Fix this dangerous stretch of the JFX | READER COMMENTARY
For The Baltimore Sun|
Nov 13, 2020 at 1:18 PM
There are many deep-rooted issues facing Baltimore with complex histories of causes and hard to identify solutions. However, the number and severity of accidents on Interstate 83 (particularly southbound) is not one of them. The problem is that the road between Cold Spring and 28th Street is just too curvy. All commuters know that there are almost daily crashes in dry weather and multiple per day when it’s raining (“Crash rate on I-83 in Baltimore more than double that of other highways, study finds. How can it be fixed?” Feb. 13, 2019).
Obvious short term solutions that transportation officials can control include installing clearer lane markers and putting up scary-but-real warning signs of the danger ahead. Potential examples include: “More than 255 people crashed on the next curve in the past year so you might want to slow down and get off your phone.” or “It’s only been 34 hours since someone hit the wall on the next curve so you might want to slow down and get off the phone.”
I understand that fixing a highway is a costly and time-consuming endeavor. But I don’t understand why putting up signs that remind and warn of the real danger ahead while implementing some basic stay-in-your-lane guides hasn’t happened. For Mayor-elect Brandon Scott, this would be a very low hanging fruit item in his first 30 days in office that would make commuting safer.
That would seem appealing to those considering working downtown and it would allow the six police cars, two ambulances and a firetruck I saw today attending to the umpteenth accident this year on the same curve to be more effectively utilized.