Signals unnecessarily hinder night traffic on U.S. 40

watchdog

December 28, 2008|By Liz F. Kay

THE PROBLEM: A traffic signal at a development stops drivers even when construction has stopped.

THE BACKSTORY: Steve Rand does his part.

The Rosedale resident drives a hybrid car to and from his job at University of Maryland Medical Center. And he works a night shift, so he's commuting at off-peak hours.

But it still bugs him to be idling his vehicle at a traffic signal on U.S. 40 at 62nd Street, when there are several other signals in that stretch that regulate drivers on busier roads.

"Traffic gets so clogged there because of all the lights," Rand said.

The intersection leads to the construction site for the future Hollander 95 Business Park, just east of Interstate 95 on the site of the former Hollander Ridge public housing complex.

The signal is set to change on a timer, which allows construction vehicles to exit during the day but is unnecessary at night, Rand said.

Although U.S. 40 is a federal road, Baltimore's Department of Transportation maintains this traffic signal, transportation spokeswoman Adrienne Barnes said.

Transportation plans to install "puck detectors" that sense the presence of waiting cars at the intersection, but roadwork on 62nd Street isn't finished yet, she said.

"As soon as we've completed milling and paving of the roadway, detectors will be installed," Barnes said.

WHO CAN FIX THIS: Randall Scott, chief of the traffic division, 443-984-2150. City residents can also call 311 to report problems.

update

Northbound Aisquith Street between Baltimore and Fayette streets should be reopening soon. For months, the northbound lanes have been closed, prompting some motorists to drive the wrong way up the southbound lanes to reach Fayette. A portion of Aisquith had been closed to protect people from debris falling from a building, but a contractor completed repairs last month. According to the city Department of Public Works, the permit to close the road expired Nov. 7, and city transportation workers will remove the jersey barriers and "road closed" signs.

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Is there something in your neighborhood that's not getting fixed? Tell us where the problem is and how long it's been there by e-mailing watchdog@baltsun.com or calling 410-332-6735.

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