Safety steps taken during highway workIn a Nov. 14 letter...

LETTERS

November 25, 1996

Safety steps taken during highway work

In a Nov. 14 letter to the editor ("Beltway construction creates needless perils"), John Adams expressed concern about the work zone for the Baltimore Beltway widening project. I agree, work zones can be dangerous, especially at night when visibility is limited for drivers and workers.

The State Highway Administration limits lane closures for the Baltimore Beltway widening project to nighttime so fewer motorists are inconvenienced. The warning signs for lane closures comply with national standards for construction work zones. SHA uses special, extra-reflective construction signing along the heavily traveled highway.

In addition, ''Trucks Entering Highway'' signs are in place to warn drivers about trucks entering or exiting the work zone in the ''high speed'' left lane. The median work will continue through spring, at which time traffic will be shifted and work will continue along the highway shoulders.

Yellow warning lights are illuminated on parked vehicles in the work area to prevent collisions with moving machinery and vehicles. We make every effort to reduce the number of vehicles in the work zone by transporting workers to the site and providing alternate worker access.

The Baltimore Beltway widening project is difficult and challenging because we are improving the highway in the midst of ongoing heavy traffic. SHA will continue to monitor the work zone and make improvements where possible. In addition, SHA makes a concerted effort to inform drivers about the ongoing construction activities through public meetings, travelers advisory radio messages, a project brochure and updates, print and broadcast media interviews and a project hot line.

SHA encourages motorists to use extra caution and reduce speed when traveling through work zones. Maryland state police have increased enforcement along I-695 and remind motorists that speeding fines are doubled in work zones.

We thank Mr. Adams for his comments and all motorists for their patience during construction of this project and elsewhere throughout Maryland. Our customers can receive a beltway project brochure by calling 1-800-323-MSHA or (410) 321-3600. Please remember to always buckle up.

Parker F. Williams

Baltimore

The writer is administrator of the Maryland State Highway Administration.

Only public schools deserve tax money

The fight for private school support has escalated recently. Proponents argue they are entitled to the same benefits and rights as parents of public school students.

They have the same benefits. Their children are entitled to a free public education.

If, however, their choice is a parochial, Lutheran, Jewish or other private education, that is their option and should be a private matter.

I firmly believe tax money should support only the public schools. And don't skimp on the funds. These schools should be the best.

Mary M. Atkinson

Baltimore

Need rational debate on drug reform

That was a most disingenuous column by Jim and Ed Gogek (Nov. 20, "Legalize drugs and wait for a bad trip").

After raising the specter of drug reform sparked by the passage of medical marijuana initiatives, they present a litany of supposed disasters that would come with the "legalization" (whatever that means) of drugs, buttressed by studies that had nothing to do with marijuana per se.

Our country will never be able to formulate a sane drug policy until it considers each drug separately. Every drug has a unique potential for pleasure, harm and abuse. We need clarity and rational thinking about drug reform, not articles such as this that serve only to muddy the waters.

Terry Dalton

Hadley Towson

'Homicide' is good for city's self-image

Surprise. ''Homicide: Life on the Street'' made the front page of the Real Estate section of The Sunday Sun (Nov. 17).

When one stops to think of the many benefits this superb TV drama gives to our city, it is indeed cause for elation.

For four years, cast and crew have bought or rented homes, sent their kids to school, shopped, played and have benefited our city's economy. Not to mention the numerous jobs created for our citizens.

Fridays on Channel 11 at 10 p.m., a superb ensemble cast and inventive, sensitive writers and directors give us reason to be proud.

''Homicide'' is a rare piece of theater on a smaller stage. It gives an honest look at city life and makes us sit up and take notice and hopefully put something back.

Joan Weiskittel Denny

Lutherville

Godefroy had big designs on Baltimore

Edward Gunts' article in the Maryland section Nov. 14 was a most interesting account of the question surrounding the builder of Davidge Hall at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. It stirred up a number of memories (institutional if not personal) about the career of Maximilian Godefroy.

Godefroy, born in France about 1765, worked as a civil engineer until he was exiled during the Napoleonic era. In need of a job, he brought a letter of recommendation from a Philadelphia artist named D. Volozan.

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