'An Enemy of the People' an excellent show; Siskiyou Blvd. crosswalk signals could be safer; Hannon Library overlooked among places to study
'An Enemy of the People' is an excellent show
D.L. Smith's adaptation of "An Enemy of the People" is one of the best rewrites I've ever seen. He gives it an immediacy, a relevance, even humor that is not prevalent in the original. This is an excellent production in all aspects.
Siskiyou Blvd. crosswalk signals could be safer
I work at Southern Oregon University and live across Siskiyou Boulevard from it. Consequently, I cross Siskiyou Boulevard several times a day, and I was delighted to see the new warning signals — until I realized they seem to be having discernibly little effect on drivers' behavior.
My experience has been that predawn or post-dusk drivers in the far lanes don't even slow down, much less stop, despite the blinking yellow lights. During daylight hours, the drivers' reactions are slightly better, but it is still "pedestrian beware." Again, drivers in the far lane are less attentive, especially those talking on a cell phone. I think the problem may be as simple as the color of the light bulbs.
Yellow blinking lights generally mean "caution" or "yield," whereas red blinking lights mean "stop." I don't think yellow lights trigger an alert in early-morning and distracted drivers' subconscious minds. I believe red lights might do this, and my first recommendation is to replace the yellow light bulbs with red ones.
The next problem I have observed is that crossing pedestrians can't tell if the lights are actually blinking after they press the button. The light bulbs are surrounded by blinders whose purpose, I assume, is to focus the beams in the drivers' directions. The problem is, crossers tend to look up at the lights as they traverse the crosswalk to confirm that the lights started blinking or are still blinking. This diverts their attention from drivers who may not be paying attention to the lights or the pedestrians. I notice that I do this when I cross as does virtually everyone I observe. My second recommendation is to provide some mechanism to assure the pedestrians the lights are active.
My third recommendation is to straighten the crosswalk at Garfield Street where the tragic accident occurred. I simply cannot understand why this has not been changed to be a straight crosswalk. Its diagonal nature makes it a longer crosswalk, diminishes awareness of pedestrians by traffic in the far lanes and often requires crossing two streets, Siskiyou and Garfield, instead of one.
I commend the efforts by the city and the university to make crossing the boulevard as safe as possible. I think with a few adjustments, that goal will be achieved.
Hannon Library overlooked among places to study
As a longtime student and a relative newcomer to Ashland, I enjoyed your article entitled, "Scholastic Sanctuaries," (Tidings, Nov. 7) but I was a little disappointed that the Hannon Library at Southern Oregon University was not mentioned.
Besides having a coffee shop, comfortable places to study, wireless access and a friendly staff, the Hannon Library provides panoramic views of the entire valley and has three fireplaces — good for cozy studying. Come out and see for yourself. It is also well known that many Ashland High School students use the library.
I'm not sure if the absence of the Hannon Library was part of the hidden gem syndrome or just an oversight.
Paul T. Adalian Jr.
Dean, Hannon Library