Bus fare goes up, service remains poorThe MTA's monthly...

LETTERS

January 23, 1996

Bus fare goes up, service remains poor

The MTA's monthly pass rate increase to $54 may not seem to cost city riders much more than suburban riders, but to those of us who are on a tight budget, the new rate is unaffordable.

The infuriating part about using the transit system is the fact that the rates keep increasing, but the service is poor.

I've ridden buses that have broken down and left me stranded until the next scheduled bus arrives.

Some bus lines are habitually late, which means that when your bus comes, it's frequently overcrowded and there may not be enough room for you to get on.

Add to that the fact that the buses are so filthy that you get dirt smudges on your clothes, and many buses leak when it rains.

Also, many of the bus drivers are rude and become hostile when you ask them for directions.

Kimberly D. Miller

Baltimore

Civics exam for voters to raise standards

John A. Micklos' letter of Jan. 5, the theme of which is that voters need to evaluate candidates for public office, reminds me of an old notion.

That notion is that voting is truly a privilege -- something to be earned and of which to be proud.

Perhaps a civics and current events exam for voters would reinforce the notion of privilege and improve the quality of our politicians.

John E. Mullikin

Cambridge

Police can restrain without taking life

The inexcusable slaughter of the 64-year-old Homeland lady demands that someone speak out for her.

The Baltimore police department's explanation doesn't wash. We are asked to believe that two officers who, I assume, met departmental standards of physical conditioning, were unable to avoid an attack by an aging woman armed (horrors) with a steak knife.

Was there no alternative? Don't they carry espantoons anymore? Could she have been isolated, using the furniture at hand? Could they not retreat?

Or did their delicate egos demand that she die for having the effrontery to defy them?

An ordinary citizen would be standing trial for voluntary manslaughter.

This was clearly a case of the use of excessive force, of callously excusing a brutal act by citing ''imminent danger.''

Henry C. Amos

Baltimore

A simple metaphor for a complicated issue

Occasionally, very difficult, many-sided problems are best explained and eventually solved by the simplest metaphor.

Thanks to Peter A. Jay's Jan. 4 column, "A small experiment in housing policy," for giving both sides of the Baltimore County housing relocation battle just such a metaphor.

!Francis X. Gibbons Jr.

Abingdon

To find real comics, turn to Page 1

During the past few years some hard working artists of the comics page have decided to quit. We will miss the antics of cartoon characters in that section.

It seems the real comics now have been transferred to Page 1 -- those characters in the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

Robert Wagner

Baltimore

New city resident hits poor services

I am appalled at the lack of services provided to historically rich, economically depressed neighborhoods in Southwest Baltimore during the Blizzard of '96 and its aftermath.

I listened to George Balog declare that more than 75 percent of the city's streets and neighborhoods had been visited by snow removal crews. To my neighbors, it's clear that the 25 percent which were not served were in the quadrant of the city whose eastern border is Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

I moved to this neighborhood from Howard County approximately a year ago. The neglect which I've encountered recently, however, has shaken me out of my delight with this city, its attractions and its diversity.

I may reconsider moving back to Laurel. There I knew to expect no county services and to pay for the services I got from contractors, not exuberant little boys with shovels and brooms knocking on my door. (They made a greater difference along the walks in the neighborhood than all of Mr. Balog's crews on our streets).

The immediate situation on Hollins Street generally reflects the lack of services which our community receives, but oddly is inversely proportionate to our involvement as citizens of Baltimore.

To overcome the disuse of the police sub-station across from the Hollins Market and lack of police patrols in the Hollins Market/Union Square corridor, a group of homeowners organized a security service which a few of us subscribe to but which benefits us all. Since September, through our own payments to off-duty police officers, we have seen a decline in drug dealing and loitering.

Such initiative is not uncommon to my neighborhood. My neighbors (many of whom own businesses in the neighborhood) are attempting to renovate the Hollins Market Hall for classes TC and activities for ourselves and our children.

I am working with Soroptimist International of the Americas to re-establish a chapter of a professional women's service organization in the city at large, yet have found enough women to populate a chapter between here and the Mt. Clare Safeway.

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