John P. Yoder

06/25/2016

 

 

Ted Carlin is Barbara’s Carlin's son, great-grandson of John P Yoder

(Reprinted from The Oregonian website, www.OregonLive.com, 05/09/2010)

Retired teacher hoofing it from Newport to Ontario to push for higher speed limits

By The Associated Press May 09, 2010, 4:54PM

Don’t let the 15-mile-per-day pace fool you. Ted Carlin is walking for speed.

The 61-year-old resident of Terrebonne, formerly of Albany, is trekking on foot across Oregon, from Newport to Ontario. His goal is to draw attention to a fast-paced cause: raising the speed limit on Oregon highways.

“Every bone in my body hurts, but the walk’s going great,” Carlin said during a break last week near Eddyville. “Everybody’s been real receptive.”

Walking the walk Follow Ted Carlin's 456-mile walk at “Say No to 55 mph” blogCarlin is a retired teacher. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1977, then taught elementary physical education in Jefferson before teaching the children of U.S. military families in Germany and Italy for 25 years. He lived in Albany while teaching in Jefferson.

He grew used to driving without speed limits on the Autobahn in Germany and gets frustrated with what he feels is an arbitrary limit on secondary roads, particularly in central and eastern Oregon.

“There are roads nobody is on, and you have to go so slow,” he said.

Oregon is one of just five states, and the only one on the West Coast, with a 55 mph speed limit on its state highways and other limited-access, non-freeway roads.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has the authority to raise speed limits if authorized by the legislature. Lawmakers granted the right to boost interstate speeds in 2003, but ODOT declined.

Carlin returned to Oregon from Europe almost two years ago. An avid walker, he was already considering a cross-state hike to reconnect with his home territory. Then he got a speeding ticket.

The ticket prompted him to drive with his cruise control set at 55. The number of cars that piled up behind him, many of which would try to pass in unsafe areas, convinced him to use his planned walk to raise awareness for his new cause.

On May 3, he put on a fluorescent-green “Walk Across Oregon” vest and stepped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean to mark his western point of departure. His goal is to cover 456 miles at a rate of at least 15 miles per day, finishing at the Snake River on June 11.

His wife, Phyllis, drives the support car, a 1999 Chevrolet with a bike on top so she can pedal alongside Carlin from time to time.

When Carlin quits for the day, he marks his spot with an orange-painted rock bearing the initials “W.A.O.,” for Walk Across Oregon, and Phyllis drives him to a hotel, campground or friend’s home for the night. The next morning, she drives back to the rock and he hits the road again.

He talks to people along the way about his cause and urges them to contact their lawmakers. If someone listens, he figures the trip will have been a success.

In Lebanon on Saturday, Day 5 of the trek, a passer-by told Carlin he admired what he was doing. The walker thanked him politely as he advanced along Main Street toward Sweet Home.

Getting up close and personal with Oregon’s highway traffic hasn’t changed his mind about the cause, even though he acknowledges that some roads Highway 20 near Eddyville, for instance — probably shouldn’t allow traffic faster than 55.

“I just don’t think we need a blanket 55 in this state,” he said. “They need to consider where they are.”

-- Jennifer Moody, Albany Democrat-Herald