Request ODOT Improve Highway 101 from Benham Lane in Harbor OR to the CA/OR Border.

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Request: 
1. Develop and Maintain a Center Turn Lane from Benham Lane in Harbor Oregon to the Oregon/California border (mile post 359.32 to 363.11)
2. Reduce the maximum speed in above area from 55 mph to 45 mph.

Reasoning:
            The safety and security of the 10,000 plus residents of the Brookings-Harbor area and an even higher number of traveling highway users are endangered by the significant increase in the number of fatalities, injuries and property damage along the above stated 3.79 miles of Highway 101 South.  It is believed that the accident risk environment stems from both the lack of a continuous center turn lane and an excessive speed limit in an area where a high number of people are stopping on the road waiting to turn off the highway at residential and commercial access points.

The high volume of local traffic, out of state and visiting vehicles passing through the area and the fact that Highway 101 serves as a major transportation artery for Western Oregon Coastal Communities contribute to the dangerous egress and ingress of slower and /or stopped traffic that are attempting to merge or exit to residential and commercial access points. This has contributed to a high increase rear-end collisions and left turning accidents.

Due to a large distribution of local traffic, out of state and visiting traffic passing through the area, this segment of Highway 101 has seen a significant increase in the number of accidents with locals and visitors trying to access homes and businesses along the way and drivers failing to decrease speed for slower or stopped vehicles.

Concerned citizens in the Brookings Harbor area seek the cooperation of ODOT to revise US Highway 101 from Raymond Rd. Harbor OR to OR/CA Border to incorporate a Center Turn Lane AND to reduce the maximum speed from Benham Lane to the OR/CA border to 45 mph. After years of increasing fatal and non-fatal accidents, it is agreed that the single largest factor responsible is a lack of a center turn lane between Raymond Road in Harbor and the Oregon/California Border and a speed limit too high to prevent merging vehicles from accessing the road.  There is a large distribution of the local population that frequents this segment of highway with many businesses and residences serviced by Highway 101. Drivers are presented with an accident risk environment due to the lack of a center turn lane.

Statistics provided by the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Crash Analysis and Reporting Unit shows a 400% increase in the number of crashes involving people injury and property damage between 2009 and 2015 in this particular area.  We, the concerned citizens that have signed this petition see this as a gross injustice by the State of Oregon and other involved parties, for putting hundreds to thousands of people at risk of deadly vehicular accidents do to traffic being forced to stop in the lane of travel. Without a center turn lane, many businesses and residences are only accessible by vehicles coming to a complete stop in either a one or two lane thru traffic lane. Considering the heavy usage of 101 between Brookings OR and Crescent City CA, there is usually a hazard presented with vehicles at a complete stop in the middle of the lane of travel (in some cases the only lane in that direction). Because traffic is similarly congested in the opposite direction, Crescent City CA to Brookings OR, drivers are forced to stop in the lane of traffic in order to wait for a gap in oncoming traffic by which to turn left.

It’s a disservice to the people of South Curry County that live in this particular 3.79 mile section and/or operate businesses in the endangered area to be exposed to risk of loss of life, property or injury. Collectively we urge you to take action, by implementing a center turn lane and reducing traffic speed, before more property is damaged, cars are totaled, and lives are lost.



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