April 29, 2002 11:00 pm

Progress brings changes, and nowhere in La Grande is that more evident than the increased traffic on Adams due to the new Safeway store. Development at that end of town is good for the area, but some attention needs to be given to the changes that have occurred in traffic patterns.

THE NEW STORE and its gas station are pulling in lots of business, and consequently traffic. The store has resulted in increased traffic on both Adams and Willow streets. People pulling out onto Adams from Willow can find themselves waiting for a long time, especially if they want to cross Adams or turn left. The same goes for people pulling out from the store's main entrance/exit in the middle of the block, from Box Elder and even as far away as Cherry. Making a left turn, with no middle lane, or crossing Adams, takes a lot of patience. Some people have it; others don't. Accidents are bound to happen.

The flashing yellow light at Adams and Willow warns drivers that they need to be careful, but it doesn't interrupt the traffic flow so that people can get out from any of the nearby cross streets. Even as far away as Cherry Street there's a constant stream of traffic. Some interruption of that traffic is necessary.

THE OREGON DEPARTMENT of Transportation and the City of La Grande need to investigate the situation, do traffic counts, and come up with a plan for mitigating the situation. A traffic light at Willow might be warranted, especially since it also in a school zone.

Someone, perhaps a pedestrian or a motorist, is going to get hurt one of these days because there's nothing to stop the steady stream of traffic. Taking preventative action makes sense.


Although there doesn't seem to be many candidates or issues that are inspiring voters in the May primary election, the decisions that are made when we cast our ballots could prove to be significant. Yet, projections are for an extremely light turnout this election. Let's not let that happen. When you get your ballot in the mail this week, don't just throw it away. Think about the candidates and issues, mark your ballots and send them back. Voting is a right that we have come to take for granted, but it's one we shouldn't take lightly. Voting is our duty.

LOCALLY, THE MOST HOTLY contested race is the one for circuit court judge. Statewide, we have a contested race for governor in both parties' primaries. The more people who cast their vote, the more representative our elected officials will be.

Don't take the May primary lightly. In many cases it will determine who we have to choose from in November.

When your ballot arrives this week, do your duty as an American and vote.