Street devices improve safety at Hood River Middle School

Safety devices known as “candlesticks” seem to light the way on May Street in front of Hood River Middle School.

In fact, it’s the effect of the traffic pylons’ bright reflections that is helping increase safety in front of the heavily used campus near 17th Street.

The school’s Local Committee joined forces recently with the City of Hood River to make the changes.

In transportation parlance, they are known as “traffic calming devices,” and they’re unlike any in town.

n Two crosswalks, located about 50 yards apart, guide pedestrians to and fro. Those crosswalks were widened, and distinctive reflecting green stripes were added.

n The most noticeable change is the 3-foot bendable pylons known as “candlesticks.” They were installed at angles in sets of three on both sides of the crosswalks. They alert drivers to pedestrians and also discourage illegal parking on the sections of May Street.

Cars can no longer park so they block the view of drivers when people are in crosswalks or waiting to cross.

Principal Brent Emmons said the parents on the Local Committee wanted to make the street safer for people to cross May Street from the parking lot on the south side of the street. They worked closely with City Engineer Mark Lago to make the changes.

Emmons said he saw improvements immediately and has received numerous positive comments about the change.

“People are slowing down; they’re not parking illegally; and it has really increased visibility,” Emmons said.

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