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Storrowing crisis in Vermont's rural Northeast Kingdom

Associated Press reports that truckers are slamming into the charming covered bridges up north like they're coming in hot on Storrow Drive because they're too cheap to upgrade from their consumer-grade GPSes, only the bridges are made of wood, so aren't doing so well in the encounters.

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Comments

"the town is considering installing a steel beam in front of the bridge" -- yes, this is the correct approach. They may take a loss on that, but it will be cheaper than un-recouped damages from hit-and-runs.

"I swear, we could take that bridge out and not replace it and people would go in the river." -- This would also be acceptable, especially if they charge admission to watch.

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Voting closed 36

In my bike travels I have seen more YOUR GPS IS WRONG TURN AROUND signs than I can recall. Western MA, rural NH, Northern VT ...

Not just for trucks, either - sometimes it is a road that turns into an off-road trail or narrow dirt track unsuited for anything but true off-road vehicles or bikes and then back into a road a mile later.

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Voting closed 27

Twice that I can recall, I've had Google Maps steer my bike onto dirt paths that I could handle, but that would have been totally unsuitable for a "road bike", or for any bike at all at night. Oddly, in both cases, I was plotting out a route from a commuter rail station to a Trustees of Reservations museum: deCordova in Lincoln, and Fruitlands in the town of Harvard.

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Voting closed 25

I know the signs well. Sometimes the roads really are impassible by cars (class IV) but other times it's just someone trying to commandeer a sparely used public road and extend their property.

As for the covered bridges, so many were lost to hurricane Irene a few years ago so it's sad to think of more being damaged by trucks. You've got to figure if the driver isn't paying attention to the height limit signs, they aren't paying attention to the weight limit signs either.

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Voting closed 31

trying to commandeer a sparely used public road and extend their property

How does that work?

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Voting closed 17

When there's only one house on the road, that land owner will sometimes put up barriers (dirt berm, boulders, etc) so that people can't easily drive down the road or can't pass through to whatever the road connects with on other side.

The public road basically becomes that land owner's private driveway, either because they have a truck that can get over the barrier or they put a bypass gate on their property.

This only works if it's a dirt road that the town doesn't continuously maintain. They put up the "Your GPS is wrong!" signs in hope people don't even try to use "their" road.

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Voting closed 19

You know you're on a good route when you see one of those signs. Be ready for nasty climbing, usually.

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Voting closed 18

Has this been always happening or just now?

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Voting closed 15

Smuggler's Notch is a perennial bugbear for trucks and bad GPS's. They'll fine you handsomely if you go up, and few folks get away because the usual result is getting stuck. Sometimes spectacularly.

A couple years ago, somebody stopped before getting their box truck snagged at the Taftsville Bridge. It'd be a hassle to get out of the approach from either side, but it would beat hitting the bridge.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to get Google to mark an impassable section of the road we live on as impassable and quit routing folks over it. I can't just mark the segment myself because it needs to be split so that Google can route to a couple houses on the other side. It's not just the fault of the drivers (except for the complete lack of sense to turn around *before* everything goes to shit). Everybody who lives out near something like this knows about it. Getting changes made that don't neatly fit the existing automatic feedback mechanisms is challenging.

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Voting closed 31

At a previous Big Tech job, I had an interview question for candidates that included "You have a bunch of truck drivers, and we've got to build something to keep them from using consumer-grade Google Maps navigation".

... I used to think that that part of the interview problem was kind of contrived.

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Voting closed 22