This letter is in response to an alarming letter written by Christina May, who states that walking on Main Street in downtown Pendleton is extremely hazardous I walk downtown daily and have been nearly run over on numerous occasions and that drivers go too fast. She also mentions that pedestrians are being hit and killed or injured in our downtown area in recent years.
First, lets address the speed issue. One afternoon, I stopped for a red light at the intersection of Main Street and Byers heading south. When the light turned green, I proceeded forward and in 15 seconds, the light on Court Street had changed to red. I stopped and repeated the action. Again, the traffic light turned red by the time I got to Dorion. One can then conclude that the city controls the speed on Main Street by timing the lights. I have not witnessed many policemen issuing tickets on Main Street for speeding or running the red traffic lights.
If one wishes to address her statement that pedestrians are being hit and killed and injured, I recommend that she consult the daily Public Safety Records in the East Oregonian and the Department of Transportations Traffic Crash Summaries that are published annually. She will discover that a pedestrian on Main Street does not run the risk of being killed or injured. Her letter made it sound as if a pedestrian has to have the quickness, dexterity, and agility of a torero in a bull ring to avoid being run over.
On Saturday, the East Oregonian posted a survey on their Internet edition. Unfortunately, Mrs. May is in the minority as the readers voted: Its great. Will slow down drivers, protect pedestrians and promote commerce (15.5 percent); Its terrible. Will annoy drivers, damage vehicles and make people avoid downtown (60 percent); Somewhere in the middle. Not a big fan, but think it may have some positive effects (16.4 percent); No opinion (8.2 percent).
In a report by the National Association of City Transportation, the writers stated that there were three issues: speed, traffic volumes, and collisions. Our numbers dont justify the project. Based on the experience of most agencies, it is critical to obtain the support of a substantial majority of all residents targeted for traffic calming measures, including speed humps, prior to implementation. That didnt happen and the community has given the city its response.