Around Rash Field, nor any drop to drink

WATCH DOG

July 01, 2008|By LIZ F. KAY

The problem: Two water fountains at the Inner Harbor are broken.

The backstory : Watchdog is a fighter and a writer, not a runner. But during a walk one hot summer day, the mutt was literally panting along the promenade near Rash Field on the south side of the Inner Harbor, between the Maryland Science Center and the Rusty Scupper restaurant.

The path is a popular destination for joggers, tourists and city residents enjoying the view - all of whom could probably use a refreshing drink at some point to combat the scorching heat. And so Watchdog was pleased to find two water fountains situated near the benches.

But one fountain along the promenade lacked a handle. In fact, unfriendly passers-by had stuffed trash into the hole where a handle should have been. And although another nearby fountain - closer to the trapeze school - had a handle, that one wasn't working, either.

More cynical readers might assume that the problem had something to do with beverage vendors on the west side of the harbor.

But Adrienne Barnes, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Transportation, said there was a simple reason for the lack of water.

Transportation maintains the infrastructure of the Inner Harbor, including the brick walkways and the bulkheads - nearly everything except the landscaping.

Both fountains were disabled because the water line to Rash Field was damaged, Barnes said. Since there are two other functioning water fountains in close proximity, "the decision to repair quickly was not made," she said.

Now that Watchdog reminded them of the problem, the fix should be completed this week, she said.

Who can fix this : Richard Hooper, chief of transportation maintenance, 410-396-1686. City residents can also call 311 to report problems.

Liz F. Kay

Update

Remember the oversized speed humps on Walker Avenue in North Baltimore?

The city Department of Transportation installed bumps that were taller than standard in the 1200 and 1300 blocks. Watchdog featured them last year, but transportation officials ended up leaving them in place after residents called to comment on their effectiveness.

Nancy Monti, who had originally called Watchdog to complain about the irregular humps, e-mailed Transportation to ask for signage to alert drivers to slow down. Last week, workers posting signs announcing a "safe speed" of 15 mph.

But Monti says that's not slow enough. She can cross them only at 8 mph in her Dodge Neon.

"There's still no indication that these speed humps are 5 inches tall and not the normal 3," Monti said. "The neighborhood knows they're 5, but nobody else does."

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