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X marks the spot on Jackson Street

Recently there were new street markings placed in the intersection of Summit and Jackson streets. I believe that they may indicate that someone should not block the intersection but it is unclear. I just went through 220 pages of Oregon road markings and they are not in there. Could you please clarify where the city found these markings and what they mean?

— John M., Medford

John, you are correct that the boxed “X” markings, which are painted on Jackson Street immediately in front of where Summit T’s into it, are intended to keep people from blocking the intersection. A nearby stop sign on Jackson can back up westbound traffic, blocking Summit cars that wish to make a turn toward the east.

The reason you didn’t find the markings is because the Oregon road markings govern roads that are part of the Oregon State Highway System. City Public Works Director Cory Crebbin points out that Medford Municipal Code 6.120 (3) specifies that traffic control devices comply with the requirements of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) issued by the Federal Highway Administration and adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission.

The section of the MUTCD that authorizes the use of the street markings is Section 3B.17 and is titled (appropriately, in our opinion) “Do Not Block Intersection Markings.”

It notes that “Do Not Block Intersection markings may be used to mark the edges of an intersection area that is in close proximity to a signalized intersection, railroad crossing, or other nearby traffic control that might cause vehicles to stop within the intersection and impede other traffic entering the intersection.”

It provides several options for the markings, including: “Wide solid white lines that outline the intersection area that vehicles must not block and white cross-hatching within the intersection area.”

Crebbin also notes it’s against the law to block an intersection whether there are special traffic markings. He said the Jackson-Summit intersection was “particularly problematic,” prompting the markings on the pavement.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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