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This summer, look for changes – again – at 12th and May streets

For weeks the yellow caution tape has flapped at three of the four corners of 12th and May streets where pedestrian access changes were started by the city and left incomplete.

In the next few weeks the city will make sense of the holes by restoring the east-west crosswalk that was removed three years ago, City Manager Steve Wheeler told Hood River City Council Monday.

Wheeler announced another change at the unusual intersection, just east of Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital: the end of the right-turn without stopping.

Map

12th and May Intersection

12th and May Intersection

Traffic coming uphill on 12th between the hospital and its adjacent parking garage will need to stop, whether there are pedestrians present or not. The change will be made in a few weeks, following a published notice of change, and installation of signage. Motorists coming from the north and west will also see revised pedestrian alert signs.

Twelfth and May is the complicated intersection where one-way northbound traffic off the Heights stops at May and either takes a left to the 13th Street jog, or right to the 12th Street jog. Southbound vehicles wending their way from downtown, via Eugene and 12th, come to a stop at May (or take that right without a stop).

Wheeler, who started work May 1, said he reviewed the planned changes at 12th and May and “decided to put a pause on the project,” reviewing the engineering and meeting with Police Chief Neal Holste and hospital officials before approving completion of the changes.

Wheeler said the changes will go ahead as planned; the result is that new signage will be installed, the crosswalk restored, and all southbound traffic will need to stop at May and 12th.

Council Member Kate McBride pointed out that the no-stop-on-right-turn rule had been put in place largely because of the incline, and sustaining cars’ momentum when conditions are slippery.

“There are trade-offs on this, but on balance it is a good thing to do,” Wheeler said. “A lot of community members were involved and while not everyone is happy with it, a lot of people are happy with this, and feel it is the right way to do things, safety-wise.”

Planning Director Cindy Walbridge noted that while the intersection “feels like a residential area,” it serves a busy commercial area. May and 12th are being treated as collector streets, meaning they function to efficiently route vehicles off local streets onto arterials such as 13th.

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