As so often happens in today’s media world, the news we get can be confusing. The proposed Hwy 99 Rogue Valley corridor project presented to the Jackson County commissioners included several alternative suggestions, but on the idea of reducing the traffic lanes to two with a center turn lane and adding bicycle lanes caused a flurry of opinion.
ODOT said they would not do anything without the approval of the County, but the County Commissioners say it is an ODOT decision. Either way, we need to let both entities know how we feel about the project.
Contact information for ODOT is Ian K. Horlacher
Development Review Planner
email: Ian K. Horlacher@odot.state.or.us
Jackson County Commissioners:
Don Skundrick, Commissioner
Doug Breidenthal, Commissioner
John Rachor, Commissioner
John Vial, Jackson County Roads and Parks director had several opinions on the project.
Lack of left turn lanes to leave the Highway –
2. Lack of a center turn lane to enter the Highway –
3. Accidents – This section of highway has accident rates much higher than similar other facilities with many of these accidents result in life-changing injuries. In reviewing the data, left turns were a major cause of these crashes. These types of accidents will continue and are somewhat preventable with a center two-way left turn lane. As stewards of the highway system, ODOT can’t just turn a blind eye to these crashes but they should identify solutions and see if they are appropriate to implement.
4. Lack of bike lanes –
5. Lack of sidewalks –
Take a look at the ODOT website that has information about the proposals. Mr. Vial indicated he did not know the answers to the problems he sees on Hwy 99, but feels that it is necessary to do something to resolve the problems.
The recent fatal accident on Interstate 5 created dramatic proof why Hwy 99 should not be reduced in lanes. Traffic was diverted to Hwy 99; if it had fewer traffic lanes, the resulting congestion would have been much worse. There are other options involved in the project. Such important changes in the Rogue Valley should be made with careful consideration from everyone affected, which means all of the residents in the Valley!
It takes a few minutes to review the information and then let ODOT and the County know your opinions.