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Seventh Street Is A Shame

Mike Kuster

June 04, 2002

Have you tried to go anywhere on Seventh Street in Frederick since 9/11? It was bad before our nation's security was breached, but today's situation is unbearable.

Luckily, I'd been able to avoid the area until recently. With the birth of my children three weeks ago, a real problem came to my attention. My son spent almost two weeks in the hospital. This required a lot of travel between Walkersville and Seventh Street.

The quickest route to the hospital for me should be straight down U.S. 15 to Seventh Street.

WRONG!

Due to the lack of a traffic signal at the U.S. 15 South entrance to Seventh Street and the congested traffic, turning left to get to the hospital from the northern part of Frederick County is close to impossible. One can expect to wait at the stop sign for 15 minutes. I did.

On one occasion, I gave up and turned right to turn around in the shopping center. The poor soul behind me was still sitting at the stop sign as I passed.

Why don't we have a traffic light for the northern Frederick County residents trying to get to the hospital? It's upsetting enough to be going to the hospital. Leave it to Frederick to make getting to the hospital a pain in the posterior.

Good luck, if you are going the other direction, too. I had to stop by my office one day after visiting the hospital. I made the mistake of heading up Seventh Street to Military Road. The traffic was lined up from Fairview Avenue to Fort Detrick.

I am very pleased to see the military checking vehicles before allowing them to drive through the base. Not too long ago, I had no problem driving onto the base and going wherever I pleased. I always thought security could be beefed up. Fort Detrick must be commended for tightening security. Terrorists needed only turn-off their headlights in the past to get through the gates.

The solution Fort Detrick developed, however, leaves a long street closed to any effective use. The holding pattern of cars being searched brings the lives of everyone within several blocks to a screeching halt. Security around our military neighbor is choking Seventh Street.

Rather than holding cars on a public thoroughfare and impeding traffic (a violation of Maryland traffic law), our good neighbors should create an area on base that is secure to hold cars. Seventh Street and Military Road are public streets, not military property.

Until Seventh Street is cured, use Motter Avenue/Bentz Street to get to the hospital (don't ask where to park), and never, ever point your car toward Fort Detrick on Seventh Street.


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