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Letters, July 29

A mockery of the Wild and Scenic act

Senate Bill 192 makes a mockery of the revered Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which was designed to protect rivers “with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values in free flowing condition.”

Apparently Rich Fairbanks (letter, Sunday paper) has not visited the proposed sites, as less than 15% of the sites are even rivers. The one I visited was a dry gulch in an overstocked forest with lots of dead wood around. The pictures I have seen of other sites have a guy standing with a foot on either side of a small stream (with a yard stick measure) that by no stretch of the imagination could be called a river much less wild and scenic.

The bill designates 4,700 miles of sites in addition to the current Wild and Scenic Rivers. Rich Fairbanks and others who support this bill have not visited the sites and therefore have not seen the dried-up gulches, creeks or streams designated by this bill. I strongly urge agencies and Congress to give the same rigorous study to determine which qualify instead of this sweeping legislation that makes a mockery of our revered wild and scenic rivers in Oregon.

Sue Kupillas, former Jackson County commissioner

Medford

Lawsuit led to curb ramp project

The construction of curb ramps that will begin in Eagle Point over the next three weeks is a result of a landmark settlement agreement — the largest commitment to accessible transportation in state history — approved by a judge four years ago. The agreement was reached between the Oregon Department of Transportation, eight individuals with mobility and visual disabilities, the Association of Oregon Centers for Independent Living and Disability Rights Oregon.

ODOT must install missing curb ramps, fix substandard ramps and upgrade crossing signals across the entire state highway system as a requirement of the settlement agreement.

A 2017 ODOT survey found that 97% of curb ramps on state roads and highways across Oregon violate Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and 10 Oregon counties did not have a single, fully compliant and accessible ramp.

If you know of a missing or inaccessible curb ramp, report problems to ODOT using its “ADA Accessibility Requests” complaint form:

You can use the “Ask ODOT” form for complaints not covered by the settlement agreement, but within ODOT’s control — such as railroad crossings without barriers or sidewalk obstacles that make it impossible for you to reach the curb ramp or use the signal.

Tom Stenson, deputy legal director

Disability Rights Oregon