QA Fail: Storrowing
Storrowing is the term that locals use to describe a truck being on Storrow Drive and hitting a bridge.
The term "Storrowing" was first mentioned in the Boston Globe in an article in August 2016.
There are plenty of warning signs and low-clearance bars before the bridges - letting truckers know that they should not be on that stretch of road.
When trucks are stalled under a bridge they cause serious traffic nightmares. Massachusetts State Police has to come out to check the situation and help cleanup the road and get the truck out of the way.
Situation is Getting Worst
In August 2021, 34 trucks were caught on Storrow Drive - with many of the trucks being damage due to the low clearance.
In past years:
- 2019 - there was only one truck
- 2017 - there were 4 trucks
- 2016 - there were no trucks.
Note: A "storrowing" year is from August 1st to July 31st of the following year. So this year is from August 1st, 2021 to July 31, 2022.
5 Reasons QA Fails the Clearance Signs
Storrowing happens just about every year. The locals know that it peaks in August/September when college students move into their apartments.
Local Uhaul rental establishments have signs at the register warning people not to drive ib Storrow Drive or Memorial Drive. This is due to the low bridges.
In Boston, failing to follow the "Danger Low Clearance" signs is a $150 offense - plus the expense of moving the truck off of Storrow Drive.
Clearly the signs, warnings, and fines are not catching the attention of truck drivers. Both residential and commercial trucks try to go down Storrow Drive.
The situation is such a local taboo, that Trillium Beer has a special IPA brew called Storrowed.
Massachusetts State Police catches a truck trying to get on Storrow Drive.
Time for a Change Up - I would suggest changing up the signs/warnings. Clearly they are getting ignored.
Dummy Bridge - The low-clearance bar isn't working. Perhaps a dummy bridge should be placed near the on-ramps so that truckers are more aware of the situation. Allow them to turn off the road instead of creating a situation where they have no choice but to try to pass underneath the bridge.
Learn from people trying - Talk to drivers on why they didn't see the signs and what type of sign would have them think twice before going down the road.
In vehicle Radio Warning Signal - In Uhaul trucks have some in-cabin warning system that the truck is approaching a bridge with low clearance. This would work similar to how the E-ZPass system works.