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Maryland must grow its cities [Letter]

Executive BranchGovernmentWater PollutionEnvironmental Pollution

Kudos to Richard Hall for his commentary entitled "Redevelop Md.'s future" (June 26). It echoes what I have been saying for the past 25 years or so. Better to increase the infill development in places where there is already infrastructure in place than continue to extend development farther and farther away from existing population centers.

Stated simply, the goal should be to increase the population of existing population centers. That may be complex to implement and achieve but nonetheless desirable and attainable. Not only does achieving this goal result in the benefits that Mr. Hall mentions of decreasing the use of pristine farm and forest land, it accomplishes other goals. It will reduce air and water pollution by using less land per person. It reduces car travel in the larger sense thus reducing air pollution to say nothing of lessening the frazzled nerves of long commuters. In addition, by adding more people to our population centers, it adds more people to man the oars of improving our education system and reduce crime in those population centers. More working middle class people in these population centers will at the very least statistically improve the results in these two areas.

This effort does not necessarily increase the budget, as money to aid in achieving this goal already exists and needs only to be redirected. The missing element is that Maryland's governor needs to make this the highest priority by requiring just about every decision to be filtered through the prime question: Does it increase the population of our population centers?

Finally, this effort needs to be addressed regionally. The problems of air and water pollution and crime and education don't know that there is a boundary at the city line. They affect everyone in the region. Only the governor can address this. The candidates for governor should pledge to set up a task force on land use in the region to examine and determine the best way to simply increase the population of the population centers.

Mel Mintz, Pikesville

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