Unhelpful Traffic Light


Broken Signal Turned Against North Avenue Motorists It Was Supposed To Help Make A Left At Eutaw Place

April 19, 2009|By Liz F. Kay | Liz F. Kay,liz.kay@baltsun.com

THE PROBLEM: A broken traffic light was sending mixed signals to some North Avenue drivers.

THE BACKSTORY: You may remember two-time Maryland candidate Mike Schaefer, a recurring character in columns by Watchdog colleague Laura Vozzella. (No, he's not related to the former governor but yes, he was the one who called Sheila Dixon a "queen for a day.")

Schaefer makes a brief appearance here because he requested assistance solving a mystery he encountered while traveling west on North Avenue. The attorney was headed back to his home in the Midtown-Belvedere neighborhood and wanted to make a U-turn at Eutaw Place, so he waited in the left turn lane. However, he couldn't figure out when he or any driver would be allowed to turn.

While the light regulating westbound traffic on North Avenue was green, the light directly in front of the turn lane was red. "I just sat there knowing a red light would turn green at one point," he said. But when the other light was red, the light in front of the turn lane just went dark.

Schaefer said he didn't want to risk a ticket, seeing a police officer in a marked car nearby, so he just continued westbound and made his U-turn somewhere else. "I couldn't turn left or make a U-turn there with that red light staring me in the face," he said.

Watchdog got an answer - by turning right. The red light Schaefer was obeying was actually intended to stop drivers on southbound Eutaw Place. It was broken and had flipped 90 degrees to face drivers on North Avenue.

Adrienne Barnes, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Transportation, confirmed that the light needed to be repaired for southbound drivers on Eutaw Place. It was fixed Wednesday morning, she said.

WHO CAN FIX THIS: Randall Scott, chief of traffic division, Baltimore Department of Transportation, 443-984-2150.

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 by e-mailing watchdog@baltsun.com or calling 410-332-6735.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.