Thursday, August 23, 2012

Report from the Restricted Zone

As bad as things are for the businesses in Ellicott City, it’s even worse for the handful of businesses just across the bridge in Oella. State Highway Administration crews have a roadblock set up on Frederick Road at River Road denying further access to anyone except employees at Washington Quality Foods.

This morning I talked my way through by saying I just wanted to fill up with gas at the station in the rock just down the hill. Reluctantly they allowed me to proceed but suggested that if I parked anywhere I would likely get a ticket.

After filling up with gas I ventured further to the Old Mill Bakery Café where I was able to grab the last spot in parking lot. All of the other spaces were taken up with clean up crew vehicles. The folks in the café said business was off but they have benefited a bit from the all the workers.

 That certainly wasn’t the case at the Trolley Stop. “We’re pretty much dead,” Franny Fields told me. I asked if the workers have been patronizing her establishment.

“Not really. CSX is feeding everybody.”

I approached a Baltimore County police officer and asked when the road is expected to reopen. Nice guy. He didn't admonish me for being there and he didn't give me a ticket."They are now telling us it will be another 48 hours," he responded. 

That’s a long time for a restaurant that normally does a pretty good business for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Assuming that the road opens back up this weekend, it would be nice to spread to spread a little of that HoCo love to our neighbors across the river too.
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