Floyd Prozanski, Scott Rohter, the McKenzie Hwy and the Truth
By Scott Rohter, Candidate for State Senator
October 26th, 2018
At a recent Eugene City Club debate my opponent Floyd Prozanski accused me of several things including basing my campaign for State Senator largely on the fact that there are no rumble strips or fog line reflectors on the entire length of the McKenzie Highway. He went on to say that since ODOT will be correcting that deficiency in the Fall of 2019 there is really no reason for me to go forward with my campaign. Unfortunately like most politicians our current State Senator struggles with the truth so some clarification is in order.
Since Floyd Prozanski was first elected to the Oregon Legislature there have been over 9,000 accidents, 7,000 injuries and at least 200 deaths on the McKenzie Highway. One of the main reasons I am running against him is to end the slaughter along this highway, by providing motorists with the basic safety features found along most major highways, but that is not the ONLY reason I am running for office. Floyd and I disagree on many other issues, however the most important job of any public official is, and it should be public safety.
Mr. Prozanski claims that ODOT is going to begin a project next year that will include putting fog line reflectors and rumble strips along the McKenzie Highway. If that is true then its about time, but why has it taken so long.. Why was it necessary for 200 people to die before the government did the right thing? You will have to ask Mr. Prozanski because he is on the Legislative Task Force for Public Safety.
Before I started my campaign I spoke with ODOT officials and they told me there were actually no plans to put fog line reflectors and rumble strips along the McKenzie Hwy. That was about four months ago. They told me that the highway was already safe and “people just needed to drive the conditions of the road”….
If my campaign for safer highways has prompted ODOT to re-examine its position vis a vis n the McKenzie Highway then all I can say is good, but it is no thanks to Floyd Prozanski and its about time.
Here is the truth.. Floyd Prozanski has been totally unconcerned about this major public safety issue for over two decades while over 200 people have lost their lives. That is why he should not be rewarded with another four years in Salem as your State Senator.
Furthermore if those upgrades are going to get done the way they should be done and not the way they have been done on Highway 58 or the way they are being done right now along Highway 126 west of Eugene it will NOT be because Senator Prozanski is such a strong advocate for highway safety. His legislative career in Salem is a testimony to that. The improvements will only get done the way they should be done if you elect me to be your next State Senator. I drive this highway every night, and I will make sure that the safety upgrades get done the way they should be done.
My efforts to improve the highway safety have widespread support throughout the community. My signs are popping up on private property all along the highway calling for a safer road. I am sure this hasn’t escaped the attention of ODOT and Senator Prozanski. Being the professional politician he is Floyd has resorted to a page right out of the national Democratic playbook. He has begun resorting to personal attacks, but the question still remains…
Why has Senator Prozanski done nothing about the horrendous safety record of the McKenzie Highway during the entire 23 years he has been in the Oregon Legislature? I’d like to know the answer.
Let me offer a plausible explanation… The fact is that Senator Prozanski is an avid bicyclist. He would like to see the entire McKenzie Highway, turned into a bikeway, not just the little section north and east of McKenzie Bridge as it is right now. Since there is only about 12 to 15 inches of asphalt on the other side of the fog lines, and rumble strips would take up most of that space Senator Prozanski has been opposed to putting rumble strips along the highway. That explains why they are not there. It also explains why he will not push for them to be put there in the future. The only way you can be sure that rumble strips will be cut into the edge of the highway is if I you elect me to be your next State Senator.
Currently ODOT is working on Highway 126 West. The rumble strips end about three miles west of Veneta… If you notice… there are no rumble strips on the highway as it crosses Fern Ridge Reservoir. This is so as not to disturb the falcons’ at night. All the rumble strips are also modified to be softer and quieter so as to be considerate of the rest of the wildlife and the people who live along the highway… Never mind the driver who is fast asleep at the wheel… If he doesn’t hear the rumble strips that’s his tough luck…
I would just like to know who makes these decisions. You don’t have to look any farther than Floyd Prozanski, and when the next tanker truck loaded with gasoline, diesel fuel, toxic chemicals, or hazardous waste crashes and winds up in the McKenzie River… the drinking water for 200,000 people, YOUR DRINKING WATER will be seriously impacted for a very long time…. a lot longer than EWEB’s backup well water supply can realistically be expected to last. What are you going to do then? When it happens you can lay the blame right on Senator Prozanski’s doorstep.