Blocked streets aren't in keeping with season Barricades: Some Homeland residents seem a little too zealous about preventing commuters from cutting through their neighborhood.

Intrepid Commuter

December 15, 1997

WITH HOMELAND Avenue still closed for construction, tempers are starting to flare. Can vigilantism be next in the tony Baltimore neighborhood, now barricaded and open only to "local" traffic?

Here's testimony from one commuter who tried to sneak through Homeland last week:

"I was driving my daughter to school, and I went down one of the Homeland alleys," she said. "Another car pulled into the alley and stopped immediately -- somehow they must have figured out we didn't belong there."

As a standoff commenced, the commuter tried to motion the other driver to pull around. Instead, "The man pulled up as close as possible to me. I couldn't even open my door. He asked me if I lived in Homeland, and I fibbed and said I did.

"He said, 'If I ever catch you on this alley again you'd better back up -- you don't belong here.' "

As the watchdog issued his warning, another Homeland resident pulled into the alley. She sized up the conflict and added in a shrieking voice: "Is there a problem here? You don't belong in this alley -- you'd better back up."

All this took place in front of children, who sat speechless as their parents went bonkers in a weird defense of Homeland's borders.

When asked what is going on in Homeland, Kathleen Brosi, president of the Homeland Association, said she had no clue residents were hunting down "trespassers" on the neighborhood's streets.

"All kinds of people live in every neighborhood," Brosi said apologetically. "We have over 1,000 houses here. There are going to be a few who would do just about anything."

Brosi said she and other community leaders worked with the city's Department of Public Works devising detours for Homeland during the reconstruction of Homeland Avenue -- expected to be completed next spring.

To halt a rerouting of an estimated 5,000 cars per day through neighborhood streets, Homeland residents decided to block their streets to all except "local traffic."

City police officers from Northern District have been alerted by neighborhood advocates and have issued "several" tickets to commuters who sneak through Homeland, skirting the fortresslike barricades that block entrances to the community. The tickets carry fines of up to $70 and the potential for one point.

Such antagonistic measures during this holiday season are unsettling to your Intrepid One, who confesses that she, too, is guilty of sneaking through Homeland while driving children to school some mornings.

The neighborhood offers a gentle cut-through to Charles Street and points north of Baltimore. To those angry few in Homeland, your wheelster has sage advice: Chill out. In the spirit of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas, let peace rule your streets.

Coming to full stop on Beltway not wise choice

A strange thing happened to your wheelster recently while driving on Interstate 695.

At the exit to Loch Raven Boulevard, an out-of-state driver realized he needed to leave the Beltway. But seeing that he had blown by the exit, what was he to do?

Would you believe come to a complete stop? He waited until the right lane had cleared and waltzed across it to reclaim the exit.

Such action is guaranteed to cause road rage -- if not road kill. It also will bring a fine of at least $40 for illegal stopping, standing or parking, and additional fines depending on the amount of damage a Beltway stop produces.

Cold Spring Lane bridge finally open after repairs

It's nice to see those annoying orange barrels gone from the Cold Spring Lane bridge over Interstate 83. The city's Department of Public Works reopened all lanes of the bridge Nov. 25 after nearly a year of repairs, the result of a Dec. 11, 1996 electrical fire that damaged the structure. Total cost to taxpayers: $440,000 -- and countless hours of gridlock. Sinai Hospital is set to open its new emergency center tomorrow. Patients and relatives should enter off Greenspring Avenue, adjacent to Cylburn Avenue.

Pub Date: 12/15/97

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