Reading is fundamental

Almost stuck truck at Storrow Drive entrance

GM2059 shows us a near-Storrowing around noon at a Storrow Drive entrance. Guess there's no question this time whether or not there's a warning sign in place. The State Police cruiser on the left is blocking the road so the driver can back up, of course.



Free tagging: 


Hey, how was he to know

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That the road was for cars only, or that trucks were prohibited, or that there was a low clearance ahead, or what the height of the underpass was?


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yes, they should be up a sign or something.

To be fair..

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The signage at this location is at a point where there is really no option for the trucker to turn around, especially after coming off the charlesgate ramp. If you streetview the roads leading up to this area (both charlesgate & charlesgate E, you'll see that there is no significant warning about the impending height limit. All I could find was one sign that says no trucks of buses, and the typical no black truck sign, and I'll tell you, as an experienced commercial driver, these signs are often used where residents don't want commercial vehicles through their neighborhood. It is all too easy for a trucker to make one wrong turn and wind up in an area where they can't turn off or turn around. If this trucker entered Charlesgate from Boylston, he really wouldn't have known about the low bridge until he got where he is. It's time to install standard signage with the height limit of storrow at every conceivable entrance to storrow, along with a sign directing trucks to a safe turn off/last exit before you're storrowed.

Still signage problems.

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If you're on Beacon St. headed westbound, there's a sign directing you to I-93 by turning right onto Charlesgate. There is NO indication at this point that Storrow is cars only.

Once you make the turn, you're basically onto Storrow before you see the CARS ONLY (or is it "OLNY"?) sign depicted above.

Linked added:,-71.090992,3a,75y,247.64h,89.92t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sDJIyqd5azaa1c-IMzDGimg!2e0

Not buying it

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Once one sees the large signs, Back Street is an option to get a truck to Mass. Ave.

I suppose I could go on a tangent and talk about Commercial GPS. If I weren't familiar with an area and driving was my job, I would use a GPS.

Back Street looks like a parking lot

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It does not look like a way out of the jam.

You really don't think the signs on Beacon street should warn you that trucks can't make it I-93 this way?

It's just terrible signage that leads people into a jam.

Oh, they should

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You're right, but on the other hand, a driver should be able to deal with the numerous signs that say, in total, "don't go there" by taking a right.

The odd thing about the Beacon/Charlesgate intersection is that the no trucks sign in visible from Charlesgate, which is where I looked first, but yeah, a second sign would cost less than the police time.

This Case is 100% State's Fault

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Agree with JCK. Go through the street view - you basically have no where to go once you reach the sign and no earlier indications. Other option is to get stuck in the "parking lot" known as Back Street, and still need police help.

Put up a sign sooner - WITH a height


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doesn't tell a driver "If you continue, you WILL shear the roof off of your truck or bus off". For all anyone knows, "CARS ONLY" may actually mean "Enitled Snobs don't want you here because they don't like trucks (the reason that at least 60 percent of the "truck restricted" roadways in the Greater Boston area are signed as such).

Commercial drivers aren't mind readers - give them truthful and legitimate reasons why they can't use a road. And, BTW, tell them that information BEFORE they've committed to entering the road.


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I will ask you about this, roadman, as I know that you know of such things.

This is only tangentially related to the where/when signage issue, but am I imagining that there are some (used to be more) signs at the entrances to/on Storrow/Soldier's Field Road that say "pleasure vehicles only"? To my understanding, that would exclude ALL commercial vehicles (not just tall ones - any with a commercial plate (what about livery?)).

Have you any insight or knowledge of whether such a restriction exists (we all know that it is not enforced)?

From MGL Chapter 85, Section 2

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No such rule or regulation shall prohibit the use of passenger or station wagon type motor vehicles whose gross weight is less than five thousand pounds and which are registered for commercial use, on ways, parkways or boulevards where noncommercial passenger-type motor vehicles are permitted to operate.

While the law as written applies only to passenger vehicles, for several decades now MDC/DCR considers light trucks and vans to be similar. As I understand it, this is the principal reason that the "Pleasure Vehicles Only" signs have been removed over time. Legally, a vehicle with commercial plates is not considered a pleasure vehicle, whereas the law allows certain commercial vehicles to operate on "pleasure vehicle only" roads.

Standard language for parkway restrictions now is "NO COMMERCIAL VEHICLES". This information should be provided as a black on white banner incorporated into the guide signing for the roadway on intersecting highways and streets.

What about the other sign

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Now, I don't hold a CDL, but doesn't a sign with an image of a truck with a red circle and slash mean "no trucks." I could be wrong, but I think that's what that means.

Circle with slash through a truck.

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In Cambridge, it means that the street is not for through-route trucks. Local deliveries are permitted.

While trucks are permitted on any street in Cambridge if they have a destination on that street or a nearby street, all trucks are encouraged to use the system of Posted Truck Routes for the majority of every trip."

Streets in Cambridge, like Putnam Ave., have those same signs. It does not mean the roof of your vehicle will be sheared off if you go down the street.

No offense

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For all anyone knows, "CARS ONLY" may actually mean "Enitled Snobs don't want you here because they don't like trucks (the reason that at least 60 percent of the "truck restricted" roadways in the Greater Boston area are signed as such).

But fuck that line of reasoning. "They don't want me to drive there because they are snobby pricks so they put up a sign telling me to keep out. Well, fuck them, I'm driving here anyways" is about the dumbest reason I've heard to ignore road signs. So what, sir or madam? So what if they are snobby pricks. They put up a sign and you have to abide by it. Don't like it, write their DOT and complain. You, as a driver, don't get to decide which roads you feel entitled to use just because you think the sign isn't up for any "technical reason". The "technical reason" is clear: "we said you can't use this road".

