ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 13, 2005 IN THE BALTIMORE SUN
State must support transit alternatives
The Sun's editorial "Traffic pattern" (Nov. 13) accurately shows how seriously Marylanders take the state of our transportation system and lament the resulting deterioration of our quality of life. Yet government regularly responds to transportation issues with reruns of "solutions" that have led to our current quagmire of bigger funnels that force more cars into the same size hole.
Marylanders are clearly willing to look to innovative approaches that go beyond costly cookie-cutter road "improvements."
Higher gas prices over the past few months and the corresponding drop in gas consumption send a message that should not be ignored: Marylanders can and are willing to change our transportation behavior. Residents are looking for alternatives to cars, turning to public transportation, bicycling, walking or car-pooling.
It's time for our leaders to take advantage of this behavior change by encouraging us to break the car-only mold. The state must energetically promote transportation alternatives, including a comprehensive and reliable public transportation system with links between services, as well as better bicycling facilities.
The quality of life benefits would include less traffic and reduced emissions, as well as more opportunities for healthier living.
Marylanders have identified the transportation problem and demonstrated the need and desire for transportation alternatives.
Our leaders should show the same vision and ability to change to meet the transportation needs of our state.Paul Lebow
The writer is president of One Less Car, a statewide group advocating transportation alternatives to cars.