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A large and important street in Massachusetts that stretches from close to the Boston shore, across the Charles River, into Cambridge. There it passes several well respected institutions of higher learning, including MIT and Harvard, and travels through Central Square, Harvard Square, Porter Square, out of Cambridge and into Arlington. From Arlington it enters Lexington and then finally is renamed North Great Road as it passes South of Hanscom Air Base.

Commonly known as Mass Ave.

Mass Ave actually ends in the town of Harvard, with a couple gaps between there and Boston. There are more iterations further west, but nowhere near as closely linked.

Mass Ave is also known as Massachusetts Route 2A along much of its length.

Despite the fact that it is the only remotely direct surface route from Dorchester and Roxbury to Cambridge and points north, it is only one or two lanes in each direction for its entire length, making it a traffic nightmare for drivers and lethal for cyclists. In Cambridge, Mass Ave even has special booby traps laid out for unwary cyclists: they call them "bike lanes".

The bike lane runs in the door zone, which means any cyclist who falls for the trap and rides in the designated lane is going to get hit by a carelessly opened driver-side door sooner or later. (On 2 July 2002, Dana Laird died as a result of being doored into the path of a bus directly outside the Central Square office where I work, resulting in widespread anger and debate among cyclists but no real-world changes.) What with that, the potholes, the debris fields, the street-level railroad crossings, and the drivers who will scream at you and actually try to kill you on purpose, it's amazing I managed to survive biking to work for a year. It helps to wear army clothes and chains and bike like a paranoid maniac on speed, I guess.

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