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Dear truck driver: Just because it feels like September, doesn't mean it is September

This just in from Matthew Soleyn:

Some idiot in a tractor-trailer truck ignored "CARS ONLY" & "LOW CLEARANCE" signs &hit the Arthur Fielder Footbridge on Storrow Drive West.

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I just got this from the DCR:

DCR CLOSING ONE LANE OF STORROW DRIVE WESTBOUND
Tractor trailer truck stuck under Arthur Fiedler Footbridge

WHAT: The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has closed the right line of Storrow Drive outbound (westbound) along the Charles River Esplanade while crews extract a tractor-trailer truck that became stuck under the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge.

WHEN: Friday
July 24, 2009
Immediately, until further notice

WHERE: Storrow Drive westbound
Near the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge
Back Bay

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I suppose it would be too simple to suggest that they raise the bridge heights on Storrow by five feet?

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Bridge and underpass clearancees on Storrow and Mem Drive have always been 12 feet. If you don't like it, go back to New York!

[/snark]

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Actually it would be simpler if drivers read the signs, DUH!

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if you can't read the sign, you shouldn't be on the road.

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What ever happned to the cowbells hanging at the entrances such that they would whack anything too high before it got too far?

Also, the heights are not the only reason. The lanes are too narrow and the corners too tight for truck travel on a limited access roadway.

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All the cowbells were knocked off due to the shear number of impacts over time.

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More cowbell.

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Or wherever you can first access that roadway? I know I see them hanging at entrances in close to downtown but do they have them way out in the burbs? If they are not there, that could be part of the problem. I don't know if they are out there..anyone know?

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Storrow Drive becomes Soldiers Field Road somewhere around BU, and ends at Market Street in Brighton.

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will not be cleared for about another hour, according to State Police.

Also, they have closed the center lane (which was briefly open to traffic) again.

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Boston_Fire tweets that emergency crews were delayed in getting to the scene because of traffic caused by the scene.

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What is cheaper?

a) Spend some money to make it less likely that an accident will happen by adding cowbells and brighter, bigger signs? (aka, as obnoxious as possible so that anyone who does crash can be be charged with gross negligence)

b) Do not pay for signs but then spend massive amount on repair when bridge that has been hit too many times becomes structurally unsound?

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In the mid-1990s, I had a friend (who has since moved from the area) that was an independent trucker who owned their semi-tractor trailer.

We were helping another friend of ours move from Boston to Worcester, and my friend offered to let me ride with him.

I recall that the ride was relatively smooth for a large truck, but I also remember there were a lot of minor, but frequent, noises from the normal interaction of the trailer and the tractor.

Based on my experience that day, I suspect the average trucker would discount the sound of a cowbell as just another normal noise coming from their vehicle.

As for better signing, many years ago the MDC installed large illuminated warning signs on entrance ramps to Storrow Drive that would activate with loud beeping tones when they detected an overheight vehicle approaching. Then, the abutters complained about the noise, so the MDC disconnected the tones and didn't bother to maintain the signs after that. IIRC, one of these signs remains in place on the ramp from Western Avenue to Storrow east, but I don't know if it still works.

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The photocell-activated signs also alerted drivers of over-height vehicles with a flashing "BRIDGE TOO LOW - EXIT HERE" message. They too were ignored, and IIRC the one on Memorial Drive westbound at Mass Ave was demolished by a truck.

Any other ideas?

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ignoring signs. On the other hand, if the MDC/DCR was really interested in trying to solve this problem once and for all, they would:

Put up properly sized and worded signs (i.e. LARGE ones), not just over the entrance ramps, but on the Storrow and Memorial Drive mainlines both IN ADVANCE OF and at the actual bridges.

Insure that there are proper advance warning signs not just over the entrance ramps (after the trucks have started to enter), but on Boston and Cambridge streets well BEFORE the turns on to Storrow and Memorial Drives. There are lots of directional signs on city streets advising of the entrances (and most were installed by MDC/DCR), but I have yet to see one decent advance sign that includes "NO TRUCKS" in the text.

When they construct, rebuild, or replace ped bridges and overcrossing structures along Storrow and Memorial Drives, make them conform to the correct 15' 6" clearance required by Federal design standards. For example. the truck vs overpass problem was well known when they bult the Fiedler footbridge, yet the built the bridge to a low clearance anyway.

Of course, none of the above will likely happen in our lifetime as long as DCR maangement, local politicians, environmentalists, and the NIMBY abutters continue to insist that S(t)orrow Drive is, and must forever more remain, a parkway intended for recreational travel istead of what it has become, a major arterial highway used by commuters.

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....who was arguing that the jamaicaway/arborway were "a park, NOT A HIGHWAY!"

In case you asshats haven't noticed, both are TWO LANE, LIMITED ACCESS highways. People use them because they're the quicker way in and out of Boston. We need MORE roads like that, not fewer.

Incidentally, the asshat that proposed this was a guy who moved to JP 10+ years ago and has been trying to fight to drop the speed limit on the Jamaicaway by the pond because he can't cross it on his bike, and he's one of those "I will not own a car" types. Newsflash, if you bike everywhere, don't choose to live on the other side of an EXISTING, massively busy road!

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The Jamaicaway is a limited-access highway? Yeah, that must be what all those traffic lights and rotaries and driveways are for.

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