Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 17, 2007

2-way bridge traffic a recipe for tragedy

The article about the investigation of last week's tragic Bay Bridge crash had a statement from Marcus L. Brown, chief of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, that two-way traffic does not appear to have been a factor in the crash ("Two-way traffic likely not factor in bridge pileup," May 12).

The crash was not caused by two-way traffic, but two-way traffic made the potential for multiple fatalities much greater. If a trailer comes disengaged from a vehicle when all traffic is heading the same way, it's going to cause an accident, but if it can go into oncoming traffic when the traffic has no shoulder to swerve into, tragedy is almost certain to occur.

I appreciate the MdTA trying to do its best to make traveling across the bridge as efficient as possible, but with its current traffic pattern, we are sacrificing safety for speed.

As a frequent user of the bridge, I now bear right when approaching it eastbound to avoid the much more dangerous two-way traffic on the northern span. You cannot drive defensively when you have nowhere to go and a drunken driver, a trailer or someone asleep at the wheel comes at you from the other lane.

Mike Johnson

Easton

If doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time constitutes insanity, the practice of running two-way traffic on the westbound span of the Bay Bridge is truly insane ("Bridge pileup kills 3," May 11).

How many more people must be killed or seriously injured, and how many more hours-long traffic jams must be endured, before this practice is stopped?

Last week's disastrous accident has been blamed by the authorities on the separation of a trailer from a towing vehicle. Nonsense. This may have triggered the event, but the fact that there is no way to avoid such a minor incident is what turns it into a disaster. Without shoulders or other means to get out of the way of a collision or breakdown, the stage is set for mayhem.

If enough people are inconvenienced over time to create a furor over the congestion resulting from one-way traffic over both spans, maybe those in power will finally come to the only sensible conclusion: building a third span of three lanes to the south of the present eastbound span.

For those on Kent Island who fear worse conditions, this would in fact relieve congestion by getting traffic over the bridge more quickly.

I doubt that Kent Island was a very pretty place during last week's fiasco. Let's hope it was a wake-up call to all concerned.

Al DiCenso

Annapolis

No tears for Falwell, who promoted hate

There are no tears here for the passing of the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who for most of his lifetime spewed and promoted hate with a soft voice and an angelic smile on his face ("Minister led religious shift in '80s," May 16).

How many millions of people were given "God's" permission to hate homosexuals by Mr. Falwell? From his pulpit, he perpetuated, under the guise of compassion and faith, a deep, irrational prejudice that has time and again resulted in violence against people who want nothing more than to be left alone to lead their lives.

Jerry Falwell is dead. Would that his legacy of sugarcoated poison would pass so easily.

Robert P. Marino

Baltimore

Gun control offers no solution to crime

Enough is enough about gun control: It does not work ("U.S. gun-rights theory evolving," May 5).

Can we really believe that if we banned handguns, the public would be safer? Of course not. Criminals would not worry about breaking the law by carrying a handgun.

The argument for banning guns is a feel-good proposal to a growing epidemic.

The only solution that makes sense to me is to let law-abiding citizens have the option of carrying a concealed gun for protection. If criminals have to guess who is carrying a weapon to protect themselves, they would think twice about committing random crimes, including robbery, rape and murder.

Maryland needs to get tough on crime, instead of giving convicted felons their voting rights back ("Felons gain right to vote," April 25).

Let's get the criminals off the street by building bigger prisons to isolate the population that does not want to be part of a law-abiding society.

Scott Simmons

Bel Air

Put flags at half-staff for our fallen troops

Traveling across country a couple of weeks ago, I saw American flags flying at half-staff for the students who were killed at Virginia Tech.

Each time I saw a flag, I was reminded of the terrible tragedy of the deaths of these young people.

I propose that we leave the American flag at half-staff every day all over the country to remind ourselves of the tragedy of the more than 3,390 American men and women who have been killed and those who will be killed in Iraq.

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