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October 27, 2011

I-83 spectator finds rain means crashes at one spot

Attorney David Rocah has a clear view of traffic in the Jones Falls Expressway from the window of his office in the Hampden-Woodberry area. And what he's been seeing, any time it rains, is a lot of crashes in one particular spot on Interstate 83.

Rocah called Getting There Thursday after witnessing yet another wet weather crash in the southbound lanes of the JFFX near Union Avenue, just south of the Pepsi sign.

"It always happens in the same place. It's the exact same place that's pretty visible," he said. "It's not every time it rains, but it's almost every time it rains."

Rocah said the spot is not on a curve but on a straight section. He said he's seen all manner of crashes -- single-vehicle spin-outs, two-car collisions, pile-ups. Frequently, he'll see ambulances responding to the scene. But he said he's never seen a crash there during dry weather. A check of the comprehensive web site SafeRoadsMap turned up no fatalities at that point in recent years (excluding 2011).

Why so many motorist would pick the same spot to crash puzzles Rocah. He theorized that maybe there's a dip in the road where drivers who are going too fast lose control.

Getting There has a call in to the Baltimore Department of Transportation to see whether it has a record of an unusual number of crashes in that spot. From personal experience, I can testify that many drivers treat the JFX as a NASCAR track and don't let up in the rain.

If any readers have observed the same phenomenon on the JFX and can verify Rocah's account, Getting There would be happy to hear from you. You can post to the blog or email


Posted by Michael Dresser at 3:52 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: On the roads

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About Michael Dresser
Michael Dresser has been an editor, reporter and columnist with The Sun longer than Baltimore's had a subway. He's covered retailing, telecommunications, state politics and wine. Since 2004, he's been The Sun's transportation writer. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife and travel companion, Cindy.

His Getting There column appears on Mondays. Mike's blog will be a forum for all who are interested in highways, transit and other transportation issues affecting Baltimore, Maryland and the region.

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