Aug 13, 2023

WATCH: Funny Mass. DCR ‘Storrowing’ video

The days are getting shorter, the air crisper and Boston's student hangouts more crowded — that's right, "Storrowing" season is here.

Trying a new way to reach college students and their parents before they damage their rental trucks, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation released a parody video pleading with newcomers.

"Do your part by looking for the signs, and, together, we can not hit a bridge with a truck. The bridges — and the trucks — will thank you," DCR social media strategist Ryan Hutton says in the video.

With move-in day right around the corner, overpasses all over the Boston area need your help. They need to not be hit by a moving truck on Storrow Drive or Soldiers Field in Boston & Memorial Drive in Cambridge. Plan your move in day route accordingly & watch for the signs!

The video takes its cue from old ASPCA animal rescue ads that used to be ubiquitous on TV, which were also set to the forlorn Sarah McLachlan song "Angel." In those ads, McLachlan noted that viewers could support needy animals for only a few dollars a month; in the DCR video, the narrator says that, "For just $0 a day, you can not hit a bridge or an overpass."

For the uninitiated, at least once every few months, a person driving a truck will miss the many signs — "We put signs up everywhere," the video notes — about low clearance on Boston's Storrow Drive and Soldiers Field Road or, across the Charles River, on Cambridge's Memorial Drive, and the top of the vehicle will hit an overpass. Often, the impact of a "Storrowing" will open the roof up like a tin can.

Many of the incidents happen around Sept. 1, when most of Boston's leases start and rental trucks fill the streets, many driven by people from out of town moving for college or grad school and who aren't familiar with the local roads.

The new video offers some helpful, if tongue-in-cheek, advice for drivers rushing around the city.

"Save a rented moving truck today by not blindly following your GPS directly into a low-clearance bridge. They even put the height of your truck right on your side. You can usually see it right in your rear-view mirror," Hutton says.

As of Thursday afternoon, the video was already DCR's most-watched reel on Instagram, according to the department.

It's all part of a new push on social media to engage more creatively with the public, DCR spokesperson Ilyse Wolberg told NBC10 Boston, teasing more hijinks to come ahead of Move-In Day on Sept. 3.

"As Move-In Day approached this year, we tried to think of new ways to save our overpasses, deter ‘storrowing’ and educate those moving into the Boston area about the dangers of driving a truck onto Storrow Drive and Soldiers Field Road in Boston and Memorial Drive in Cambridge, and came up with the idea for this video and others that we will be putting out over the next week," Wolberg said in a statement. "We’ve tried being serious and informative and thought why not try to be funny and informative this year."

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