Asking for Answers: Preventing Accidents at Table Rock & Morningside
From our 'Asking for Answers' email inbox: "With so many accidents on the corner of Morningside St. and Table Rock Road, why cant we get a traffic signal or sign to help with the speeding traffic?"
The intersection in question is ranked #18 in the Top 50 Most Dangerous Intersections in Medford according to City of Medford Public Works. The list factors in the 'crash rate' for the intersections which are based on volume of traffic and the amount of crashes.
"If you look at the accidents, what happens is people want to take a left turn on Morningside," City of Medford Public Works Director Cory Crebbin said. "There's a lot of traffic coming from the other direction and at a pretty good rate of speed."
Medford Police have responded to four accidents in 2019 at the intersection. In 2018, they responded to a total of seven at the intersection.
Public Works recently completed a left-hand turn lane from Table Rock Road into Morningside hoping to alleviate the congestion and line of cars piling up while a driver waits to turn.
"The longer the wait, the smaller gap you're willing to accept and if there's cars stacked up behind you, you accept smaller gaps faster," Crebbin said about the analysis of putting in the left-turn lane.
Crebbin says the intersection doesn't currently warrant a traffic signal but it could in the future. In terms of adjusting the traffic flow, the expanding of Table Rock Road to four-lanes rather than two could 'bottleneck' the traffic as soon as it hits the Interstate 5 overpass heading towards Central Point.
"The transportation system plan does have extensive improvements scheduled for Table Rock kind of to match what Jackson County has done up north," Crebbin said about future plans. "It's not really cost effective to turn this into a four-lane facility when you're just going to bottleneck it to two."
On list of 50 Most Dangerous Intersections in Medford according to Public Works, the top intersection for highest crash rate is Jackson Street and Riverside Avenue.
Crebbin says intersections are constructed and maintained with the posted speed limit in mind. They cannot factor in adjustments and plans for speeders, drunk drivers and distracted drivers.