Get unlimited digital access to $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Selfish roadies are blind to the benefits of mass transit

Recent letters by me-first, "I'm-not-helping-out" writers only show how poorly we educate people regarding their civic responsibilities ("High taxes and fees won't end until voters act," July 5). It takes taxes to run an economy such as ours, which is so dependent on functioning infrastructure — roads, bridges, utilities, water, sewer and schools.

But the short-sighted, self-interest do-nothing approach to local and state government just allows our infrastructure to crumble, our roads to fill with potholes and our bridges to fail under the stresses of ever increasing traffic congestion.

Such shortsightedness overlooks the simple fact that for every rider on light-rail and transit there is one less person on the highway. Just in Baltimore, one of every four commuters uses transit.

People who insist on driving their cars should be happy to invest in transit to get even more drivers off the roads. Yet they are so short-sighted that they fail to realize how seeing the bigger picture is really in their own self-interest.

Noxious emissions per transit rider are less than 10 percent those of car commuters. Again, gas drivers should be happy to contribute a tiny bit for transit to have cleaner air and get a quarter of the other drivers off the road.

In the selfish view of a car driver who would never take transit, light rail does not "pay for itself." But in the enlightened view of citizens with the broader view of our community, city and state, transit pays for itself several times over in reducing congestion, suburban sprawl and noxious emissions.

Bob Bruninga, Glen Burnie

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Put 'trust' back in Transportation Trust Fund [Letter]
    Put 'trust' back in Transportation Trust Fund [Letter]

    A proposed state constitutional amendment creating a firewall for the Transportation Trust Fund will be on the ballot this fall, and while the legislation is flawed, it deserves voter support. The legislation (Senate Bill 829 of 2013) received bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

  • Highway funding needed — and concrete, too [Letter]
    Highway funding needed — and concrete, too [Letter]

    In regard to the commentary by Brian Dolan ("Get riled up over roadways," July 14), I am in a similar position to Mr. Dolan of the Maryland Asphalt Association, as I work for the Maryland Ready Mix Concrete Association. I, of course, disagree with Mr. Dolan's recent comments disparaging...

  • Concrete is not the problem [Letter]
    Concrete is not the problem [Letter]

    I've known Brian Dolan for nearly 25 years, back to a time when I was the concrete engineer and he was an assistant district engineer, both for the Maryland State Highway Administration. As old colleagues, I wasn't surprised to see his informative commentary on the state of our roads ("Get...

  • America is squandering a precious asset: its highways [Letter]
    America is squandering a precious asset: its highways [Letter]

    Brian Dolan's article, "Get riled up over roadways" (July 14), was extremely well written. Message received loud and clear. We need to be reminded of our crumbling infrastructure as we begin to accept it as the norm.

  • A temporary patch [Editorial]
    A temporary patch [Editorial]

    Our view: With the Highway Trust Fund within weeks of bankruptcy, Congress looks to kick the transportation can down the road

  • Gas tax is no solution [Letter]
    Gas tax is no solution [Letter]

    As usual, The Sun missed the real story — on purpose, I might add ("Pumping up gas prices," July 1). Gas prices have doubled since your savior took office in 2009. President Barack Obama has done almost nothing to make the U.S. energy independent (for example, no nuclear plants have...