Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers weigh in on stories about Massachusetts drivers and navigating without GPS.


Nice article about Boston driving (“Road Rude,” August 13). You could have included a reference to the Boston’s Safest Driver app. The actual city-funded competition is over, but the smartphone apps used for it are still functional. I was surprised at how well it works. It really does provide a good reminder of how well or poorly you are driving.

Douglas Hagerman / Onset

Loved it. Stacey Myers captured “us” perfectly. I’ve driven in Europe, sat in Tokyo and Bangalore traffic, and driven in 40 US states. Massachusetts drivers are very bad (but Rhode Island drivers are slightly worse). Thanks to Myers, I realize I drive like a UPS driver — paranoid. I constantly check the mirrors. I see danger everywhere. I try to leave that cushion space, but people keep cutting in. I actually stop at stop signs. I use my blinkers. Yeah, it’s hard.

Edward Lawrence



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I learned to drive in New York City, where motorists are very sharp and savvy (though all their cars acquire dents over time). Then I was in Milwaukee, where drivers are recklessly and nastily aggressive. Then my husband and I found a home in Braintree — and the first time a “Masshole” driver stopped to let me cross a street it took me a few moments to believe it. Drivers here are spectacularly unpredictable: They run through yellow and newly red lights, wait awhile at green ones. But we’ve also found a wonderful considerateness. Driving in Boston is always an adventure and hones one’s defensive-driving skills to a razor’s edge. We’d rather drive here than Wisconsin (or New York) any day.

Louise Quigley / Braintree

Loved this article. My father taught me to drive. We were heading into Scollay Square — back then, no paved mall, rather, seven or so roads intersecting. His instructions: “Don’t look to your right, don’t look to your left. Whoever gets there first wins.”

Diane Raymond / Brookline


As a proud Bostonian, I think the comment about driving in California being more stressful than driving in Boston is spot on. In Boston, you learn to be prepared for drivers anywhere in close proximity to do something ignorant. We have very few rotaries in California. People who have never been on a rotary are hilarious. Until one has done the Columbia Road rotary at peak traffic, you are a novice.

Joe McGrath / Lomita, California


Barbara Moran’s article was well written and thought-provoking (“Mapping It Out: Can We Still Find Our Way Without GPS?” August 13). It caused me to reminisce about our honeymoon cross-country trip in our 1968 VW bus 44 years ago. It was a wonderful adventure to read the maps, following the route laid out by AAA. The article rekindled my desire to purchase paper maps of the areas we travel.

Kathleen Ivanowski

North Brookfield

My Maine Atlas and Gazetteer or Maine state highway map are the only GPS I’ll ever need. When traveling out of state I might look up an address on my phone, but still pull out a printed map to get us there.

Ellen M. Roffey


Baileyville, Maine

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