A dangerous crossing

Missing hand rails on the Fort Avenue bridge walkway in Locust Point pose a danger to pedestrians heading to Fort McHenry

Watchdog

August 24, 2008

THE PROBLEM : Sections of a guard rail are missing from a Locust Point bridge.

THE BACK STORY : Joggers and bikers who use the narrow walkway on the Fort Avenue bridge leading to Fort McHenry in Locust Point should keep moving when they pass the missing guard rails on the northern side.

Two sections of the rail are missing there, on the end closest to Reynolds Avenue, leaving only a short wall between pedestrians on the narrow sidewalk and the plummet below.

"It would be so, so easy for a child/teenager to fall over 40 feet below to the railroad track bed," wrote Bronson Sweeney, a runner who lives in the area, in an e-mailed response to a query from Watchdog. "This requires immediate emergency maintenance service from the city."

Adrienne Barnes, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Transportation, said the agency has the 4-inch tubing for the top rail in stock, and it will be replaced this week. The lower rail, made of 3-inch tubing, must be ordered. Workers will put up tape to warn pedestrians to use caution in that area until repairs can be completed.

"We're going to do what we can to make it safe for the time being," Barnes said. "We recognize for pedestrian safety purposes there has to be something there ... so people are aware that it's missing."

WHO CAN FIX THIS: Richard Hooper, chief of transportation maintenance, Baltimore Department of Transportation, 410-396-1686. City residents can also call 311 to report problems.

update

The burlap has been banished at Liberty Heights Avenue at Granada Avenue.

More than two years after new traffic signals were installed but not activated at that Northwest Baltimore intersection, the fabric covering the signals has been removed and the lights have been flipped on.

need help?

Is there something in your neighborhood that's not getting fixed? Tell us where the problem is and how long it's been there. E-mail watchdog@baltsun.com; call 410-332-6735; or write:

Watchdog, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278

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