Watchdog: Baltimore road signs blocked by tree branches

  • Tree branches block a sign directing drivers onto Perring Parkway from Pioneer Drive.
Tree branches block a sign directing drivers onto Perring Parkway… (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore…)
July 24, 2011|By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun

The problem: Two signs directing drivers to Perring Parkway have been blocked by tree branches.

The backstory: When she sets out to do her errands in Baltimore County, Barbara Stevens takes the aggravation-avoidance route.

She lives just a few feet over the county line but prefers to drive south and take Northern Parkway to Perring Parkway rather than battling Towson and its traffic circle, Stevens said.

That's how she noticed that the sign on eastbound Northern Parkway directing drivers onto Pioneer Drive for Perring Parkway were obscured by tree branches.

As a longtime resident of the area, Stevens knows where she is going, but she worried about those who might be unfamiliar.

"People who don't know are going to shoot right by that," Stevens said. "If you're looking for Perring Parkway, you'd never find it."

To make matters worse, a second sign on Pioneer Drive itself instructing drivers to bear right for Perring Parkway had been similarly blocked, though the solution — some trimming — seemed like a simple fix.

"I could do it if I had clippers and a ladder," Stevens said.

She decided to call Watchdog to report the problem, which she has noticed for several years. "I thought, maybe they can get someone to just snap off that little limb," Stevens said. "It seemed so minor, but it really isn't, in a way."

Watchdog contacted Baltimore's Department of Transportation, and a spokeswoman there directed the complaint to the forestry division of the city's department of recreation and parks.

A crew was going to be sent to take care of the problem, said the transportation spokeswoman, Kathy Chopper.

Recreation and Parks spokeswoman Gwendolyn Chambers said that trimming is done as reports of problems come in.

Within the city limits, residents can always call 311 to report problems, or 410-396-5352. You can also go online to to request service.

Who can fix this: Erik Dihle, chief arborist, Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks, (410) 396-6109. City residents should call 311 to report problems.

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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 emailing or calling 410-332-6735.

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