That was some nice spin put out from Annapolis regarding the emergency closing of the entire Baltimore Metro subway (“Baltimore Metro shutdown frustrates riders, politicians,” Feb. 13). The article quotes Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan as saying: “We were scheduled to do the maintenance, but in the safety check, they found out it was worse than they expected. And we don’t want to put anybody’s lives in danger, so we moved it up and said we have to do it immediately.”
The only issue is, once government officials were aware of the dangers, they had to close the system, or face tremendous liability costs if an incident occurred. That was the case in the late 1980s when the Thomas Johnson bridge in Southern Maryland was unexpectedly closed for emergency repairs, and it is the case with the Metro. The big difference is then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer convened a meeting of local officials and businesses — the night the bridge was closed — to develop and implement ways to minimize the inconvenience to commuters. Those plans were in operation the next morning.
Our current governor had an entire weekend to come up with a plan to minimize commuting headaches for Baltimore residents. Yet instead of following in the footsteps of a former governor, Mr. Hogan — who is entering the last of his four-year term — whines about previous administrations causing this problem with Metro. And let’s not forget this is the same Governor Hogan who rejected hundreds of millions of all-but-approved federal dollars to construct a Baltimore-area light rail line, and instead implemented a shaky express bus system — while taking away traffic lanes from motorists on some of the city’s most congested downtown streets.
Meanwhile, come the first rush hour after the Metro system closing was announced, people were stranded at bus stops and unaware of alternatives.
John Hammond, Baltimore
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