Drivers figure everyone goes their way


July 29, 2008|By LIZ F. KAY

THE PROBLEMDrivers whiz out of a Perry Hall community and turn onto a main road without yielding to other motorists.

THE BACKSTORY Tasia Howe of Perry Hall travels Gerst Road every weekday and says she is often cut off by drivers turning left onto Gerst from Forge Haven Drive.

Forge Haven is a private road that leads to the larger part of the Glenside Farms community. It forms a T-intersection with Gerst Road.

"They assume you're going to make a right and go their way," Howe said.

She thought there had been a stop sign on Forge Haven that had been knocked down in a recent accident. However, there has not been a stop sign at this intersection for several years, according to a property manager and Baltimore County officials.

The county's Public Works Department follows standards published in the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which states that the county shall not put signs on private roads.

However, county traffic engineers determined a stop sign should be placed at the intersection of Forge Haven and Gerst and installed it Friday.

"The road has been taking a lot of traffic," said county public works spokesman David Fidler.

Under state law, drivers on private roadways are required to stop before entering a public road, he said.

"It's a redundancy built into the system, [that] is what we're doing here," Fidler said. "If safety is the primary goal, if it improves safety, traffic engineering didn't have a problem with that."

WHO CAN FIX THIS Darryl Wiles, chief of the Bureau of Traffic Engineering and Transportation, Baltimore County Public Works, 410-887-3554.

Liz F. Kay


Not long after the new Curran memorial clock tower in Govans was dedicated, Peg Massey, who originally contacted Watchdog about the malfunctioning timepiece last year, e-mailed to praise the striking fixture. Two days later, however, she wrote a note that echoed her original one.

"Oh My - The clock has stopped. Today at 2pm it was 9:20 or so on the clock. Can it be checked & repaired?"

Laura Thul Penza, president of the Govanstowne Business Association, said the incorrect time was more of a challenge than a problem. A temporary power supply had been arranged for the dedication. The association is awaiting city permits to connect the permanent power supply, she said, and an electrician is on call to perform the work. Until then, the temporary power supply has been reconnected.

In another matter, a drum of used kitchen grease that had marred the alley behind the 600 block of N. Franklintown Road in West Baltimore has finally been removed, reported Louis Fields. He contacted Watchdog after weeks of calling the mayor's office and other city agencies, as well as 311, about the eyesore, to no avail.

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