Making hiking, biking viable for transportationAnne...

Letters

July 04, 1999

Making hiking, biking viable for transportation

Anne Arundel County, in collaboration with the pedestrian/bicycle advocacy group One Less Car, has joined the movement that recognizes the vital importance of non-motorized modes of transportation.

From Portland, Oregon to Boulder, Colorado, Philadelphia to Montgomery County, quality of life and safety have improved and congestion has been reduced by pro-active smart transportation policies.

The new thinking in the non-motorized transportation movement is that the best place for walkers and bicyclists to travel to their destinations is via the existing network of roads and sidewalks.

This is to be distinguished from off-road hiker/biker trails. It would not be possible to build a second network of trails for walkers and bicyclists that would have the complexity, access and connectivity of the existing network of roads to or from homes to libraries, schools, shopping and work.

Currently, most county roads and walkways are not safe or inviting to walkers and bicyclists. People are effectively discouraged from getting to their destinations other than by using a car.

Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens is committed to changing this situation.

After a series of meetings with One Less Car, Ms. Owens; Tom Andrews, the county's Land-Use Officer, and Harvey Gold, senior transportation planner, have endorsed steps that will help the county.

Mr. Andrews and Mr. Gold have begun the process to bring in a consultant to guide the county. The county will hire a consultant with transportation planning expertise in pedestrian and bicycle issues.

The county will then select a qualified planning firm to write the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Transportation Plan. Some $75,000 is set aside for Phase I. It will include a review of codes, standards and ordinances that affect safe and efficient travel by walking and bicycling.

Rather than attempting to detail a plan for the entire county, Phase I could concentrate on a smaller region.

The Baltimore-Washington International Airport area would be a good choice because it is a state high-priority transportation and growth area.

One Less Car is a non-profit organization founded last January. Our mission is to promote a healthier economic and social climate by advancing bicycling and walking as viable modes of transportation and as integral parts of the overall transportation system.

Therese Quaranta, Paul Lebow, Edgewater

The writers are, respectively, president and vice president of One Less Car.

Uneven treatment for blacks, whites, GOP and Dems

In a recent article in The Sun regarding the flap over Alderman Herbert H. McMillan's loitering bill, writter Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan referred to "black leaders," such as Annapolis Housing Authority Executive Director Patricia Croslan and Lt. Robert Beans of the Annapolis Police Department.

These people are African-Americans but they are not "black leaders." Each is a professional in his or her field. Just as it would be inappropriate to refer to the publisher of The Sun as a "white leader," these professionals are not "black leaders," and don't claim to be.

It is fair to say "black leaders" may certainly be African-American elected officials, clergy, heads of major civil rights organizations, etc. I hope that future reporting corrects this.

On another note, The Sun reported that Trudi McGowan, a member of the Annapolis Board of Supervisors of Elections, has come under fire from the Annapolis Republican Central Committee for a letter that she wrote to a local newspaper criticizing a bill that Mr. McMillan had authored.

Again, The Sun failed to point out that Thomas Roskelly, the city of Annapolis' official spokesman and a Republican, has written numerous letters to the editor, often on political matters and has not been rebuked or reprimanded by anyone.

He is active in the Elephant Club, a local Republican Party affiliate. Had these facts been reported, then instead of Ms. McGowan appearing to have done something wrong, your readers would have recognized the attack on her as just crass partisan politics by Republicans.

I enjoy reading your paper, but expect better journalism.

David J. Harris, Annapolis

Pub Date: 7/04/99

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