Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Sign of Ignorance — Part 3

On Wednesday, I e-mailed the Oregon Department of Transportation "citizen representative" about our continuing problem with the "sign of ignorance" at the corner of Barbur and Capitol Highway, just east of Hillsdale.

If you have read earlier posts (here and here), you'll know that ODOT has planted a bicycle warning sign squarely in front of a directional sign to Hillsdale. At the least, we have sign clutter. At the worst, we have confusion and even possible death (as in traffic fatality resulting from confusion, inattention and disorientation). I might add that the Hillsdale directional sign, does contribute to commerce in Hillsdale. In these times, the local economy needs all the help it can get.

In any case, on Thursday, in response to my e-mail, I received the following e-mail. It is an indication signs of life at ODOT. Here it is:

Hi Rick,

Thank you for contacting "Ask ODOT." I searched our database for record of
your previous contact, but could not find your name, email address or
phone number in our system.

[Note: The person I talked to on the phone never sought any "data" from me. Computer rule #1: No data, no data base. Back to the response... .]

I wanted you to know that we have received
other complaints about the placement of the new bike warning sign on
Barbur Blvd near the Capitol Highway turn-off. We are determining the
best solution for moving it and/or other signs in the area so they will
all be visible. I understand - three weeks seems like a long time. Our
maintenance crews must work this project in with all the other highway
maintenance tasks they do. It may take a few more weeks, but we will get
it done.

Thank you again for writing to the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Please contact us again if we can provide additional information.

Kim Jordan
Oregon Dept. of Transportation
Citizens' & ODOT Representative
e-mail "Ask ODOT"
888-275-6368 Toll Free
503-986-3434 Phone

I fear Kim's e-mail isn't all that reassuring. How much "determining" does it take to move a sign five feet? With Kim's approval, we could do the "project" ourselves. ODOT could contribute the savings to our Hillsdale Community Foundation or put it into a Hillsdale/Capitol Highway sidewalk account.

I hope you are among the "citizens" who have contacted the "representative." I say, keep those cards, letters, phone calls and e-mails flowing to Kim.

The clock is still running on this one. Three weeks and counting.

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