Letters to the Editor – November 13, 2013

Written by on November 13, 2013 in Letters to the Editor - No comments

Scammers cast ‘bad shadow’ on legitimate businesses

To the Editor:

With regards to your Nov. 6 article, “Canton Car Wash exposes auto-body scammers,” I am furious that nefarious individuals are taking advantage of good people and casting a bad shadow on the S.M.A.R.T repair mobile tech industry.

S.M.A.R.T repair stands for Small Area Repair Technology and is a skill that is employed by body shops and many mobile repair practitioners across the United States. The idea is to repair the damage, typically on bumpers, doors, and fenders, and repair just the damaged area without having to repaint the entire panel. Pretty much every auto dealerships have technicians perform these repairs on their used car inventory that have arrived from auction.

It is a legitimate business; however, just like any other business, there are some unscrupulous characters out there looking for a quick buck.

I owned a franchise performing this type of work for over 5 years. Most of my work was performed at auto dealerships, but I did some occasional retail work for the general public.

There are several franchised businesses operations in Maryland such as M.A.R.S (Mobile Appearance Reconditioning Service), Colors on Parade, and True Colors. People wanting to save money on repairs or wanting minor damage fixed without going through their insurance company should look into one of these operations versus open solicitation in a parking lot.

These franchised operations train and certify the franchisees. The franchisees are also insured, which is a requirement to perform work at many of the auto dealerships.

Robb Griffey
Formerly of M.A.R.S/Mobile Cosmetic Solutions

 

Pulaski Highway work costly, unneeded

To the Editor:

The State Highway Administration has proposed some drastic changes to the topography of Pulaski Highway, specifically between Chesaco Ave. and Todds Lane. Their data shows  this is a particularly deadly area for pedestrians and drivers alike. Several of the accidents that occurred very late at night and involved speeding cars and motorcycles and pedestrian error. It appears that four or five were the result of vehicular accidents with drivers that were killed by their own faults or, in one case, being t-boned and pushed into a tree, which resulted in a horrible death for a local family. This was truly a very tragic event for the family and friends of this individual. Now what the SHA is proposing is to install a traffic signal at Batavia Farm Rd. and to close the crossing at Lawrence and Lorraine avenues to eliminate highway crossing there. According to the SHA, the intersection of Batavia Farm Rd. and Pulaski Hwy. has a tremendous amount of truck traffic, specifically dump trucks. Putting a traffic light at this intersection would probably slow the traffic to some degree, but would also create a U-turn hazard from the cars that could not cut across Lorraine/Lawrence avenues.

Now to the meat of the story.

The SHA also want so put curbs, gutters and sidewalks from Chesaco Ave. to Todds Lane. The purpose of the curbs and gutters is to eliminate the flooding that was occurring between Batavia Farm Rd. and Todds Lane. According to a local businessman who has owned the property for over 50 years, it has never flooded between those two intersections. It also has never flooded at Chesaco Ave. and Pulaski Hwy., but further west at Rosedale Ave. and Pulaski Hwy. It has flooded up to 5 and 6 feet when major storms hit—so much for the new gutters and storm drains!

Now let’s get to the sidewalk issue. SHA has determined that a 5-foot-wide sidewalk is need in this industrial/commercial area for pedestrian traffic. The sidewalk must be 5-feet wide and ADA compliant. How many wheelchairs has anyone seen on Pulaski Hwy. near these intersections? This sidewalk, along with a 2-foot-wide grass area between the sidewalk and the individual driveway, would run on both sides of the highway from Chesaco Ave. to Todds Lane and start and stop abruptly.

Thus, the sidewalk to nowhere!

The SHA has claimed that this new look would slow down traffic with a “calming effect.” We’re not sure what this means.

At an Oct. 7 meeting with SHA engineers and area businesses, it was discussed that a sidewalk is a waste of millions of dollars of taxpayer money. The light would probably benefit drivers, but to put a crosswalk in and determine that the occupants of the motels/hotels on Pulaski Hwy. would make use of it is nonsense. The transients that come to this area hop the jersey wall to cross the street. You don’t think that they are going to walk up several hundred feet to a crosswalk, wait for the light, cross, and then walk back toward the other direction, do you? Not going to happen!

The SHA’s theory is that the residents and taxpayers of Rosedale will benefit from this sidewalk. When I look at the people walking on the highway, sometimes as few as four or five people per day, I am not sure I recognize them as residents of the area. I agree that they are occupants (temporary) of the hotels on the highway. The SHA wants to spend millions of dollars to put in sidewalks that are not needed and will be used only occasionally by transients, not homeowners or residents of the area. What a waste of our tax dollars.

The next point to bring up is that the engineers designed the driveways for these businesses in this industrial/commercial area without thinking about the tractor trailers that have to enter and exit these businesses. No considerations were given to the fact that businesses receive deliveries. An engineer said she used a template to make each and every driveway the same. Some of these businesses need large access/egress areas.  Again, why do we need new sidewalks, curbs and gutters along an industrial/commercial 2-and-1/2 blocks that start and stop with people still having to use the shoulder to transition to the next area? It doesn’t make economic sense to me, using our tax dollars to put a sidewalk in for the hookers, drug dealers, etc. to walk up and down the highway.

Lastly, the SHA has all but said that this is a done deal! We need the residents of Rosedale to voice their opinions on the use of tax dollars for sidewalks to nowhere, un-needed curbs and gutters in a stretch of road that has never flooded, and a crosswalk that will be used by a half dozen or fewer people, except on weekends, when likely nobody will use it at all. I have personally watched the highway on several occasions and saw no one walking on the shoulder or anywhere else.

On a normal day, late in the afternoon, the eastbound traffic is bumper-to-bumper from Rossville Blvd. to about 68th St. Putting in a traffic light may create a major road block each and every day, not including when an I-95 accident slows city traffic, and drivers exit at the city line to travel east and north to Harford County. Even if the lights are in sync, when it changes out of sequence due to turning traffic, can you imagine how far the traffic will back up?

Baltimore City City Hall will be wondering why all the traffic is creeping along, not knowing  that the intersection at Batavia Farm Rd. and Pulaski Hwy. is the culprit.

Westbound traffic in the morning will have the same problems, and may back up past Martin Blvd.

This is the opinion of the business owners on the Pulaski Hwy. who oppose the use use of their state tax dollars for something unnecessary.

Paul L. King,
Business owner

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