"As more people come to fish, more accidents will happen."

In regards to the people fishing along the rock embankment on the Columbia River east of the Chinook tunnel, it's only a matter of time until one of you gets killed. I believe few of you realize what a chance you are taking in being seriously injured there. If you insist on fishing along those banks though, do yourself a favor - don't bring your kids along with you and put them at risk, too. Is one stinking 45-inch sturgeon really worth it?

Trust me when I tell you that I know what I am talking about. I live in Ilwaco and work in Astoria, so I use that stretch of road twice a day, five days a week. Every year the crowd gets bigger until it has become so congested with parked vehicles and people that it even puts the traveling public who pay the taxes at risk. You are scared to death to drive through this gauntlet because you don't know when somebody is going to do something stupid. Keep this in mind. This stretch of highway is posted at 55 mph and is a legal passing zone, with speeds reaching higher than that on many occasions.

I implore the state of Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to step in and do something here before some family (fishing or driving) is devastated. After all, it is the taxpayers' property that is being used and in this case it is being overrun.

One more thing. I can't believe after reading the recent article in the paper concerning the injury to the 9-year-old boy that the only comment coming from WSDOT was that parking your vehicle along the highway shoulder is unsafe. Huh? How does standing or sitting in a chair with no escape route about 3- to 4-feet from the fog line with your back to oncoming traffic grab you. That's not unsafe? Let's get real here.

Gene Lilly


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