Springfield Main Street dangerous to pedestrians.Byline: Diane Dietz The Register-Guard
A new law requiring drivers to give walkers a wider berth has exposed a dangerous pedestrian A pedestrian is a person travelling on foot, whether walking or running. In modern times, the term mostly refers to someone walking on a road or footpath, but this was not the case historically. History
Walking is the primary means of human locomotion. no-man's land No-Man's land Hand surgery A fanciful term for the fibrous sheath of the flexor tendons of the hand, specifically in the zone from the distal palmar crease to the proximal interphalangeal joint. See Rule of threes. in east Springfield.
The six-mile stretch of Main Street east of downtown is a wide-open, five-lane road. Traffic generally zips For the fastener, see .
For the Slovak province, see .
For the University of Akron athletic team, see .
Zips (also Siggies or Geeps along 8 mph over the speed limit in the 40 or 45 mph speed zones.
More than 25,000 cars per day in some stretches of the seven-mile street ferry drivers on Main Street between Franklin Boulevard and the McKenzie Highway.
And if any driver were to obey Obey can refer to:
a site at which one structure crosses another. , the result would be disastrous, Springfield police officer Brian Gay Joseph Brian Gay (born December 14, 1971) is an American professional golfer.
Gay was born in Fort Worth, Texas. He plays on the PGA Tour, and has never won a tournament, although he has finished second on two occasions. said.
"You're going to have a diesel truck coming right up your rear end," he said. "I've got a quandary about that."
Government officials, traffic engineers, police - and the pedestrians, including many low-income residents of the area - all recognize this car vs. pedestrian conflict in east Springfield.
The numbers are telling: With one, two or four pedestrian fatalities each year, Springfield has a pedestrian death rate roughly equal to Eugene, while Eugene has three times the population. Many of the dead drew their last breath on Main Street.
"Main Street is our killer street," Gay said.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is responsible for Main Street because it's a state highway. Dean Fuller, assistant manager for the Lane County ODOT ODOT Oregon Department of Transportation
ODOT Ohio Department Of Transportation
ODOT Oklahoma Department of Transportation region, said engineers are well aware of the fatalities.
"There is a lot of foot traffic out there. They're taking any break they can find and crossing accordingly," he said.
Laura Cook visits her storage unit, does her banking and gets her coffee - all around the 5000 block of Main Street. "Drivers are under the impression they're on a freeway and shouldn't have to stop," she said. "Cars have really taken over everything and they don't regard a pedestrian."
Despite the danger on Main Street, Springfield police have resisted applying for a state grant that would have bought officer overtime for pedestrian law enforcementred lights for its Main Street station.
Springfield police may enforce the pedestrian law on Centennial Boulevard, where high school students cross, or on Mohawk Boulevard in the shopping district, but drivers won't see much change in the police "attitude and demeanor The outward physical behavior and appearance of a person.
Demeanor is not merely what someone says but the manner in which it is said. Factors that contribute to an individual's demeanor include tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and carriage. " with regard to Main Street, Gay said.
Two other Oregon police agencies have made a similar decision about pedestrian law enforcement. After trying the state-sponsored traffic stings, Keizer and Woodburn decided to stop. "They were getting so much flak they didn't want to do it anymore," said Rick Waring Several people have had the name Waring:
"It depends on the political courage of the local government. When you give people citations, they're going to yell about it," he said.
On the flip side Flip side
In the context of general equities, opposite side to a proposition or position (buy, if sell is the proposition and vice versa). , when cities enforce, "People come out of the woodwork woodwork: see carpentry; furniture; intarsia; marquetry; veneer; wood carving. to thank the police for doing it," Waring said.
Communities with state highways running through them have been successful at getting ODOT to install pedestrian safety features, said Michael Ronkin, the agency's bicycle and pedestrian program manager.
In response to requests from a neighborhood or senior citizens group, the state has arrived with bulb-out curbs, median islands and improved illumination illumination, in art
illumination, in art, decoration of manuscripts and books with colored, gilded pictures, often referred to as miniatures (see miniature painting); historiated and decorated initials; and ornamental border designs. .
A new strategy is to move the vehicle stop line back 30 feet, so pedestrians can see around vans and trucks. "That dramatically opens up sight distance," Ronkin said.
But those projects require a traffic engineer to analyze the car and pedestrian patterns - and to weigh the safety measures safety measures,
n.pl actions (e.g., use of glasses, face masks) taken to protect patients and office personnel from such known hazards as particles and aerosols from high-speed rotary instruments, mercury vapor, radiation exposure, anesthetic and against the need to keep the highway moving steadily.
