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A Transit Cop and I Had a Chat This Morning

My commute is easy. From Chinatown, I bike about three miles through the Back Bay, South End, and part of the Emerald Necklace on Fenway Street, below:

The worst part of my ride comes early on: the four-way intersection at Charles Street and Stuart Street. This is because Stuart, which is my fastest path to the Back Bay, becomes a one-way street, plus a lot of cars run the red light at that junction. So after I dodge the inevitable rushing driver(s), I get up onto the sidewalk for two blocks down so I don't go against traffic. After that, it's a straight -- and legit -- shot towards work down Columbus Avenue.

This morning, after completing my usual initial maneuvers and waiting at the light on Columbus and Berkeley, a transit officer rode up beside me.

"Were we supposed to go down that sidewalk back there?" he asked me. "On that one way street?"

I stared blankly at him.

"I was right behind you," he revealed.

And then a bulb lit up on top of my head. I HAD PREPARED FOR THIS MOMENT!

"Yes!" I said brightly. "According to Massachusetts State Law, Ch. 58, Sec. 11B," and here he craned his neck to hear me over traffic, "I can ride on the sidewalk! But I have to give way to pedestrians," I finished triumphantly.

"Not in Boston," he informed me. "Boston has a city ordinance that trumps that."

"Oh, okay," I said, sadly. The light turned green.

"Now you know," he said, beginning to ride off. "Be good! Be safe!" he called over his shoulder.

"Thank you!" I shouted back.

So now you know, dear readers. Now we all know.



This post brought to you by these two unbearably cool people:

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