What's wrong with this picture?

January 02, 2011
  • Visibility is limited by buildings at the intersection of Wareham Place and an alley connecting Franklin and Washington streets in downtown Hagerstown.
By Heather Keels

The problem: Visibility is limited by buildings at the intersection of two alleys — Wareham Place and an alley connecting Franklin and Washington streets — behind Ingram’s Men’s Shop in downtown Hagerstown.

Bernard Randolph of Hagerstown said he was nearly hit by a taxi at the intersection last week and thought there should be speed bumps or stop signs to slow traffic and prevent crashes at the intersection.

“That has to be about the busiest alley intersection in town,” Randolph said, noting that many drivers use Wareham Place to access the North Potomac Street Parking Deck.

Currently, there is a stop sign at the intersection for the alley running from Franklin Street to Washington Street, but no stop sign for traffic on Wareham Place.

Who could fix it: City of Hagerstown

What they say: City Engineer Rodney Tissue acknowledged that the alleys are tight, but said he thought the current setup, with no stop on the main alley and a stop sign on the side alley, was adequate.

“The alley’s been like that since Hagerstown was developed,” Tissue said. “We’ve never had any indications of any accidents there.”

However, he said the city would “definitely take a look at” whether a stop sign was warranted on Wareham Place.

“One of the problems is just finding a place to put it,” he said. “The buildings in that area go right to the property line.”

Because many people don’t like speed bumps, the city generally requires a petition from the majority of the adjoining property owners before adding them, Tissue said.

Following up: Tissue said the city has been evaluating the traffic signal at Jefferson and Eastern boulevards featured in “What’s wrong with this picture” on page A3 of the Nov. 15 edition of The Herald-Mail.

One issue there is that the intersection is over capacity, without enough lanes to handle the traffic, he said. That issue will improve with the county’s planned project to widen Eastern Boulevard to a four-lane, divided roadway from that intersection north, Tissue said.

In the meantime, the city will optimize the signal within the next couple of weeks to best accommodate existing traffic patterns, he said.


 — Compiled by Heather Keels

If you are aware of a safety problem, a major annoyance or a pet peeve that one of our governmental bodies, an agency or an organization is responsible for fixing, send the information, and a photo if you have it, to:
What’s Wrong With This Picture
c/o The Herald-Mail newsroom
100 Summit Ave.
Hagerstown MD 21740
You can e-mail the information to

Editor’s note: Each Monday, The Herald-Mail will highlight an infrastructure issue or other problem and will try to find out what is being done to fix or improve the situation.
We will not tackle situations involving neighborhood or domestic disputes, or consumer problems.

The Herald-Mail Articles