Traffic equals trouble at Paradise house Speeding cars have hit home estimated 24 times

September 28, 1996|By MELODY SIMMONS | MELODY SIMMONS,SUN STAFF

There's trouble in Paradise.

Residents of a winding street in the small community near Catonsville say they are besieged by drivers who speed past their homes each day, using Paradise Avenue as a shortcut between Frederick Road and Wilkens Avenue.

And one house -- at Paradise Avenue and Maiden Choice Lane -- seems to be Paradise Lost.

"The house has been hit a total of 24 times as far as I can count," said Al Scholz, who lives in a two-story colonial at a sharp turn on Paradise Avenue. He has become accustomed to the sound of screeching tires and car crashes.

The latest crash took place early yesterday, as Scholz was watching the video of "Braveheart," engrossed in one of the epic movie's battle scenes.

A Ford Taurus ran off the road into his front yard and smashed into three brick columns, shattering them before plowing into his next door neighbor's yard.

"I was watching the movie in Surround Sound," he said. "So of course when all hell broke loose in the battle scene, I thought it was just part of the sound coming out of the rear speakers-until my son came racing down the steps and said, 'Dad, someone just took out the fence.'"

Scholz, his wife and two sons moved to Paradise Avenue in August 1993 and quickly learned the house was on a jinxed corner. As the family awaited a disc jockey for the housewarming party, a car ran into the front yard, tearing down part of the family's white picket fence. Soon, his new neighbors came over to tell stories of other similar wrecks in the front yard -- one of them fatal in 1984.

Yesterday, with what was left of his front fence again in ruins on the lawn, Scholz posted three signs demanding that Baltimore County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger visit and order traffic engineers to place steel guard rails along the property line.

Bob Barrett, a trouble-shooter for Ruppersberger, said the county traffic department will investigate Scholz's claims next week.

"We are sensitive to his problems," Barrett said. "He's got our attention."

Pub Date: 9/28/96

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