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Kaboom: Westwood bridge no slouch when it comes to storrowing

Westwood Police posted this video of the railroad bridge near the Roche Bros. vanquishing yet another truck, on Saturday.

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THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT. Just keep going. The falling piece of debris at the end is a class act finish. Bravo.

Plus, how can he get in trouble for ignoring the clearance sign if he ripped it right off as well?

The river road drivers can really learn a thing or two from this video. You just got schooled.

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My bet is that they stopped up the road. I would put good money that the guys from the truck are the guys clearing the debris at the end judging by their matching t-shirts. Then again, I wasn't there.

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A Low Clearance sign on the bridge that doesn't actually give the clearance. A "Low Clearance - Trucks Must Turn Left" sign that's so small it's barely noticeable/legible to drivers. Not to mention that the stenciled word markings in the road serve only as a distraction from the real hazard - the low clearance.

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Yeah that bridge sure came out of nowhere. And they way it was dressed it was like it was asking to get hit. Certainly not the drivers fault!

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Roadman posts often about how poor signage contributes to things like this.

Unfortunately for his theory, there is a sign right after the turn that notes the height in MUTCD style.

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the length of the teeter totter.

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for the approach you mention (which is NOT the approach the truck in the video took).

Consider the potential distraction of the larger "Playground" sign mounted above the Low Clearance sign, the fact that the next sign reads "Low Bridge" with no clearance information AND is mounted with a Narrow Roadway sign (another potential distraction), and the fact that the final Low Clearance sign is located AFTER the last point an overheight vehicle can turn to avoid the bridge.

There's much more to MUTCD compliance than just using signs that match the pictures in the book. Placing signs in such a way as to actually command attention, which none of the signs I saw in either StreetView or the video of the crash do, is a key element of providing proper signing.

But yes, It must be the fault of the driver for not noticing a "Trucks Must Turn Here" sign that's the size of a postage stamp in relation to the critical information it is trying to convey.

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Had 3 signs with the bridge height, followed by the bridge, which had a low clearance sign on top of it. There is a chance to flip a truck the size we see in the video around easily. An 18 wheeler possibly (I've never driven one) could take a turn into the little league lot and change direction by exiting the far end. But nothing higher than ten and a half feet should get to the bridge.

The sign in the video wasn't there in 2012. Things could have changed in that time- Mrs. Waquiot was pregnant at the time, so I have a way to mark the passage of time- but I don't see the town deciding to take height signs down. That's 3 height signs ignored.

And it is the approach. I did a double taken in that earlier. The little league kids were a tipoff.

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Right before the bridge? Ten Foot Six!

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the picture does not show it but there is additional signage, warning over sized trucks to beware.

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If one is to "drive" down the road using Street View, one can see that there are no fewer than four signs before the bridge warning that there is low clearance ahead.

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I especially like the one shown in the photo this article (lower right). Smaller than a speed limit sign, it looks like some kind of irrelevant no-parking sign as you pass by it.

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one of my points.

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I hope that truck wasn't loaded with someone's worldly goods that they were moving. Insurance can pay for a new truck but that would really suck to have your possessions lying under a bridge in Needham.

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that underpass also has horizontal clearance issues:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rNXipn_tDo

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Wonder how many of those valuable ceramic vases actually made it to their destination, after this?

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is probably a Ming of the past.

(thank you, I'll be here all week)

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Or in this case, flashing green straight arrows. Can anyone tell me what that is supposed to mean?

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Flashing green light is no longer permitted but they are grandfathered in... it means the same thing as a green light, "but expect the light to change." It was used in places where the light was under the control of something other than a normal traffic control system. For example, a traffic signal at a crosswalk, where there is no cross street, but a pedestrian can push a button to get a walk signal. Or, in front of a fire station, where an exiting fire truck can cause the traffic light to turn red.

Kind of meaningless distinction, since of course any green light should be expected to change, which is probably why they did away with them.

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There is a fire station right on that corner, but sometimes the light is just a normal traffic light.

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(arrows or balls) have not been permitted since the 1971 MUTCD. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as officially "grandfathering in" a non-compliant sign, signal, or other traffic control device - especially for over forty years after the rules were changed.

While the majority of MUTCD changes come with compliance dates (the date by which non-compliant devices need to be eliminated or brought into compliance with current standards), the basic principal is that the compliance date is a "drop dead" date, and that such devices need to be removed or brought into compliance as soon as practical after the MUTCD change. This is NOT the same as "grandfathering in" a non-compliant sign, signal, etc..

Why is the flashing green signal still considered a valid traffic control device by many people, and some municipalities (Wakefield for one) for that matter, in Massachusetts? Simple, blame the RMV for not removing the device from their driver's manual until very recently. Like the red-yellow "pedestrian" signal, which was in the driver's manual until recently as well, the RMV philosophy was apparently "Well, a driver might encounter such things in a rare instance, so we've got to inform them that they might exist."

