I was in a car driving westbound on Storrow Drive the other weekend day, and something just wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong – it wasn’t anything obvious. Then someone came out with this post’s title and it all made sense.
We were, indeed, stuck behind some grandparents in a Buick driving exactly under the speed limit of Storrow Drive. It was very strange driving along that all-too familiar stretch of roadway and actually be able to watch all the pedestrians in their leisurely walks along the river.
For those who aren’t local, Storrow Drive is basically a narrow, two late, limited access, divider-in-the-middle local road that’s masquerading as a highway, that wends and winds it’s way along the Charles River into the very heart of Boston. And when I say wends and winds, I mean frequently, sharply, and in three dimensions. Memorial Drive does exactly the same thing on the Cambridge side of the river, except it has stoplights. New Yorkers familiar with Saw Mill River Parkway will know what I mean. As a friend once said, Storrow on weekends is like the world’s biggest driving video game – except you only get one quarter.
As most locals know, the bell curve average speed on Storrow Drive & Soldiers Field Road is significantly higher than the posted limit – at least during non-rush hours. Sure, there’s the occasional driver who slows down for the tricky curve, or hits the sunken spot of pavement, and slows down for a bit. But we were stuck at the limit for quite a while as everyone else switched lanes and passed us at a more, um, normal speed. It was an interesting perspective on the usual rate of life for that part of Boston.
Here’s a quiz to test how much you actually do pay attention: what is the posted speed limit on Storrow? No fair peeking, just answer as soon as you read this post.