7.5 min readBy Published On: August 2nd, 2022Categories: Features21 Comments on The Worst Intersections in South Boston

I’ve been driving in Southie since I was 16 and I’ve tackled everything from double parking to banging a U-y on East Broadway on a busy Saturday.  I can parallel park with the best of them and move my car in the nick of time to avoid it being towed on street cleaning.  You might say I am a Southie driving expert.  So with that in mind, here are my picks for the worst intersection in South Boston:

Perkins Square.  This intersection is bad for numerous reasons.  First, the people who park in front of PS Gourmet. Whether cars are double-parked or parked too close to the crosswalk, it makes that right from Dorchester Street to East Broadway a hair-raising task.  Not to mention the maniacs in the left lane coming from East Broadway to West Broadway that either decide that they didn’t really want to take the left onto Dorchester Street or knew all along they were gonna take the right.  Reason number two? Now that the city has taken away the green arrow on Dorchester Street to make the right up the hill on East Broadway, this intersection has become even more tricky.  Because of the removal of the green arrow, if you are coming from Dorchester Street from Stats and trying to take a left up the hill on East Broadway, you face death.  You have cars coming at you every which way and you just hope that people don’t smash into you because they’ve decided to ignore your blinker and drive around you instead of waiting ten seconds to let you go.  Reason number three?  The lunatics that live by the code that no rules apply and blow right through red lights in every direction. On a side note: when is the construction going to be done at 480 West Broadway (the old Dunkin Donuts/Schuberts/Perkins Supply) at the corner of Dorchester Street – next to Stats gonna be done?  The developer has been holding the sidewalk hostage for years.  Time to give it up! You’ve had control of that sidewalk for years.

Any intersection along L Street during rush hour.  We all know that L Street is the cut through for everyone from the South Shore avoiding the nightmare that is 93 North in the morning, but honestly, could drivers please let you cross over L Street?  On any given morning, you may notice gridlock along L Street caused by the people who are afraid that they won’t make the light.  They pull right up behind the car in front of them blocking the intersection when they can clearly see that someone is waiting to drive from a cross street like East Sixth across L.  It’s the equivalent of giving you the middle finger.  They may try to avoid eye contact by staring straight ahead and pretending like they don’t see us, but we know they do.  We hope they feel shame and guilt because these causers of gridlock are complete jerks.  Another jerk we encounter on L Street?  People who drive around the cars that are nice enough to stop to let you make the left on East Broadway.  Complete jerks.

Dorchester Street and Old Colony Avenue.  There is usually a steady flow of traffic during the rush hour commute – again, often people cutting through Southie – but if you have to make a right  or a left from Old Colony onto Dorchester Street, good luck!  9 out of 10 cars will not let you go.  They are in too much of a big hurry to let you go.  So you wait, pissing off the people who are stuck behind you forcing them to wait too.  Sometimes they’ll make an abrupt exit to the other lane shaking their heads at the nerve of us having to make a turn.  The same thing applies at this intersection as L Street- if someone is nice enough to stop and left you go – usually because you’ve edged your way out into the middle of the flow of traffic and really they have no other choice but to stop – you might encounter that one jerk that tries to go around the stopped car and all but runs into you.

Kosciuszko Circle/Morrissey Blvd./Day Blvd. Hang onto your hats – this rotary from hell is a beast. No matter which way your are going, in a blink of an eye you could be in an accident. If you’re merging onto the rotary, you need to keep your head on a swivel. Cars come at you from the inside lane trying to get all the way over to exit the rotary. Cars from the outside lane cut people off trying to get inside and around. If you’re trying to get off onto Morrissey, watch out for the drivers who never yield coming from Columbia Road.  If you’re trying to take the left onto Morrissey from Day Blvd. before the rotary, you’ve got to keep an eye open for the people flying off of the rotary onto Day Blvd. Not to mention you need to watch out for pedestrians. During rush hour, this area should be avoided at all costs.

