The stretch of Frederick Road between Thistle and Hillside roads has carried a certain notoriety for at least two decades.
In a 1997 issue of the Catonsville Times, locals were calling it “Dead Man’s Curve” or “Devil’s Corner” because of its low visibility and propensity for accidents.
Ten accidents happened at the curve in 1996, according to the Times. So far in 2018, two crashes reported at Thistle and Frederick roads, according to Officer Jennifer Peach, a Baltimore County police spokeswoman.
And after two serious — though nonfatal — accidents within six days, James Coroneos, owner of Dimitri’s International Grille, which sits nestled between Thistle Road and Frederick Road, is asking the state for help in calming traffic.
Coroneos has photos and video of the two accidents. The photos show a vehicle flipped over with debris scattered on Thistle Road after an accident on July 7.
The photos show a second accident, on July 13, that left skid marks on Thistle Road, one car upside down and another with severe damage to its passenger side.
The second accident damaged the stop sign that sits at the intersection of Thistle Road and Frederick Road. The sign was still damaged when a reporter visited the scene on July 31.
“The danger is still here,” Coroneos said, even though the state installed flashing warning lights on the road, rumble strips and freshly painted lanes. “It is God’s miracle they are still alive.”
Coroneos met with officials from the State Highway Administration and other stakeholders, including a staff member from County Councilman Tom Quirk’s office, on July 19 to discuss his concerns.
Coroneos said he told the state employees he wants a flashing red beacon installed in front of the restaurant, located at 2205 Frederick Road, to alert drivers to the curve and to calm traffic.
Shanteé Felix, a spokeswoman with the State Highway Administration, said the agency “will review and analyze the data and will present Mr. Coroneos with our results by the end of August.”
She added that it is too early in the agency’s process to say whether traffic engineers have made a determination as to whether shares Coroneos‘ safety concerns.
“I think it is the worst intersection in my district,” Quirk said. “It’s just hazardous; it’s very dangerous.”
Quirk said there was no easy solution but that it was “unquestionable” that something needed to be done.
“I think this would be definitely a state-led initiative, because it would probably be mostly state dollars,” Quirk said. Frederick Road is part of Maryland Route 144, a state road.
State Del. Patrick Young, who represents District 44-B, which includes the stretch of Frederick Road in question, was not certain what should be done to improve the road safety.
“Anything that makes it safer I’m for, and I’m interested to see what the state comes back with,” Young said.
Quirk and Young both mentioned the idea of rerouting part of the intersection of Thistle and Frederick roads, though both said that work could be expensive and potentially environmentally untenable.
“It would have to reroute the road around Dimitri’s, but that stream is right there, which is a problem,” Young said.
The unnamed stream starts in Devere Community Park, north of Frederick Road, and runs south, under Frederick Road, into the Patapsco River.
Joe McRedmond, co-owner of Rooster + Hen, a grocery and other goods store located at 2302 Frederick Road, said he knew the area had a “history” of accidents.
McRedmond said he has seen cars speed up and down the road and accidents occur because of that.
“It’s a speed issue,” he said, though he’s not sure what the best solution might be to control traffic on that stretch of Frederick Road. McRedmond said he’s worried a car might lose control going eastbound on Frederick Road near Dimitri’s and crash into Rooster + Hen’s yard — or the building itself.
Currently, rumble strips and flashing yellow hazard signs are in place. But McRedmond said an escalation in measures could be a possible solution to calm traffic.
“I personally hate ... speed cameras,” he said. “I’d rather see a visible police car, [because] you do slow down.”