Extended turn lane planned at Hwy. 238, W. Main St.

Several years ago, the intersection of West Main Street and Highway 238 near the Bybee House was redesigned to ease confusion and the flow of traffic. However, I do not see this working since over the course of the last month I have witnessed the aftermath of two accidents at this intersection.

There are stop signs, yield signs in the area, and to people not familiar with the intersection it can be confusion. Are there any plans to make this a three-way stop as was done in the intersection of Highway 238 and Hanley Road?

— Maryl C., Jacksonville

The Oregon Department of Transportation is aware of a spike in crashes at this intersection over the past year, Maryl, and the agency is preparing a "cost-effective" fix in the near future, according to ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming.

This fix won't involve putting in a three-way stop or adding traffic lights. Instead, ODOT engineers believe extending the turn lane along the highway leading up to the turn into West Main will allow oncoming drivers a better view of traffic, Leaming said.

Drivers heading toward Jacksonville on the highway often don't see a car making a right turn onto West Main coming from Jacksonville until it is too late.

This is causing "T-bone" accidents at the intersection, Leaming said.

By extending the turn lane heading from the highway onto West Main, drivers will have more time to scope out the traffic situation in the intersection, Leaming said.

"The longer turn lane will give people coming Central Point time to discern if someone coming from Jacksonville is turning right or going through the intersection," Leaming said.

These "tweaks" to the intersection are planned for the spring, Leaming said.

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