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Arbutus neighbors fight big rigs driving on their road illegally

Posted at 6:25 PM, Aug 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-21 18:49:33-04

An unwelcomed nuisance is plaguing an Arbutus neighborhood: big rigs. 

"They just don't belong on here and it's just kind of silly to us that you would want to go through a residential area when you can clearly go the other way," Tera Arnold said. 

"Our front bedroom shakes," Randy Arnold said. "It's not a regular UPS truck, Amazon delivery truck. These are literally massive 18-wheeler truck making deliveries, warehouse deliveries per say."

The half mile on Benson Avenue that the Arnold's live on is a 'No trucks over 3/4 tons' zone. It's sandwiched between 95 and an industrial area. The law clearly marked with signs on both sides of the road. 

"If I'm out here for 30 minutes, I can sometimes see 15 trucks," Tera said. 

The Arnold's say what's happening is illegal and unsafe. 

"The well-being and stability of our home is one thing, but now raising children as they play out here on this street, you never know if something like that, that doesn’t belong on this street, is gonna lose control and end up in my yard," Randy said. "It's happened where they've had accidents literally 50 yards from here."


They've tried to get it to stop. Tera cold calls companies when she catches them driving by. 


"I've actually had companies blame GPS," Tera said. 


They've reached out to county and state officials to get something changed. Traffic and engineering replaced a vandalized sign and Councilman Tom Quirk's office directed them to Baltimore County Police. 


The Wilkens Presinct Traffic Supervisor responded to Tera's complaint in June, acknowledging the problem. 


"My squad has been there and will continue to be there indefinitely. It is a problem, that I'm sorry to say seems to be never-ending," Cpl. Joe Quattrochi said. 


He wrote that as of the middle of June, they had issued 10 citations and 6 warnings in that area for various infractions. But the Arnold's don't think that is the solution.


"We know that there is emergencies and people that need help and we don't expect them to police our street. We expect our local government to do something to deter these trucks from coming down our street," Tera said. 


They want an island or other kind of deterrent put on the road so big trucks can't turn onto the street. 


"It's a process, we understand that. We're not asking for them to show up tomorrow with shovels and concrete and fix it. But we just want something in the works that we know that something is going to be done," Tera said.


According to the State Highway Administration, Baltimore County maintains Benson Avenue. We have reached out to county police, county traffic engineering and transportation and Councilman Tom Quirk and have not heard back. We also reached out to several of the companies whose trucks the Arnold's have caught on the street. UPS says they are looking into the claims and Enterprise sent this statement: "The signage along the road is clear, and our employees are extremely conscientious about following the restrictions when moving vehicles from one location to another.  Unfortunately, some rental customers, although warned in advance, may decide to ignore the restrictions and drive this stretch of road regardless."