mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How do you know when you've reached Baltimore City limits? Just look for the snow...

I've talked about living in the suburbs vs. the city on a number of occasions. It's a subject relevant to me, as someone who works in Baltimore City and lived there for several years before buying a house in Baltimore County.

Sometimes I wonder if I would have been better off buying in the city - if, as a single guy I'd be happier in a hipster area surrounded by bars and people my own age instead of in the 'burbs, surrounded by families and the occasional retiree. Given the fact that I get tired after two beers, I'm guessing probably not. For the most part, the advantages of living in the 'burbs - close to shopping, low crime, easy parking, peace and quiet, newer housing stock - outweigh the advantages of a shorter commute and more social opportunities.

But I've realized there is one more advantage to county life - better city services. My commute takes me down Perring Parkway, a 6-lane divided highway with a few traffic lights that runs east-west across Baltimore City and County. My drive to work this morning, during a light snow with some accumulation, was pretty clear - until I crossed over the line from Baltimore County into Baltimore City. Soon after, the right lane was literally filled with snow. I moved left, into the middle lane, which was clearer - not because of any plowing or sanding, only because of the tire tracks from previous cars driving on it. The rest of my drive was pretty much the same - city streets that looked like they hadn't been touched. And most of these were pretty main roads that bring lots of people into work.

As a young, single, guy, I don't demand a lot of services from local government. I've been in the library in my county once. I've needed the police once while living in the city, when I called the cops because someone stole the wheels off my car in college (I wasn't impressed with the dispatcher, who laughed and asked me if I knew who did it - if I did I would be beating them with a baseball bat, not calling the cops). Besides trash pickup (which where I live is done while I'm still in bed, so I can't complain). I don't have a whole lot of frames of reference for quality of service. But if road-clearing is any indicator, the services provided by the county are considerably better than those of the city.


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