HOME


The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Medford Streets

Refer also to the pages on County Roads and Paving.

    "In winter it was nothing for the axle of the wagon to touch the mud most of the time while driving."
Mary O. Carey, "Talent Pioneer Saw First Mail Sack Delivered," Medford Mail Tribune, June 4, 1934, page C6

South Holly Street, March 1910
South Holly Street, looking north from Tenth, 1910. Note the wandering wagon track.

    Medford citizens talk of getting a street sprinkler.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, July 31, 1885, page 3


Bids for Gravelling the Medford Road
    It is Ordered that the Clerk cause bids to be advertised for as follows.
    For the Gravelling [of] Eighty Rods of the Public Road leading from Jacksonville to Medford, beginning where Said road enters the lands of John R. Tice on the west boundary thereof, the graveling to be placed in the Center of the road and the road to be built as follows--A ridge of Earth 10 inches high to be plowed on each Side of the proposed graveling having Twelve feet Space from ridge to ridge and having a gutter on the out side of each ridge--the twelve feet Space between Said Ridges is to be filled with coarse Gravel taken from the Thomas field adjoining Said road to the full height of the ridges and the road to be Crowning in the Center, the whole work to be done to the satisfaction of the County Court, and upon acceptance by Said County the Contract price to be paid in County Warrants to be let at Decr. Term 1885 of Said County.
Jackson County Commissioners' Journals, November 6, 1885


    The Mail advocates the numbering of the houses on the different streets of the town in metropolitan style. It would be a good idea to do so, as it would cost but a trifle, and any locality is easily identified by this method.
    Water is standing deep in the many potholes about town, and unless they are filled up in the early spring much sickness must necessarily follow therefrom. The authorities should not overlook this matter when the proper time comes.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 30, 1890, page 3


    Walks across Seventh Street, from the Grand Central to Brous' saloon, and from Goldsmith's store to the bank, were built last week.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 16, 1891, page 2


    Some gravel has been distributed along Main Street, thus covering up a good deal of mud and improving the appearance of the street wonderfully. This is done by business men and shows a good deal of enterprise. The new council might take the initiative and set the ball rolling in their favor by carrying on this good work on the principal streets of the town.
"Local News,"
Medford Mail, January 21, 1892, page 2


    A number of the business men of Medford have put a quantity of gravel upon the mud on our streets, much to the improvement of the same. The council should lose no time in putting a layer of gravel over the entire surface of those streets from end to end.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 29, 1892, page 3


    The proposed new cobblestone gutters will make a vast improvement in the condition of our streets, to say nothing of the addition of a coat of sand and gravel as contemplated by our city fathers.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 30, 1892, page 2


    Seventh Street became quite muddy since the rains began, but the gravel which has been dumped upon it has placed it in good condition again.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 21, 1892, page 2

An 1890s road equipment catalog.
An 1890s road equipment catalog.



    Street Commissioner Brandenburg is doing good work for Medford in pushing street and sidewalk improvements early in the season, and as he is already engaged on the graveling of the McAndrew and Earhart roads, it is evident we are to have still better thoroughfares out of Medford in the future than in the past. Much of Medford's prosperity is owing to the farsightedness of her citizens in the matter [of] perfecting the road system of Medford in the region adjacent to town, and while our citizens have had much to contend with, the work goes bravely on.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 31, 1893, page 3


    It is quite noticeable that many noxious weeds are growing about our streets. The city council would do the city a kindness by issuing an ordinance compelling property owners to destroy all weeds growing in front of their places of business or residence. As a matter of pride we ought to destroy them without any compulsion on the part of the council.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, July 14, 1893, page 3


    A little street graveling has been going on this week on West Seventh Street, between the Clarenden and railroad track. Approaches to several crosswalks have also been graded.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, September 22, 1893, page 3


    The street grading on South C still continues and is an improvement worthy of note.
    "Tob" Brous came near being a cripple, for a few months at least, last Saturday. In some way he got mixed up in Strobridge's heavy dray, which by the way had on a heavy load, and two wheels passed over his limbs, near the ankle and above the knee. Fortunately for "Tob," the mud was deep in the street where the accident occurred, or both limbs would have been broken. Dr. Jones dressed the bruised members, and the patient was about as usual Monday, slightly disabled but still on the turf.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, December 15, 1893, page 3


    A city with as many fine buildings as Medford has, with as muddy streets as Main Street is between the hotel and the depot, has about the same effect on the mind of a stranger as a fine mansion surrounded by a rail fence.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 22, 1894, page 2


    Those stone crossings which were put in last fall are proving to be quite the right article in the right place. They are settling to a good solid foundation and will outlast a dozen plank crossings.
    The health officer's attention is called to the condition of the gutters on Seventh Street. They ought to be flushed and generally cleansed of some of the now noticeable malaria germs.
"All the Local News," Medford Mail, March 2, 1894, page 3


Will Grade and Gravel C Street
    The city council are making ready to improve South C Street by grading and graveling the same. Monday surveyor Howard established the grade south to Thirteenth Street. A new stone culvert is also to be put in at the corner of C and Eighth streets--see notice asking for bids elsewhere. New water sluices are also being put in at the several street crossings.

