Chapter 19
Look Both Ways

Especially on One-Way Streets

If you haven't seen a car going the wrong way on a one-way street, you just haven't been here long enough. But this is a student area, and lots of students ride bikes. So, if you haven't been almost creamed by a bicycle going the wrong way on a one way street, then you just haven't been here long enough. In fact, you probably haven't been here even a couple weeks.

The street in front of our building is Massachusetts Avenue, which is the main drag through Boston, Cambridge, Arlington, and Lexington. For about half a mile in this area, it enters the Harvard Square one-way system and is one-way northbound. A block away, Mt. Auburn Street is the other half of the one-way loop. But that just isn't convenient enough, apparently, if one is in a hurry, so many bike riders go down Mass. Ave. the wrong way in this seven-block stretch. This does create a bit of a hazard for pedestrians who naively expect traffic on a one-way street to be moving only one way.

An older gentleman (in his eighties) in our building got creamed right in front of our building. He started crossing the street and POW! he's down on the ground. The biker cursed at him and rode on. Is hit and run by a bicycle a crime?

The other day, I failed to look both ways on my one-way street and I almost got hit. The rider yelled and swerved, fortunately. Didn't stop, of course, and wasn't the least bit contrite. He made a rude gesture to *me* as though I was doing something wrong. I mean, how dare I cross the street without looking in the wrong direction?

"But, officer, I was only going one way!"