John Hanson Highway plays the name game Interstate: The highway between Annapolis and Prince George's County, known as U.S. 50 and 301, has been designated an interstate. But to avoid confusion, motorists won't find I-595 signs.

The Intrepid Commuter

December 07, 1998

JOHN HANSON Highway between Annapolis and the Prince George's County line is also known as U.S. 50 and 301.

Here's another name: Interstate 595.

The highway that runs east and west, to and from Washington -- better known as the way to reach the beach -- has been designated an interstate, State Highway Administration spokeswoman Valerie Burnette Edgar said.

Don't look for any signs bearing the I-595 logo.

"That would be too confusing to drivers," Edgar said. "They've written books about Route 50, drivers know it as Route 50 -- and we've decided to keep the signs up that say Route 50 only."

Adding to the confusion, Edgar said the road ceases to be an interstate when it continues across the Bay Bridge and onto the Eastern Shore. That's where the design of the lanes changes to include intersections and different road shoulders that don't meet federal interstate standards.

Daily ramp closings due to preventive maintenance

You might be wondering what workers are doing to the ramp leading to eastbound Northern Parkway from Interstate 83.

That exit closes daily from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. as city Department of Public Works engineers labor to fortify the structure as preventive maintenance, spokesman Kurt L. Kocher said.

"The ramp dates to 1960 -- it needs maintenance," said Kocher, adding that the structure is not as crumbly as other notoriously brittle city structures, such as the Potee Street Bridge.

Look for the ramp closings to continue through mid-January. Until then, nocturnal commuters may get off on the westbound Northern Parkway ramp and turn around.

Parking crackdown catches 86 violators on Charles St.

Charles Street commuters can rejoice at the action being taken against parking scofflaws who insist on causing gridlock and the ensuing meltdown of patience by nabbing parallel parking spots in traffic lanes near Loyola College during rush hour.

Such poor etiquette is hitting the pocketbook as city officials leave $20 and $32 parking tickets on windshields. Eighty-six tickets have been handed out. Look for tow trucks to enter the scene next to clear remaining squatters.

Fort McHenry's speed limit eclipses Harbor Tunnel's

All tunnels, it turns out, are not created equal -- at least when it comes to speed.

The speed limit along Interstate 895 inside Baltimore's Harbor Tunnel is 50 mph. Compare that with the 55-mph limit in the Fort McHenry Tunnel on the busier Interstate 95.

Kerry Brandt, a spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority, which has jurisdiction over both tunnels, said the difference has to do with improvements in design technology: The Harbor Tunnel opened in 1957, the Fort McHenry Tunnel in 1985.

The authority has looked into raising the speed limit in the Harbor Tunnel, but has decided against it.

Shortcuts

Cameras in Howard County have caught about 11,000 red-light runners at intersections in suburbia since police there installed the cameras in February. Each citation carries a $75 fine. Thank-yous and hot chocolate will abound in tiny Oakleigh Manor between Loch Raven Boulevard and Perring Parkway on Dec. 18 when residents gather to laud public officials for their new sound barriers. Activists Donna Spicer, Joan Jewell and Claudia Mouery will bury their earplugs and throw a bottle of champagne at the concrete giants that separate their back yards from the noisy, busy Beltway. "We fought for the sound barrier for years," Spicer says. "To all the people we harassed, we want to say thank you."

Keep in touch

You can mail, send by fax or call in questions or comments for the Intrepid Commuter. Here's how:

Mail letters: The Sun, 109 Allegheny Ave., Towson 21204.

E-mail: Intrepialtsun.com.

Call Sundial: The Baltimore Sun's telephone information service. 410-783-1800, enter Ext. 4305. From Anne Arundel County, dial 410-268-7736.

Pub Date: 12/07/98

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