Due to the large number of concerns received, this interim bulletin is being sent out to try to explain some of the ramifications of the recent midweek traffic reconfiguration. As with any major change, it takes awhile to:
- work out all of the bugs, and
- get accustomed to it.
The new signage and signals have caused a fair amount of confusion with vehicles running the new red light on First and Main as some westbound vehicles turn north round the corner where there used to be a free right. Traffic that is familiar with the intersection is trying to continue to use First Street between Pacific & Main heading west as a 3-lane as prior to construction. There are now 2 lanes there: 1 right turn only lane and 1 straight through w/left turn arrow. Drivers also can be frustrated by the lack of free movement as they wait for non-turning traffic in the wrong lane to clear the intersection.
There have been a couple of signage changes attempted to try to clarify this and once striping is in place (OSBC is waiting for a dry day before painting) that may make traffic patterns more apparent. There are still some issues with the existing signs on the sign bridge, which may lead a driver to believe there are 3 lanes, but those are being examined with ODOT now.
The intersection of First and 101 is just one example from all of the temporary changes that have been put in place; issues such as installing a “No Left Turn” symbol on Main & Front St. on northbound 101 have been remedied, and others are in process. Working out the turning requirements for business accesses may take some additional fine tuning.
There is still the frustration that comes from the fact that all of changes were put into place within a very short time period as part of an overall project package so that drivers see a variety of new barriers with no construction nearby. There is a cost effectiveness to doing it this way, but it also appears to constrict certain businesses more than others.
The good thing is, as painful as this process may be, the next major reconfiguration won’t occur until around Memorial Day as the project reshapes itself for the 2017 summer traffic.