Barriers upset neighbors Homeland: Even though roadwork is finished, traffic patterns that block commuters may be retained. Nearby communities suspect the aim is to keep them out.

Intrepid Commuter

June 01, 1998

NOW THAT Homeland Avenue has been remade and reopened, it seems the perfect time to take down the bright orange cones and barrels that block the tony Baltimore neighborhood from the outside world.

Or is it?

City Department of Public Works officials said last week that Homelandians are actively seeking to retain some form of their current traffic patterns, which amount to a crazy quilt of one-way streets, blocked intersections and signs that warn "Do Not Enter: Local Traffic Only."

"There are traffic concerns there -- and a number of issues, some small, some bigger. We are working with the community to resolve them," said DPW spokesman Kurt L. Kocher.

Kocher was vague on specifics, but allowed that some of the problems stem from drivers passing through Homeland's alleys.

Yet to some who live nearby, the "issues" center on residents' desire to wall off Homeland and keep commuters from routinely using it as a cut-through to points north of Baltimore.

"It's about keeping out the people from the east side," said Mary Skeen, a member of the Belvedere Improvement Association, a community that borders Homeland. "They have always insisted it was temporary, but we never believed it. None of us are surprised that they are trying to make this permanent."

Calls to Homeland Improvement Association officials last week went unreturned.

Targets of road rage should be chosen carefully

Here's the latest on road rage: A slowpoke driver in a Lincoln Continental ticked off a trucker in Paterson, N.J., recently, prompting the hauler to impatiently honk his horn and spit on the luxury vehicle.

Besides the poor etiquette displayed, it was a total mistake otherwise: The driver of the Lincoln was Superior Court Judge Stephen F. Smith Jr.

The result was a careless-driving conviction for the trucker -- who showed up in court last week wearing black jeans, work boots and a short-sleeved Harley-Davidson T-shirt.

In defense, the trucker explained he spit out drinking water at the Lincoln so he could yell at the slow-moving driver -- and meant to hit the pavement, not the Continental. This is the kind of near-miss confession heard often in traffic court.

Concluded Passaic County Judge Sylvan G. Rothenberg: "Unfortunately, with people on the highway, things happen that are outside the realm of normal behavior."

Amen.

No-parking signs clear way for passing on Route 30

Heading toward Carroll County from Glyndon, thousands of daily commuters have noticed that a series of no-parking signs has sprouted on the shoulder of Route 30.

"All of a sudden, you're getting all kinds of these signs in an area where there's never been a parking problem in the past," Glyndon local Henry Herr told Intrepid. "And then I'm curious about the waste of all the money put into this area for the signs. They are spaced so closely that it's actually an eyesore."

Your wheelster visited the site last week and was amused by the display. State Highway Administration workers really have knocked themselves out on this one.

Lining the roadside are 20 bold red, white and black signs, spaced about 10 feet apart, that bear the "no parking" symbol. Employees at Reisterstown Lumber Co. -- where the signs dot the entrance -- were equally bewildered.

Valerie Burnette Edgar, SHA spokeswoman, explained that the signs set up a "passing zone" on the shoulder of the road.

"It allows cars to pass on the right if a car is turning -- and gives them space to do it safely," Burnette Edgar said.

Troopers watching out for problems with trucks

Today begins International Highway Transportation Safety Week, the third year the Maryland State Police has launched a campaign to monitor truckers aggressively.

Troopers will patrol "high crash" corridors on state highways and monitor weight and equipment. There also will be an educational campaign for motorists about the trucks' "no zones," the four areas around a rig where visibility is limited.

Shortcuts

Scenic byways in Maryland will be highlighted at an SHA-sponsored public meeting at an SHA district office in Brooklandville at Falls and Joppa roads. On the agenda is a proposed network of scenic roads that pass through areas of regional heritage in Baltimore, and in Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford and Baltimore counties. Contact Terence Maxwell at 1-800-446-5962 for details.

Pub Date: 6/01/98

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