Dear Allston

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 26

Dear Allston,

I didn’t want to have to do this over the internet, but I am breaking up with you. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as we have been fighting a lot lately, and frankly I just can’t take this anymore. I know people say “it’s not you, it’s me” well this time its totally you.

Seriously I don’t know how you manage to stay in relationships with anyone. Judging by the way you act I think you need to take a break from seeing people and get yourself a good city planner. I know it might seem mean, but in order to help you improve yourself I have included this list of things that drove me away from you. You seem like a nice little section of town, and perhaps with a little bit of self reflection and a lot of road work you could love again.

Your Citizens

Seriously is every single person that lives or travels within your confines a total moron? Why is it that the students that call you home are smart enough to go to Harvard, but can’t figure out how to cross the damn street? Does EVERY motorist have to drive in the bike lane, or make turns with no signals, and whats with all the moms dropping kids off at school and nearly dooring me every damn day. Who instructed your delivery truck drivers that the best possible way for them to drop off goods is by first cutting me off while honking at me and then stopping directly in front of me in the bike lane to scream profanity (PS. Biga Breads tell your drivers not to be such assholes while they are driving your vehicles, bad PR).

Lastly, what have you done to the other bikers who use your roads? They all seem to be rude inconsiderate helmet-less dunces. If they aren’t dressed all in black while riding around at night with no lights, they are busy pretending their commute home is a time trial and pedestrians and red lights are just a waste of time.

In short I think you might want to call the CDC because it seems everyone within your confines has contracted terminal stupid.

The Roads

Baby I thought you were making progress, really I did. You repaved, you bike laned, you sharrowed, but it just wasn’t enough. Your bike lanes are great, and the sharrows do seem to help a little, but its like trying to put a forest fire out with a squirt gun. The sheer torrent of morons has overwhelmed them. Perhaps if you went and repaved the rest of North Harvard, got a whole lot more bike lanes, did something about those giant train track covered intersections on Comm. Ave. and I don’t know…tased anyone who j-walked or parked in the bike lane, well maybe then we could get back together.

Last Straw

Just so you don’t think I am being cruel let me illustrate what happened just today on my way to work.

After fighting for my tiny patch of road by slowly edging my way out of the door zone (which incidentally was full of people who for some reason seem to enjoy sitting in their car with the door all the way open), I was honked at for having the audacity to only follow the car in front of my by 5 feet instead of 1. I guess when you’re in a hurry you only look at the person in front of you and not the other multitude of cars backed up in traffic.

A couple MBTA buses took a swing at me, I know their tricks, but they had backup today. Several yellow school buses also got into the fray moving into the bike lane for no apparent reason on several occasions.

Delivery trucks were set up every 100 feet parked on the right hand side of the road (or in some cases right out in the middle of the lane) the drivers unloading box and box walking right into the street with nary a glance to see if they are about to be run over.

Mothers and fathers sprung forth from their vehicles in a symphony of dooring to drop off their children, college kids walked out from between parked cars at random, and I even had one guy get out of his car in the middle of the street and run across traffic so that his driver wouldn’t have to turn to let him out. Luckily he managed to not be run over by three lanes of moving traffic and myself. Plus I had the added bonus of nearly getting plowed into by a semi-truck who failed to yield to oncoming traffic (me).

All this and some douche bag on a folding bike cut me off after he ran a stop sign and then had the marbles to say “your welcome” as he ‘allowed’ me to pass him on the left. Really buddy, what exactly should I be so thankful for? That I was able to stop in time so that when you ran that stop sign and cut me off we didn’t run into each other? Here is a little pro-tip, only run out in front of fast moving objects if you are going to go faster than they are. Next time it might be a car you cut off, and I am pretty sure they don’t swerve over to one side to avoid you.

In short Allston, you’re a hot mess. I never had this kind of trouble when I was with Dorchester, or Somerville, or even Down Town (and DT is wild). I think I might be forced to start dating the BU Bridge area just to avoid you…yea its gotten weird between us.

