Low bridge, no warning

THE PROBLEM Tree branches obscure a maximum-vehicle-height sign at a bridge in a Baltimore park.

THE BACKSTORY St. Lo Drive curves through Clifton Park from Harford Road, past the golf course and the Lake Clifton high school campus.

Unfortunately, more than one truck driver beguiled by the scenery - or perhaps watching for errant golf balls - has distractedly driven a tall vehicle into a railroad bridge while traveling south toward St. Lo's intersection with Sinclair Lane.

"I've seen two different drivers in misery for not knowing that bridge was too low for their truck," said Albert Blakeney, who called Watchdog in July.

There is a maximum-height sign posted close to the overpass, but for years branches from a nearby tree have obscured it.

Blakeney, a real estate agent, thinks the tree should go. "The reason they need to cut it down is because they don't trim it back regular," he said.

The city's Department of Recreation and Parks is responsible for trimming, removal and pruning of street trees, said department spokeswoman Kia McLeod. City personnel trimmed back the branches as of Friday, after a call from Watchdog.

But before that, no one had reported the problem to 311, McLeod said.

"That's our eyes and ears," she said.

WHO CAN FIX THIS Rebecca Feldberg, city arborist, Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks' forestry division. City residents can also call 311 to report problems.

Update Officials from the Baltimore Parking Authority are still working on an update to residential parking permit signs in the "stadium event areas" near Oriole Park and M&T Bank Stadium.

In March, Watchdog revealed that the language on the signs was so complicated that parking control agents were applying rules incorrectly.

But until new signs are in place, Loretta Colvin wants to make sure she doesn't get a ticket, so she has been checking the Maryland Stadium Authority Web site ( www.mdstad.com) before driving to the area. As of Friday, that site only listed Ravens and Orioles games as well as the Baltimore Marathon.

"What about the occasional political rally, religious event or others that are also hosted in these stadiums? How do I know what is legally considered a stadium event so I can avoid parking there during these times?" she asked Watchdog in an e-mail.

Major events that would trigger the parking regulations are posted on the Web site, said stadium authority spokeswoman Jan Hardesty. For smaller activities, people park at the stadiums with less chance of spillover into surrounding neighborhoods. New language on the Web site reminds drivers that the parking regulations will be in effect during those times.

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