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Garfield safety plan on the table

The City of Ashland invites Southern Oregon University students and staff as well as members of the public to view the new safety improvements planned for the intersection of Siskiyou Boulevard and Garfield Street.

Former members of the Siskiyou Safety Ad Hoc Committee will be in the Stevenson Union foyer on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to present the draft plan and answer questions.

Other current and planned pedestrian safety improvements will also be discussed. These safety improvements were the culmination of months of discussion, research and review by the committee, City staff, contracted traffic engineers and interested public.

"After coming up with and reviewing many options, the Ad Hoc committee decided on a solution that will significantly improve pedestrian safety at the Garfield intersection by shortening the crosswalk, providing a pedestrian refuge in the center and adding additional lighting," said Matt Warshawsky, Siskiyou Safety Ad Hoc Committee Chair. "This solution should be simple and affordable for the City to implement. The committee also recommended a number of other smaller fixes such as reducing sign clutter and widening stop bars that the city staff can implement."

The Ad Hoc Committee was formed by Mayor John Morrison in April 2008 to research options to improve pedestrian safety on Siskiyou Boulevard adjacent to the university. This presentation will wrap up the committee's assigned tasks.

Project details

The committee-approved plan includes an additional diversion median which has several purposes including:

  • Providing a center refuge for pedestrians
  • Providing a traffic channelization for vehicles turning into the SOU parking lot
  • Providing a secure site upon which high mast luminaries and flashing beacons can be placed
  • Providing a means to discourage truck traffic from traveling diagonally across oncoming lanes of traffic to reach the Student Union loading docks

The plan also eliminates the 105-foot angled crosswalk which currently extends from the west side of Garfield Street across five lanes of Siskiyou Boulevard. Pedestrian traffic will be rerouted across Garfield Street on the north side of Siskiyou Boulevard to the northeast corner of the intersection, then across Siskiyou Boulevard, perpendicular to the traffic lanes. This realignment effectively shortens the Siskiyou crossing by 15 feet and intersects the proposed island for a mid-crossing refuge. The point of connection of the south side of Siskiyou Boulevard is less than 20feet from the previous crosswalk terminus and therefore requires very little out-of-direction travel by pedestrians.

Other safety measures to be installed at the crosswalk include:

  • Pedestrian-activated flashing beacons on both sides and in the center of the boulevard. The beacons and necessary hardware were purchased in anticipation of the redesign and are currently in stock.
  • Increased lighting at the crosswalk including a high mast lumanaire (cobra head) of the same design as the existing center median lighting. This lighting will be installed in the center median and almost directly over the crosswalk. Pedestrian scale lighting will also be installed on each side of the crosswalk.
  • The stop-bar marked on the pavement to indicate the stop position for vehicles approaching the crosswalk shall be increased from 12 inches wide to 24 inches wide to provide better visibility.