Making Rombach safe, and fixing it right


I wish to join the discussion about medians on Rombach Ave.

I have not recently lived in a city that had extensive medians in roadways. But I have driven in many that do. I find medians to be helpful, and I believe, to be safer driving conditions.

Invariably in a new metro area, I am looking for an address (another DDD mecca). When it is on the other side of the road and traffic is heavy, I miss the turn and drive past.

What do I do? Do I wait to cut across two lanes of traffic, often speedy, or do I turn into a parking lot on the right, turn around and try to negotiate four lanes of traffic? I quickly learned that procedure does not work.

I did learn to select a gas station on a southwest corner with a traffic light. Sometimes getting in line on the side street is a challenge, but the move accommodates a U-turn back to the destination.

City streets with medians, and with a left lane U-turn signal, makes life calmer, and driving safer. I have never had a close call in this arrangement.

Negotiating traffic in and out along Rombach is growing more challenging, frustrating, and dangerous. Trying to turn into the Lowe’s west entrance with two lanes of traffic, and its concrete dodge ‘em stones, is frightening. Add a siren from some unknown direction to the mix, it makes for a tight situation.

For businessmen concerned about reduced patron volume, rest easy. When I’m set on a Wendy’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, I’ll go to the light at McDonald’s, make a U-turn and arrive safer and probably quicker. I’ll not stop at McDonald’s instead.

The traffic, and accompanying fender benders, on Rombach will continue increasing in the future. In due time, citizen drivers seeking safety and convenience will speak a louder voice on the matter. It is time we hear from them. Drivers, speak up.

I certainly expect that ODOT has data on traffic volume, accident rates, and traffic flow on both five-lane and median four-lane with U-turn signals. Let’s get the data and make decisions on the facts rather than emotions and biases.

The situation on Rombach needs fixed, and fixed right the first time. We have seen the cost figures to re-fix Davids Drive.

Let’s don’t make a mistake like that again.

Donald Chafin

Wilmington