Driver's kind act is lesson for life Helping: A woman gives a TC homeless man a cup of coffee as he panhandles on a street corner. The deed is quick and anonymous -- and captures the spirit of the holidays.

Intrepid Commuter

December 23, 1996

IN THIS season of goodwill, your Intrepid One last week witnessed a beautiful act of benevolence to a lonely panhandler at Cold Spring Lane and Roland Avenue.

In the mid-December chill, a driver stopped next to the man who begs at this corner each week. Rolling down her window, the driver passed a tray with a hot cup of coffee, cream and sugar packets to the shivering soul who silently asks for help by holding a cardboard sign that reads: "Hungry, homeless Vietnam Vet."

The driver's good deed was an anonymous, heartfelt gesture. It lasted two seconds, but contained a lesson for all eternity -- that kindness knows no boundaries.

May we all witness -- and give -- such miracles of grace during these holiday times.

Price of gas is 20 cents higher than last December

Want to travel cheaply this month? Better hitch a ride on Santa's sleigh.

A survey of gasoline prices by the American Automobile Association of Maryland shows that it costs 20 cents more per gallon this month to fill your tank than it did last December. The average cost of regular, self-serve gas is 2 cents more than last month's prices, too.

This month's regular, self-serve gas price of $1.30 per gallon is higher than the per-gallon price for any month last year, AAA's survey concluded. And gas hasn't been this expensive since 1981, when regular, self-serve cost $1.32 per gallon. It appears that 1979 and 1986 held the best pump bargains at 91 cents per gallon.

The monthly survey sampled 30 gas stations in the state, excluding Prince George's, Charles and Montgomery counties.

Ice may make hairpin turn hair-raising experience

Take it slowly through Glen Arm, the rural community in northeastern Baltimore County known for enormous electrical towers that dot its rolling hills.

In the 12000 block of Glen Arm Road, a hairpin curve will slow drivers to at least 20 mph. But, Patricia Larkin of Fallston warns of another hazard that hamstrings commuters using Glen Arm as a cut through from Harford County to Towson.

"This curve has standing water 365 days," Larkin says. "While the water is somewhat dangerous on a sharp curve, it's the constant ice during the winter that's the critical problem. Does it take a serious accident or fatality to get someone to correct this situation?"

Intrepid drove around that curve recently and, not surprisingly, found a large puddle. With the location of the Long Green Florists at the elbow of the sharp turn, it takes some skill to keep from careening into the poinsettias.

Glen Welch, a supervisor in the county's Bureau of Highways, surveyed the curve and puddle last week, too. Welch acknowledged it's a trouble spot and promised to "keep an eye on the area" this winter. A further investigation may commence to find the source of the water, Welch said.

In the meantime, Long Green owner Harry Page says not to worry. "The county salts it," Page told your Intrepid wheelster. "No one has slid there."

As for the cause of the big splash, Page thinks the water drains into the road from a nearby corn field.

"The curb is bad itself. They should take it out. They surveyed it years ago, but I guess they don't have the money to do it."

Hope for drivers looking for light in the darkness

Saul D. Himelfarb has a pet peeve -- faulty street lights. Here is a man who, while driving to work in Hunt Valley from his Baltimore abode, cringes at the wheel when he sees a dim or broken street light.

"I lose count of the lights that are out," he lamented to Intrepid One.

Take heart, Mr. Himelfarb. And ease up with a little Gershwin on your car stereo. Then pick up the cell phone and dial 396-5965 to report those pesky injured street lights in the city, or 685-0123 to report the busted bulbs to Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

Things should brighten up after that.

Tolls pay for warning signs on Kennedy Highway

Look for new signs touting road conditions on Kennedy Highway. The bright boards have been paid for by toll revenues from motorists passing through Maryland. Don't be late on Christmas or New Year's eves to get your emissions tested or to apply for a driver's license. The Motor Vehicle Administration Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program stations and the MVA's six express offices will close early -- at 5 p.m. Lane closures on portions of Interstate 695 for the new Falls Road Bridge will resume after Jan. 5. State Highway Administration officials report that the traffic will be squeezed into one and two lanes for about eight more days next month to build the bridge scheduled to open early next summer.

Pub Date: 12/23/96

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