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The JFX massively subsidized white flight from Baltimore

CommutingJones Falls Expressway

I wouldn't wax rhapsodic about the half centennial of the Jones Falls Expressway ("City's six-lane Main Street at 50," Dec. 16). It was the evacuation route for white flight at a time when the strictures of Jim Crow were in retreat under the Warren Court.

How else to explain that the planned "transit line" down the center of the road was never built? Coupled with the dismantling of commuter rail and streetcars around the same time, the JFX could guarantee in and out privileges to white suburbanites but left urban blacks without cars with no way out.

The irony is that the JFX half centennial observations are coming at a time when The Sun gets floridly paranoid letters deriding PlanMaryland as a socialist plot engendered by Saul Alinsky (who has been dead for almost 40 years) and his sycophantic minions in the O'Malley and Obama administrations.

Yet you may rest assured that the expense, dislocation and construction of the JFX was a bombastically socialistic venture whose effects dwarf Plan Maryland at its most sinister.

Could it be that keeping public transit and African-Americans out of Carroll County made socialized roads not always such a bad thing? Nobody complained that the Intercounty Connector was out-of-control socialized government spending.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr., Baltimore

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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