The traffic has got to flow, Waring said. "On the other hand there's a whole other group of people - walkers - who need to be able to use the transportation system, too."
Project planned for 2005
East Springfield walkers may get some relief from a state reconstruction project scheduled for 2005.
Planners foresee fore·see
tr.v. fore·saw , fore·seen , fore·see·ing, fore·sees
To see or know beforehand: foresaw the rapid increase in unemployment. making the lanes on that part of the road narrower and adding bicycle lanes. Drivers generally respond to narrow lanes by slowing down, Dean Fuller, the district transportation manager, said. "We may be able to get traffic to go 40 mph," he said.
Engineers foresee installing up to 10 median islands on Main Street, between 20th and 73rd streets. The purpose is to stop head-on collisions A head-on collision is one where the front ends of two ships, trains, planes or vehicles hit each other, as opposed to a side-collision or rear-end collision. Rail transport
With rail, a head-on collision often implies a collision on a single line railway. that occur as drivers, traveling in opposite directions, pull into the center turn lane at the same time, Fuller said.
A side effect is pedestrians will be able to pause on the median while crossing the street. "We're trying to give them refuge Refuge
See also Concealment.
cave where David hid from Saul. [O. T.: I Samuel 22:1]
(white friars) London monastery; former refuge for lawless characters. [Br. Hist. without creating more crosswalks per se," Fuller said.
A fix for the road for pedestrians is difficult for two reasons: Engineers have a hard time discerning dis·cern·ing
Exhibiting keen insight and good judgment; perceptive.
dis·cerning·ly adv. what block pedestrians are most likely to use, and businesses dislike center islands that stop drivers from making a left turn into their driveways, state officials said.
Strip development - a long string of small businesses along a major road - is a challenge for engineers. Pedestrians tend to dribble across the street at mid block, such as at places where a high school is across from a convenience store or a housing development is across from a park, rather than flow across at particular intersections.
"You have to have a concentration of activities of one type or another to justify a traffic engineering decision," Ronkin said.
But Cook, who travels Main Street on foot, said there's no mystery about where crosswalks on Main Street are needed. "They need a crosswalk at 50th real bad; they need one at 41st real bad. Several people have been hit - older people," she said.
Local government officials have to settle the tensions between business access and pedestrian safety, Ronkin said. On a road that heavily traveled, pedestrians are going to need 40- or 50-foot-long islands for a sense of bulk and protection.
"Businesses love that open five lane," he said. "We would prefer to have some raised medians in there like we do on Highway 99 north of Eugene," he said.
"But the business community always tries to oppose it, because they think access is going to be restricted. In some cases its true, and in some cases it's just a perception," he said. "That's a continuous tension."
DRIVERS BEWARE be·ware
v. be·wared, be·war·ing, be·wares
To be on guard against; be cautious of: "Beware the ides of March" Shakespeare.
Drivers must give pedestrians a wider berth under a new law that takes effect Jan. 1. The fine for violating the law - set by cities - is $135 in Eugene and $237 in Springfield.
Give them a lane: Drivers must stop and remained stopped when pedestrians are in an adjacent lane. That means traffic going both directions on a two-lane street must stop when a pedestrian is in an intersection. On a five-lane street, a driver in the far right lane must wait until a pedestrian crossing from the right enters the center turn lane before proceeding.
Source: The Oregon Legislature adopted the law during its 2003 session. Only three lawmakers in the 90-member body opposed the bill, and those on grounds that it would impede im·pede
tr.v. im·ped·ed, im·ped·ing, im·pedes
To retard or obstruct the progress of. See Synonyms at hinder1.
[Latin imped the flow of traffic.
Springfield police officer Brian Gay: "Now it's clear-cut. You shall stop when you're in the next lane. That's it, period. There's no gray area."
WALK TALK ON THE WEB
America Walks: National pedestrian rights coalition, www.americawalks.org
Perils for Pedestrians: www.pedestrians.org
New pedestrian law: www.leg.state.or.us/03orlaws/0278.pdf
CAR vs. PEDESTRIAN
Here's the numbers of dead and injured in·jure
tr.v. in·jured, in·jur·ing, in·jures
1. To cause physical harm to; hurt.
2. To cause damage to; impair.
3. for the five years leading up to 2002, which are the most recent figures available from the state Department of Transportation.
Place 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Springfield 0 1 1 2 4
Eugene 2 1 3 4 3
Lane County 5 4 8 9 8
State 67 47 51 60 48
Place 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Springfield 12 11 14 17 10
Eugene 31 25 28 21 33
Lane County 53 44 54 44 49
State 649 642 599 577 595
A pedestrian makes his way through four lanes of traffic and a turning lane on Main Street in Springfield.