Jay Hancock: Crossroads trash cleaned up, but boat remains

Discarded vessel symbol of park's troubles

February 26, 2010|By Jay Hancock

The city has responded to a January column that chronicled the sufferings of businesses in Crossroads Business Park (formerly Industrial Park). They have lots of problems - crime and vandalism, especially - but the place also was littered with trash and furniture. Baltimore Development Corp.'s M.J. "Jay" Brodie sent me pictures of the cleaned-up spots, which are hugely improved, especially Bernard Drive where it goes under Interstate 95.

But Brodie is mistaken in his assertion that the city Department of Public Works also took care of a boat dumped months ago in Crossroads. The boat has become the symbol of Crossroads' travails. Months ago Marc Van Camp, chief financial officer for Bindagraphics, sent the city an e-mail titled "Ahoy there!" with a picture of the boat and a request that it be removed. Nothing happened. After my column appeared, Brodie said: "We'll get rid of the boat."

On Wednesday, shortly after Brodie told me it was gone, Van Camp pointed his camera out an office window and took a picture of the boat, still very much there. Brodie says signals were crossed and that he was told about the removal of an earlier boat at Crossroads. Says Van Camp: "Shiver me timbers."

The cleanup is great. But Crossroads' bigger problem is crime. It has been hit repeatedly by burglars destroying air-conditioning compressors for their copper and aluminum. The businesses' customers don't have to look at garbage when they drive through, at least for now. On the other hand, Maryland Thermoform owner Scott MacDonald tells me his insurance company just canceled his policy because of enormous vandalism claims.

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