A lesson on Storrow Drive

“Storrowed” (v) — When a truck hits one of the low clearance bridges on Storrow Drive.

A small Uhaul truck driving down Storrow Drive.

Fun fact: The truck height limit on Storrow Drive is 10 ft.

Class is in session, Boston. This week, expect to see more traffic as college students and new residents flock to the city. Inevitably, the too-tall moving trucks will be making their way downtown and get stuck on Storrow Drive. Here’s your lesson on the notorious roadway to avoid getting “Storrowed.”

Storrow Drive, officially known as James Jackson Storrow Memorial Drive, is a major parkway in Boston. This ~two-mile stretch is named for James J. Storrow, an investment banker who worked to make the Charles River Basin what it is today and supported the preservation efforts.

It was constructed in the summer of 1951 and connects east–west along the the Charles River, providing scenic views of the Boston University Bridge, Charles River Esplanade, and the Hatch Memorial Shell.

Don’t get distracted by those views and miss the warning signs about clearance height. It’s restricted to cars and small passenger vehicles, so trucks and buses that are taller than 10 ft are not allowed.

Despite the signs, newcomers often keep driving and find themselves “Storrowed” under the bridge, causing traffic jams and incurring costly fees + fines. Aside from the damage to the moving truck, drivers will also receive a ticket ranging from $50-$150 for “failure to obey a sign.” To add insult to (truck) injury, the drivers also have to reverse the truck off the parkway because there are multiple low clearance bridges that the truck also won’t fit under.

This has been happening since at least the 1980s and occurs so frequently there is even an urban dictionary entry for “Storrowed.” To get the word out this year, Massachusetts DRC shared a public service announcement to help raise awareness ahead of moving season.

Do your homework and share this with anyone who’s getting ready to call Boston home.