Make the McKenzie Connection!

Oregon's highway freeze is not about the weather

Letters to the Editor

The last segment of Oregon’s Interstate Highway system opened in 1982. One would think that since Oregon has a nationally prominent planning system, there would be efforts underway to plan for the next generation of great roads.

But that is not the case. Planners almost universally hate highways, so they have made sure that the Interstate system remains stagnant. Even where changes are being contemplated, such as a new I-5 bridge over the Columbia River, they are not designed to address growth.

The Interstate Bridge Replacement Project, now in its 26th year of planning, will not affect traffic congestion because it doesn’t add capacity. We will still have only two bridges over the Columbia River in the Portland region.

What we need is several new bridges, with at least one providing a direct, high-speed connection to HWY 26 on the west side. We need new bridges and highways for the same reasons that cities eventually need new streets – you can’t pack every urban activity into one small area.

The Oregon Transportation Commission is determined to impose highway tolls without providing motorists with new highways. This is the wrong approach. If the Commission wants public support, it should start planning for the new roads the public wants.

John A. Charles, President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute

Portland

Justice for Animals

Like other prejudicial “isms,” speciesism unjustly assigns an inferior status to animals, treating them as mere tools, food, fabric, or toys. So, for Justice for Animals Week (February 18-24), let’s pledge to go vegan.

Our fellow Earthlings have remarkable abilities. Cows display the ability to learn different tasks quickly, deduce the location of a hidden moving object, exhibit long-term memory, and recognize humans from one another. Experts in chicken behavior say that these birds can show empathy, count, anticipate upcoming events, and demonstrate willpower.

Rejecting speciesism means respecting animals and working to end their exploitation and abuse. A fantastic place to start is by going vegan. Embracing vegan foods benefits animals by reducing the demand for their meat, eggs, and milk. It also supports healthy human bodies and is the most powerful thing we can do to address the climate catastrophe.

Other animals are not objects that belong to us—they’re individuals with their interests, just like humans. For Justice for Animals Week and every day, let’s reject speciesism and go vegan. Check out peta.org for recipes and more.

Rebecca Libauskas

The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, VA

 

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