WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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More preparations for logging trucks coming down SE Moore to Bay Boulevard.

SE Moore Task Force, City Hall
Diagram of re-designed SE Moore @ Bay Blvd
Click on photos to enlarge

Trying to stay ahead of the arrival next Spring of many logging trucks a day coming down SE Moore Road turning onto the Bay Road to the International Terminal, a citizens task force has prioritized ways to soften the impact on the area.

With all those logging trucks coming into Newport from the east, the task force said ODOT should move “lower speed limit ahead” warning signs farther east than where they are now, to given inbound traffic more time to slow down. The task force also wants ODOT to double the length of the Highway 20 @ SE Moore Road left turn lane. More trucks means greater need for storing more vehicles waiting to turn left. And the task force would like ODOT to do a speed study to ascertain whether speed limits coming into Newport ought to be lower.

The task force also supports the redesign of the intersection of SE Moore and Bay Boulevard which removes a lot of ground in front of the bank on the corner to make for better traffic flow up and down SE Moore. There is also a designated right turn lane southbound on SE Moore onto Bay Boulevard. The task force also wants bright LED lights accompanying stop and warning signs to alert motorists that the southbound SE Moore and northbound SE Moore traffic doesn’t stop. The task force also wants a left turn lane designated for southbound SE Moore into the bank. They also want parking removed on SE Moore Monday through Friday as well as on Bay Boulevard west of SE Moore for a ways so it doesn’t clutter up southbound SE Moore turns for truckers turning west on Bay. The task force would also like to have rumble strips on southbound SE Moore near the intersection with Bay. And they want log export operator Teevin Brothers to work closely with log truck drivers to ensure they know how to properly navigate the SE Moore @ Bay Boulevard intersection.

The task force will also be asking the county public works director to re-examine speeds on the Bay Road from about Vista to the east and to clear brush from along public rights of way in the area to enhance visibility.

These and perhaps some additional points will be presented to the Port of Newport Commission as well as the Newport City Council within a few weeks. Funding for the SE Moore @ Bay Boulevard intersection modification has yet to be worked out, but task force members agreed it will likely involve an investment by Newport, the Port of Newport and log exporter Teevin Brothers.

Log export operations are expected to commence in a May-June timeframe. Neighbors and city officials say they hope that a long term alternate route to the International Terminal can eventually be worked out. But that will likely take some breakthroughs on selecting a new route and funding to build it.

Task force seeks to make John Moore Road as safe as possible when logging trucks arrive next year

Task Force, top two photos, John Moore Road/Bay Road, bottom two photos

When logging trucks begin hauling their loads to Newport’s new International Terminal next year, they’ll be resuming what was once a thriving log export operation that ended in the mid-1990s. However, in those intervening nearly 20 years, families with young children and the elderly have bought homes along John Moore Road between Highway 20 and the Bay Road which leads to the terminal. The neighborhood seems to understand the point but many said they never dreamed that log exports would re-emerge in Newport and put 15 ton log hauling beheamouths streaming by their homes, by the hundreds.

A special task force to examine logging truck access to the International Terminal, chaired by local resident and businessman Doug Wills, launched a discussion to target specific safety enhancements intended to minimize the risk to bicyclists, pedestrians and children at play along John Moore Road as well as east on Bay Road to the terminal.

The task force agreed that safety enhancements must also be added to Highway 20 itself, coming in to Newport. It was agreed that ODOT should give trucks more time to slow down in order to make their southerly turn onto John Moore. The task force suggested that ODOT lower the speed limit coming into Newport so that truck drivers would have more time to safely get into what should become a longer left turn lane as they make their turn south off the highway and onto John Moore Road.

The task force also indicated that it would be much safer for truckers if parking was eliminated during the week along John Moore to allow trucks to more safely head downhill and turn east onto the Bay Road.

They say that the northwest corner of Bay and John Moore should be cut back to allow truckers to see any traffic coming from the west on Bay Road. They also strongly urged Newport to use bright LED lights to warn motorists on Bay Road to alert drivers to watch for downhill traffic on John Moore which does not stop. Task force members said it is extremely important, especially for motorists headed east on Bay, to be aware that downhill traffic on John Moore keeps going through the intersection and can turn right or left onto Bay. Again, very brightly lit LED signs are a must, according to the task force. They said tourists are not aware of the unusual traffic pattern at John Moore and Bay and many blow right through the stop sign on Bay heading east. Even if they do stop, they pull out right away thinking that John Moore traffic has a stop sign too, which they don’t.

Discussions also touched on truck noise and the use of jack brakes. Jack brakes are illegal in Newport and most cities in Oregon. Possible brake failure was also raised on behalf of those who work at the Embarcadero at the bottom of the hill. One of the veteran truck drivers serving on the task force said that truck brakes are extremely robust and that failure is extremely rare. He said despite the grade of John Moore, it’s nothing that would, on its own, cause brakes to fail.

Reducing speed limits coming into Newport, making minor adjustments to the intersection at Highway 20 and John Moore Road, eliminating weekday parking along John Moore Road, enhanced visibility and better signage at Bay and John Moore and a few other minor points are expected to be discussed further at the task force’s next meeting at 6pm, October 10th at Newport City Hall.

