Ferndale road changes irk residentsSome things look better...

ROUTE 2 -- A weekly journey through Anne Arundel County

July 22, 1992|By Liz Atwood When it comes to flora, she's all thumbs

Ferndale road changes irk residents

Some things look better on paper than in real life.

At least that's how Helen Ord and her neighbors on Orchard Road in Ferndale figure it.

With work on the light rail lines progressing in the neighborhood, the state reconfigured the road crossing the railroad bed to connect Orchard Road to Broadview Boulevard. The plan was to move the crossover road about 100 yards up Orchard Road to line up with the intersection of Linden Avenue.

On paper, it looks like a nice, neat intersection.

But Ms. Ord and her neighbors, Emily Sleeger, Mary McGuire and Jean Keith say traffic is backing up on the road, cars are failing to stop at the stop signs and buses can't make the sharp turn at the intersection.

Maryland Transit Administration spokeswoman Dianna Rosborough says the state has looked into the complaints, but is sticking to its assessment that the intersection now is safer than the previous crossover.

The neighbors aren't giving up yet. They have contacted county and state officials, and presented Rep. Tom McMillen with a petition with 188 signatures asking that the road be returned to its previous configuration.

"I don't think that's going to do anything because it looks really good on paper," Mrs. Ord said. "Reality can't fight something like this." There must be 200 nurseries, garden centers, and roadside flower stands on Ritchie Highway between Pasadena and Annapolis.

OK, maybe 200 is an exaggeration.

I actually counted six. But they are a big six.

Many people probably have not paid much attention to the stands, but I have. As soon as the first stand went up, and the first bud bloomed, I noticed.

You see, I love flowers. I adore flowers. But there's just one problem. I also kill flowers.

While some people, like my mother, have the greenest of thumbs, I have a thumb that has been known to give plants the kiss of death.

It began in elementary school when they took us to a farm and let us pick out a little plant to take home. My best friend's plant thrived. Her mother placed it in their yard. To this day it blooms every spring.

My plant? It was dead within a week.

A few years passed and at age 13 I bought a pepper plant. The peppers shriveled up, the stem turned brown and it died -- within a week.

Next time I tried my hand at cultivating some flora was my sophomore year in college. I was taking botany. I figured this time I had a keeper.

Dead in two weeks.

So, I gave up. Until last week.

I just couldn't stand it anymore. Each time I drove along that stretch of highway I saw nothing but flowers. I just had to have one.

A full week hadn't even passed when, you guessed it, it died.

It was such a beautiful flower with crimson-colored buds. I just don't know what happened.

But, I'm not giving up. I'm more determined than ever to have a plant, any plant, that will live, thrive beyond a week.

Florists along Route 2, beware. I'll be back. I'll be the one with the paper bag taped around my thumb of doom.

Monica Norton

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