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Bridge on Storrow Drive savors another victory

Storrowed truck near BU

The Storrow bridges maintained their undefeated record this afternoon as James Noonan shows us on the eastbound side, at BU.

Matt Niermeyer gives us another view of the remains of the truck:

Storrowed truck
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I'd wager that all else being equal, Storrowings are more likely on days with bad weather -- it'd be interesting to crunch the numbers, if anyone has a comprehensive database of incidents over the years. Probably a small but statistically significant effect.

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Voting closed 9

I’m looking at that truck out the window of my office in Allston. They just finished unloading it from the tow truck. The roof is on a separate flatbed.

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Voting closed 22

a real sardine-canning!

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There aren't enough regulation road signs at the entrance to the roadway, and so who can blame a truck which drives by a bunch of no trucks signs that don't perfectly conform to MUTCD but are actually a lot more visible?

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Voting closed 11

Someday we'll get a truck that goes through that bridge undamaged.

Nothing is impossible if you just keep on trying.

Say it, trucks: I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!

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Voting closed 11

A traffic light.

Put a traffic light on Storrow that blinks yellow under normal circumstances. Connect it to a sensor system that can detect objects on the roadway taller than the maximum height. Turn the light red if you detect one and call the PD. I'm sure the traffic disruption and risk to life and limb would be significantly less than a truck or bus getting sardine canned.

You have a couple options for sensors. The simplest would probably be a camera with some image recognition to detect a vehicle taller than a reference. Image segmentation for a known class of objects such as vehicles is pretty straightforward these days. Alternatively, you could set up a series of laser tripwires at the maximum height. Since traffic speed data is pretty easy to get these days, you could make sure the times the laser was interrupted corresponded to the times a vehicle traveling with traffic would arrive. This would mostly eliminate false positives due to pigeons flying through the lasers, as would placing the lasers in pairs separated by more than a pigeon's width but less than a UHaul.

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Voting closed 8

http://11foot8.com/about/the-documentary/ These folks have a similar problem and tried just about everything but it still keeps happening.

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Voting closed 16

Just watched that 12-minute documentary; it's a little gem well worth the detour. Thanks for providing the link.

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Yeah no way the drivers will just ignore the warnings until the last second and then they slam on the brakes and cause a pile up. Genius.

Simpler solution? Ban cars.

But we can't because "muh freedoms" so maybe the next step is taking all those smart, AI-powered tech that everyones raving about and instead use tech to restrict speeds, report dangerous dangerous, require a breathalyzer-test to start the ignition, etc. If a truck gets on a geo-tagged road that they shouldn't be on, slowly reduce its speed long before it gets to the bridge and alert the needed authorities.

But no fully autonomous vehicles though, those come with their own heaping pile of problems.

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Voting closed 6

What you're describing is similar to the Overheight Vehicle Detection Systems in widespread use already. Locally, the Big Dig tunnels have it in place.

Here's an example of it on the Pike eastbound, in advance of the Fort Point Channel tunnel: https://goo.gl/maps/Qk3SCdiLsQkoCc4B6

Sensors (in the foreground) detect an overheight vehicle, and the message board mounted on the overpass in the background turns on, displaying something to the effect of "OVERHEIGHT VEHICLE STOP AWAIT POLICE". There is also an audible alarm bell that sounds.

I've seen these activated multiple times, most recently late Sunday night, so it seems they serve their purpose.

It might not be a bad idea to deploy an OVDS on Storrow Drive.

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Too cut off the tops of offending trucks. Also, mount them on sharks so there can be "sharks with fricking laser beams!"

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read the "NO TRUCKS" signs that it really does present a problem! Honestly, when are people going to learn? It's ludicrous!

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Voting closed 4