Old garage stimulates curiosity

TRAFFIC TALK

September 11, 2005|By Jody K. Vilschick | Jody K. Vilschick,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DEBORAH A. UNITUS of Millersville has commuted to her Annapolis office for 30 years, always using Rowe Boulevard and its bridge across Weems Creek.

"I was always curious about the very old, gray, painted garage with bi-fold doors tucked into the trees on the right immediately after crossing the bridge," she said, noting that during construction of the new lanes on the bridge it was not removed, although the road barriers now are just a few feet from the doors.

"How old is this structure? Why wasn't it removed? Does it have historic value? There must be a great story behind it. Maybe a Model T Ford was kept there," she wondered.

State Highway Administration spokesman David Buck said he expects the Rowe Boulevard project will be complete in late summer next year and that plantings would be put in during the fall. He noted that traffic was recently shifted onto the reconstructed side of the Weems Creek bridge and SHA is now demolishing the other side.

He said that a family owns the majority of the property where the garage sits. There also are several houses tucked back in the trees that are not visible from the road, he said.

"The garage sits up a bit in relation to the road, but since it is not on SHA right of way and was not being impacted as part of our project, I am not sure of any historic value," he said.

Can anyone shed any light on the old garage?

Getting a free ticket?

Harold Kirkwood believes speeders try to camouflage themselves by hiding out in the slow lane.

He's a frequent driver on Interstate 70 between Baltimore and Frederick, and for most of that stretch, the speed limit is 65 mph. Kirkwood said that because he drives long distances on this highway he gets into the center lane and maintains the speed limit.

"Many cars - and even some trucks - continually pass me to my right ... , when the high-speed lane is empty," he said. "It is dangerous, because they are zigzagging between the slower moving cars, and many of the drivers are unaware of a speeder coming up on the right. ... My only guess as to why these people do this is that they think they are less likely to get a ticket in the slow lane."

I wondered if that is true. Is speeding in the right lane your ticket to getting there faster?

"A person that is attempting to `hide' from police by driving above the speed limit in a lane other than the fast lane is certainly doing him or herself no favors, and is likely putting themself in more risk," said Howard County Police spokeswoman PFC Jennifer Reidy.

"Your question deals with whether a speeder dodging between slower vehicles in the center or right-hand lane is less likely to be `caught,'" she said.

"The answer is that they may be even more likely to be caught. Police are ... more likely to have their attention drawn to a speeding vehicle that is swerving through traffic than a speeder that is traveling in one lane consistently.

"Not only does a swerving vehicle draw more attention ... , but they are more likely to be reported to the police by another driver because of their erratic and dangerous driving behavior, causing police to actually go out looking for them," Reidy said

"In addition, speeding in lanes where other drivers are going slower than you, and the swerving that ensues, is certainly a dangerous combination that can lead to more accidents and injuries," she said.

What's your traffic trauma? Contact Jody K. Vilschick at TrafficTalk@comcast.net, send faxes to 410-715-2816 or mail letters to Traffic Talk, The Sun in Anne Arundel County, 60 West St., Suite 400, Annapolis 21401. Please include your full name and contact information or your comments will not be published or receive a response.

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