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Readers Respond

Baltimore crime: Inner Harbor safe, but not downtown

In the discussion of the downtown crime problem by Del. Pat McDonough and The Sun's Dan Rodricks, there is an important missing link ("Sailabration brings out the mobs," June 19). When the link is considered, one can see that they are both right! They are discussing two different areas.

Delegate McDonough is talking about downtown Baltimore and Mr. Rodricks is talking about the Inner Harbor. As someone who has lived in the central business district for the past six years, there is only one reason that I'm there — namely, the harbor. In the discussion of crime in the downtown, it is important to understand that the areas north of Pratt Street should not be lumped together with the harbor. The magnificent harborwalk, Harborplace Pavilions, the many stores, restaurants and bars, Pier 6 and the concert pavilion give the waterfront a life of its own. There is no significant crime problem along the section of the waterfront that stretches from Harborplace to Fells Point. The only problem that I am aware of along this stretch is the panhandling. The downtown is a different story, however.

I'm one of the many runners who populate the harborwalk during the daylight hours and at night, one of the many who feel completely safe stopping to listen to some live music, grabbing a drink somewhere, or just walking around and enjoying the breeze from the water on a warm evening. Things really get hopping on weekend nights, and the waterfront becomes the coolest place on the planet. The Sailabration was a great success and a tribute to the organizers and city planners, as well as the people of the city and state. Mr. Rodricks is spot on! On the north side of Pratt Street is a different story. As the weather gets hot, things always seem to get worse and the events pointed out by Mr. McDonough, become reality. Home-run by Mr. McDonough!

The Baltimore waterfront is probably the greatest in the country and a tribute to the people of this proud old city, but across the street there is an ugly reality that needs attention from our city leaders.

Gary Moyer, Baltimore

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