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Why it's not a good idea to rent a car...

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Boston...
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Why it's not a good idea to rent a car...

If you're coming just to visit the city, you don't need a car. That advice has been given over and over on this forum.

Thought I'd share this link of a video that's making the rounds on social media. It's travel-related in the sense that it gives you an idea of how crazy it can be to drive here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq5Mvj4dJe8

Fairhaven...
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1. Re: Why it's not a good idea to rent a car...

Just saw that and they're not kidding.

Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: Why it's not a good idea to rent a car...

So true love it.

Boston...
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3. Re: Why it's not a good idea to rent a car...

I live in Boston. I sold my last car back in the year 2000 and have not regretted it for a moment. Both Zipcar and Enterprise have car share programs going in Boston. I rent a Zipcar about twice a month to get somewhere outside the MBTA's reach or to carry something more than I can tote.

When I need a car for longer than a few hours I pick up a Budget in Cambridge where I don't have to pay the $10 convention center fee on each rental. (I have to pay it once a year on Zipcar.)

I drive enough to keep my driving skills and Boston driver survival instincts in place. I don't recommend that anyone who hasn't honed those skill and who doesn't know their way around the Boston maze drive here.

When out-of-town friends come to Boston to see me, I direct them off the highway to the nearest parking lot (usually at the Prudential Center) and I meet them there.

So while this is light-hearted, it is so true. It is wise trip advisors who tell you to park that car, don't rent a car, and don't drive in this city.

(edit) The bike push in the city has made the situation much worse. When you walk expect bikes to ride the sidewalks, speed through park (where they are prohibited) and run all stop signs and traffic lights. When you see someone on one of the Hubway bikes be very, very careful.

Penny

http://www.bostonzest.com/

Edited: 01 November 2013, 10:55
Boston...
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4. Re: Why it's not a good idea to rent a car...

I think that video will not only curb driving in the city but also tourism. Sounds like Penny thinks driving in the city is ok, it's just owning a car in the city which doesn't make sense.

Driving in Boston isn't difficult. Renting a car isn't needed but lots of people do it when visiting. It all depends on what one plans to do.

Boston...
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5. Re: Why it's not a good idea to rent a car...

I never drive in Boston if I have the alternative to walk, ride the MBTA, or any combination of the two and I am an experienced Boston diver who knows the roads. I worked here before I lived here.

For a visitor, I think driving in Boston is a bad idea.

As for tourism, I think a vistor will enjoy their visit more and see more if they park the car. And, if you arrive by air, you shouldn't need a car until you want to leave the city.

Boston...
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6. Re: Why it's not a good idea to rent a car...

Yes, in general not renting a car is the right idea. But driving in Boston was difficult when that video was made. Driving into the city from the burbs can be a nightmare. Getting from Logan is a piece of cake.

If one plans to venture outside the city or even say to Franklin Park or any of the wonderful places run by the DCR, a rental is the way to go.

Edited: 01 November 2013, 12:02
Hollis, New...
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7. Re: Why it's not a good idea to rent a car...

Of course it's wise to avoid driving in Boston to the extent possible/practical. This is true of most cities, especially those that are relatively dense and have decent public transportation systems. But I've driven a great deal in Boston and have never seen anything remotely like what that video shows. Nor, I suspect, has anyone else on this forum.

You could make a montage of the worst traffic moments in and around any major city and present it as a horror show. Do I think drivers in Boston are worse than average? Sure. Do I think it's a confusing place for "outsiders" to try to navigate? Absolutely (and for my money, this is a much bigger concern than the behavior of other drivers). But to suggest that the video accurately represents the experience of driving in Boston is crazy.

Nevertheless, I enthusiastically echo the sentiments of most folks here: If you're flying into Logan for the purpose of visiting the city, renting a car is a foolish, expensive decision.

Boston...
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8. Re: Why it's not a good idea to rent a car...

I wouldn't recommend that a visitor to downtown Boston rent a car to get around in the city. But I would not discourage anyone from renting a car to take day trips or to drive to Boston and park their car while sightseeing.

I often drive downtown on city streets and there is nothing scary about it. There is a lot of traffic going in and out of Boston during rush hours, and driving at that time will take longer but it's the same thing in most large cities.

There is progress as drivers are learning to watch for cyclists in the bike lanes. I see much less confusion with the new traffic patterns for the bike lanes now that people are used to them. Everyone--pedestrians, drivers, cyclists--have to learn to co-exist.

While the video is amusing, it might be more compelling had the big traffic scenes actually been filmed in Boston. It's not a documentary though, it's entertainment.

Boston, MA
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9. Re: Why it's not a good idea to rent a car...

Let's not get carried away. A lot of that was tongue in cheek I lol'd at the Dunkin' Donuts mention.

I am quick to say, "don't rent a car" but personally I drive around more than I would like because of my spouse's mobility issues.

Boston...
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10. Re: Why it's not a good idea to rent a car...

Curb tourism? Please. It's a joke.

Edited: 01 November 2013, 15:21