February 1, 2012
The Honorable Beverley K. Swaim-Staley
Maryland Secretary of Transportation
7201 Corporate Center Drive
PO Box 548
Hanover, Maryland 21078
Dear Secretary Swaim-Staley,
I am writing on behalf of the Town Council and citizens of Cheverly, and perhaps all Prince Georgians or Maryland residents as well, regarding an on going problem.
In the late 1990’s the Town of Cheverly began requesting the removal of graffiti from the CSX bridge that spans U.S. Route 50 as you leave the District of Columbia and enter the state of Maryland. We felt then, as we do now, that this is not how we wanted travelers to be greeted as they entered our Town, County and State (see enclosed photos). After a good deal of back and forth and a good deal of frustration, the Town painted over the graffiti and sent a bill to CSX. The bill was never paid, but the intention was to send a message and bring attention to this issue (see enclosed article).
In 2000 the problem was back and the Town exchanged a good deal of correspondence with the Maryland Department of Transportation, which is responsible for the structure and its graffiti. It is my understanding that the graffiti was painted over in early 2003, but I personally don’t recall this structure ever being void of graffiti. The Town has suggested trying to find a means to make the bridge less accessible and the State noted in 2002 that CSX was awaiting approval for the installation of a fence (see enclosed). We do not know if the installation was ever performed and would like an update.
Therefore, we are requesting the removal of the current graffiti. It has been suggested that a “WELCOME TO MARYLAND” stencil or covering may be attractive and may discourage additional graffiti. I look forward to hearing from you soon regarding this matter.
Michael H. Callahan
Cc: County Executive Baker
County Councilmember Harrison
Members of the 47th Delegation