A bridge to nowhere

World Trade Center: Doesn't the state have anything better to do than worry about local namesake?

February 23, 2002

IT'S TIME FOR Maryland officials to explain why they think the Inner Harbor's World Trade Center is a particularly likely terrorist target - especially if it's going to cost the taxpayers a bundle to protect the building.

None of the more than 50 other U.S. cities with designated World Trade Centers - from Atlanta to Wilmington, Del. - is overreacting as badly. So what's the deal in Maryland?

Stepped-up security of vital buildings is only rational in the aftermath of September's terrorist attacks. But Maryland Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari's worry about waterborne assaults on the Inner Harbor's tallest structure is a little bizarre. And his idea to protect the 28-story landmark with an ugly V-shaped bridge is horrendous.

Mayor Martin O'Malley, to his credit, also thinks the idea is absurd. He suggested renaming the World Trade Center if its name makes it a security concern.

Mr. Porcari, though, opposes renaming because that would "give in to the threat of terrorism." Oh, really? So the terrorists win unless taxpayers build a concrete monster in one of the city's great open spaces?

What nonsense.

Mr. Porcari's hysterical proposal shouldn't get much beyond the idea stage in Annapolis.

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