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Talent signs meant to address traffic complaints

TALENT — Signs will be placed on West Main Street at Second Street to prevent parked vehicles from blocking the vision of drivers turning onto the busy route that connects downtown with schools.

Talent’s Traffic Safety and Transportation Commission agreed this week to post signs at the intersection of Main and Second streets on the northeast and northwest corners. The signs will prohibit parking within 25 feet of the intersection and require vehicles that park closest to the corner to be no more than five feet tall.

“I have complained about that (intersection) ever since they changed North Main,” said Betty Welburn, who lives on Front Street. “With vegetation on the side, especially with a car parked, I have to pull into Main Street to see.”

The vision problems stem from unpaved parking areas that were created on the north side of West Main when it was improved about 10 years ago. Vans, pickups and other tall vehicles that park close to Main Street on Front and First and Second streets obstruct the vision of drivers turning onto Main Street.

The commission did not request signs at the intersection of First and Main streets after hearing residents say it is not a problem. Commissioners agreed to talk about the Front and Main street intersection when they meet Sept. 8.

Police Chief Mike Moran, a member of the commission, said he could find no record of accidents at the intersections. He noted that Medford and other cities restrict the height of vehicles parked near intersections where visibility is a problem.

Several people said driveways along the street are narrow, forcing vehicles to use the unpaved areas for parking.

“We should consider simple solutions,” said Heide Ratliff, who owns a home in the 200 block of West Main Street. “A lot of people need to park there that don’t have other options. I am sympathetic about the issue of visibility, but I believe when the traffic committee designed that road they left inlets for the parking.”

“Having had a near-miss more than once on North Main (at Second), I still don’t want the parking to go away,” said Teresa Cooke, a member of the commission and the City Council. “Trucks and vans and other vehicles there are causing problems.”

In a letter to the commission, Wendy Siporen wrote that speeding drivers add to the problem. Siporen, who often drives on North Second Street, wrote that she looks left, then right, then left again when turning, and she’s frequently surprised by speeding cars.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboom8929@charter.net.