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Taking a left turn immediately after the light changes to green.

Boston area roads tend to have one lane in each direction; if the first driver at a light needs to make a left turn, frequently only one or two cars would be able to get through the light on each cycle.

Many assertive drivers will extend the principle of the Boston left and attempt to forcibly take a left turn when the reach the intersection; they do this by slowly inching out until someone yields right-of-way.

While turning left as soon as the light changes is one type of Boston Left, it is certainly not the only (or most well known one).

The situation:

You come to an intersection with no signal lights. You stop at the stop sign and wait. The road you wish to turn left onto is a two way road, and has heavy traffic in both directions.

The uninitiated driver will sit there waiting. As an opening arises in the closest lane (the one moving to the right) the far lane is way too crowded to get in. Then the close lane will close up, and the far lane will open. They end up stuck waiting for five or ten agonizing minutes before they get a clean opening.

The solution:

Said to have been invented by a boston cab driver, the infamous Boston Left is the game plan here. A very simple, and yet very effective manuver, in 2 easy steps:

1. Wait for an opening in the near lane, and move into it. This effectivly blocks off all traffic comming from the left. Often causes the trapped motorists to beep at you. Be careful doing this as some more agressive drivers will try to go around you as you are getting part way out. Once the lane is completely blocked, you are usually safe.

2. Wait for an opening in the next lane, and then turn left into it, completing your turn.


A very common move in Boston. Actually, many turns can't be made during "rush hour" without using it. Generally accepted as a Boston manuver, and does not always go over well in other areas of the country. Drivers in upstate NY dislike it alot and will beep and yell nasty things at you when you try it.

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