With moving trucks expected to flood Boston-area streets in the coming days, state and local officials are reminding residents and college students not to drive the tall vehicles on Storrow and Memorial drives and Soldiers Field Road.
For years, in the days surrounding the busy Sept. 1 college move-in and apartment turnover period, moving trucks have crashed into, or gotten stuck underneath, overpasses on the parkways that flank the Charles River, which flows between college meccas Boston and Cambridge.
Many moving trucks are too tall to fit under overpasses along Soldiers Field Road and Storrow and Memorial drives (which measure as low as 9 feet, 10 inches), and their drivers can be unfamiliar with the vehicles and the roads.
Even drivers more experienced in steering tall vehicles around Boston — including people who drive tractor-trailers, buses, and duck boats for a living — have made the mistake, known locally as “Storrowing.”
“Students, don’t get stuck in your tracks to start the fall semester,” Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Colonel Richard McKeon said in a statement this week. “Be mindful of height restrictions when you’re moving in, and I hope the rest of the year is smooth driving.”
State officials said more signs are being posted along area roadways, including 10 electronic message boards positioned at various entry points along Storrow Drive in the days leading up to Sept. 1 that will tell drivers of moving trucks not to enter.
Several state agencies are also reaching out to colleges, GPS companies, and box truck rental companies to remind them of the height restrictions, and agencies are trying to boost awareness by posting reminders on social media.
“This week, I encourage all drivers to be conscious of posted signage regarding vehicle height restrictions along Charles River roadways and take care when navigating area streets during this busy time of year,” said Matthew Beaton, Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs secretary, in a statement.
“While the fall semester can be an exciting time of year, it is incredibly important that we take the necessary steps to ensure our roadways remain safe for students, residents, commuters, and visitors alike,” he added.