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Walking downtown is not dangerous [Letter]

I went out of town for a few days, and look what happened. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake takes a walk to show that it is safe at the Inner Harbor ("Rawlings-Blake, Batts stroll to show safe harbor," June 4). It appears that her well-intentioned display has caused a firestorm of comments. I count at least eight letters to the editor so far, with all writers making snarky comments about her security patrol. The majority of the letter writers are from the suburbs.

Let's take a deep breath, folks, and think this through. The mayor had a security detail because she always travels with a security detail, even when she is out of town. Both Martin O'Malley and Sheila Dixon had security details. I would see them at the gym when I worked out. Now, we can have a separate discussion about the necessity of having such a large security detail, especially when most other big city mayors do not. The more important point is that the recent letters implied that living and walking downtown is inherently unsafe. Let's leave behind our emotions for a moment and look at statistics.

My chances of being shot and killed in Baltimore are slim to none. I'm not a buyer, seller, or user of illegal drugs. In contrast, my chances of being killed on a Maryland highway are alarmingly high. In 2013, 651 people were killed due to motor vehicle accidents in the state of Maryland. Meanwhile, 115 people in the U.S. die in motor vehicle accidents each day. Traffic crashes are the number one killer of people between the ages of 4 and 34. Looking at the numbers it is much safer for me to live and walk downtown, as I have for the past 30 years, and do minimal driving. My suburban friends are taking a much greater risk, and there's no security detail to protect you from that.

Carol Baker, Baltimore

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Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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