Fallstaff resident wants an easy out


November 01, 1993

TC Sometimes, neighbors have to agree to disagree.

After 15 months writing this column, Intrepid Commuter has found no more convincing evidence of this than the experience of Louis M. Schlimer, a retired optician living in Northwest Baltimore.

Mr. Schlimer lives on Fallstaff Road. It's a residential street that extends east from Park Heights Avenue.

He has no problem driving from Park Heights to his home. But for Mr. Schlimer to get from his home to Park Heights, he can't drive Fallstaff. He must drive a circuitous route through the neighborhood.

Why? Because one block of Fallstaff west of the intersection with Clarks Lane is designated one-way eastbound as a deliberate roadblock.

"There is no excessive amount of traffic," Mr. Schlimer writes. "The street is wide enough to accommodate four cars, so there is plenty of room."

"The two streets now have four-way stop signs which further enhance safety. The streets themselves are in good condition."

"So, all in all, the one-way designation is obsolete and unnecessary."

We forwarded Mr. Schlimer's complaint to the city's Department of Public Works. Officials were sympathetic, but felt the matter was no longer in their hands.

The one-way designation was approved by the City Council in 1974 to reduce traffic on Fallstaff. It was done over the objections of what was then called the city's Department of Transit and Traffic.

It would take another action by the City Council to overturn the ordinance.

"At the time officials studied the issue and determined the

conversion [to one-way] was not warranted," says Vanessa Pyatt, spokeswoman for the Public Works Department. "The community appealed to the City Council and they established the one-way pattern."

Ms. Pyatt says the department therefore has no interest in raising the issue again.

"The impression we get," she says, "is that the community is satisfied with the one-way pattern."

Henry Tyrangiel, president of the Cross Country Improvement Association, agrees that most in the community like the way it is now.

"Before the change, Fallstaff was used as a thoroughfare," Mr. Tyrangiel says. "The traffic was inordinate. The number of accidents and damaged property was significant."

"The matter has been debated ad nauseam," he says. "There's no merit in the request."

Perhaps, but Intrepid Commuter suspects the issue comes down to a matter of peace and quiet for those living at one end of Fallstaff vs. the convenience of people living along the other end. Inevitably in such matters, the majority rules.

Going toe to tow to curb parking

One thing about our readers, they're not easy to please.

Faithful followers will recall that last month Intrepid Commuter wrote about city parking tickets and one family's debacle with zealous enforcement and government bureaucracy. We were flooded with calls and letters from people with similar complaints.

Now, we're hearing from folks with the opposite point of view. They think the city has been inattentive to parking violations.

Specifically, we've been hearing protests from city residents about northbound Charles Street at Cold Spring Lane. It's a no-parking area between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., but cars are routinely ignoring the prohibition.

As a result, there are bottlenecks forming on Charles. Without the curb lane, the street becomes a mess around Loyola College and College of Notre Dame of Maryland as long lines of cars are forced to merge into one lane.

"I have seen cars parked as far north as Notre Dame, preventing two lanes of traffic going north until they clear both colleges," writes D. Casey Stengel of Mount Pleasant (yes, that's her real name). "What can be done to prevent this daily trap?"

Judith Lerner of Cedarcroft encounters similar problems on southbound Charles in the morning and northbound Charles in the afternoon.

"Why aren't these cars towed or even ticketed?" She writes. "Could you please say a few unkind words about people who park in no-parking lanes on major streets during rush hour?"

OK, Judy, how about this: Only self-centered jerks ignore parking signs, particularly in areas where there are other places to park.

But words are words. How about a tow truck?

At the urging of Our Intrepidness, the city has promised to round one up this week to start hauling away rush-hour parking violators.

"Motorists should see an immediate improvement," says Ms. Pyatt of the Public Works Department. "From now on, when a parking control agent tickets a vehicle, they will notify the towing division immediately."

Ms. Pyatt says the city installed signs indicating Charles and Cold Spring is a tow-away zone last May, but apparently forgot to tell the folks who do the towing.

She says the city has issued 250 parking tickets in the area so far this year, but no tows -- until now.

Violators, take note. Towing is costly. Be prepared to fork over $138 -- $32 for the parking ticket, $51 for towing, $25 for storage and a $30 administrative fee.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.