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MailTribune.com
  • Traffic lights at busy crossing could create different woes

  • A few years ago, yet another change was made to Highway 238 where it turns toward West Main and/or continues on as Hanley Road. However, this intersection continues to be dangerous and accidents still occur, as witnessed July 3 when a truck and van collided and the van ended up on its side. People came rushing to help, which was quite impressive.
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  • A few years ago, yet another change was made to Highway 238 where it turns toward West Main and/or continues on as Hanley Road. However, this intersection continues to be dangerous and accidents still occur, as witnessed July 3 when a truck and van collided and the van ended up on its side. People came rushing to help, which was quite impressive.
    But the question is this: When will there be stop lights (not stop signs) installed so these accidents no longer happen?
    — Maryl C., Jacksonville
    Sorry, Maryl, we don't have good news for you: There are no plans to put traffic lights at that intersection.
    According to Gary Leaming, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation, crashes have been reduced at the intersection since it was updated several years ago.
    Those improvements included lengthening the eastbound Oregon 238 turn lane onto West Main Street. That gives drivers coming off of West Main or headed west on 238 a "better visual cue" whether the eastbound vehicle is turning onto West Main or continuing on 238, according to Leaming.
    In an email, Leaming said one of the reasons signals are not being considered at the location is that signals at rural, high-speed intersections lead to more rear-end crashes.
    In the July 3 accident you referred to, Oregon State Police reported the westbound Oregon 238 driver collided with an oncoming pickup truck as she made a left turn onto West Main. The teen driver told the state trooper she thought the oncoming pickup had to stop, but in fact she was required to yield to the oncoming truck. She was cited.
    "It's impossible to make all intersections safe because drivers are human," Leaming wrote. "We make mistakes."
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.
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