Crews replaced traffic and pedestrian signals at Highway 101 and Fifth Street Tuesday to include flashing yellow directional lights at all four corners, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation. Pedestrian signals were changed to feature a numerical countdown instead of a solid white walking figure.
“We’ve been looking at this for several years to make it easier and safer for vehicles to turn and for pedestrians to cross the street,” ODOT spokesman Dan Latham said. “It’s been an intersection we had our eye on, looking at ways to improve it. We finally got into a position where we’ve gotten the … ability to do it. We have the money at this time to do it so that’s why we’re moving ahead.”
There were no major road closures, but drivers were encouraged to drive cautiously near the intersection during the work.
This is the same intersection at which Brookings resident Deborah Dudley, 64, was hit by a car 17 months ago while using the crosswalk.
The driver had a green light and was turning left from Fifth Street into the southbound lane of the highway. At the same time, Dudley stepped into the crosswalk after the pedestrian signal turned to “walk,” according to witnesses.
Dudley is happy that changes will be made to the intersection not only for her own interest but also for the safety of others; she’s heard of others who have had near misses at the same intersection.
“It does make me feel good to know that they’re fixing it,” Dudley said. “I’m going to feel a lot safer. It was just waiting to kill somebody.”