They never learn, do they?

Dumbo

One guess which road Paul Keleher found himself stuck on long enough to take the above photo:

There is always someone who doesn't get the message.

Click for the original photo (some rights reserved).

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    They can be stopped!

    By on

    Back in the late summer of 1986, I had to encounter storrow drive on a daily commute from my summer job in Andover to my Kenmore square coop. One day, as I turned onto Storrow near the Museum of Science, I saw a semi take the right turn from McGrath/Obrien highway just behind me.

    Knowing what was going to happen very soon, I switched lanes and got directly in front of the semi. I slowed down. He was on my bumper something fierce. I slowed down more. He was riding his horn with an angry look while other drivers tried to get his attention with wild gestures.

    I slowed down more.

    We took the curve at about 10mph - the one where you can see exactly WHY I we were moving so slow. Slow enough for a semi to stop in time. I still treasure the memory as his angry entitled scowl turned to an oooooooohhhhhhh shhhhhiiiiiiit gape.

    Maybe I should have just let the asshole lose his job and his house instead, and mess up traffic in the Boston area at 4pm. I certainly hope he learned a good lesson in reading comprehension and basic road manners.

    Bill Geary solved this problem

    when he was MDC Commissioner in the 1980s. He installed rubber signs and cowbells (yes cowbells, to make noise) at every entrance to Storrow and Memorial Drive. The signs were set just slightly lower than the underpasses. The idea was that your truck would hit a sign and ring the bell and you would not proceed along the drive and get stuck.

    Before Bill invented this low-tech solution, there was one accident per week on the Storrow or Mem drive. Afterward, they were virtually eliminated.

    What has changed? Through lack of maintenance by the state DCR, the signs and bells are often missing. So truck drivers inadvertantly enter the river roads and find themselves going through the sardine-can-type experience as they hit a bridge or underpass.

    This is just another example of poor governing by several administrations over the past years. Gov. Patrick and Secretary Bowles can fix the problem with a few thousand dollars, many fewer dollars than the overtime and repairs are going to cost each time a truck holds up traffic on the river roads.

    Bill Geary solved this problem (Storrow Drive)

    By on

    Overheight warnings are nothing new, but as you say, they need to be put up (first) and then maintained in order to be effective.

    Signs are fine, but signage at the turn from the Mass Pike Allston offramp to Storrow Drive is a bad example of our Massachusetts tendency to assume that everyone who drives on our roads already knows (a) where they are, (b) where they are going, and (c) ho to (or in this case how not to) get there.

    New York has a low-tech but highly successful warning system - look for this next time you are heading into the Lincoln Tunnel from New Jersey - a fringe of chains, supporting what look like paint buckets, probably filled with concrete, suspended just above the safe height. Ugly (the hotel might not like the "look"), but certainly effective.

    People don't learn, that's true.

    By on

    If it's any consolation, SwrrlyGrrl, I once did have someone driving a Ford Econoline (which is also a type of small truck), rear end me. I was on my way to my job in Providence, R I, as a part-time piano tuner at a piano shop down there, driving on the Southeast Expressway. Since I was preparing to get off of the Southeast Expressway to the exit ramp leading to I-95 South, I was in the right lane, and had slowed down for the exit. All of a sudden, I felt and heard a rather loud, heavy bang on my rear bumper.
    (I was driving a 1993 Honda Civic EX Sedan). The driver of the Ford Econoline and I both pulled over into the breakdown lane of the Southeast Expressway, just afew feet from the exit ramp leading to I-95 South. The dialogue between us went something like this:

    Driver of Ford Econoline (btw, the driver worked for a plate-glass place up in Danvers, MA, of which I've forgetten the name): (rather nastily): Your information, please.

    Me: Hey, listen buster, you're the one who's at fault here. You shouldn't have been following so closely. Let me see your info.

    Driver of Ford Econoline: You shouldn't have been going so slowly then. You were going 30 miles an hour on a 65-mile-an-hour highway.

    Me: I was preparing to get off.

    Driver of Ford Econoline; You still shouldn't have been going so slowly.

    Me: You should've slowed down to avoid hitting me. Legally you're responsible. you're at fault here.

    After afew more minutes of recriminations, the driver of the exchanged information. Since my cellphone was running low, I stopped in a small flowershop as soon as I'd gotten off the Southeast Expressway. The women behind the counter was kind enough to let me use their phone, and I immediately called my place of work, and my insurance company to tell them what had happened.

    The people at work were concerned, asking me if I was OK, advising me to get a lawyer, etc, in case I had injuries that could show up later, etd. I thanked them for their concern, assured that I was OK and had it all under control, and I settled in and got to work.

    What a dodo that guy in the Ford Econoline was. (That was a company car, too). His bumper wasn't damaged--the trunk of my car was sprung. Hopefully, he got canned from his job!!

    Hi, Jodie!!

    By on

    How've you been?