Missing bus-stop sign creates a nuisance


May 29, 2007

THE PROBLEM -- A sign prohibiting parking in a bus zone in the 2500 block of Edmondson Ave. in Baltimore had been missing for six months.

THE BACKSTORY -- Eva Owens, 82, has lived in the same rowhouse on Edmondson Avenue for 60 years.

As long as she can remember, she could catch some mode of public transportation outside her front door.

"There's been a stop there since there was a trolley," Owens said.

Now, of course, her street is served by a bus, and about once a month she enjoys heading downtown to shop.

Six months ago, that little excursion became a dangerous adventure. A motorist hit the sign that prohibits parking in the bus lane.

With no sign warning motorists they could be ticketed and towed, people began to park in the restricted lane, "taking advantage of the situation," Owens said.

The illegally parked cars kept the buses from stopping at the curb. So Owens was forced to wade into traffic on busy Edmondson Avenue. "I have to go out on the street to catch the bus," she said.

Owens said a man from the Maryland Transit Administration did visit her once.

"He asked me how long the sign had been down, and I told him," she said. "He never came back."

Sharen DeHaney, an MTA spokeswoman, said the stop in front of Owens' house serves the No. 15 bus line.

She could provide no information about why the sign wasn't replaced.

On Thursday, she said: "The bus stop sign is being replaced today."

Watchdog checked Thursday evening and indeed the sign had been put back in its rightful place. But cars were still parked in the lane. At least now they can be ticketed.

WHO CAN FIX THIS -- For inquires about bus stops, call the MTA's Charles Grant at 410-454- 7120.

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Last week, Watchdog reported that a sign guiding motorists into an industrial park on Washington Boulevard in Lansdowne pointed to the sky, instead of to Commerce Drive.

The sign was removed, only to reappear Thursday. This time the arrow correctly pointed west.

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