What's Wrong With This Picture?

April 08, 2012
  • The left turn only lane from E. Washington St. on to N. Locust St. in Downtown Hagerstown is marked with a sign next to the light but there is no arrow marker on the lane for motorists to see.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

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 problem: Hagerstown resident Roger Stottlemyer wrote that he often sees drivers  — usually with out-of-state tags — turning left from East Washington Street onto North Locust Street from the center lane instead of from the left-turn lane. He is concerned this is going to cause an accident.

There is a left-turn only sign on the signal overhead, but there is no arrow painted on the pavement. Stottlemyer suggested painting a left-turn only arrow on that left lane to make it clearer that it is the turn lane.

“Surely this city has WHITE PAINT in stock from all it used for ‘BIKE LANES’ which are used randomly once a week maybe,” Stottlemyer wrote. “The street marking for turns is way OVERDUE!!”

Who could fix it: Maryland State Highway Administration. East Washington Street (U.S. 40) is maintained by the state, Hagerstown Public Works Manager Eric Deike said.

What they say: SHA’s engineers reviewed the intersection and are satisfied with the safety at the intersection without a pavement arrow, SHA spokesman David Buck said.

“In general, when approaching an intersection to turn left, drivers understand the need to move to the left most lane in order to properly negotiate the turn,” Buck wrote in an email. “Additionally, due to maintenance concerns, SHA limits the use of pavement marking turn arrows.”

The overhead left-turn sign indicates to drivers that they need to enter the left lane, and a dashed line shows drivers where to get into that lane, Buck 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
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100 Summit Ave.
Hagerstown, MD 21740

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