Among American cities, Boston is notorious for being difficult to get around, especially by car. This isn’t just civic myth - in fact, a 2004 study by city-livability expert Bert Sperling named Boston by far the “most challenging” large city to navigate in the United States, based on factors such as its street layout, congestion, and inconveniently placed bodies of water.I moved to Cambridge from the more orderly Midwest in 2008 and was struck by how the area’s peculiar street network - especially in the so-called squares that anchor local neighborhoods - can make it so complicated to drive between two points that are nearly next to each other.
As a cartographer, I naturally wanted to see what the most circuitous of these routes look like on maps. Based on experience and some searching, I came up with a few. Stripped of their street names and landmarks, they become almost an abstract diagram of frustration and confusion - and a pretty good case for walking.
Andrew Woodruff is a Cambridge-based cartographer for Axis Maps. This article was adapted from his blog, www.cartogrammar.com.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
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|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
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|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
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