West side of school zone does seem long
I was just reading your article about the "End School Zone" sign issue in the Upper Applegate when a thought came to me about a speed sign near Hedrick Middle School. I have always wondered why they would post an increase in speed only a quarter-block away from the school. If you are heading east on Jackson toward Hillcrest, at the end of the school you hit Sunrise, then just as you pass Sunrise you have a sign stating you can increase your speed to 30 mph. On the west end of the school the "School Zone" sign is much farther away than when you are going east.
What I am trying to say is why would they allow you to increase your speed so close to the school? I have never seen this anywhere else but there.
— Kathy M.
Reading your letter made it sound odd to me, too, Kathy, but after driving by the other day, I think I have a guess why the speed postings are done as they are. As you say, when going eastbound, the school speed zone ends just past the school, which I think is fine. You are after all, at that point, going away from the school.
The school zone when heading westbound seems to be disproportionately longer, but I believe that is because the school zone is not based on how far away the school proper is, but because it has to extend all the way to Pearl Street to encompass the track and football field. It just seems like you're a long way away from the school building, but you are still adjacent to the school grounds, so that's why that side of the school zone seems so long.
Dace Cochran, a patrol sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, writes a weekly Q&A column on police issues for the Mail Tribune. Have a question for him? Write to Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501, or e-mail email@example.com.