I support the Highway 101 improvement project because we have a serious traffic problem and we need a viable solution to solve it. Most people acknowledge the present highway is not adequate for the number of cars, trucks, bikes and pedestrians it has to accommodate. The difference among us apparently lies in the number of days, weeks or months we perceive the problem exists. Whatever your perception may be, it will inevitably grow worse as our state, county and visitor populations increase. The opportunity to solve this problem is before us today.

Some individuals may think they have the answer, but in reality, no one person has the expertise to understand the hundreds of parameters that must be followed to engineer and construct a new highway. I am confident that the team of experienced professionals who are designing the project have developed the best solution for our community.

They understand the mandates set by the federal and state governments, the funding sources and deadlines associated with them, the fire and safety guidelines, the utility and beautification requirements of the city and state, and the environmental impacts on fish habitats, water quality and wetlands. This project improves traffic and pedestrian mobility while ensuring safety, and it will meet the needs of the community for many years to come.

As a member of the Seaside City Council, I assure you we will continue to oversee the design team's deliberations to make certain our citizens' concerns are heard. I believe this has been accomplished over the past year with the efforts of Mayor Larson, Councilor Larry Haller and city officials who are members of the project design team. They have invited and encouraged citizens' questions and suggestions, and have willingly met with individuals seeking answers.

If we don't act now, it will negatively affect our livability and the economic health of our community. As a part of Oregon's network of roads, it is a critical link to the rest of the county, both north and south. From residents to visitors, from delivery people to loggers, from medics to firefighters, from employees to employers, we will all benefit from a better highway. We can't let this opportunity pass us by. Vote "yes" on 101!