Work starts to reroute SOU crosswalk

Work has begun to reconstruct an Ashland intersection where a Southern Oregon University student was hit by a car in 2008.

Gladys Jimenez, 22, died a week after she crossed Siskiyou Boulevard at Garfield Street, leading to calls for the long, diagonally situated crosswalk across the intersection to be rebuilt so it is safer.

On Monday, the city blocked the left lanes of the street near Garfield. The work will reroute the crosswalk so it starts on the northeast corner of Garfield and runs perpendicular to Siskiyou instead of diagonally across the street.

A median will be installed in the center of the street, so walkers can stop and make sure it's safe to cross the remainder of the street. Flashing beacons and another streetlight will also be put in.

SOU will split the cost of the flashing beacons with the city. The city will pay for the rest of the improvements.

Ashland officials have estimated that the project will cost between $50,000 and $60,000, including the cost of labor from city employees, which the city pays anyway, said Jim Olson, the city's engineering services manager. It will take about three weeks to complete, he said.

— Ashland Daily Tidings

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