Sluggish economy halts Vilas left-turn signal

Why aren't there any dedicated left-turn signals from Vilas Road to Highway 62? The lanes are there. They just need the left-turn arrow up.

— Don D.

As you so keenly observed, Don, the Highway 62-Vilas Road intersection is nearly all rigged up for carefree left turns. The intersection signals that were installed years ago even have components to allow a protected left-turn arrow!

Yet again, it seems you can blame the economy for the stall in left-turn utopia at Vilas.

The holdup is the construction of a private development, said Gary Leaming, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation. As a part of the developer's agreement with the state to help ease congestion at the intersection, the developer has committed to pay to upgrade the signals, Leaming said.

"At this point, we don't know when (the signal upgrade) will occur, given the uncertain economy," he said.

The intersection certainly has seen its growing share of traffic, especially from eastbound Vilas to northbound Highway 62, he added. Some of the traffic stems from the nearby trucking terminals in Central Point, while others are motorists avoiding the congested south corridor of Highway 62, he said.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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