West Third and Dorchester Street (trying to head over to Emerson).  There are two possible scenarios at this intersection.  Either people block the box and cause gridlock and you can’t cross over or you inch your way out slowly hoping that people aren’t flying up Dorchester to make the light – which they always are.   You take your life into your own hands trying to edge your way thru this little gem of an intersection.  This white knuckled, heart racing feat, can make even the experienced driver sweat a little.  Not to be outdone, East Fourth/West Fourth and Dorchester Street.  That’s a doozy to cross as well.

Andrew Square.  Hold onto your hats – this mother of all intersections is a beast.  No matter which way your are going, in a blink of an eye you could be in an accident.   We’re not sure what it is about this intersection, but people drive as if there are no traffic lights at all.  If you are coming from Prebble Street and trying to cross over to go to Target, you might get hit from people trying to make the left.  Or you might get a late blinker in front of you in the left lane and then your are stuck and forced to wait a another light sequence to get a chance to try again.  And then there are the pedestrians in this area – the pedestrians that apparently have nine lives and will happily walk out into oncoming traffic – cross walks be damned.  Green light?  They are walking across anyway.  So not only do you have to worry about getting hit by oncoming traffic, you have to worry about oncoming jay walkers.

Honorable mention:
The corner of N and East Broadway.  Trying to make a left onto East Broadway (heading towards M) from N Street?  Good luck.  There are lots of factors to take into account when tackling this maneuver. You are on an incline which means you really can’t roll slowly out into the intersection.  It’s either gas or brake. Early in the morning?  You’ve have buses, kids, parents, dogs all crossing in that area.  Evening or weekends?  Just as bad.  There is often a steady flow of traffic going up and down East Broadway so you take your chances.  You begin the process of edging you way out into the intersection in the hopes that people will see the nose of your car and either a.) let you turn or b.) drive around you and avoid hitting you.  After you let your presence  known, quickly look to the left and look to the right, if the coast is clear, floor it and make your turn.

M and East First.  Good luck trying to take a left from M onto East First. With cars parked close to the intersection, it makes it nearly impossible to see who’s coming from the left or right. People coming from Farragut Road are often speeding.  You need to look, look again, and then look again.  You never know when some commuter from out of town is in a big hurry cutting through Southie to make his 9am meeting downtown.

Winner of “Bermuda Triangle of Traffic?”  The area of A Street, West Broadway and Dot. Ave near Broadway Station is just a nightmare of traffic during rush hour – especially in the morning.  Between buses, pedestrians, delivery trucks and commuters, it’s a painful gridlock.  Avoid it at costs.  And another thing, why do they allow delivery trucks to unload during rush hour?

We are sure that there are other intersections that are terrible too.  But these are my picks for the 5 worst  ones in my book. Let us know in the comments which intersections you think are the worst.  Happy driving!  

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  1. Pattie McCormick August 2, 2022 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    I would also add the Old Colony Rotary and crossroads to the list. Horrendous!

    • Linda Castagna August 5, 2022 at 3:19 pm - Reply

      I feel the same way, Pattie

  2. Donna Morris August 2, 2022 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    Yes get rid of the rotary. Also I and Broadway, people always go through the red light coming up I from 3rd

  3. Joe Leeman August 2, 2022 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Pretty good article informing us of the dangerousness of walking or driving in Southie. Please be careful at all those intersections, especially if your walking in those areas. Take it slow, and like the slogan said, “A little Courtesy won’t kill you” . Enjoy the rest of your Summer Southie, Be safe, and Enjoy.

    • Sally Sue August 9, 2022 at 11:57 am - Reply

      How about D and west 6th Street….we have had up to 3 accidents in one day. Nobody ever talks about the “lower end”.

  4. Vinny Zerveskes August 2, 2022 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Dorchester St and West 4th needs to be added to this list.

  5. Karen August 2, 2022 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    I heard the project (Dunkin Perkins supply) ran out of capital!!! As u notice no one is working there!!!!

