Truck driver learns Storrow Drive height limits aren't just suggestions

Lost load on Storrow Drive

MassDOT posted this photo of a storrowed container that fell off the back of a truck this morning when the top hit the bottom of the Longfellow on the inbound side.

"Please remember height restrictions," MassDOT suggests to truck drivers unable to figure out what "CARS ONLY" means.



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We know!

MassDOT suggests to truck drivers unable to figure out what "CARS ONLY" means.

We know what "CARS ONLY" means. But nobody can figure out what "CARS OLNY" means.


Why don't they just replace

Why don't they just replace the CARS OLNY with NO TRUCKS? (I know, I know, local color and all that.) But then the truck drivers wouldn't have the "I didn't know that meant me" excuse.


"NO TRUCKS OR BUSES" indeed the standard wording for such signs.

Also, "Cars Only", by its wording, excludes motorcycles, which are plainly permitted on Storrow and Memorial drives. (Was there ever a time when they were banned? Motorcycle bans used to be pretty common; up through about the 1970s, motorcycles were banned on NJ's Garden State Parkway. Lobbying by none other than Malcolm Forbes, who was an avid rider, was instrumental in getting the ban removed.)

More enforcement of the cars

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More enforcement of the cars only is needed. SUVs and pickup trucks use Storrow all the time, despite the signs saying cars only (SUVs are able to get away with a separate, lower level of emissions because they are classified as trucks). If the state would enforce the cars only law uniformly it would be easier for people who are passing through to understand.


This seems like such a stupid

This seems like such a stupid problem to have. Is there some way that an overheight vehicle could trip a switch that would then throw up one of those tire slicer things on a ramp? That's not a great solution, because it ties up traffic on a ramp. But, it keeps trucks from continually slamming into these bridges, which cannot be good for those structures.



I don't understand why they don't install an I-Beam 200 feet after the "CARS ONLY" sign. The trucks would hit the I-Beam before the bridge and it would be easier to remove the damaged truck.



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So you want to ban SUVs and pickup trucks from using Storrow Drive?!? Even though they meet the height requirements?!? That's absurd. "Cars Only" refers to passenger cars, or vehicles, which is what SUVs and pickup trucks are. The trucks banned in this instance would be the over-sized commercial vehicles that clearly do not fit on Storrow Drive.


my problem with SUVs and pickups on the river roads

Is that the operators of the bigger examples often seem to be unable to contain their vehicles inside the narrower-than-standard lanes on Memorial and Storrow Drives. It can be done, but far too many of the operators of these things are obviously unskilled at operating large vehicles.

I remember driving through

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I remember driving through Wellesley a few years back, and seeing signs on one of the bridges over the train tracks by Rte 16 saying, "No trucks or large SUVs". Would they have done so if SUVs were trucks?

The bridge was later closed, I'm guessing due to having degraded to the point where it'd have been unsafe even for normal cars, and I forget which street it was so I don't know if they've since belatedly repaired it.

My understanding of most of

My understanding of most of these incidents goes under two categories.

1. UHaul Drivers - typically imagined to be students, but basically the regular driver who have no idea about anything of Boston's roads. While annoying, at least it is understandable why they may not be aware by reason of not around Boston and/or lacking life experience due to young age.

2. Professional Truck/Bus Drivers - These guys should know, but at seen in the reoccurring Uhub posts, there's always seem to be an unlimited supply of "that one driver" who still don't.

From these two categories. Pulling over pick-up trucks and SUVs may help a few future Boston-Area UHaul drivers if by nothing else than by direct experience or relayed down to their children. But Boston-Area Uhaul drivers are probably not making the lionshare of the first category. The second category already getting pull over as much as possible.

Thus, along with that I think most differentiate "Car Only" to include pick-up trucks and SUVs (and minivans - seeing they same roughly the same space) and excludes things like UHaul truck or bigger, I don't think cracking down on a SUVs would help. Because the problem doesn't seem to be misunderstanding what "Car only" (by popular acceptance - not the technical sense) means.

The real solution is to make it structurally not possible for this to happen. As put in an I-beam so they would hit that. It's much more unlikely hitting a 1 ton metal beam would get ignored versus a rubber beam.

proof that people don't read signs

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I was going 25 in a 15 zone this morning (yeah, I'm admitting I was speeding), and there's still this idiot behind me tailgating and honking at me.

and I constantly see trucks illegally on the parkways... semis double parked blocking both bike lanes AND travel lanes... large commercial/construction vehicles buzzing pedestrians who are legally crossing at a cross walk...

Boston cops for some reason don't feel like it's their job to enforce traffic laws - but if they actually did, it would be a HUGE improvement in quality of life around here.


My bad

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It was me. You slow $%^&, get out of my way.

A few months ago, I was

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A few months ago, I was driving down Dartmouth St and had the green light at the Tremont St intersection. A bald guy in an Audi just couldn't wait through the red light and started pulling out in front of me and then flipped me off and started swearing at me, and then almost hit the driver behind me making a left turn, continued to accelerate and almost mowed down a pedestrian LEGALLY crossing in the crosswalk with the walk light on and screamed at him, too. There was a cop sitting there and he did absolutely nothing!

What REALLY bothers me is how rarely I have ever seen a cop enforce cars stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk. The number of times I have almost been run over crossing Albany Street and Washington Street is ridiculous.


List of "storrowed" incidents?

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Is there a publicly available list of this type of incident? I'd love to know if anyone has analyzed where all these trucks get onto Storrow, and then look at what signage (or lack) exists.

Probably not the signage...

... but a commercial truck driver using a passenger-vehicle GPS.

GPS devices for commercial vehicles are a LOT more expensive; they have all of the height/load/hazardous restrictions programmed in. At the outset on each trip the driver has to enter in his trailer height, weight, and content so that the route is legal and safe.

A Garmin or TomTom that's meant for the family car doesn't have these features, but they're cheap. So you see semis on Storrow or Mem Drive or ramming into railroad trestles or going down narrow residential streets which have "NO TRUCKS" signs.

Paint the road?

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I was driving on another car-only road recently and they had a huge "CARS ONLY" message painted on the road. I thought it was much more noticeable than signs, and would be a relatively cheap thing to try out. (I think it was on the Saw Mill River Parkway in NY.)


Since the tunnel floods anyways

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Maybe we can get them to install some of these up and down Storrow:

A waterfall triggers if a truck is too tall and a projector shoots a giant stop sign on the waterfall making it appear to hover in front of the truck. If the driver ignores it, there's no damage to the truck...until it hits the tunnel.

I love this idea

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But since it's a DCR road it would likely be broken within a month. Just like the cowbells, neon signs, audible alarms, and all the other broken doo-dads strewn about most of the Storrow/SFR onramps.