Heavy truck traffic is a part of life in industrial areas like ours, but when the foundations of Dundalk homes are cracking under the constant stress of enormous vehicles rumbling up and down out roads, it’s time to find a solution.
I’ve received many constituent calls about the truck traffic that rumbles through Dundalk’s streets and near its neighborhoods, and besides the ruckus it causes, the trucks have ruined roadways and cost the state untold thousands of dollars in repairs.
Those roads will continue to crack under the pressure of these trucks until we make a change in these vehicles’ routes—a priority of mine.
I have offered alternative routes for local trucks to avoid Holabird Avenue, one of the hardest-hit roadways in Dundalk, but my efforts haven’t been met with action from Baltimore County officials and decision makers at the Port of Baltimore, a major contributor to the damaging truck traffic.
Dundalk Avenue and Belclare Road have also seen the brunt of trucks rumbling through on a regular basis. I think it’s time for the county and the Port of Baltimore to realize that this has become a community issue in need of immediate attention, not a cold shoulder or another study. The last study offered no reasonable solutions, and further complicated an uncomplicated issue.
My suggestion was for truckers to use U.S. I-95 and get off the highway at Eastern Avenue. This would keep the heaviest truck traffic off of Dundalk roads, many of which are riddled with potholes that make for bumpy rides and the occasional flat tire. Using Eastern Avenue instead of Holabird Avenue would also put the monstrous trucks on a wider road.
Eastern, as you probably know, if a four-lane road, and Holabird is a narrow two-lane road in many parts.
Some would argue that diverting trucks to U.S. I-95 and avoiding local streets would add a detour to truckers’ routes. This might be true, but adding a few miles to these routes would add negligible costs, especially when compared to the state-funded repair costs needed to keep Dundalk roads drivable after heavy truck traffic cracks the blacktop.
This would save thousands in taxpayer dollars, and in the current economy, our state government is looking for any way to save money and balance the budget for 2012.
There is a slate of pressing issues Maryland lawmakers must address in the coming months, and while I’ll work with my colleagues to help businesses boost our state’s economy, I won’t put this truck traffic issue on the back burner.
I encourage you to e-mail me at email@example.com or call my office at 410-841-3332 with stories of how the truck traffic affects your everyday life, and we’ll find a way to move these trucks off our local roads and keep our streets pothole free.
A community meeting to discuss truck traffic around Holabird and Dundalk Avenues will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 24, at Sacred Heart of Mary School Hall on Youngstown Avenue. Proposed truck traffic changes, the Broening Highway at the Port of Baltimore revamping project and the Baltimore City Truck Study will be discussed. County, city and elected officials from both jurisdictions, the Maryland Truck Association and the Port of Baltimore have been invited. For information, call Del. Joseph “Sonny” Minnick at 410-841-3332 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.