I have tried to contact officials at the California Department of Transportation several times, and every time I was assured someone would get back with me as soon as "they" were available.

No one has ever done so. I just have a few questions:

Why is Caltrans allowing the oleanders to die along Highway 58? Since thea freeway was put in 37 years ago, the oleanders have provided those of us who live next to the freeway an efficient sound barrier. They helped clear the air of traffic pollution and in the summer offered a wonderful color barrier. They are no longer being watered. Now they are approaching dead sticks and if someone threw a lit cigarette into them, we could have quite a fire.

Is Caltrans planning to replace the oleanders with a brick wall? I realize that this is central Bakersfield and the houses do not have the value of the Oaks but allowing the vegetation to die doesn't add to the appeal of the neighborhood. We deserve something between our homes and the freeway.

If Caltrans is not planning to replace the oleanders with a nice brick wall, what are the plans? Bakersfield and the people who live here, no matter which part of the city, do not need Caltrans to neglect the appearance of our freeways. This is the first impression that new people have of our city and right now I would give it a distinct thumbs down.

Jacqualine Att