Faulty manhole poses a threat to alignments Bump: A driver warns of automotive danger at Bosley Avenue and York Road.

Intrepid Commuter

October 19, 1998

NOTICE TO DRIVERS: Drivers should be aware of the manhole at Bosley Avenue and York Road in Towson. Commuter Russell Hackman says, "It's about a yard in diameter and feels like it must be three deep. It's a disgrace that it has not been repaired. Many a front end has been knocked out of line at that spot."

Intrepid One wants stories of I-70, Beltway intersection

In search of stories from commuters who frequent Interstate 70 where it intersects Interstate 695. Intrepid One wants to know your thoughts: Is it getting worse, or is it just our imagination? Call stories into the Hot Line: 410-783-1800, Ext. 4305 (from Anne Arundel County, 410-268-7736).

Bottlenecks in Parole a long way from solution

Bureaucrats in Anne Arundel County say they plan to connect Medical Parkway in Parole with Bestgate Road at Severn Grove Road as a way to avoid the area's notorious bottlenecks.

But a connector road to Bestgate that would be closer to Annapolis Mall is not on the drawing boards, officials say. That would have brought construction too close to Cowhide Branch, a tributary of Weems Creek.

Such gridlock relief is years off -- a $300,000 engineering study is being planned by a local developer. After that, the nearly 1,700-foot-long extension of Medical Parkway to Bestgate Road should commence as soon as public and private powers figure out how to split costs, says Ronald Nelson, county land use and environment officer.

It will take a long time to get the lead out

Don't be too shocked if you read the latest issue of Readers Digest that has a "gotcha" tone in a report about the repainting of the Bay Bridge.

The $71 million paint job (no, that's not a typo) is costly for many reasons, Maryland Transportation Authority officials told Intrepid last week.

First, the old paint is loaded with lead and has to be stripped in a tent-like setting so flakes don't contaminate drivers or the waters below. Then, authority officials said, the project will take five years -- it's being done mostly at night so gridlock won't take over the 4.3-mile eastbound span, the only one in need of repainting.

The painting began this summer as workers started scraping the original, two-lane span of the bridge that was built in 1952 at a cost of $45 million. The brave painters are from George Campbell Painting Corp. of Flushing, N.Y., and will use a zinc-based paint.

Questions about the project may be directed to a MdTA Bay Bridge painting hot line at 888-288-1560.

Light rail adds mirrors, signs at problem sites

Mass Transit Administration officials, forever trying to perfect the light rail system, have tweaked it again.

This time, they've worked to adjust conflicts between those who commute in vehicles and those who ride Central Light Rail. Specifically, they've added safety devices around the Howard Street tracks where they intersect with Pratt and Lombard streets, near our Camden Yards stadiums.

You know the place: Many jammed the stations there after the Ravens preseason opener against Chicago -- a dilemma that surely left many traffic engineers with higher blood pressure and less hair.

The downtown area is rife with problems as operators of both modes of transportation try to live with each other in an era of road rage, says Ed Moore, MTA's chief safety officer.

Moore told your wheelster that mirrors have been added on certain corners so that drivers and train conductors can see each other before pulling out.

Other measures include installation of large signs to warn kamikaze drivers against gunning it as a train approaches, coupled with new lines painted on the road offering further warnings.

Says Moore: "We have big trains [that ride] in traffic. Our goal is to make it -- if not the safest -- one of the safest light rails in the country."

Shortcuts

State Highway Administration crews reset the traffic signal on LTC Route 175 at Dobbin Road in Howard County after the light went haywire last week after road work.

Pub Date: 10/19/98

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