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MailTribune.com
  • Fix coming for troubled traffic signal at former Talent Wal-mart

    Driver's won't have to wait so long for light to change
  • TALENT — A fix is on the way for a traffic light that frustrates drivers who wait for long periods when there's little or no cross traffic by the former Walmart that closed 16 months ago.
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  • TALENT — A fix is on the way for a traffic light that frustrates drivers who wait for long periods when there's little or no cross traffic by the former Walmart that closed 16 months ago.
    West Valley View Road traffic is controlled by a signal still designed to accommodate the multitude of vehicles that used to visit the large retailer at the intersection about a quarter-mile west of Interstate 5.
    City officials and ODOT will make changes to the way the light and intersection function without incurring the cost of a traffic study.
    "We had concerns from some of the developments and subdivisions along that corridor that they have to sit at the light for too long for no reason," said City Manager Tom Corrigan.
    The city owns the signals but they are maintained by the Oregon Department of Transportation, an arrangement typical in many smaller cities, said city engineer Jeff Ballard.
    "It's never a good idea to have people continuously stop when there is the appearance that there isn't any traffic," said Ballard. "We will be changing the signal time for traffic coming on to Valley View."
    Vehicles come from a service station on the north side of the intersection and from electric vehicle manufacture Brammo, which purchased the building from Walmart.
    "It's about timing of the light to keep traffic moving," said Corrigan. "Brammo hasn't come up to full use yet."
    Lights controlling left-turn lanes on Valley View into Brammo and the service station will be removed, with drivers required to yield to through traffic.
    City workers must first re-stripe parts of the intersection and put in new turn arrows before ODOT will make the changes, Ballard said.
    Removing the signals altogether would have required a traffic study, and if higher traffic projections came up later, the city might have had to do a second study.
    "We had thought of discontinuing the use of the light, then bringing it back at a different time," said Corrigan. "We are just responding to citizens' request to keep everyone happy and the flow going."
    Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com.
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