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Posted in bostonbiker | 28 Comments »

28 Responses to “Dear Allston”

  1. By Marianna on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Yeah, the school buses in Allston are terrible, I almost got crushed by one making a right turn without signaling from the left lane. Actually, come to think if it, I’ve almost been crushed by a MBTA bus making a left turn from the RIGHT lane. This morning I had to dodge a woman preparing her toddler for school in the middle of Allston Street with the car door wide open. Allston Street between Comm and Brighton needs to lose the on-street parking – BAD.

  2. By Fenway on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Better nuke the place from orbit just to be sure.

    In all honesty I can not fathom why BTD isn’t in Allston in force 24/7 writing tickets for all the stupidity. The fines collected would probably erase the city’s entire budget deficit.

  3. By That Kind Of Girl on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Amen, dude. Every day, while I walk to my bus stop in Allston, I watch the poor bikers getting jammed off the road on all sides and think to myself, “Man, I want those dudes on my side in the zombie apocalypse.” Helmet-tip to you for surviving the abuse.

  4. By Harold_Heckuba on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    I totally agree with almost every statement here. Most drivers are ignorant and inconsiderate and oblivious to what happening outside their ‘little world’ One statement rings very true however “Here is a little pro-tip, only run out in front of fast moving objects if you are going to go faster than they are” Some bike drivers/riders seem to think they are allowed in traffic on the traveled way. If you can keep up with traffic, this is fine, but if you can’t pedal 25-30 MPH, stick to the bike lanes please.

  5. By teeheehee on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    ahem Of course, not all of us who live here in Allston fit this caricature.

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the construction impediments which have left parts of the town’s roads ripped and replaced daily, but never in a way that’s benign to a wheel’s spokes.

    Or that at night the design of all of the death traps change from being based on a general heavy flow of traffic and all the accompanying ailments that brings, to that of total recklessness and stupor as the night’s revelry-goers overtake the streets (in a sometimes loud and obnoxious manner).

  6. By Boston Biker on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply


    You are allowed to drive slower than traffic on the streets, (bikes and cars) its just you know don’t dart out in front of fast moving objects. Especially if your darting is accomplished by ignoring traffic laws.

    Its a speed limit, not a speed minimum.

  7. By elscorched07 on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    good luck finding a place that succeeds in all these things

  8. By Dave on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    What you describe is annoying, but it’s just life in a busy city. I bike commute too and I can relate to your frustration, but I think you should just chill out. Life is too short. Life gets shorty if you ride with a chip on your shoulder.

  9. By DM on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Well put. I think the city needs to enforce the bike lane parking laws more. I also think they need to enforce more laws for bikes as well. I hate seeing bikers blow through red lights, or nearly running down pedestrians.

  10. By 4wheeler on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    The problem is that cyclists are on the road. Go away. Get a car, take the T, walk, move to the country or a city out west. These roads weren’t designed to accomodate you. Retro fitting bike lanes is like putting wings on one of those school buses.

  11. By Andy on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    I drive a delivery van for a small business in the back bay. I see more problems over there than in any other neighborhood. Idiot pedestrians stepping out directly in front of me, waiting until I have a green light to start crossing, texting drivers, cyclists riding the wrong way after dark with no lights. It never ends. I try to be extremely conscious about sharing the road safely, but it’s not easy.

  12. By dr kate on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Um, 4 wheeler? The roads weren’t designed to accommodate CARS! These roads were not only paved for bikes, they were built for streetcars and horse carts.

    So get a horse or STFU already – and learn some freaking history okay?

  13. By erik on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Whether there’s a bike lane present or not, people around here operate as though it’s ok to double park and block the right lane of traffic.

    Take Cambridge St in Boston for example. It two lanes in each direction, with parking available along the curb. No bike lane. I don’t think I’ve ever ridden or driven the eastbound/inbound side of Cambridge St and not observed someone double-parked. This is not an area with bike lanes, so it’s not that people assume they’re not blocking traffic. And it’s literally within sight of the BPD, so you’d think enforcement wouldn’t be difficult.

