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home : letters : letters May 29, 2016

7/30/2013 12:38:00 PM
Letters to the Editor 07/31/2012

To the Editor:

In regards to the shared-use paved trails that are being marketed to the disabled, consider this:

The USFS claims this trail will be constructed to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards (EA p. 16). The USFS will ensure the AASHTO standards are met regarding trail surface, signs, grade and turning radius (EA p. 105). Shared-use paths are primarily designed for bicyclists and others for transportation purposes. According the AASHTO standards, a shared-use paved path must be a minimum 10 feet wide with a maximum grade of five percent.

Anyone who has hiked or biked near the proposed trail, or ridden along Highway 20, knows the grade often exceeds five percent. According to the AASHTO guidelines, shared paths with grades greater than five percent are undesirable and should not be developed. Steeper grades affect the safety of all users, especially those with disabilities. Disabled in wheeled devices cannot maintain control and handicapped pedestrians will experience greater difficulty on steeper slopes.

The current proposal has no provisions for handicapped bathrooms, parking with wheelchair van access, or visual markings (striping along the pathway) to aid the visually impaired. These improvements, necessary for the truly disabled, are costly to build and maintain. Perhaps that's why they are not included in the $2.8 million grant applications. Sections of this trail will not be accessible to the disabled. This explains why it's being endorsed by Cycle Oregon and not the National Access Board or any other group that advocates for the rights of the impaired.

It's condescending and disingenuous to market the proposed paved trails as a benefit to our disabled folks when the reality is otherwise. What's proposed is a bike trail for those fit enough to use it; those that support it should tell the truth!

Brenda Hartford


To the Editor:

Thanks for publishing your informative July 24 article "Aggressive dogs pose a threat."

On July 7, just outside the front door of my home in Crossroads, I experienced a similar unprovoked threatened attack from two unleashed dogs closely matching the description of those mentioned.

Thanks to your article I'll know to call the sheriff's office should I encounter them again.

I strongly encourage anyone in Crossroads who sees these dogs to speak with the owners. Based on my experience I concur with Ms. Bordonaro that they pose an imminent threat to the safety of local children and adults.

Winston Saunders


To the Editor:

The fire prevention film mentioned in a letter to the editor last week was done more recently than mentioned and it was produced by Bud Beechwood of KOIN-TV in Portland at the request of the Oregon Department of Forestry, not by the U. S. Forest Service.

ODF Fire Prevention Director Leo Wilson and I arranged for Bud to fly to Sisters in August of 1979 to do a program on fire prevention in Crossroads.

By coincidence, an arsonist decided to start two fires that same day, one that spread from the Cold Springs Cut-off Road into Tollgate. While Bud was filming the fire as it entered Tollgate, Leo calmly narrated the action by giving suggestions on how homeowners could have been better prepared for a widlifire.

After Bud presented his finished program on television, I arranged for the program to be copied on 16 mm film and later video for use by fire agencies. During the next year we sold over 75 copies of the film to fire agencies in the western United States, Canada, and several agencies in Europe. It was the first on-the-ground filming of an active wildfire burning into a forest subdivision.

Both Bud and Leo later received Smokey Bear awards from the national Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention Committee.

Jim Fisher


To the Editor:

Highway 20 is dangerous enough for motor vehicles crossing Barclay Drive, but it's almost suicidal for bicycles. Motor vehicles coming into Sisters are often exceeding the speed limit as are motor vehicles leaving Sisters. It is my fear that someday someone is going to be killed or seriously injured at that intersection.

Ray Gilden

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