New connector is just good common sense

Editor,

Thank you for supporting a connector road between Houston and Race Roads. A gravel-road bypass around State Highway 525 will not do.

I was attending a meeting at Race Road Fire House several years ago when two helicopters landed on the parking lot to transport car-crash victims to Harbor View.

There were three victims but only two ambulances were available because the crashed vehicles blocked Highway 525. One ambulance went south and one north. The impaired driver died at Whidbey hospital. A helicopter transported a seriously injured man to Harborview in Seattle. I do not know if he and his wife survived.

It took several hours for crews to clear the vehicles off the road. The backup was huge, north and south. The accident happened midday on a Thursday, not at 5 p.m. on a Friday. A gravel road would not have been enough to keep the traffic flowing.

What would happen if a major disaster happened and there was only a gravel road? You don’t know? Well, I do.

I was cut off from my route home from work by the Painted Cave Fire in Santa Barbara, Calif. in June 1990. All communication was down. I stayed at a motel downtown and looked at the only TV station operating which showed my neighborhood as one in the fire zone. I finally got through by phone at midnight. We were all frantic with worry. When Highway 101 opened in the morning, I went home and helped my family evacuate.

Major disasters happen: earthquakes, slides, fires. Whidbey Island needs a good connector bypass.

Thank you, county commissioners and Public Works Director Bill Oakes.

Linda Thom

Coupeville