    I don’t know can be done to fix this. Maybe it’s making more loading zones. Maybe it’s enforcement. Maybe nothing can help. But we should at least try.

  14. By Ray on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    “did something about those giant train track covered intersections on Comm. Ave. ”
    Such as…?

    Choose some new routes if yours sucks.

  15. By Ray on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    @Heckuba: “Some bike drivers/riders seem to think they are allowed in traffic on the traveled way.”
    Uh huh, they do.
    And some motorists think they are not.

    @4Wheeler: YOU go away first, then I’ll go away.
    Deal? No?
    Then since we have to use the same public thoroughfares then we both have to give up something and not drive like selfish morons.

  16. By Sarah on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Yeah–it’s been about five years since Allston and I uh, hung out, and this all sounds pretty right on, though I have to say, the real cause of our breakup was actually the 57 bus which was awful in so many ways, I don’t really know where to begin.

    And 4Wheeler…um, yeah. OK. You have to be a really cool, effective, busy kind of guy to come to a bike website to b*tch about bikes. Yep.

  17. By matt on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    and then there was the guy on the SW Corridor on his blackberry while biking along.

    I restrained myself from yelling at him

  18. By matt on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    BB, you’re just embarrassed that someone passed you on a folder!

  19. By Allston on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Boston Biker,

    I don’t know what made you think we were ever in a relationship in the first place. The first time we met, I spotted your whiny passive aggressive bullshit right away. I *never* liked you, and it’s about time you started to get all of my not-so-subtle hints to either get on your tricycle and ride home to your mommy, or grow up and buy a car.


  20. By Frances on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    It shouldn’t matter if someone opens their car door. Don’t ride in the door zone. Which incidentally is 5 ft from a parked car. 3 ft. for an open car door, 12-14 inches for the handle bars and a bit more so you don’t instinctively swerve when that door opens.See the following link for an excellent explanation of this. “youtube avoiding the door zone”
    Oh, yea our bike lanes are 5ft wide at most. That’s why I always ride as far to the left in the bike lanes. Now if I can just get those bikers to stop passing me on the right.

  21. By Biker Clothes on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Absolutely hilarious. Makes me glad I don’t live up there. Favorite line “tased anyone who j-walked or parked in the bike lane”

  22. By Ron Newman on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    4Wheeler: all the roads in Allston had bikes before they ever had cars.

  23. By i love espresso on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    i often bike commute to coolidge corner from Somerville and it’s awful, I agree. if only on-street parking was not allowed during rush hour (i have the same proposal for Mass Ave) – buses, cars, and bicyclists would all move much faster. let people park on side streets for the AM/PM errands. maybe that will “incentivize” them to leave the car home…

  24. By Marianna on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    Lulz @ 4Wheeler suggesting that it would help him/her if there were MORE cars on the road.

  25. By teeheehee on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    @4Wheeler obvious troll is obvious.

    @Allston nice try, car salesman.

    @Marianna you can’t apply logic where logic has already failed.

  26. By sjc on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    People who dress up like Lance Armstrong and try to push their way through the traffic — obeying the law when convenient and ignoring the law when it suits them. I hate them all and wish there was a ban on the stupid, rude, selfish bike riding idiots.

  27. By erik on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    What’s going on? Do troll pheromones travel through the internet?

  28. By yikesbikes on Oct 27, 2010 | Reply

    @sjc I wish there were a ban on stupid, rude, selfish idiots more generally but its useless to dwell on that. Rude people that ride bikes are rude bike riders. Rude people that drive cars are rude car drivers. The difference is most people don’t know the experience of riding a bike in the city and are therefore much less sympathetic toward cyclists. All road users bends the rules to their own liking. It doesn’t make it right but if people are willing to concede that point we can start to have a fair conversation about how to make things better for everyone.

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