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Time for you to read the latest mutcd.
flashing arrows for left turns are back.
And Massdot recently approved their use.

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I did read something recently about flashing amber arrows being used in left-hand turning lanes to indicate that the oncoming traffic does not stop (IOW, yield when turning). But flashing green arrows are back too?

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But maybe also flashing red arrows. Like the one here: https://goo.gl/maps/8vbxf

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Anyone know, does Arlington still have the flashing green near the Park Circle water tower?

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there is no such thing as officially "grandfathering in" a non-compliant sign, signal, or other traffic control device - especially for over forty years after the rules were changed

My dad was a Highwayman, who had been in the signals division of another state highway department for a time, and he told me that each state had certain things that they could exempt so long as they were not upgraded or replaced.

In summary: if it is a local road and it hasn't been changed or upgraded, you get to keep it. Even if that means repairing energy inefficient flashing green lights or repainting signs until they crumble into dust.

Thus MA got to keep their "dangerous intersection" signs and their flashing greens and other non-standard stuff so long as there were not any changes or upgrades.

MA is apparently a hotbed of such foolishness, but they do get their exemptions for their local crap and cities and towns will often refuse to upgrade stuff out of the belief that people can't be expected to learn changing rules and signals.

He did end up reporting a few things to his friends in MassDOT - stuff like "right turn on red permitted" signs and right turn lights that were on all the time but did not convey the right of way - all of them on federal highways, but most things I pointed out to him were, indeed, grandfathered.

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State and local governments can apply to the feds for exemptions. But they're not always granted. And they have NOT been granted for flashing greens.

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are pretty recent installations (there are also two on the other side of the bridge). So now they are flashing green arrows but I am not sure if that is the only thing they will be flashing in the future.

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          ( in Quebec )

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a flashing green light means that pedestrians have full right of way in the intersection (same as the US "exclusive pedestrian phase"), and that all other traffic must stop. Not sure if this applies to any of the other Canadian provinces (apart from Quebec) as well.

That's the beauty of standards - there are so many to choose from.

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If there are no peds around or they are clear, a vehicle can proceed on a flashing green: http://drivesmartbc.ca/signs-signals/flashing-traffic-signals

A driver facing a flashing green light must approach so that they are able to stop, should a stop be necessary, before reaching the crosswalk or the signal as the case may be. They must then yield to pedestrians, again in the manner specified for a flashing red light.

I've driven in all Canadian provinces save Newfoundland and Labrador, and I did actually look this stuff up before crossing Canada from BC to Quebec last summer! Yes, it does indeed vary across the country and context is everything!

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I think flashing green universally means, "WTF does a flashing green mean? Oh fuck it, just go."

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this should provide a good reference:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HvmtbZzA40

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Thumbs up in advance because I know what that's going to be.

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Flashing green in Quebec and Ontario means "advance green" for left turns. Once it stops flashing, you no longer have the advanced green and have to look sharp!

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The green arrows are temporary lights that were installed a few weeks ago in preparation for the temporary relocation of the Islington Fire Station while a new station is built on the site of the old one. While construction is ongoing, these lights will be used to stop traffic so the fire trucks can get out.
This bridge has been a problem for decades. A generation ago, the MBTA presented a plan to fix it, but that plan was shot down by vocal opposition of residents who didn't want the increased traffic they felt would result from allowing larger truck to pass. Fortunately, at the most recent community meeting several years ago, those residents no longer represent a consensus and the Town, selectman, and near about everyone agrees the MBTA needs to reconstruct the bridge "ASAP." It is supposedly on the top of their priority list with a design study currently underway with the expectation that it will be rebuilt in 1-2 years.
In the mean time, one thing that has made a difference is that the DPW installed some warning sticks on the 12" sidewalk under the bridge which has virtually eliminated the problem of cars hitting the curb and bouncing into the other lane to cause T-bone accidents. No pedestrian has been killed yet from attempting to navigate that narrow sidewalk and bikers know to wait and take the lane, but it is a real scary proposition. Many cars stop or slow down to time there passage so they don't get sideswiped.
As a resident who lives half a mile away and who has been talking with town officials and discussing this issue in our pedestrian and bicycle safety committee meetings for the past 6-7 years, it is frustrating to see how long it takes to solve an obvious problem. But today, it is all on the MBTA to get this done. There are some engineering challenges; raising the bridge would be problematic due to the impact on the rest of the line and the location of the Islington train station...lowering the roadway creates drainage issues. But come on...I am sure something can be designed. Eventually, it will be fixed. In the meantime, expect to see another crash or two every month.

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but that plan was shot down by vocal opposition of residents who didn't want the increased traffic they felt would result from allowing larger truck to pass

Perhaps then we should have the local residents pay the cleanup costs every time an incident like this one happens. Then they might not think that improving the bridge is such a bad idea.

