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SUV dented, abandoned

The Baltimore Sun

The problem: An abandoned Ford Explorer has sat on a Park Circle median for at least two months.

The backstory: Parking is tight along the 3400 block of Hilldale Place just north of Druid Hill Park, but resident Lillian Moore knew the red Ford Explorer had to go.

Hilldale and Cotwood Place form a circle around a grassy median where two months ago Moore noticed the SUV - with its front fender wrapped around a tree.

Since then, someone either pushed or pulled the Explorer to the top of the hilly median, but there it has sat with its dented fender but without license plates or other identifying information.

"I just wanted it off that hill," said Moore, who has lived in the neighborhood for 40 years. She worried that children would get hurt if they got too close to it.

"Little kids, they come home from school and they're always on that hill playing," she said.

So Moore called Watchdog.

The city Department of Transportation responds to reports of abandoned vehicles in public rights of way, such as a city street or the median in this case, said transportation spokeswoman Adrienne Barnes.

For cars deemed abandoned on private property, such as an empty lot, the Department of Housing and Community Development would investigate, Barnes said.

Vehicles must be in the same place for 48 hours to be considered abandoned, Barnes added. If there are valid license plates, an inspector would investigate to locate the owner, she said. Without tags, the car would be ticketed. Barnes said an inspector is investigating the Explorer.

If authorities receive multiple complaints, inspectors would write the vehicle up as abandoned and have it towed.

"We only come out if there's a complaint," Barnes said.

Who can fix this: Kenneth Unitas, chief of the transportation safety division, 410-545-6942. City residents can also call 311 to report problems.


A lighted sign at Linkwood Road and University Parkway now says that Linkwood, which has been closed since April for a construction project originally slated for completion in July, will reopen Feb.1. Last week, Watchdog discovered that unforeseen circumstances with the sewer-replacement project - unexpected rock that blocked drilling - had pushed the completion date back by months.

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