We are down to the witching hour for the decision on the U.S. Highway 101 project in Seaside. There are so many people affected by this decision. It seems we should be voting on it, instead of leaving it up to the few people in charge. They don't seem to be listening to the people they are representing.
The meetings held to discuss the project had many more speaking against it than for it. There are many reasons to oppose the project. The Oregon Department of Transportation has just been touting the cosmetics.
It seems government money is more important than the well-being of the people it really affects, the small business owner. Downtown businesses may close down or severely loose profits.
Fewer travelers will stop when the highway is a mess for several years. They may choose to just go on down the road to more accessible places. We took a road trip to Montana last month and the highway through one town was torn up. There were very few places to turn and no signs directing us to where we wanted to go - so we just kept on going.
The piles of dirt along the road were growing grass, signaling they had been there a long time. In the middle of the day and work week, no one was working on this construction site. This could happen in Seaside, as construction usually goes longer than planned.
There isn't enough money to cover the project in the first place. When the final bill comes in for this project, they are going to bill Seaside with new bonds and taxes, causing cuts in other needed projects.
Why can't they just repair the potholes, fix the flood plain south of town, and add a turn lane and stoplight or two and call it good? We are a little town having visions of grandeur.
I walked around downtown and asked the business owners what they preferred. They were 32 against and six for the project. One of the six would benefit as he is in construction and wanted the work. I can understand, but will this project really go to a local business? I doubt it. We don't need to make some construction company rich and cause damage to so many trying to make a living.
We're talking about slow traffic a few weeks a year, a few hours of the day at that. Slow down and smell the roses. Enjoy our sweet little town for what it is. Don't put in a fast highway to just take people right on by. We want them to stop and enjoy our little town.
Gary and Marjorie Diebolt