Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Friday, January 25, 2008
It's a Legend
Myths and Legends from the Sturbridge Area
Almost a year ago a sign appeared on the old garage door of the new office of Dr. Gill on Route 20. It gave directions on how to park, and stated that it was "illegal" to back up onto Route 20.
Sounded a bit offbeat at the time. I had never heard of a law prohibiting one from backing out of a driveway, and onto a road. Each day I drove by, the sign bugged me more. Then last week, I wrote about the some parking practices here in town. One of the comments someone left spoke of how it is illegal to back up onto a state highway. Cripes, I live a state highway, and I 'm surrounded by houses with driveways!
Now, I had to do some research. This thing was taking on a life of its own.
How does one get out of their driveway? Does one pull up along side their home, stop, put it in reverse and back up against the traffic behind them in order to back into their driveway so they can pull out frontwards later on?
The whole premise was absurd.
So, I checked Massachusetts General Laws, at least those available online, and found no mention of a law prohibiting backing out onto a state highway. I checked the Town of Sturbridge By-Laws, and found a lot of interesting things, but nothing about backing up onto a state highway.
I was frustrated. Where did that sign on Dr. Gills door come from? Was the office told to place it there. Did someone in authority tell them to put it there, and quoted them a "law"? Or, was it just a scare tactic?
Where did the person that commented on this blog get the idea?
The mystery deepened, so I wrote to the Mass Highway Department. Their answer, via email, is below:
From: "Feedback District3"
Date: January 25, 2008 3:00:41 PM EST
Subject: RE: Parking on State Roads, and backing up
Thank you for your email. We are not aware that backing up onto a state
highway is illegal. Diagonal or angle parking is frowned on however.
Feedback District 3
So, there you have it. Nothing on record. No laws. No regulations. No by-laws.
But, it seems this diagonal parking thing is not well liked.
Whoa. Isn't this how we got to this subject in the first place? Diagonal parking in front of the Blackington Building?
Spooky. But, myths and legends sometimes are.