Privatize The Mva

Readers write

April 15, 1992

From: Richard R. Byard

Ellicott City

The purpose of government is to serve the public. The Motor Vehicle Administration is an example of state government at its worst. Inexcusable mistakes in documents, incorrect notices, higher and higher fees for rudeness and terrible service to the public are well known.

Several weeks ago, I waited in the giant hall on Ritchie Highway with hundreds of other people for 3 1/2 hours simply to get a title changed. This was not supposed to take place under the new staggered license system. However, I'm told this is a daily occurrence.

I telephoned TV Channels 2 and 13 and asked them to come to the MVA that day and see the extent of disservice being performed by the MVA, but neither station sent anyone. A lady who heard me on the telephone told me she had tried to complain to at least three MVA offices that day but was unable to find anyone to complain to. (Apparently, they were all in the cafeteria, because it was almost filled at 2 in the afternoon.) In despair, she said she went to the director's office and was told the director was at a training seminar in Annapolis.

It is obvious that no one is managing the MVA. It is hopelessly out of control. It is incapable of performing the necessary level of public serviceand is beyond repair as a state agency.

I recommend that the MVA be eliminated as a state agency and its function be taken over by private industry. This can be done by putting the entire operation out for bid to major private insurance companies such as Allstate, State-Farm, Nationwide Insurance, etc. An alternative is to break up the agency by functions such as tag renewals, new titles, driver's licenses,etc., and let a different private insurance company administer each function.

It is my opinion that transfer of the MVA function to a private insurance agency is the only way to eliminate the gross inefficiency that now exists there. Within a few years of operation by private industry, the MVA should evolve from the horrible monster that it now is to an efficient operation that would no longer be a disgraceto the state of Maryland.

TELL IT LIKE IT IS

From: Franc Miller

Ellicott City

Mr. Ed Moore's letter (Howard County Sun, Readers write, "Motorists' nightmare," April 8) contains some serious errors.I never opposed the construction of North Chatham Road 25 years ago,but I did, along with other neighbors, try to have it removed from the General Plan -- 18 years ago -- through the legislative process after the Awalt Co. was denied in their attempts to have the property rezoned to a higher density. That opposition was unanimous throughout the Chatham community, including the residents of Paulskirk Drive.

The Greenway Drive connection to Route 40 with its drive west, U-turn and then drive east traffic pattern existed long before the Awalt Co. began construction of the Chatham development. The residents of Valley Mede who use Greenway and Longview drives to enter and exit Route 40 do not seem to be bothered by the lack of a crossover in the median strip directly opposite the entrance to their community. Such a crossover with a traffic signal would alleviate most of the problems drivers experience exiting onto Route 40 from Greenway Drive, and obviously would cost a fraction of the amount the Department of Public Works and four members of the County Council will spend on the Chatham Road construction.

Why has a median crossover with a traffic lightbeen built in the last few weeks to accommodate the new Marketplace Shopping Center on Route 40 when a similar traffic pattern created bythe shopping center has existed a short distance away for over two decades at Route 40 and Greenway Drive? It would appear that the people in Valley Mede are willing to live with this inconvenience and accept the traffic, as we here in Chatham are willing to do. It is not "community" traffic that we object to but rather that traffic from other areas beyond our community and neighboring communities that would use it as an unrestricted thoroughfare to the businesses on Route 40.

However, a handful of Paulskirk Drive residents, the Department ofPublic Works and a majority of the County Council are afflicted withT.V.S. (Tunnel Vision Syndrome). This is an all-too-common disease that destroys thoughtful, rational judgment and replaces it with highly-parochial concerns.

I and my neighbors accept the present traffic levels in the community, but Mr. Moore and Mrs. Beltram want no community traffic on their street and accept the $1 million-plus price tag to remove it.

Let's tell it like it is, people!

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