Paradoxically, research shows that widening highways does not actually reduce congestion, but instead creates “induced demand” and even more traffic. This means more pollution, more vehicle miles traveled, and more accidents and costs while the community is responsible for a massive tax bill.
The planned widening of Highway 126 between Eugene and Veneta is a waste of public resources. As a hunter, hiker, birdwatcher and recreationist who regularly uses the land on either side of Hwy 126 between Eugene and Veneta, I have seen many species, including black bear, deer, bobcat, cougar and countless others. Many end up as roadkill, as there are only one or two small bridges that provide safe passage for wildlife.
Increased traffic on Hwy 126 will decrease the viability of these animal populations and lead to more collisions. I urge ODOT to halt this unnecessary project or redirect resources into better public transportations, a bike path without additional automobile lanes and wildlife corridors to enhance safety.
Comments are open on the ODOT website through Jan. 31: Oregon.gov/odot/projects/pages/project-details.aspx?project=21231