Fence hole by railroad could lead to danger


April 17, 2007|By NICOLE FULLER

THE PROBLEM -- There is a large hole in a fence designed to prevent people from reaching the CSX railroad tracks in South Baltimore.

THE BACKSTORY -- It appears that an entire panel is missing or has been cut out from a chain-link fence at the end of South Charles Street, near Wells Street. The fence is behind several businesses in a trash-strewn yard.

The hole is big enough for people to walk into a railroad right of way along the tracks, which could be dangerous.

Marci DeVries, president of the South Baltimore Improvement Committee, said the neighborhood association has contacted CSX three or four times in the past year over maintenance issues, including problems with the fence.

She said homeless people frequently damage the fence to travel in and out of the neighborhood. She also said drugs are a problem in the area.

"If children get through there, that's extremely dangerous," DeVries said. " ... It's not a good situation."

A CSX spokesman, Robert Sullivan, said last week he would look into the situation, but he did not call Watchdog back or answer phone calls yesterday.

Kurt L. Kocher, a spokesman for the city Department of Public Works, said CSX grounds are private property and that the city has no responsibility for the fence.

WHO CAN FIX THIS -- It was not possible to identify the person responsible for fixing the fence. The main number for CSX is 904-359-3200.


Pedestrian walk lights that didn't work

Pedestrian walk lights that didn't work at West Fayette and Liberty streets near the 1st Mariner Arena have been repaired.

Steam corroded the insulation on power cables, causing a short-circuit. Repairs to the tunnels are being made, but officials ran overhead cables to fix the signals temporarily.

Adrienne Barnes, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Transportation, said there is a drawback to the fix. "We expect to get new complaints because the wire is real ugly," she said. "But there was nothing else we could do."

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