CARS ONLY is exclusive of trucks in its logic and as an 18-wheeler you're the primest example of a truck available. Someone in a car-sized UHaul might have an argument that they didn't think CARS ONLY applied to them, but CARS ONLY definitely applies to an 18-wheeler by way of saying the same as "NO 18-WHEELERS". So intentionally ignoring it for any reason is just asinine.

Missing it because it's sub-standard or whatever is a different discussion, but hiding behind the idea that they felt they could safely ignore it is unacceptable as an argument.

Way to miss my point.

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There are STANDARD signs available to properly convey the restrictions on the highway. Why hasn't the MDC/DCR been using them?

To put it another way. Would you be more likely to notice, let alone obey, a STOP sign if it were purple colored instead of red? Would you be more likely to obey a STOP sign if it said DO NOT PROCEED YET instead?

Since the 1930s, traffic engineers and human factors specalists have given much serious thought and consideration into the design and application of all types of highway signing. And most of what the MDC/DCR has been posting over the years violates the majority of the basic principles of consistency and expectancy these sign standards were based on.

As for your comments about "drivers should know what to do, even if the sign is non-standard", please read my response to Swirlly below.

Wasn't missed

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I didn't address that because I agree with you on the need for standard signage. However, using arguments like the one I addressed directly isn't defensible so they need not be raised as if they are valid reasons for why standard signs should be used. That was my point of engaging THAT discussion with you and not whether better signs are needed.

Also, your argument to Swirly below about this example is still just more of the same. So, the GA driver has ignored signs like this their whole life and suddenly they find the one that has more of a reason to it than just snobby prick neighbors along the road. Boo-fucking-hoo. They shouldn't have been ignoring those other ones either. You don't get to pick and choose the signs you want to follow because of their standardness or inability to give you justification for why you should follow them or not. The point of a road sign is not to get into a debate about its justifications. The sign says "CARS ONLY". There's no confusing your 18-wheeler for a car, right? We can agree on that? So, you don't get to use that road. Do so and you are liable for whatever punishment is attached to violating the rule that was in place, whether it's disturbing snobby pricks or nearly taking out a bridge.

Love the mental gymnastics you do

Really I get a good deal of entertainment out of it, the whining you put up on these threads about the poor drivers that don't know any better is gold. You gotta love thickheaded drivers like yourself that scream about the supposed entitlements of others while completely ignoring the unbelievably skewed entitlements that benefit drivers. Oh the ironing is delicious!

Seriously though, you read the signs on highways that say no access to bicycles, horses, mopeds and such? I mean these signs don't explicitly give me truthful and legitimate reasons to stay off the highway but they seem to work pretty well, eh?

I'm sure speed limit signs piss you off too, I mean those signs are taking away drivers freedoms to drive as they like. Why can't the Gov't make signs that give clear and explicit reasons that I can't do 65 MPH down Comm. Ave.?!

Classic example of bad signage

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that's poorly executed.

Apart from the "LOW CLEARANCE AHEAD" sign that doesn't tell you the clearance, how do you expect drivers to see the very tiny "NO TRUCKS OR BUSES" sign when they're distracted by the large overhead sign and silly rubber baby bumper hanging over the road?

Plus, explain why drivers aren't provided this information BEFORE they commit to entering Storrow Drive? Or why they aren't provided a signed truck/bus route on the surface streets to avoid entering Storrow Drive in the first place?

I would argue

that IF you don't GET this OBVIOUS a sign ... and you haven't bothered to read a map, either ...


Lets see here

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Driver from Georgia, Alabama, etc. passes lots of Low Clearance signs while traveling on the Interstates to Boston. Every one of those signs has a clearance stated, and in every one of those locations the bridge is higher than the vehicle.

Same driver now comes to a sign that reads "Low Clearance Ahead", but without the actual clearance listed. Do you really expect that driver to automatically say "Gee, the sign says Low Clearance. I'm absolutely positive my truck won't fit here."

Now, let's consider the "Cars Only" sign. Say this same driver has experience with other streets and roads where they've ignored the local commercial vehicle restriction because they know there is no legitimate height issue or other physical restriction to truck traffic (i.e. the restriction is based only on the "trucks are evil" snobbery warrant). Do you really expect the same driver to see a sign presuming to tout a commercial vehicle restiction, but has non-standard wording and is made in very non-standard colors, to take that sign seriously?

Add in the fact that said driver might be behind schedule and/or close to missing a delivery deadline. Also that deciding to heed the vague warnings will require them to back off the ramp, which will take even more time.

Starting to get the picture here?

Lastly, as for the signing, every approach to the Central Artery/Tunnel system has very well placed and concise signing about the clearance, hazmat, and other restrictions in the tunnel system. Why can't we do the same for the approaches to Storrow and Memorial Drives?

Also see above.

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In Cambridge the "No Trucks" circle/slash sign doesn't actually mean no trucks. It means it's not a truck route. Local deliveries are permitted on those streets.

Sticking a "Cars Only" sign up only after the driver has committed to the road by following signs directing him or her to I-93 doesn't make sense.

Signage is a huge problem here. No question is about it.

I'm on vacation

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At Acadia National Park and what do I see? Yup, a huge truck on the main park road backing up to avoid a low bridge he wouldn't fit under. I bet he's still backing up now.

When it happens once in a

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When it happens once in a great while it is a driver issue. When it happens this frequently it is the road signage. Its funny and annoying because no one has died yet. What happened to the chains that used to dangle from the signs?