Another truck gets 1Aed in East Boston

Smushed truck on Bennington Street in East Boston

For the second morning in a row, Jason Rowe got to photograph a truck whose driver couldn't negotiate the tight turn under Rte. 1A at Neptune Road - the turn that's marked with a no-turn sign for tractor trailers that's apparently written in symbols too complex for some drivers to understand, as Kdabbler shows us:

East Boston road sign

Smushed truck in East Boston.



Free tagging: 



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My first thought was "they still haven't moved that thing since yesterday???" Just couldn't fathom that the same thing would happen at the exact same spot at pretty much the same time two days in a row.

Sportin some styling grumpy pants today.


Wicked Pissed Kehd

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I couldn't believe it. I actually left earlier this morning thinking hey I'll avoid a truck smushing again har har har (actually I left cause some jabronis were loudly doing construction at 6 am this morning right oustide my window). Didn't matter and was completely owned. Although looking at the cops' faces I felt bad... they're like ... jesus fackin christ we gotta be here again doing this shit.


double word score!

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For "jabronis"! It seems remarkably appropriate to apply to an incident in Eastie too, as the only people who I still hear using that term are of Italian heritage (yes, I am aware that the Italian-American population of Eastie is not what it once was).

More seriously though, that this could happen two days in a row at the same location and at nearly the same time is a bit spooky. We should probably grab the numbers of the registration plates and play those in the lottery asap.


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"Why is UHub posting the same photo two days in a row? Oh, wait..."

Maybe we'll get the trifecta tomorrow?


Ground Hog Day

I turned on the news this morning and this is what was being reported with a live camera shot from above. I thought they were replaying yesterdays news. Seriously, WTF is going on around here lately?

Truckin', like the do-dah man...

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Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me
Other times I can barely see
....what a long, strange trip it's been


Curbing is a problem

More and more turns are being made too tight for large trucks in Massachusetts, so drivers get accustomed to driving over curbs. When this is done, the stated maximum height is no longer sufficient. The other nightmare for truckers is where the heck they can turn around if they have to miss a turn. Again, too little thought for trucks is given to road designs. Does anyone know for sure the actual heights of the trucks in the accidents and if over 12'?

He kind of has a point.

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He kind of has a point. Driving around here is awful, I can only imagine what driving a tractor trailer on surface streets is like. Yes, the driver is at fault for ignoring the posted signage, but if this happens two days in a row in the same exact spot, the intersection is obviously designed poorly. Like pretty much every intersection in the Greater Boston area is.

trucks belong on the highway, not city streets

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plus - our streets were laid out before cars even existed - if you want to be able to drive everywhere unimpeded, move to someplace like Orlando. The rest of us would like to be able to walk places without getting run over.


It's At The End Of The Highway - The Eastern Terminus Of I-90

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Some parts of the old elevated Eastern Expressway were torn down and rebuilt to modern standards several years ago in conjunction with the new interchange for Logan Airport and the Frozen Head Tunnel. However, much of the Eastern Expressway; from the Sumner/Callahan Tunnels and through the Neptune Road interchange; was merely given a new coat of paint.

The exit for Neptune Road is technically at the eastern terminus of Interstate I-90, and getting back on to I-90 westbound from Neptune Road involves the particular turn that got these trucks into trouble. All of the old elevated structures should have been rebuilt as part of the I-90 project, with the Neptune Road interchange properly redesigned to handle the cargo traffic from the Airport.

I'm grateful I don't have to drive through there very often, and sympathize with anyone who does!

Ok, I'll bite....

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so, for say Stop and Shop in a city or town, like Somerville, for instance, to get its delivery, via tractor trailer to its store, you suggest...............

Not a problem in Europe

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I've been to plenty of supermarkets in Spain, France, Germany ... the tight urban areas have plenty of goods for sale, but none of it comes in trucks like these.

Thank Wall Street for hating on workers so much that those that remain are given ridiculous tasks in inefficiently large vehicles. The job can be done - possibly more cheaply - in smaller vehicles with more drivers. Wall Street hates employees, though, so we get stupidity in old cities like this.


This absurd

You're entire post is absurd. In fact, nearly everyone in this thread is being absurd.

Large trucks are used simply because they can be used. 99% of the time, there is no problem. Our streets are just fine, but the problems happen when someone misjudges something or ignores warnings and finds alternate routes.

"Inefficiently large"? They use a large truck because it is efficient. Efficiency makes the world go 'round.

If you want smaller streets without dedicating every street in the city to truck turn radius, that's fine with me. It would simply be up to the distributors to use smaller trucks, or they lose out. But c'mon, all this bickering over trucks is kind of pathetic.


