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Author Topic: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris  (Read 1540 times)

cpzilliacus

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Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« on: August 28, 2018, 07:39:47 PM »

WTOP Radio: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris

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There’s nothing quite like the sensation of seeing a farm haybell feeder or a refrigerator skidding toward you while driving at highway speed. Yet this scenario played out for several local drivers over the past year.

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The WTOP Traffic Center kept a running tally of all reported road debris on Washington area highways for a full year. The reports came primarily from WTOP listeners, in addition to local police and transportation agencies.

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Of the hundreds of man-made objects spotted since last August, the most common form of debris by a landslide came in the form of wheels, tires and large tire tread.
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jon daly

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2018, 08:23:04 PM »

Those large tire treads are called gators by truckers.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2018, 08:39:38 PM »

Elk on AZ 260 which happens to be the most common debris for everything east of Verde Valley. B

cpzilliacus

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2018, 08:59:15 PM »

Those large tire treads are called gators by truckers.

The MDOT/SHA/CHART first responders that have to get them out of the travel lanes and onto the shoulders (at least) also call them gators.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2018, 09:00:57 PM »

Elk on AZ 260 which happens to be the most common debris for everything east of Verde Valley. B

No elk here, but plenty of whitetail deer that end up with fatal injury in the  road (the DOT response guys call those "road pizzas") or sometimes on  the shoulders.
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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2018, 09:44:01 PM »

I see a lot of pallets and pallet boards. And have seen more than a few ladders.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2018, 10:03:25 PM »

Elk on AZ 260 which happens to be the most common debris for everything east of Verde Valley. B

No elk here, but plenty of whitetail deer that end up with fatal injury in the  road (the DOT response guys call those "road pizzas") or sometimes on  the shoulders.

Some times if the kill is fresh enough some local picks up the carcass for meat.  I used to see it all the time in Payson and Star Valley, it was amusing to see people loading their truck up on their side of 260. 

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2018, 12:28:26 AM »

I've seen random furniture and boxes in the road.

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2018, 12:36:03 AM »

We get reports of mattresses, box springs, buckets, chairs, boxes, pallets,ladders, things of that nature on a daily basis around here. Recently I swung the bridge camera around on a dark colored object and realized that it was a recliner-just about the time we were getting the first 911 call on it.

Can't say I've taken any reports on refrigerators, though. My partner does remember a call about a washing machine that fell out the back of a pick up one day when she was on another shift.
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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2018, 06:29:59 AM »

We always wonder why there are so many shoes by the side of the road.  Who takes off a shoe and "accidentally" drops it from the car?
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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2018, 08:07:59 AM »

We were hit by a flying mattress one time...moments after we were laughing about the mattress barely strapped to the roof of the car in front of us! lol

A month ago or so my carpool driver's car was overheating so we pulled over to the side of the road.  On the other side of the guardrail was a pickup truck's large metal single lid tool box!  It wasn't in great condition, and all it had inside though was rusty nails and some other worthless crap.
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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2018, 08:13:59 AM »

We saw a ladder in the I-95 HO/T lanes about two weeks ago. I tweeted it in ASAP, but I’m sure someone hit it in the meantime.

I once saw a whole stop sign with wooden post. It looked like someone had put it in the road intentionally. I would have hit it except I saw brake lights up ahead and I slowed—turned out the lights were from another car that had just hit it.

The radio traffic report once said traffic was snarled because people were getting flat tires from a box of nails that had fallen off a truck.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2018, 11:06:16 AM »

We saw a ladder in the I-95 HO/T lanes about two weeks ago. I tweeted it in ASAP, but I’m sure someone hit it in the meantime.

I believe that #77 in most of Maryland and Virginia may assure a faster  response to freeway emergencies (and a ladder in a freeway lane is a definite emergency).
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2018, 11:16:34 AM »

The radio traffic report once said traffic was snarled because people were getting flat tires from a box of nails that had fallen off a truck.

Not debris, but there have been a series of nasty potholes on the bridges that  carry I-95/I-495 over MD-450 (Annapolis Road) and the Amtrak Northeast Corridor tracks just to the south in Prince George's County. A recent one providing several drivers with flat tires.

I know Maryland has a contractor working on the really deteriorated bridge decks over Suitland Road near Joint Base Andrews, and they have advertised a contract for deck replacement of the bridges over Suitland Parkway (also in bad shape), but there are several others in Prince George's County that badly need replacement or redecking, including the two I mentioned above. 

But the bridges at MD-4 (Pennsylvania Avenue), Ritchie-Marlboro Road (unsigned MD-221A), Good Luck Road, MD-193 (Greenbelt Road), the bridge that crosses the CSX Capital Subdivision and the non-revenue Metro tracks leading to the Greenbelt Metrorail yard; and Rhode Island Avenue - plus three in Montgomery County; at Rock Creek (down the hill from the Mormon Temple); at Kensington Parkway and at MD-185 (Connecticut Avenue) all need deck replacements.
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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2018, 12:30:07 PM »

We saw a ladder in the I-95 HO/T lanes about two weeks ago. I tweeted it in ASAP, but I’m sure someone hit it in the meantime.

I believe that #77 in most of Maryland and Virginia may assure a faster  response to freeway emergencies (and a ladder in a freeway lane is a definite emergency).

