Loading zone gets a load of complaints

The Baltimore Sun

THE PROBLEM // A Hampden resident says a nearby business doesn't get enough deliveries to warrant a truck-loading zone out front.

THE BACKSTORY // Bill Fields said he has been puzzled by a truck-loading zone outside a building on Chestnut Avenue in Hampden since he moved to the neighborhood in 2003.

The signs reserve spaces in front of a building on the 3400 block of Chestnut for truck loading between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., but Fields said he has never seen deliveries being made there.

"I see nothing taken in. I see nothing taken out," he said.

At least, they don't happen frequently. "There's no way he gets enough deliveries to warrant six days a week of truck loading and unloading," said Fields.

He and his neighbors thought the truck-loading zone would be removed after angled parking was designated on Chestnut Avenue, but the truck-parking zone was reinstated.

Officials at the Baltimore Parking Authority dispute Fields' claim.

"We've investigated before and found there's no issue," said Peter Collier, deputy director of the Baltimore Parking Authority.

After a call from Watchdog last week, they planned to review the complaints again.

"If it's being abused, it'll be handled accordingly," he said.

Businesses apply to the city's parking authority to designate a truck-loading zone, Collier said, but then it can be used by any business in the area.

Because there are loading zones all over the city, the authority relies on tips to determine when one is unnecessary.

"If they don't need it, we won't know until citizens call in," Collier said.

Wayne Gioioso, who owns the building, said he rents apartments and rehabilitates buildings in the neighborhood. He says he has four trucks and delivers items such as construction materials and appliances two to three times a day.

Gioioso said he's being targeted by neighbors who have gotten tickets for parking their personal vehicles in the space.

"It's the only place we can load and unload," he said. "The reason all this is occurring is because someone is getting tickets for parking where they don't belong."

WHO CAN FIX THIS // Theresa Webb, manager of on-street parking regulations, Baltimore Parking Authority. 443-573-2800. City residents can also call 311 to report problems.


UPDATE // A damaged utility pole on North Rolling Road and Altavue Avenue has been removed, reports Denise Stanco.

She had written Watchdog to report that the pole - damaged when hit by a car more than a year ago - was still standing even though a replacement had been installed nearby. Worse, a metal box was dangling from the pole by a rope.

Spokeswomen from BGE, Comcast and Verizon sorted out what equipment still needed to be moved to the new pole, such as the metal box that housed Comcast power supplies. Once that task was completed, the damaged utility pole was removed last week. "It's like it never happened," wrote Stanco in an e-mail to Watchdog.

After reading Tuesday's feature, Roger Marshall wrote in about a similar problem on North Rolling Road at Collinsway Road, where another damaged pole stood standing next to a replacement that had been installed. Watchdog made an inquiry, and by Thursday, that pole had been removed as well.

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