I must concur with BostonUrbEx

What you just argued make no damn sense. There's a reason why bulk packaging is cheaper. That buying a large carton of 48 eggs at Costco is cheaper than buying 4 regular cartons of eggs.

If you want to involve Wall Street at all - which is very indirect on this topic - they push for large trucks not because they hate workers and put them out of spite. They put them into large rigs because it is cheaper to deliver in one large rig driven by one trucker than have 3 truckers deliver in 3 smaller trucks.

Unless you find a way where 3 engines with 3 drivers is cheaper than 1 big engine with 1 driver. It's going to cost more. That's disincentive us as much as it does disincentive Wall Street.

And, as BostonUrbEx have pointed out. Most of the time this intersection is just fine.

That said... assuming we view this as something more than bad luck.

There's two ways to reduce accidents like this: Structurally or Behaviorally.

As I said in some form in the last article, if there is a possibility for someone to screw up. With enough time and enough people, there's going to be some person who will make a mistake. We can set it up that that the mistake is minimized/not-possible or set up that the person to have habits and consciousness so they may avoid that moment as much as possible.

The ideal is the former as you can't hit a bridge if there's no bridge to hit, but the latter has to account that having human involve will mean someone will eventually make a mistake. However, since there are other factors - desirability to make the intersection bigger. The next best thing is a combination. It seems most of the commentators and upvotes is towards putting this on the drivers. And we should do as much as we can to make sure the driver is trained, aware, and conscious to minimize from that side. But we shouldn't just ignore if there's something to be done structurally if the costs (and I mean societally - weighing that streets well design for turns tend to be less people friendly - as well as monetarily - the cost of rebuilding and etc). Of course, Markk is the person who would say that, but regardless of everyone questioning due to his implicit motivation - there's nothing in the idea in and of itself. What's debatable is worthiness use the option by considering all factors, not the option is wrong or not by who says it or is it car-friendly.

Require that Stop and Shop

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(or Dunkies, etc.) use smaller trucks for local deliveries. Seems to work for companies like UPS and FedEx - who don't deliver packages to your house or business in a 52 foot tractor trailer.


There's a difference

There's a difference between delivering a book to a house and delivering pallets of soda/TP/chickens/cookies/soap/apples/milk/OJ/etc. to a store

Just sayin'

Smaller tractor trailers

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Most grocery store delivery trucks are considerably shorter than that. The typical grocery store truck is a WB-40. This looks like a WB-62 or 67 (and does not appear to be carrying groceries). That extra 22 feet makes a colossal difference in the required turning radius. A WB-40 can make it around most of Boston just fine, with the occasional cross over a centerline. You simply cannot design a city to accommodate turning WB-62s without destroying the city in the process.

The quality of our pedestrian walking environment is far more important than the minor efficiency you gain from using 2 WB-62s instead of 3 WB-40s. The big trucks need to stay on the highway and in the areas immediately off of them that are designed appropriately.


"Getting run over" has

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"Getting run over" has nothing to do with efficient traffic flow, distribution routes, or street layout. One can get run over anywhere that there are cars, whether the city is laid out to accommodate them or not, so this argument doesn't apply to the topic at hand.

Ultimately, the responsibility for these incidents likes with whoever is planning the delivery routes for these trucks, for leading them through streets that are NOT meant to accommodate freight containers --that is, unless the drivers themselves are the ones figuring them out. But in either case, the drivers also bear a good chunk of the blame for ignoring the traffic signs as well as the sheer dimensions of their load vs. the overhead clearance.

Hiring of drivers

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There's a sign on back of the trailer that says "WE HIRE ONLY SAFE AND COURTEOUS DRIVERS". Must have let this one slipped by.


Problem idenifying problems

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That overpass is listed as "functionally obsolete" based on its being "fracture critical" -- meaning there is no structurally redundancy in its construction so one good hit in the right spot and it goes kablooie (it's like that annoying ventilation port on the Death Star). Happily neither of these trucks found the bridges G-spot and brought it trembling to its knees. I would also hazard to guess that other aspects of its design, such as the turnaround there to get back up on 1A South from either Neptune Road coming from Frankfort Street or the off ramp from 1A North, contribute to it being "structurally obsolete." Semis might be bigger than when this thing was originally built.

Bottom line is that rather than go through this every morning, MassDOT may want to put (and enforce) a restriction there that forces truckers to go up 1A to the wider turnaround at Route 16. A bit of a pain in the ass for them, but less of a pain in the ass for the hundreds of commuters who have been stuck in needless traffic the last two mornings.


As you must not have noticed,

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As you must not have noticed, there is a restriction there. The turn is clearly signed as "NO TRUCKS". But it gets ignored, just like all the signs getting on Storrow do.

