Siskiyou Summit could sure use about three or four video cameras on each side of the Interstate 5 summit. They would pay for themselves in one day of littering fines mailed out to trucking companies, especially if fines were raised to about $2,000 or $2,500 for the urine-filled jugs they throw out.
The summit could also use a couple of big trash containers on each side, and maybe they would use them rather than throw the trash on the ground. What do you think ODOT would say to that idea?
— Jim S., Medford
Sounds like you've given this a lot of thought, Jim. But we're not going to tell you what we think the Oregon Department of Transportation would say to that idea. We're going to let them tell you.
OK, actually, it's not a them, it's a him: ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming, who told us that, for starters, the department does not use traffic cameras as surveillance tools. The video feeds on www.tripcheck.com are available to the public to check out road conditions and monitor traffic operations.
Adding three or four video cameras could be a challenge, but beyond that, you'd need people to monitor them at all hours of the day to catch trash scofflaws.
Leaming also pointed out that the Oregon State Police, not ODOT, is empowered to enforce litter laws.
As to your Dumpster idea, Leaming said they pay about $500 a month for one at the Ashland maintenance office, so it's not an inexpensive proposition.
"With tight budgets, those would add up," Leaming said in an email.
ODOT does have a litter patrol that picks up trash along I-5, but not on the Siskiyou Summit, as highway conditions are too hazardous. Local corrections crews sometimes do litter clean up, but it really boils down to maintenance workers doing the dirty work and picking up the unwelcome jugs you described. (And, by the way, ewwww.)
If you want more information about ODOT's Adopt a Highway program, you can visit www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/OOM and click on the link.
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