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City's one-lane streets confuse some drivers

April 20, 2004|by TAMELA BAKER

When a visiting relative recently had an accident on Locust Street, Beth Armel got so upset she called the city's engineering department to register a complaint.The problem? Her relative thought Locust was a two-lane street.

It isn't.

Neither are several other one-way streets in the city.

"What I'm saying is they should be marked," Armel said. "There should be signs marking it a one-lane street."

Tim Young, an engineer in the city's Engineering and Inspections Department, estimated that 10 to 12 streets in Hagerstown fall into that category. Although he mentioned Prospect Street, Summit Avenue/Jonathan Street, Mulberry Street and Locust as examples, the engineering department was unable to list the streets that allow only one lane of traffic.

While people frequently try to make two lanes out of those streets, Sgt. Dave Long of the Hagerstown Police Department said resulting accidents aren't often reported.

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"It doesn't happen that much, but if there's an accident we do issue a citation if we can determine who had the right of way, who was there first," he said.

"But it is a problem, and probably all the accidents aren't reported," he said.

For motorists who are unsure, Long suggested a method for determining whether a street is one lane or two.

"If it's two lanes, there's gonna be a dividing line down the middle," he said.

Otherwise, assume only one lane of traffic is permitted.

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