Cul-de-Sac Consideration

Have you made the resolution to be a good neighbor this year? How is your cul-de-sac etiquette? Do you park illegally or contribute to dangerous conditions in and around your cul-de-sac? Perhaps you and/or your neighbors need to brush up on the do’s and don’ts when it comes to cul-de-sacs. Here is a list of the main issues and complaints received by Howard County and the River Hill Community Association regarding cul-de-sacs:

• Parking: Parking around the outside rim of the cul-de-sac island is illegal; vehicles can be ticketed.

• Snow Removal: The Bureau of Highways reminds drivers not to park on streets, especially on a cul-de sac as that makes snow removal nearly impossible for highway crews. Vehicles should be parked in driveways as much as possible to allow police officers, firefighters, and paramedics to respond quickly to emergencies. Residents may also want to delay shoveling driveway aprons and sidewalks until the street has been completely cleared. Otherwise, it is very likely a full blade of snow will slide off the plow onto the driveway. Once the roads have been cleared please be considerate and do not throw snow back into the road as you clear your driveway.

• Sidewalk Shoveling: Howard County does not maintain any sidewalks, including snow removal, with exception of the sidewalks adjacent to County buildings (libraries, offices, etc.). The owner of a property abutting a sidewalk in a public right-ofway is responsible for removing snow from the sidewalk within 48 hours after the snow has fallen. However, if the County declares a state of emergency, the County Executive may extend the time to remove snow.

• Grass Maintenance: Properties where the driveways face onto a cul-de-sac are responsible for the maintenance of the grass (mowing) on cul-de-sac islands.

• Portable basketball hoops: When placed on residential streets, this equipment can create road hazards during snow storms. They are often damaged by county snow removal equipment and more importantly pose a safety hazard to other motorists traveling during weather events. Additionally, The Bureau of Highways has experienced severe damage to plows and other snow removal equipment due to portable and permanent basketball hoops placed on county right of way. The County considers these obstructions; they are illegal and are subject to fines or imprisonment or both. The County right-of-way is typically 10’ to 12’ back from the face of the curb. Basketball apparatus should not be placed in the public roadway or County right-of-way; instead, they should be placed so that individuals using it will be playing on a driveway or lawn.

Please remember to be considerate of others and adhere to these cul-de-sac reminders. Your neighbors will appreciate it, and you’ll be doing the right thing. A little kindness can go a long way!

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