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Kudos to the crew for trying to get the debris out of the road as quickly as they could.

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It was nice of those kids to pick up someone else's mess for the drivers who were too lazy to get of their behinds themselves.

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Maybe you should watch it again.

Starting at 0:42, before the kids in the foreground right get to the bridge, two dudes in matching navy blue t-shirts come from the far side of the bridge, assess the damage, and start picking up the debris out of the roadway. A third guy is visible around 1:29, interacting with traffic on the far side of the bridge and (I think) talking on a phone. That's the moving crew.

The kids from the ball field cross the road from our right to left, but never approach closer than the driveway just before the bridge.

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Driver just keeps on going! Holy cow!

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The truck? The two guys in matching shirts were its driver/moving crew.

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....how do you just keep driving after something like that? I mean, what the hell?????

Do you just arrive at your destination, look at your truck (filled with somebody's stuff?), and say, "Gee, I wonder how that happened?" Or maybe, (in Homer Simpson voice): "It was like that when I got here!"

I just.....my head hurts from the stupid.

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continued on a bit to pull over to the side?

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It takes a hot second to stop a big truck. The three people dressed identically who come from the far side of the bridge and start cleaning up are the moving crew. Did you forget that just because you can't see an object anymore doesn't mean it ceased to exist?

Now my head hurts from the stupid.

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Oh. Never mind, then. Withdrawn. *slinks away in chagrin*

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so we can see exactly where this is?

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Map. The truck is travelling west to east on East St. The kids come out of the ballfields just before the bridge. (My barber is right across Washington.)

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a little off the top?

I'll get my coat.

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Street layout, bridge, signs, pavement markings all look different at your map location compared to the video.

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Hello, UHub!
Okay, I'm going to risk sounding like Mark after an article about bicycles... Before my current, cushy desk job that lets me sit around and comment on blogs all day, I used to be a mover in Boston. I'd love to make a few points about this video.

  1. Hitting a bridge is very dumb, and usually preventable, but it happens. I have been in the truck when other drivers hit low bridges before, and I even started to turn onto Storrow at Harvard Square one time. Luckily, hitting the dangly thing reminded me where I was and what I was driving. After a long day, it's pretty easy to switch into autopilot and forget to watch your clearance.
  2. If you do hit a bridge, you're going to notice. You might come to a stop as sudden as hitting a wall, or in a case like this where the top gets peeled off, the truck is going to shudder like crazy and become basically undriveable.
  3. Now, if you hit a bridge, the boss is going to be mad as hell, but it is something that happens. If you leave after hitting the bridge, the boss is going to fire you on the spot.
  4. If you're the customer, some of your stuff is probably going to get broken, but not all, unless it's raining. The lightest items will be on top of the load, so things like nightstands and bedclothes will get destroyed, but appliances, armoires, dishes, and books will be on the deck. They'll be okay unless the driver hit something so low as to take out the cab and kill them.
  5. Whatever stuff got destroyed will get replaced. Oh, you did hire a reputable, insured mover, right? That's what that insurance is for. (It will probably get replaced with crappier stuff, though. Read the fine print, that insurance has a fixed dollar reimbursement per pound that isn't in your favor unless you buy supplemental insurance.)

In this case, you can see the crew (three guys in identical navy tshirts) come back to the bridge and check it out starting around 0:42 in the video.

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Maybe you left Harvard and crossed the river and tried to get on to Soldiers Field Road in Allston, but it's a pretty good haul to get to Storrow (which begins past the BU Bridge).

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Yeah, yeah. I was trying to save people the pedantic hassle of reading how I was coming down JFK over the bridge, technically crossed into Allston, tried to turn left, hit the dangly thing, had to get a guy to direct traffic around me to get room to back up, etc. I figured turning onto Storrow from Harvard Square was good shorthand for all that meaningless detail. I do, however, always forget where Storrow turns into Soldiers Field. In my brain, it's Storrow all the way to the split at the Harvard athletic fields.

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Remember this?

Someone I know was standing on the Longfellow Bridge when a Broadway Express moving truck slammed into the bridge, spilling its load. The movers were supposed to transport this family's possessions from Beacon Hill to Oakland, CA. They didn't get even a mile from their point of origin.

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"No slouch"?

Show me anything from Storrow Drive that ended up as a Lobsterpocalypse.

Westwood has the extra bonus feature of launching dimwit drivers into oncoming traffic.

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On the plus side, most people are so spooked by how narrow it is that they slow way down.

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extra bonus feature of launching dimwit drivers into oncoming traffic.

That curb looks designed to do just that. For the impatient, the action starts at 1:00. Westwood PD arrives in two minutes flat, pretty impressive.

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This.

Also, more on this moving company's transportation safety:

http://www.dnkaye.com/whitehousemoving.JPG

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