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June 1, 2011

MDOT will emphasize photographers' rights

The Maryland Department of Transportation supports the decision by Maryland Transit Administration chief Ralign T. Wells to disavow police efforts to curb photographers' legal activities and spread the word though its other component agencies, a department spokesman said Wednesday.

MDOT spokesman Jack Cahalan said Secretary Beverly Swaim-Staley fully supports Wells' position that photography of MTA facilities and on legally open MTA property is not restricted.

Cahalan said certain exceptions apply to secure areas of the Port of Baltimore's terminals and to the tarmac at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. But generally, he said, members of the public can take photos from any spot they are legally permitted to be.

"Anyone can take whatever shots they want," Cahalan said.

Cahalan said the department will make sure that employees of all of its agencies are informed of its policies permitting photography.

"It's one of those things you can't repeat often enough. You have change-overs in personnel and clearly it's an issue that's worth restating," Cahalan said.

In addition to the MTA, the department oversees the Maryland Port Administration, the Maryland Aviation Administration, the Maryland Transportation Authority, the Motor Vehicle Administration and the State Highway Administration.

Posted by Michael Dresser at 11:43 AM | | Comments (1)


Its not simple photography its simply politics. There would be a rush to take credit for a thwarted attack or the uncovering of a plot. The precurcor to these attacks is surveillance. If I can sit in a station and take all of the pictures and video footage I want then claim I'm just a photographer if approached are these same politicians going to accept the blame for their short sighted thought process when it is more than that.

You all claim to be tough and concerned about Homeland Security and the safety of the riding public but cave instant and fail to support the same people you praise when there is an opportunity to take credit or smile for the cameras.

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About Michael Dresser
Michael Dresser has been an editor, reporter and columnist with The Sun longer than Baltimore's had a subway. He's covered retailing, telecommunications, state politics and wine. Since 2004, he's been The Sun's transportation writer. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife and travel companion, Cindy.

His Getting There column appears on Mondays. Mike's blog will be a forum for all who are interested in highways, transit and other transportation issues affecting Baltimore, Maryland and the region.

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