The problem isn't a lack of signage, it's a lack of driver intelligence.

can't we just acknowledge

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can't we just acknowledge that tractor trailers, designed for highway use, have no business attempting to navigate city streets - especially in a place like Boston? There's a reason you don't see these things in the middle of European cities, and yet somehow goods are still delivered in these places.



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I know I'm late with this comment, but it's been bugging me.

As we all found out today, that particular tractor trailer wasn't supposed to be there- he was lost. However, there is airport support on the south-east side of the intersection and light industrial on the north-west side. In short, there is a place for tractor trailers in this area.

You know the stuff you use, the food you eat, and all that? That stuff has to get to you somehow. There is, on this thread in fact, an argument that for same stuff to get to your house/apartment or to the store, tractor trailers are not needed or shouldn't be used, but trust me. In the Neptune Road parts of European cities, there are a lot of tractor trailers. Europeans are in fact more dependent on trucks to move freight. When it comes to freight, Americans are essentially train addicted environmentalists while Europeans are addicted to gas guzzling, polluting 18 wheelers. It's that last step that people look at in distain, which is the same around the world.

If this were a city street....

can't we just acknowledge that tractor trailers, designed for highway use, have no business attempting to navigate city streets -

If this were a city street, you might have an argument. This isn't the middle of the city, it's just outside the airport. I think allowing TT's where this accident occurred is totally reasonable.

Neptune street is a city street

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In case you hadn't heard, they built the airport inside a city! These trucks left 1A to try to pull a U-turn on a city street. Neptune street used to be a tree lined boulevard with beautiful houses until the airport expanded and demolished the ones on the East side of 1A. The west side of 1A is a neighborhood called East Boston. You should stop by sometime, just don't come in a TT!

Also, to re-iterate, these guys were lost. Yes we do have large delivery trucks, fuel tankers, tons of airport buses on our city streets, but at least they know the neighborhood and how to navigate it.

The operative phrase is "used to"

Neptune street used to be a tree lined boulevard with beautiful houses

The operative phrase is "used to".
The commenter made a statement that trucks shouldn't be allowed on city streets - period. I was pointing out that this is not a neighborhood, but rather, streets that service an international airport where there will be lots of trucks.

And yes, truck drivers can get lost. I think we've all driven somewhere where we totally screwed up and ended up somewhere we didn't want to be. Luckily, we weren't driving TT's.

Dimensional problems at intersections

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The damage at this intersection has more to do with the length of the trailer, not its height. Longer trailers are being used these days - see the side of trailers which set out the length so the driver can remember how long the box is.

This makes sense to me

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I noticed in the picture yesterday that the truck seemed so much longer than I'd expect. I wonder if trucking companies are sending out extra long trucks to make up for the MA regulations against the double trucks that you see in other states.

Did something change upstream?

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Two identical accidents in a row make me think there was a change in signage or traffic patterns upstream of this. Or it could be just another instance of "when it rains it pours".

Are these trucks coming from the airport and have new drivers who don't know how to get onto the highway? Or are trucks accidentally coming through the tunnel to Eastie and needing to pull a U-turn (this is the first place you can turn around to go back under the harbor)? If this is the case, I wonder if there was a change at the 93/90 interchange or on ramps that is confusing drivers and sending them to East Boston.


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Unless interviewing the drivers turns up anything differently, it isn't likely anything has changed. Our brains are geared to develop patterns even where none exist. You could look at the lottery and find a number that has repeated a few days in a row and think "ah, clearly that number has a better chance of coming up" or "there must be some reason" but there isn't. It's just dumb luck and at an intersection that's probably had quite a few trucks hit it over the years, it's bound to have 2 in a row at some point.


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In this Herald article the driver says he was going from Windsor, CT to Somerville. There is no reason he should have been in East Boston at all. Waze says that there is construction on the 90 to 93 ramp right now. Maybe they missed the 93 North exit which sent them into the Ted Williams Tunnel, increasing the probability of them trying to sneak under 1A like this.

Hard To Miss When You're Right Underneath It ...

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... but the signage a half mile before the exit could be misleading. Other than the subtle placement of the exit number tag, there's no indication that I-93 North will be a left exit, and also no warning that the right lane is for I-90 East "Only".

The truck might have been in the right lane and didn't realize he needed to merge left until it was too late. It's easy for us who are all-too-familiar with that exit, but undoubtedly, some drivers get it wrong.
Google Maps

Probably Tommy Tinlins fault

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Just once, I'd say bad driver.
Twice? Probably the signs.
Tinlin doesn't do signs very well.

The Signs? Bad Driver?

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I'd say that if it happens or more, it's a combination of both, if one gets the drift. Or, a willfully ignorant driver, to boot.