  6. Sarah Maguire August 2, 2022 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    You nailed this list! 😂

  7. Jim Waterman August 3, 2022 at 8:53 am - Reply

    Have you forgotten Andrew Square? Bridge closed on Dot ave traffic worse than ever.Couldn’t even give it a mention,to far down the lower end for you?

    • The “Lower End”… August 4, 2022 at 2:32 pm - Reply

      …is actually the West Side, Magellan.
      (Do you also consider the D St projects to be part of the Polish Triangle, or…)?

      Now come down off of that cross. We could use the wood.

  8. East Side Chuck August 3, 2022 at 9:50 am - Reply

    We need better parking ticket enforcement for cars that park in the Tow Zones at corners. The spots right at intersections are “No Parking” because makes it hard to see oncoming traffic and makes it dangerous for pedestrians to cross the street.

    N and East Broadway is a prime example where cars just park on top of the striped “No Parking” markings on the street. Similarly, there’s always a car parked illegally at M and East 1st making that left turn really dangerous.

  9. Ronald N. Zechello August 4, 2022 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    As a Southie boy since 1940 its always had a lot of traffic. Don’t forget streets are narrow and congestion is the by product. Lots of great improvements have been made in Southie and it will take a great visionary to fix those problem areas………….Good Luck!

  10. Frank T August 4, 2022 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    I also want to know why the construction at 480 W. Broadway has been allowed to take up the sidewalk and street for so long. The developer should be made to prioritize the street work and open this space up. Besides being a traffic nightmare, it is also a pedestrian nightmare. We have seen much bigger projects across the street start and finish after this one.

  11. Patricia August 4, 2022 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    This is all true. Nightmare. Walking is safer. People need to slow down too as it’s a matter of time before someone is hit. People drive as he or she is “ entitled” and everyone needs to move to make way ….

  12. Linda Lynch August 4, 2022 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    I wrote to a couple of our politicians recently about West Third and Dorchester Street (trying to head over to Emerson). I have to wait at times for 2 green lights because someone won’t let you pass through to get over to Emerson. I asked for “Do Not Block Intersection ” signs there. I see these signs in town when I go to Mass General with $100 fines. Why can’t we get these signs in Southie.
    Also, to Jim Waterman, that was a nasty comment to make. He was only giving his opinion, I don’t think he was thinking of upper or lower end. Come on now. Stop.

    • Jim Waterman August 9, 2022 at 10:32 am - Reply

      What was so bad about my comment? Funny he still hasn’t responded to it!

  13. Rocco Giuliano August 4, 2022 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    Speaking of the “Bermuda Triangle of Traffic”, what’s going to happen if Related Beal is allowed to lob their huge Seaport-style Lab and Luxury Lifestyle 244-284 A Street megacomplex into what once upon a time was an actual neighborhood in Fort Point?

  14. Kat Jenkins August 4, 2022 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Agree with previous comments about Andrew Square. It should be listed 1 based on deaths. Every year there are a few fatalities at that 5 way intersection and then a safety meeting where the council people and mayor and everyone says stuff and nothing changes.

    • Laird James August 7, 2022 at 5:08 pm - Reply

      From a pedestrian standpoint Andrew Square is by far the worst intersection in South Boston.
      I play human Frogger there on a regular basis and have seen so many close calls over the last year.
      The intersection is a travesty of cival engineering.

  15. Mary Norberta August 4, 2022 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    I grew up in S Boston and I’m sad to see
    How miserable the driving is in the
    Places you mentioned!!Been there to visit family & friends and DONT RELISH
    the drive in those areas. Why can’t. Everyone extend a little courtesy??

  16. Sheila M Gavin Gavin August 7, 2022 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    The Perkins Square project has been going on for years. It’s definitely a danger zone. L Street and 4th is a nightmare as is Dorchester and West 4th!! 😩😩

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