Whatever safety enhancements are eventually implemented will likely be deemed as adequate, that is, until ODOT, the city and the port arrange for a different access route from Highway 20 to the International Terminal. Determining how, when or who is going to pay for it is a ways off into the future. No one on the task force speculated how long a new access road to the terminal might take to complete.

When do you have to stop for a school bus?

Wikipedia photo

From Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

Oregon law requires motorists to stop whenever the red lights on a school bus are flashing regardless of the direction you are traveling. The law applies to any roadway with two or more lanes of traffic, including multi-lane highways such as Highway 101.

The only exception to the law is for divided highways with two roads separated by an unpaved median strip or barrier, such as in the Lincoln and Gleneden Beach areas. In this case, only drivers on the same side of the road as the bus must stop.  A painted median strip or a center lane used only for left turns does not create two separate lanes.  Where this situation exists, all lanes of traffic must stop.

When a bus is flashing amber lights, motorists should prepare to stop. When the red lights begin to flash, motorists traveling in both directions must stop before reaching the bus and must remain stopped until the red lights are turned off. The same rules apply to church or worker buses equipped with amber and red flashing lights.

Crosswalk Sting Operation in Lincoln City set for Thursday, September 30th

Wikipedia photo

Lincoln City Police are giving the public fair warning that a pedestrian crosswalk sting operation will be conducted on Highway 101 between North 19th and North 22nd Thursday, from 10-1. Lincoln City Police are putting out warning signs that a “pedestrian safety” operation will be conducted, using a police decoy who will be crossing 101 between 19th and 22nd.

The decoy will be instructed to step out onto the crosswalk (either marked or unmarked) in such a way that he/she gives motorists plenty of room and time to stop. Likewise, motorists should approach all crosswalks (marked or unmarked) at a speed that gives them enough room and time to stop.

Motorists are reminded that under Oregon traffic law, any street corner is a legal crosswalk. Just because a crossing does not have paint on the pavement doesn’t mean you can’t get a ticket, because you can.

Sheriff Dotson: It’s back to school – watch out for our kids

BACK TO SCHOOL
by Sheriff Dennis Dotson

It’s time to start back to school. We need to get back in the habit of knowing where our neighborhood schools are. There are more than 15 public and private schools located around Lincoln County. Each morning and afternoon when school is in session, children are walking to and from school and when they are present a school speed zone is in effect. That speed limit is 20 mph in a posted school zone between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on a day when school is in session, or if the zone is equipped with a flashing yellow light then the speed limit is in effect when it is flashing.

It’s vital that we obey these speed limits as our children’s safety is at stake. These schools include kindergarten through twelfth grade. Some of these children are five years old and very small. A parked car can obscure their view of you, and your view of them. These young people often fail to realize the importance of looking before they walk or run out into the roadway. Driving at 20 mph will give you more time to react and avoid striking them.

As citizens we must protect our children. Traffic crashes are one of the deadliest hazards our children face. Let’s do our part when we pass these schools by slowing down, watching, and expecting the unexpected.
Another safety issue is for parents to ensure that their children’s coats and backpacks do not have loose cords attached to them. In some areas outside of Lincoln County, children have had these cords become entangled in the bus doors as they exited the bus. The drivers have thought the child was safely off the bus, but as the bus drove away the children were dragged. Everyone needs to do their part to ensure the safety of our children.

For more information and tips, visit our website at www.lincolncountysheriff.net and Like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon.

Use fog lights correctly and safely

Archive photo

With increasing numbers of vehicles on the road with fog or auxiliary lights, state transportation safety officials are reminding people to use vehicle lighting correctly and safely.

Fog lights are designed to be used at low speeds in fog, heavy mist, snow and other situations where visibility is significantly reduced. Front fog lights are generally aimed and mounted low to increase the illumination directed towards the road surface. However, after sunset and during other low visibility situations, fog lights are required to be turned off when an oncoming vehicle approaches. During normal visibility conditions, fog or auxiliary lights should be turned off. It is not appropriate to drive with fog or auxiliary lights left on all the time.

When a car is using fog or auxiliary lights, it is visually distracting for oncoming drivers. According to Oregon law, fog and/or auxiliary lights must be used like the high beam headlight system of your car. They must be turned off when within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle and within 350 feet when following another vehicle. The color of fog and/or auxiliary lights is also regulated. Fog lights may be either white or amber (yellow). Rules prohibit other colors such as blue.

If your car is equipped with auxiliary lighting, ODOT recommends knowing where the switches are and how to use them.
If you plan to install fog and/or auxiliary lights as an after market feature, it is important to know that Oregon has adopted federal rules that all manufacturers must meet. Products must be labeled; anything that is labeled “not for street use” cannot be used on public roadways. Fog and other auxiliary lights must have a separate switch. Fog lights may not be used in lieu of headlights.

For more information on vehicle equipment and standards, visit ODOT’s Transportation Safety Web site, www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/Veh_Equipment.shtml, or see the Oregon Driver Manual on the DMV Web site, www.oregondmv.com

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