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The Hitchhiker's Guide To Nowhere

Posted by Jim Botticelli  August 24, 2013 12:11 AM

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HitchikersMassPike.jpg
Hitchhikers line the entrance ramp to the Pike at Mass Ave and Newbury St

"Got no money in my pocket so I'm gonna have to hitch hike all the way ..."  Marvin Gaye

Back in the day, hitchhiking was a common way for the young and the broke to get around and out of DOB. It wasn't unusual to see people all over the city with their thumbs out like it was part and parcel of daily life. Around here it was called thumbing and whether it was to get from JP to Copley, Harvard to Central, Kenmore to BC or Boston to New York, it was as common then as bicyclists are today.

According to Massachusetts state law, hitchhiking is not allowed on turnpikes (the name given to highways with tolls). This included, of course, the Mass Pike which is why the picture shows groups of people lined up on the entrance ramp where it IS legal. Thumbing on other highways and streets is legal if you stand on the shoulder and obey the rules of the road.

The young lady with the guitar will be less threatening and make better company for a lonely driver, a sad fact of life for the guys, inherently dangerous by nature, and a privilege fraught with danger for the young lady. In fact the danger index rose so rapidly in the 70's, it made hitchhiking risky business that dropped pretty quickly in popularity. For a few years it was an act of freedom and a pretty cool thing to do. By the 80's it was a thing of the past.

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According to Massachusetts law, hitchhiking is not allowed on turnpikes. This includes I-90. Hitchhiking other highways is allowed if you follow the rules of the road (stay on shoulder, walk facing traffic, do not pass 'pedestrians prohibited' signs) - See more at: http://www.chacha.com/question/is-hitch-hiking-illegal-in-massachusetts#sthash.f7aZFw2c.dpuf

According to Massachusetts law, hitchhiking is not allowed on turnpikes. This includes I-90. Hitchhiking other highways is allowed if you follow the rules of the road (stay on shoulder, walk facing traffic, do not pass 'pedestrians prohibited' signs) - See more at: http://www.chacha.com/question/is-hitch-hiking-illegal-in-massachusetts#sthash.f7aZFw2c.dpuf


According to Massachusetts law, hitchhiking is not allowed on turnpikes. This includes I-90. Hitchhiking other highways is allowed if you follow the rules of the road (stay on shoulder, walk facing traffic, do not pass 'pedestrians prohibited' signs) - See more at: http://www.chacha.com/question/is-hitch-hiking-illegal-in-massachusetts#sthash.f7aZFw2c.dpuf

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Jim Botticelli, a 1976 Northeastern University graduate, is a retired Boston Public Schools teacher. In college, he drove a cab and learned the city's cow paths. An avid collector of More »

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