Recently, a large semi-truck took off the back end of my car, which was parked right next to a "no trucks" sign on Toone Street in Canton. The entire experience was surreal, but initially I was fine because I was just relieved that no one was injured in any way. The truck driver was nice and apologetic despite having no awareness that he should not be on a residential street trying to turn a corner he was unable to navigate. The real problem came when the police officer arrived.
He was a nice enough person, but he could not have been less interested in the situation. He said they were unable to write a police report since no one was injured, and he said the driver "made a mistake so I'm going to take him at his word." Oh really. I guess I can only hope my insurance company also takes me at my word. He advised us to take pictures of the scene and each other's insurance cards and drivers licenses and not to lose our cellphones with the pictures on them as that is all we would have to back up our claim. We mentioned all the trucks that come down Toone Street since the new Canton Crossing opened and how this is problematic and resulted in this accident. The police officer said that an officer would need to be posted there to issue a traffic citation. Unlike that night when he did not want to write out a citation or police report.
The police and truck driver left, and we were left with a wrecked car, a street full of glass and metal that I will have to clean up myself, and an evening spent calling our insurance company and making arrangements for a tow truck and rental car.
What struck me was how this minor incident made me want to leave Canton and Baltimore City for good. I'm tired of the apathy, and I'm tired of sticking up for a city that won't stick up for me. I know there are much bigger problems than a minor traffic accident, but I could not have been nicer or more easygoing about it, and all I wanted was for someone to take responsibility. I did nothing but park my car on my street outside of my house.
I love Baltimore City, and I believe in all the good things it has to offer. When people are complaining about the crime waves and the higher taxes and the parking problems, I don't participate because I see beyond that and I care about this city. Yet that night I began to feel like maybe it's not worth it when the city clearly does not care about me.
Betsy Schindler, Baltimore