Having attended a number of meetings with state officials about the "add a lane" construction on Rte. 128 (aka I-93 or I-95), I learned a lot about the breakdown lane situation. These meetings were sponsored by a local Chamber of Commerce to discuss impact on local businesses over the many years for construction.
Fed Gov MANDATED the use of the breakdown lane in certain areas during rush hours as a TEMPORARY measure due to air pollution readings exceeding safe standards. Sitting in rush hour traffic will do this!
We are at the end of the Fed Gov approved time limit for a final mitigation of the congestion problem and thus we are adding a lane to traffic flow in both directions from somewhere around Randolph up to Rte 9/128 junction. I was NOT popular at those meetings when I pointed out that adding a lane and removing a lane (breakdown lane) would NOT allow more cars to pass that area at reasonable speed during rush hour . . . it was a net "zero" gain! They were spouting off that the highway would handle more traffic than it currently does (during rush hour) with the rush hour breakdown lane use! They pegged my BS meter!! :twisted:
Thus, it is posted as LEGAL to drive the breakdown lane from somewhere around Randolph to Rte. 9 during the posted hours. I think that Rte. 3 also has some similar postings. This is only LEGAL during the posted hours on Mon-Fri (holidays included).
People have been blasting the breakdown lane ILLEGALLY for as long as I can remember Rte. 128 being in existence (I was a kid when it was built). Occasionally the MSP will stake it out and bag the bozos.
During the posted hours, in those areas, there is NO BREAKDOWN LANE . . . it is "just another traffic lane". Whether any insurance company, any LEO, any civilian likes it or not this is just a LEGAL FACT!
As for insurance companies refusing payment, they do it all the time . . . and in this case if someone files a complaint, it won't matter what the contract says . . . the breakdown lane is NON-EXISTENT (Legally) during the posted hours, it is just a travel lane. [Case in point: Many years ago I parked in a marked legal space in front of a USPO, came out of the USPO to find my car door didn't open . . . a driver with ~6" of snow on his roof that had slid over his windshield decided to pull into the same space I was parked in (he couldn't see, just knew that there were spaces there) smashing into my old diesel VW Rabbit. He admitted to what he did to me and the police (I called them, his DL was expired). Insurance company finally admitted that their client was responsible but refused to pay me for a year, until I sent a letter to their CEO explaining that no check meant I would file a complaint with AG and request a hearing to pull that company's license to sell insurance in MA! I went against the other company since the damages (all cosmetic) exceeded value of car and my company told me that they would total my car and issue me a Salvage Title if I wanted to keep it. This way I got the money, pocketed it (eventually) and drove it for another 2-3 years.]
- Considerable amount of I-90, Mass Pike, has NO breakdown lane in areas East of Rte 128!
- If anyone breaks down, pull over as far as you can, use the 4-way flashers, and get your ass out of the car (including all passengers) and away from it while awaiting help! That's what I recommend anywhere!! Even with a legal breakdown lane, sitting in the car makes you a sitting duck to get hit and hurt/killed.