Bump in the road frustrates Towson resident

November 01, 2010

The problem: A bump in a Baltimore County street bothers drivers.

The back story: Jacqueline Parks has been driving to her hairdresser on Loch Raven Boulevard every Friday for at least a decade, and her usual path takes her down Loch Hill Road, just north of the city-county line.

For several years, that trip has included an uncomfortable jolt as her car navigates over a bump on Loch Hill at the intersection of Loch Raven Boulevard.

"My car just goes up and down, up and down," she said. "It's like the tar melted or something. I don't know what it is."

Watchdog confirmed the presence of a surprising bump in the road that one would not expect while driving in that area. The pavement doesn't look perfect, but without a previous trip down that street you would not know it was there.

Unfortunately, the problem doesn't meet Baltimore County's standards for an urgent response, said David Fidler, spokesman for the county public works department.

"It's not on the department's immediate to-do list or agenda," he said. "There are other pressing needs that have to be taken care of before the winter hits."

Fidler apologized, however, for any inconvenience this might cause, and said there's a chance it could make next year's list for repairs. But there's no guarantee.

"You may be able to perceive the bump, but it's not, on the face of it, a bad surface," the spokesman said.

Annually, employees of the county department's bureau of highways drive each of the 2,660 miles of roadway they maintain and give them a grade, Fidler said.

The road repairs are then prioritized, he said.

Here's one caveat, however: County staff don't maintain every road within county lines. Some of the streets in Baltimore County are state roads, maintained by the State Highway Administration. These roads are indicated by a number, such as Route 542 for Loch Raven Boulevard or Route 1 for Washington Boulevard.

To report a problem on a state road, go to marylandsha.force.com/customercare/request_for_service.

Who can fix this: Robert "Tim" Burgess, chief of Bureau of Highways, Baltimore County Department of Public Works. 410-887-3560. City residents should call 311 to report problems.

An earlier version of this article listed an incorrect number for the chief of the Bureau of Highways in the Baltimore County Department of Public Works. The Sun regrets the error.

— Liz F. Kay

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.

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