Disparity after storms observed Judgment day: Some notice differences between Baltimore County's street cleanup and the effort in the city after the blizzard.

The Intrepid Commuter

January 15, 1996

THE VERDICT from commuters is in: The roads in Baltimore County were more traversable than those in Baltimore City after last Sunday's blizzard and Friday's snowstorm.

One of those who passed judgment is Warren Dobson, who works in Charles Village in North Baltimore and lives in the Woodmoor section of the county.

"Almost right at the point where there's the city-county line at Northern Parkway, you can see a difference. You see cleared black road [in the county]," said Mr. Dobson, who commutes via the Liberty Heights Avenue-Liberty Road corridor.

"On the city streets you see snow and at most only one lane is clear, at least somewhat. In the county, you see black and have at least one almost totally clear lane and usually most of a second one."

Susan Boose, a nurse who lives in Owings Mills and visits patients throughout the city, said most of the main county roads were plowed as well as salted. The city roads appeared to have been plowed only, at best.

"There's a big difference. Almost every street in the city was tricky, but in the county -- where it's still tricky -- you can see they have worked to keep it clear," Ms. Boose said.

Vanessa Pyatt, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Public Works, said the city used nearly 8,000 tons of salt on streets

after the blizzard and worked around the clock to clear as many primary and secondary streets as possible.

C. Richard Moore, Baltimore County's highway chief, said the county used 10,000 tons of salt.

The Intrepid One traveled north on Loch Raven Boulevard to the Towson area and found two obvious differences once we reached the county: We could actually see the curb and road markers.

We even ventured on to some side streets and found them passable. Not so during our travels around the city.

For instance, as late as Saturday afternoon there was a wall of snow 3 feet high that blocked 23rd Street from Greenmount Avenue and the rest of the world.

Belair Road construction to continue through 1998

The maddening construction on Belair Road between Joppa and Miller roads will come to an end. Unfortunately, not until the summer of 1998.

The state has begun a reconstruction project to widen and improve Belair Road in the Perry Hall section of Baltimore County. In addition to widening the roadway to five lanes, the $10 million project includes adding a center left-turn lane and new sidewalks.

Lane closures will generally occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays. During peak construction periods, double-lane closures will occur between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays.

Motorists inch too far at problem intersection

The corner of Harford Road and North Avenue is perhaps the city's worst intersection and is best avoided during the evening rush hour, according to Jim Folkes, who travels Harford Road every day.

It's not that the traffic lights are exceedingly long -- like the one encountered by westbound traffic on 39th Street at St. Paul Street.

Or that cars regularly tend to run the red light at Pratt and Monroe streets, where motorists must wait before proceeding on a green light.

Or that strangers approach your car to sell you mostly illegal goods -- like at Poplar Grove Street and North Avenue.

The problem is that southbound drivers on Harford Road don't seem to know how to correctly make a left turn.

"They come out too far into my lane to make a left [turn]," said Mr. Folkes. "They wind up blocking the traffic coming from the other way."

We often travel this intersection and watch -- frequently getting irritated -- as southbound motorists peek and then edge a couple of feet too far over the center line to make the turn onto North Avenue, thus restricting northbound traffic to one lane.

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