Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Solutions for Timmerman

Since I wrote my original letter to the Mountain Express in July about the tiny warning signs at the Timmerman Junction of state Highway 75 and U.S. 20 about cross traffic on Highway 75 not stopping, yet another accident has happened. Like Kaz Thea, I believe that a four-way stop must be implemented there as a long-term solution. But while the Idaho Transportation Department is studying various plans and with funding being 201 on their list, I would like to suggest three new signage possibilities, one of which could be put in place this week.

First: How about using the two existing large portable signs with flashing letters that have been on the roadside north of Hailey the past weeks warning of wildlife passing through? The two-step warning signs would be placed on both sides of the light on the east-west Highway 20 route, 50 feet back from the light and changed to read (1) WARNING: CROSS TRAFFIC (2) DOES NOT STOP. This could be done immediately.

Second: If the above is too costly as a permanent fix until the ITD comes up with its solution, how about creating a metal sign the size of the sign right before the East Fork-Greenhorn intersection with the same large lettering and two flashing lights above the sign that says "Prepare to stop when lights are flashing." Only have the same warning as No. 1 above, have the lights flashing all the time, and have the background of the sign be neon yellow-green.

Or, third: If the ITD feels this version is too expensive, how about just the metal part of the sign, same lettering and size of lettering as No. 2 above, and same neon yellow-green background? I mean, just how expensive can two metal signs and four wooden posts be?

And fourth, funding: If the Wood River Valley can fund a rodeo grounds, ice rink and visitors center—how about having a fundraiser, perhaps sponsored by the County Commission, or a group of concerned citizens, to raise money immediately for any of these larger signs that the ITD will accept, and arrange for private construction? This could bring us from being No. 201 on funding a solution to being No. 1.

I firmly believe the existing tiny warning signs attached to the stop signs are way, way, too small and therefore deadly. In support of this, I was complaining to a 20-year resident who drives that intersection often about the size of the warning sign on Highway 20. His reply, in all seriousness, was, "What sign?"

Beth Duke


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