Firehouse Stop Sign Will Stay

WATCHDOG

July 12, 2009|By Liz Kay | Liz Kay,liz.kay@baltimoresun.com

THE PROBLEM : Should no stopping signs remain outside an inactive fire station in Waverly?

THE BACK STORY : This Watchdog is ripped from the headlines.

Last week, an article in The Baltimore Sun described the century-old Waverly firehouse, which has been closed since June because of a leaking roof, a pigeon infestation and other problems. Firefighters assigned there have been transferred to a nearby station.

So, if the firehouse is closed, a Watchdog spy wants to know why city workers are still enforcing the no-stopping signs for a Fire Department driveway on Greenmount Avenue, across the street from the firehouse.

Well, Engine 31 is not closed for good.

"There is no intention for the Fire Department to permanently close the station," said agency spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright.

But it could take up to six months to secure federal grants or identify other sources to pay for the repairs, he said.

The city Department of Transportation installs parking signage, maintains them and enforces the restrictions as long as they're posted, said agency spokeswoman Adrienne Barnes.

"Our procedure is parking restrictions are not to be removed until we receive a written, official reason to take them down," she said. "We have not received that from the Fire Department. ... We need motorists to know that a no-parking sign really means no parking."

Officials also don't want to remove the signs and have drivers grow accustomed to parking in the area, only to reimpose the restrictions, she said.

"We just don't want to confuse the matter with removal," Barnes said. Also, the Fire Department might need access to that building for repairs, she said.

WHO CAN FIX THIS : Randall Scott, traffic division chief, city Department of Transportation. 443-984-2150. City residents should call 311 to report problems.

- Liz F. Kay

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