More on Light RailRegarding your rather peevish reaction...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 05, 1994

More on Light Rail

Regarding your rather peevish reaction expressed in your editorial of May 18 to the complaints in the Linthicum/Shipley community over the increase in crime accompanying the light rail line, let me see if I have this correct: We shouldn't ban the light rail because of the criminal actions of a few miscreants, but we should ban guns?

Perhaps The Sun should sponsor the establishment of the National Light Rail Association (NLRA), the mantra of which would be "Light Rail doesn't cause crime, criminals cause crime" and "When Light Rail is outlawed, only outlaws will have light rail."

Of course, recent events on the light rail line and the falling ridership seem to indicate that the latter of these is already a reality.

dmund A. Klebe

Severn

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The Sun recently accused Anne Arundel County Councilman Ed Middlebrooks and Police Chief Robert Russell of "pandering to fear of crime" in responding to public concerns about the light rail system.

Anyone who has lived in this area for any time can tell you what light rail has brought to our neighborhoods. Crime around the light rail stops has increased by several thousand percent, according to police reports. A recent crackdown on crime in and around the light rail system, started by the same Chief Russell The Sun criticized, resulted in more than 40 arrests within a few days.

I grew up in Linthicum, I live in Glen Burnie, I participate in a community security patrol program and I can assure you that this crime crisis is real.

Burglaries, robberies, car break-ins, even knife attacks in broad daylight aren't figments of our imagination.

We should demand action now.

Every train on light rail should have uniformed personnel checking each and every passenger for tickets.

Security cameras should be placed at every light rail station.

Finally, the Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association is right: The Linthicum light rail stop should be closed.

There is no parking available, so very few local residents can and do use the station. There is also another station not one mile down the line.

The facts don't lie. As Chief Russell says, light rail has been "a pipeline for the evils of the inner city." It's a shame that a few bad apples have to spoil a good thing for everyone, but it's a crime when elected officials do nothing to stop it.

Sen. Michael Wagner and other elected officials want to expand the light rail system, without dealing with the serious problems that exist. We should demand changes now, supported by our representatives -- like Councilman Middlebrooks.

Representatives who won't stand up for us -- like Senator Wagner -- should be shown the door.

Michael W. Burns

Glen Burnie

Greased Pigskin?

I am appalled. My worst fears have been confirmed: Anne Arundel County government does not work for the people of Anne Arundel. The article in The Sun on May 15 has left me sickened.

I heard a number of county officials promise that no walls would be torn down for Jack Kent Cooke. Cooke would have to go through the same zoning ordeal as anyone else. Bob Dvorak, zoning officer for Anne Arundel, has agreed to cut the stadium's required number of parking spaces by one-quarter. This sounds like special treatment to me.

Numerous people have already complained that the Redskin traffic study allowed 3.5 people per car. (We all know that's a ridiculous assumption.) Now we are going to support this number by only making space for 30,000 cars for almost 80,000 seats? So when people actually drive up in two or three per car, where do those people park? Church parking lots? Store parking lots? (Oops, I guess I won't be able to buy my groceries those days. Will football fans shop there instead? Doubtful!) Perhaps these folks would like to park in my driveway?

Mr. Dvorak is quoted as saying that this exception can be made, "if it can be proven that the facility to be served is unique and would not in its day-to-day operation normally require a full complement of parking." This is not a Wal-mart that has to worry about the four days out of 365 before Christmas that its parking lot might not meet capacity. This is a stadium for the Redskins and every day that it is used for Redskins games it will be over its "full complement of parking." . . .

Jeanne B. Crews

Laurel

Naval Dairy Farm

As presidents of two community associations that are neighbors of the U.S. Naval Academy's Dairy Farm, we would like to take exception to your recent editorial entitled the "Naval Academy's Sacred Cow."

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