Good point. At the time I couldn’t remember what the number was. Thanks for the reminder.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2018, 01:01:33 PM »

We saw a ladder in the I-95 HO/T lanes about two weeks ago. I tweeted it in ASAP, but I’m sure someone hit it in the meantime.

I believe that #77 in most of Maryland and Virginia may assure a faster  response to freeway emergencies (and a ladder in a freeway lane is a definite emergency).

Good point. At the time I couldn’t remember what the number was. Thanks for the reminder.

The default is always 911 though.  They will contact the proper agency or authority.  (I think #77 may even connect you to the same dispatch team anyway).
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2018, 01:29:35 PM »

We saw a ladder in the I-95 HO/T lanes about two weeks ago. I tweeted it in ASAP, but I’m sure someone hit it in the meantime.

I believe that #77 in most of Maryland and Virginia may assure a faster  response to freeway emergencies (and a ladder in a freeway lane is a definite emergency).

Good point. At the time I couldn’t remember what the number was. Thanks for the reminder.

On MD-200 (all), I-895 (all) and on I-95 (and I-395) in Baltimore City, call the MDTA Police dispatch center with stuff like this on 410-537-1230.

Best way to get help on any of the federal parkways is to call the U.S. Park Police dispatch center on 202-610-7505 (and I once found a ladder on the B-W Parkway in a travel lane and recently a broken-down pickup on the GWMP between Key Bridge and Spout Run (in traffic in the pitch dark rain with no lights).
« Last Edit: August 29, 2018, 01:34:45 PM by cpzilliacus »
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2018, 01:32:17 PM »

The default is always 911 though.  They will contact the proper agency or authority.  (I think #77 may even connect you to the same dispatch team anyway).

In Maryland and Virginia, #77 gets you the appropriate State Police dispatcher.  Even for an emergency, calling that number gets a fast response on roads that the state police usually patrol.

In a few places in Maryland (such as the WPL (Bay) Bridge), #77 goes to the MDTA Police Bay Bridge detachment.

In D.C., #77 is hard-wired in to D.C. 911.

Speaking of D.C. 911, I was working late one  night  years ago (during the final four year term of the then-Mayor-for-Life Marion Shepilov Barry, Jr.), and there was a horrendous CRASH outside my office window.  Looked up to see that a full-size Ford Bronco had t-boned a Toyota Tercel (learned later that the driver of the Bronco was extremely drunk and had busted a red signal). Called 911 and got no answer

Fortunately, the  U.S. Capitol Police have concurrent jurisdiction on the streets near my office, so I called them, and they answered on less than a ring.  I explained the situation, and they had several cars on the scene in a few minutes, and they also alerted D.C. Fire/EMS (they came quickly) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).  It took the MPD over 20 minutes to respond.

Reason 8,000 why I still dislike the late former Mayor-for-Life.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2018, 01:43:27 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2018, 01:58:32 PM »

When I lived in the DC area in the late 1990s, getting busy signals or no answer from 911 was a big news story.
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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2018, 11:07:39 PM »

Some time in the late '80s while traveling westbound on the PA Turnpike somewhere east of Pittsburgh on a hot summer's day, I saw on the side of the road just off the shoulder a dead cow so bloated it looked like an enormous puffer fish, with its legs spread straight out. The thing looked like it would explode if someone just looked at it the wrong way.

I have no idea how someone collected it without ka-BLOOOEY and being covered in decomp slime.
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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2018, 12:17:41 AM »

A few days ago, I was looking for a post of mine where I wrote about my 2010 New York Tri-State area road trip, and how after coming out of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel found myself in a traffic jam that was due to a wheelbarrow along the Harbor Tunnel Thruway below the Fait Avenue underpass. After failing to be able to make a 911 call due to a bad signal, I decided to take the thing out of the road myself. Once the commuters of Baltimore realized what I was doing, they let me cross both the northbound lanes so I could take the thing out of the road.  I got some brief applause from the drivers, called the people responsible for the debris morons, and a reverse 911 call afterwards and explained what was going on to them.
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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2018, 12:30:38 AM »

Traffic report tonight said something about a chair in the roadway on I-95 in Virginia.

I have vague memories of my father running over a plastic wastebasket on the Harbor Tunnel Thruway (not I-895 then) sometime in the 1970s or very early 1980s.
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2018, 09:20:31 AM »

I once ran over a large chain in the Midtown Tunnel in Norfolk.
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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2018, 09:19:08 PM »

One time I was looking up crash reports for unsecured loads.  I came across crashes involving a washer, refrigerator, stove, couch, and a bed.  A few days later one of my coworkers had to swerve around a dryer.

Just pick all that stuff up and you'll be able to build your own home!  :spin:

Or, you know, secure your load.  :)

This is exactly why I never tailgate people!
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Re: Most common – and most wacky – forms of local road debris
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2019, 04:42:58 PM »

[BUMP]

Kind of funny, actually! There was a construction truck that (I guess) ran over a bump just a little too big, and a stack of traffic barrels came flying off the back. Thankfully, we weren’t behind them, but another car was...
If I had known that anything that falls of a truck (and isn’t collected in a timely manner) is fair game for collecting, I would have gone ham, as those were fairly nice-looking drums!
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