Believe it or not, every vehicle passing through Astoria to points east (such as Portland or Seattle) has to negotiate this downtown corner. Traffic comes in on a small highway without too many nasty curves, and it leaves on the same. But, it has to go through town on Commercial Street (essentially our "Main Street"). Marine Drive is wider and straighter for anyone going west, but since Astoria's downtown is a one-way grid, Marine Drive goes only one way, and this is the result. There is no interstate or freeway for those who would rather "not get off here." I heard that the routing was arranged this way in order to keep business bustling in town, and maybe that's true. But there's no bypass for the big guys, and since we're located in a logging area, trucks carrying trees and heavy equipment share the same road as smaller vehicles.
If you're travelling behind a rig like this, you need to hold back when you near the intersection, or you could be forced to back up, and if there's a line of cars, it's not so easy. I've seen it. In fact, when I was new in town, it happened to me. The truck in the photo is of moderate size, but longer ones do comes through here. When one of them gets stuck, there's nothing for it but to put it in reverse and try again. I'm sure Astoria has a special niche somewhere in the Truckers' Hall of Fame and Legend.