Sidewalk hazard

The storm drain in the photo below is located just east of the intersection of  Route 355 and the entrance to Shady Grove station (A15):

This is what was left of the top after it kept getting run over by busses and trucks turning to enter the station from 355.   The photo really doesn’t do it justice — the hole is actually fairly deep, you can get some idea by the courses of brick that are showing.

As far as I know, no one sued Metro for injuries sustained from falling into this pit of rusty re-bar and jagged chunks of concrete.  Of course it’s possible WMATA was sued and settled to keep it quiet.  I’m surprised there weren’t personal injury lawyers camped out across the road waiting.  This was an accident waiting to happen.  The storm drain cover is part of the sidewalk and the area isn’t very well lit at night.

The damage could have been (and could be) avoided by having the vehicles leaving the station stop further away from from 355 — that would allow more room for wide turns.  That idea was suggested but never implemented.

I reported the damage and it remained this way for a day or two, IIRC.  I have no idea how long it had been in this condition.  To my surprise, the storm drain was covered within a few days — first with plywood and then, when that was promptly driven over and broken by a large vehicle, thick sheets of steel plate.  That seemed to hold up.  Then eventually the storm drain was rebuilt.  It lasted for about 3 or 4 days before it was destroyed and looked like the original in the photo above.

As I recall, it was rebuilt a second time, but now there is a large, vertical, yellow steel pipe protecting it.

In Frederick City, and many towns in Frederick County, where the roads are narrow and the intersections are small, they simply paint the ‘stop line(s)’ further from the intersection.  Typically there is a white & black sign posted near the curb that states, “Stop Here on Red”, with an arrow pointing down to the wide stop line.  I’d bet that would be cheaper than all of the work that was done on that storm drain.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the yellow pipe that protects the storm drain cover is preventing trucks and buses from completing that turn, leaving them stuck blocking the intersection.

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