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Since you asked

Since you asked

Population sign change is up to city I've been driving to Jacksonville for years to watch shows at the Britt Festivals and have noticed the little sign at the city limits with the town's population. It seems like the numbers never changed, even though a big new residential development went in a few years ago. Who updates those signs?

' Michael D., Phoenix

It's up to city officials in Jacksonville (and all other Oregon cities) to tell you how many residents they have, Michael.

John Vial, regional manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation, says the state used to update those city-limit signs, but these days it's up to the individual cities to do the job.

Vial says ODOT stopped putting new population figures on the signs because it became too expensive and time-consuming.

Many cities wanted to retain signs at their boundaries that were done in that familiar style, so ODOT agreed to install Welcome to .... signs with each city's name, but no population figures.

Each city decides whether to include its population on the signs, Vial says, and when to update the numbers.

If you want to know how many people really live in Jacksonville ' or any other town ' you'll have to ask city officials, Michael, or consult the latest census figures and derive your own best guess.

Send questions to Since You Asked, Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to