Highway Safety

At a memorial service I attended recently for five earthquake victims killed on I-880 there was a little 3-year-old boy who was having a hard time sitting still. The grown-up assigned to keep him quiet did not have an easy task, and at one point the boy loudly said, "I wonder why?"

Too bad that letter writer Kenneth D. Hinsvark (Nov. 14) wasn't on hand to explain that the boy's mother was dead because "it is questionable whether public funds should be spent to remodel undamaged bridges and freeways to make them 'earthquake-proof.' "

Hinsvark suggests we instead spend money on "homeless, mentally disabled, physically disabled and the sick." Of course those are worthy causes, but making our bridges and freeways safe is equally important. Leaving them unreinforced when we know that lives will be lost when--not if--a major earthquake hits is criminal.

Retrofitting our highways is a sound investment, both for humane and economical reasons.


San Francisco

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