City council briefs

August 14, 2002

Tips given to slow speeders on city street

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday gave general consensus to proposed efforts intended to reduce speeding on Oak Hill Avenue.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said two residents contacted his office a few months ago asking if the city could install stop signs at seven intersections on Oak Hill between Park Lane and Northern Avenue to slow traffic.

The city concluded that while there was speeding on the street, stop signs were not warranted, Tissue said. Stop signs are not recommended for speed control, he said.

The Hagerstown Board of Traffic and Parking suggested the city consider installing a "round-about," which Tissue described in a staff document as a circular island "built in the middle of the intersection, forcing drivers to slow down to drive around the island."


While looking into the matter, city staff noticed that there is limited sight distance at some side streets that cross Oak Hill because vehicles park too close to the side street. Tissue suggests parking be prohibited on Oak Hill within 50 feet of the side streets between Park Lane and Northern Avenue.

Instead of stop signs Tissue suggested:

  • Installing larger speed limit signs.

  • Having the Hagerstown Police Department continue increased enforcement in the area.

  • Posting "no parking" signs by the side streets.

    If there is not a reduction in speed in six months, then the city should install a round-about, he said.

    Activist to meet with other black leaders

    Andy Smith, president of Brothers United Who Dare to Care, said he turned down an invitation to be on the agenda of Tuesday's Hagerstown City Council meeting because he wanted to meet with other black community leaders first.

    Smith attended Tuesday's meeting but did not speak during the meeting.

    After the meeting, Smith said he hopes to meet with other leaders of the black community in late August and then will ask to be put on the agenda for a meeting with the council in early September.

    At an Aug. 6 rally outside City Hall, Smith reiterated his claim that "the local government is not doing enough for the black community." Ten other people attended the rally.

    The issues Smith would like to discuss with city leaders include comments made during a July 20 NAACP Family Celebration at Wheaton Park.

    Washington County NAACP President The Rev. James Irvin, and Del. Joanne Benson, D-Prince George's, told about 100 people that the local government was ignoring the black community.

    At the July 23 Hagerstown City Council meeting, Councilmen Linn Hendershot and Kristin Aleshire said they objected to and disagreed with the July 20 remarks.

    Water fountain to be replaced after incident

    The city of Hagerstown plans to replace a water fountain following a July 21 City Park incident in which a wheelchair-bound man seeking water landed in the park lake.

    Hagerstown Councilwoman Carol Moller brought up the incident during Tuesday's council meeting and said she wants to make sure there is a working water fountain at the park.

    Michael High, who is paralyzed from the neck down, said he approached the concession stand in the lower end of the park and found the water fountain was out of service. When he asked the concession employee for water to fill his water bottle, he was refused.

    High then powered his wheelchair up a steep hill to a working water fountain and as he leaned over to get a drink, his chair's motor failed and he carried him down the hill and into the lake.

    Rescued by a park visitor, High escaped serious injuries. At Washington County Hospital, he received 15 stitches in his head.

    John Budesky, director of administrative services for the City of Hagerstown, said the city plans to replace the handicap-accessible fountain by the concession stand.

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