February 25, 2007

ISSUE: -- Frustrated with the noise outside her apartment complex, Annapolis Alderwoman Julie M. Stankivic is drafting a bill that would subject city cabdrivers to fines for honking their horns to pick up passengers. Stankivic, who has filed eight complaints in five weeks against cabdrivers, said the city is being besieged by the disruption familiar to every city dweller. She prefers that the drivers use their cell phones to alert fares of their arrival. She declined to offer details of her legislation.

Alfred LaGasse, executive vice president of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association, a national organization based in Kensington, said he couldn't think of a city "in any place in the whole wide world" that has attempted to ban honking, excessive or otherwise.

"To pass a law that says you can't honk your horn if you are picking someone up, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me," he said. "Actually, it makes no sense to me."

Should the city fine cabdrivers for plying their trade this way?

Proposal to ban honking is nonsense

It is utter nonsense for Annapolis Alderwoman Julie M. Stankivic to draft a bill against "cabbie" honking in Annapolis.

Her time, taxpayer dollars and policing talent can be better spent resolving the issues of drive-by shootings, drug trafficking and mugging on the streets of Annapolis.

It is an unnecessary distraction for the City Council. Honking, in bad weather particularly, is a customer convenience and is better solved by the Chamber of Commerce and cab owners.

Perhaps they should consult Ms. Manners on proper honking etiquette.

Maryellen O. Brady Edgewater

Taxicab board with authority needed

Regarding taxicabs, please see my blog entry about this at www.annapoliscapital punishment.blogspot.com.

This is why the city needs a real taxicab board with some regulatory authority and regular review meetings.

Further, I think it is incumbent upon The Sun to check its facts (as claimed by a taxicab industry spokesperson) and see if the claim that there is no such law on the books anywhere is indeed correct.

Paul Foer Annapolis

Incessant horns disrupt sleep

I am 100 percent in support of Alderwoman Stankivic. Living in a condo, I am treated to the incessant horns of taxicabs in our parking lot at all hours of the night. On many Thursdays (a working night) they will honk away well after midnight with no respect for those of us trying to sleep.

Their efforts are often fruitless anyway, as residents in the back half of the building do not face the parking lot and cannot hear horns from inside. ...

The easy alternative would be to use cell phones or walk 10 yards to the intercom box and buzz the location of the person who phoned the cab (In neighborhoods, ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door would be a substitute).

I don't think this mild inconvenience is too much to ask of the cab companies and I am surprised at their unwillingness to cooperate with the community on this issue.

Joe Williams Annapolis

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