Baltimore should have focused on clearing transit lines

February 15, 2010

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake struck a resonant chord when proclaiming "this city isn't clean until your street is clean," reassuring residents that she is sensitive to the need for thorough snow removal in all parts of the city.

That said, the state, through the MTA, could have partnered with the city to take immediate steps to ensure that the city was open, well before it was able to be completely clean. By focusing first on mass transit, clearing both rail lines and bus routes, the dual goal of keeping emergency routes open and cars off the street could have been met.

An important distinction between regions that can respond to snow emergencies and ones like Maryland lies in the responsiveness of their transit systems. With fully functioning mass transit, Baltimore could have been open well before it was possible to have it entirely clean.

Tom Wilcox, Baltimore

The writer is president of the Baltimore Community Foundation.

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