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Since You Asked

OK, I know there has been much discussion regarding the roundabout at Siskiyou Boulevard and Highland Drive in Medford. But please tell me why there is a sidewalk around the center of the roundabout. Thank you.

— Pamela G., Medford

Actually, we have a research analyst here at Since You Asked Headquarters who loves roundabout questions, so keep 'em coming.

Cory Crebbin, director of the Medford Public Works Department, aka The Roundabout People, says that's actually not a sidewalk. The ring around the circle is called a "truck apron," he said.

The back wheels of a large truck with trailer turn on a much tighter radius than the front wheels, so the "truck apron" provides a cushion. If the engineers had included enough pavement for the back wheels as part of the travel lane, drivers might think it's a multilane roundabout and interpret that to mean it's OK to pass, he said.

You didn't ask, but since we're on the subject: We've averaged one Since You Asked question a month since the roundabout was paved at the end of October, everything from whether one uses signals when leaving the roundabout (yes, it's not only polite, it's the law) to whether fire trucks were too big to negotiate the circle (no, they fit just fine).

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 youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.