly ever see anybody riding a bike except downtown and in Cambridge. The kids who ride up near our church often have body parts missing or metal plates in the their heads. It's not easy to find an old-fashioned bicycle store in Dorchester. There is one in Fields Corner. They have a skull and cross bones over the door. "Abandon All Hope - Yee Who Exit Here."


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