By Joshua Reynolds
Matt Vorderstrasse, student body president of Rogue Community College at Riverside, found out one day before a late February City of Medford meeting that the nearby crosswalk on Riverside Avenue was going to be a topic of discussion.
Vorderstrasse right then took action, sending out emails and Facebook petitions to sign request forms urging the city to increase safety measures at the crosswalk. Due in part to Vorderstrasse’s efforts and pressure from RCC administration, the city will install new precautions to make the area more safe.
Two crosswalk warning signs will be placed on each side of the avenue and a stop bar spanning all three lanes will be placed 20 feet south of the crosswalk, according to Gran LaGorio, RCC’s Director of Facilities for Jackson County.
RCC has received many complaints about the safety of the crosswalk, said LaGorio, who contacted and met with the city to address concerns about the intersection.
Although Vorderstrasse downplayed his importance in the decision, LaGorio believes student involvement played a significant role in the city’s decision.
The city indicated that the work would be done as soon as possible, LaGorio said. However, the city did not give him a specific date, but he said paint markings have been put on the ground indicating that planning has occurred and work could begin at anytime.
Safety at this crosswalk has been a concern of students and staff since for several years.
In the November, 2008 issue of The Byline, LaGorio said, “They are aware of our concerns. This is an issue we will continue to press forward on until something gets done.”
The crosswalk improvements are expected to bring closure to one of RCC longest-standing controversies.
Updated on March 6, 2010.