Lansdowne residents, Beverage Capitol clash Traffic, pollution problem to be discussed at meeting


Residents in a Lansdowne neighborhood are locked in battle with a neighboring beverage company over traffic, noise and air pollution.

Neighbors in the 2200 block of Sulphur Spring Road and on some surrounding streets say Beverage Capitol Corp. attracts as many as 300 diesel trucks a day to their area. The trucks spew fumes and block traffic -- raising concerns about emergency vehicle access, they say.

The company, in the area for five years, has taken steps to appease residents, installing cushions on the dock to make loading quieter and doing away with an outdoor public address system.

And company officials plan to meet with residents tonight to answer further complaints such as the traffic snarls caused by trucks waiting to enter the facility.

"We have one way in and one way out of this street," said Lois Smith, who grew up in the area and now lives there with her husband, David. "When I get in my car and go to leave, I expect to be able to drive down my street."

According to information provided to Mrs. Smith by the company, Beverage Capital operates two Baltimore-area facilities that manufacture beverages; the Lansdowne facility serves as a warehouse and distribution center.

Mrs. Smith recently gathered written complaints from 34 households. Residents said the trucks often blocked them in, damaged trees and shrubs, or became stuck trying to turn on their dead-end street.

"When you are leaving for work, sometimes there is a problem getting in and getting out," said Frank Matthews. "Everybody needs a job and a company has a right to do business but maybe they can try to do it better."

Company officials were not available for comment.

In response to neighbors' concerns, company officials recently commissioned a study that suggested ways to reduce traffic. Among them: rescheduling times when trucks load and unload.

Councilman Stephen G. Sam Moxley said he hopes residents and the company can resolve their differences.

"Businesses are important to an area but so are residents' concerns. We've got to move forward to see if we can resolve this."

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