Death Lingers on the Turn

October 23, 1913

Special Danger Points at West Friendship and Sykesville


To the Editor:

Sir– It is time for the people of West Friendship, of Sykesville and of Westminster to wake up to the fact that they are living on a State boulevard, which is giving promise of becoming one of the greatest thoroughfares in the country. A great thoroughfare means sooner or later a demand for homes along its border and increased value in land. Incidentally it also means that one horse can do the work of two in hauling, and that riders in carriages have of it a very soft thing.

The precise things for the people in question to wake up to are the obstacles that stand at present as jeopardizers of life along this new and popular highway. The old farmer with his wife and family are equally jeopardized with the riders in automobiles from States far and near. Hair breadth escapes have time and time again been reported. Space here admits mention of only two danger points.

One is at the junction of the Frederic and Sykesville roads. The turn is very abrupt and obscure. Mr. Albert Ridgely, the owner of the property on the east side of the corner, is one of the few men it is unnecessary to wake up to anything relative to the public good. He has already tried to make the corner less dangerous by setting his fence back two feet and has made a proposition for the complete safety of the corner, which, in the main, is the correct one.  To sum the matter up, the entrance to the Sykesville road at this point should have a spread of at least one hundred feet and sign boards ten feet long directing to Westminster and Sykesville should be placed here.

Another dangerous point is at the Sykesville Athletic Park, within the limits of Sykesville, but on the Howard county side of the Patapsco river. A high board fence at an abrupt turn in the road makes this a place of peculiar danger. I have alluded to it in the press several years ago, after which a danger sign was placed there, but which has not at all appeased the popular indignation of the people. Mr. E. M. Mellor, a leading Sykesville merchant, has called public attention to the matter more than once and in a most emphatic manner.

The time is past in which to say that we are not fixing up the roads for the rich owners of automobiles. The automobiles are here and we are here, and it is no longer a question of sentiment, but one of life and death, or life suffering. If private initiative cannot see its way to be broad-minded enough to remedy matters, then the State road officials or the county commissioners should be called upon to act in their respective lines, and the improvements demanded by the times made at once.

F. B. Livesey, West Friendship, MD

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