Seeing Red

January 4, 2013
BY Ron Snyde
Pikesville resident pushes county to act on stop sign
Mike Lombardi lobbied Baltimore County for a stop sign, and officials responded. A sign is going up soon.

Mike Lombardi lobbied Baltimore County for a stop sign, and officials responded. A sign is going up soon.

Mike Lombardi says he is not the kind of person who complains publicly.

But that changed a little more than a month ago.

Lombardi, a Pikesville resident, was driving home with his 6-year-old son when another driver, who was speeding, raced through an intersection and narrowly avoided what could have been a devastating collision with Lombardi’s car.

The problem, Lombardi said, is that there is no stop sign at the intersection of Clarington and Pebble Brooke roads in The Parke at Mount Washington community.

“That intersection is right by my house in an area where there are young kids and pedestrians walking all the time,” Lombardi said. “Speeding has been a constant problem. We even had an incident recently where a car was speeding, lost control and crashed into a neighbor’s lamp post. Something has to be done.”

And something will be done, according to officials at the Baltimore County Department of Public Works, who informed Lombardi late last month that work crews soon will install a stop sign at the intersection.

The county became aware of the problem when it received a copy of an email Lombardi sent to community residents that outlined his concerns and urged drivers to proceed with caution while driving on the neighborhood roads.

“Unfortunately this isn’t the first time this has happened,” Lombardi wrote in his Nov. 30 email. “It is a regular occurrence, as I’m sure many of you have experienced. Until we can get a stop sign installed, for the safety of all neighbors and our guests, please slow down, if not stop, and use common sense when turning left from Clarington onto Pebble Brooke.”

Lombardi said he received strong support from many of the approximately 100 families in the community.

“I just wanted to keep the neighborhood safe for my kids,” Lombardi said. “You would think drivers, especially those who lived in the community, would be more cognizant of speeding and how to proceed at an intersection. I was just amazed there wasn’t a stop sign there already.”

Department of Public Works spokesman David Fidler said the county confirmed with Lombardi on Dec. 17 plans to install a stop sign. Fidler added that the road was initially constructed by the community’s developer and then turned over to the county.

“It was likely just an oversight,” Fidler said. “The community reached out to us, and we hope the sign will solve the problem. Being there for the community is why we’re here.”

John Denick is Lombardi’s neighbor and a past president of the Pikesville Greenspring Community Coalition. He called Lombardi’s effort to solve this problem “inspirational.”

“It doesn’t sound like a big problem, but it can become one when you’re dealing with the safety of children,” Denick said. “Mike saw there was a problem … and the issue was resolved quickly. That’s how it is supposed to work.”

Ron Snyder is a JT staff reporter rsnyder@jewishtimes.com

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