Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 13, 2003

City must show cameras serve public safety

I have concerns about the city's plan to expand the number of red-light cameras ("City seeks to expand red-light cameras," April 9).

Red-light running has become a dangerous practice. But the red-light cameras cause their own kind of danger.

For example, I often cross the intersection of Northern Parkway at Falls Road, a camera-monitored corner. More than once, I have almost been rear-ended by fast-moving cars following closely as I braked to avoid entering the intersection during the yellow light and getting the ticket.

And I share the concern expressed by many that the cameras serve a revenue enhancement agenda rather than a safety agenda.

So I have a suggestion: post prominent signs well before all camera-monitored intersections, alerting drivers. This should decrease the incidence of red-light-running and also prove that city government is interested in safety and not cash.

I also suspect many drivers run red lights because our lights are so badly out of synchronization.

Baltimore once boasted excellent traffic flow along its roads. Would it be too much to hope the city will spend some of the camera revenue to upgrade our traffic signal synchronization?

Benjamin Feldman

Baltimore

Make violators pay the price

The state not only needs to add more red-light cameras, but it needs to install speed cameras near schools and on major highways ("Speed camera plans imperiled," April 9).

While we are at it, we should double or triple the current fines for traffic violations. This could be an excellent source of revenue for the state and it might send a message to all of the drivers who, every day, completely ignore the rules of the road.

Let the people who are breaking the law and causing a strain on police and other resources pay for the services.

To all of those who say that the cameras are a violation of privacy, I say: If you are not speeding, running red lights, passing stopped school buses or throwing trash out of your car windows, you have nothing to worry about.

Steve Brown

White Hall

Learn to handle two-party system

Michael Olesker's column criticizing the Ehrlich administration's performance during the 2003 legislative session freely uses words like "bungled" to describe the administration's performance ("Ehrlich took slots plan and fumbled it for a loss," April 8). But I feel it my duty to point out that Maryland's predominantly Democratic legislature behaved like the novices they are.

I use the word "novice" because the legislative majority has not, in 36 years, had to work with a governor of the opposition party. We call this "democracy in action" or the "two-party system." While common in many parts of the world, the citizens of Maryland are just now becoming familiar with it.

A two-party system leads to discussion, debate and, in many cases, compromise. Let me suggest that legislators spend their summer studying the democratic process, so that all parties can work together in the 2004 session.

Betsy Nessen Merrill

Jarrettsville

Let lawmakers share the pain

I've heard comments about coming budget cuts such as: "It's going to hurt" and "We all have to share the pain."

But what pain will our state legislators endure?

When the cuts are made to balance the budget, how much will be cut from each legislator's check?

They should set the example by being the first to feel the pain.

Judy Berlin

Baltimore

Glad to see the city enforce housing code

Living on a block that has houses with peeling paint, weeds growing in gutters and shutters falling apart, I am encouraged by the city's proactive housing code enforcement ("Residents angry after city orders them to make repairs on Remington houses," April 9).

Houses take continual maintenance to keep blight at bay. A neighborhood's pride is reflected in well-tended homes.

And while homeowners are fixing the cracks and the peeling paint, they should do a little extra - pick up the trash.

Susan Mannion

Baltimore

Compromise needed in memorial dispute

My heart was torn when I read the article about the proposed police memorial in Arcadia ("Proposed memorial divides a community," April 8).

On one hand, these officers died in the line of duty and a memorial would be grand. On the other, a community fears losing green space. As president of my neighborhood association, I understand (though I do not necessarily agree with) the community and church.

It appears that the two police widows backing the memorial are not flexible in their vision, yet they are asking others to be flexible. In matters of concern to communities and those who do not live in those same communities, each side must be willing to compromise or nothing gets done.

Perhaps a third party (such as the architectural firm) can arbitrate the dispute through its design and help both sides come to an agreement that will work for all concerned.

As for the mayor, perhaps he should sit this dispute out until ground-breaking day.

Karen Fitze

Columbia

Many employers use part-time workers

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