Motorcycles, ATVs Keep Taking Over Boston Streets

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Motorcycles, ATVs Keep Taking Over Boston Streets
Motorcycles, ATVs Keep Taking Over Boston Streets

Like far too many other cities, Boston has a serious problem with pop-up motorcycle and ATV takeovers on freeways and surface streets. Part of the problem is there’s a disagreement about whether or not the takeovers are just harmless fun or dangerous criminal activity.

Don’t do this if the repo man shows up.

That might sound unbelievable, but as outlined in a WCVB report from 2023, the community is split on the issue. We’ve seen just enough people in a city cry for softness toward street takeovers allow them to fester and increase in frequency and size, eventually churning out violent crimes, drug deals, human trafficking, and more.

In Boston, they say the dirt bike and ATV riders have not only assaulted people but engaged in armed robberies and other violent crimes. It’s almost like they believe they’re above the law, an attitude we see often in cities with unchecked street takeover movements.


One of the latest examples happened on the afternoon of March 17 when hundreds of street takeover participants clogged up the Boston Expressway. Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, the lawlessness caused quite a few headaches for people who were trying to celebrate the popular holiday.

What was particularly interesting about that takeover was that many were on bicycles, although some appeared to be e-bikes. The movement is evolving and seems to also be growing.

Image via CBS Boston/YouTube
Image via CBS Boston/YouTube

In another famous incident from 2018, dirt bikes and ATVs were used to shut down I-93. When police responded, it appears participants acted violently toward them and at least one officer discharged his firearm.

The takeover participants scattered, many of them leaving their vehicles on the interstate as they tried running away on foot. We don’t think any kid who actually owns a dirt bike or ATV would just leave it like that.

We found another incident from late February 2018 where an estimated 25-35 ATVs and motorcycles took over the Expressway just south of downtown, as covered by Nick Giovanni. Police were able to arrest seven suspects as the takeover group tried hopping the median.

One suspect was even shot by cops, we’re assuming after trying to run them over, as we’ve seen with other takeovers. Police were also able to seize about 20 vehicles. And yet all this did was put a small dent in the movement temporarily.

Images via CBS Boston/YouTube, WCVB/YouTube