Medford Mail, March 30, 1894, page 3


The Howl Is Here, All Right.
   
We said a few weeks ago that there would be a howl coming from residents of South C Street unless certain portions of that street were graded. That bowl is howling sure enough, but it is not the one we expected. Instead of the people complaining of insufficient improvements they are complaining of too much of the alleged good article. A little improvement is all good enough, but too much of it is just a little worse than not enough. Some of the people owning property on this street are compelled to fill the street to the extent of five feet while others, in order to reach the established grade, will have to go something like three feet below the present level of the street. This will, of course, make a better-looking street, but it will work a hardship upon some of the property owners. The highest fill will be in front of Messrs. Slinger's and Brook's property and will be five feet. Dr. Pryce will have a three-foot fill. The deepest cut will be three feet and will be between druggist Strang's and H. U. Lumsden's property.

"News of the City," Medford Mail, April 6, 1894, page 3


   
Commissioner Brandenburg:--"We have finished graveling the street west from the S.P. depot to I. M. Harvey's place [i.e., West Main]. We are now at work hauling gravel with six teams to the road and street leading out of the city toward Phoenix [i.e., South Riverside]. We will gravel to a point 300 yards south of the Earhart place--that being the south line of this district [at Barnett Avenue]. I had six shovelers engaged who agreed to show up Tuesday morning--only two of them were on hand. Yes, my temper was ruffled slightly."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, April 20, 1894, page 2


    Street Commissioner Brandenburg:--"I finished putting about seven hundred loads of gravel on the Earhart road this week and am now graveling the street corners on South C Street. I have nearly a full crew of farmers this week, and they are doing good work. Yes, the gravel is a little coarse, but it is the best I can get this year. After it gets thoroughly packed there ought to be a coat of finer gravel put on."
"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, May 11, 1894, page 3


    J. Tressler has his contract of grading and graveling that portion of C Street in front of Mrs. Stanley's bank property completed. He has also finished putting down an eight-foot sidewalk in front of the same property.

"News of the City," Medford Mail, June 8, 1894, page 3


    That the graveling of South C Street isn't heating any journals in its progressive strides.
    That a number of the West end residents, on Sixth Street, are anxious that that particular portion of the street should be graded. They want to shoot the surplus water from the extreme west end to the water ditch, near Mr. Woodford's place, and it can't be "did" unless the street is graded.
"We Hear It Said,"
Medford Mail, June 15, 1894, page 2


    Street grading is quite the caper these fine days, and a good bit of it is being done.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, February 21, 1896, page 5


    The street grade was this week established on Sixth Street, from the Rogue River Valley depot to Mrs. Isaacs' residence. This street has not been ordered graded, but as some were desirous of grading is the whyforness of the grade being established. Mr. Brandenburg and Geo. Howard will grade at once.

"News of the City," Medford Mail, June 15, 1894, page 3


Medford Mail, May 29, 1896

    Street Commissioner Amann has a force of men and teams grading the road leading from Medford on the east, near Thos. McAndrews' farm. This is a much-needed improvement, as this road is one of the worst in the country during the rainy season.
Medford Mail, May 22, 1896, page 5


    Several of our merchants are having the mud hauled away from the street in front of their respective business houses--a good example, well set and should be well followed.
    Workmen who are removing the mud from Seventh Street state that there is [a] good three inches of mud overlaying the gravel, all of which has been brought in by farmers' horses and wagons, but the merchants have no kick at the farmers--they would like to be carting away six inches of mud instead of three.
"News of the City," Medford Mail, January 15, 1897, page 7


    Street Commissioner Bert Booker was engaged this week in putting in a bridge across the water ditch, near the Bradbury planing mill. He has also been putting in numerous culverts about the city.

"Additional Local," 
Medford Mail, March 16, 1900, page 2


    Charlie Pheister is having cut rock hauled from Griffin Creek for street crossings in Medford. There will be four put in, two across C Street, at its intersection with Sixth and Seventh streets, one on West Seventh Street, near Mrs. Palm's millinery store, and one on A Street at its intersection with East Seventh.

"City Happenings," 
Medford Mail, March 16, 1900, page 7


    The work of grading H Street, north from Seventh, was commenced last week.
"Additional Local Items," Medford Mail, March 30, 1900, page 6

Street Sprinkler Water Wagon, February 27, 1955 Medford Mail Tribune
February 27, 1955 Medford Mail Tribune

    Drayman A. Slover was about town last week making a canvass of the business men of the town upon the matter of street sprinkling. He received contributions enough at from two to four bits a week from the merchants to assure the success of the enterprise, and Mr. Slover is now having a sprinkler constructed for the purpose, and will commence work probably next Monday. The scheme, or enterprise, is a good one, and Mr. Slover deserves to make good wages as a reward for his foresight and effort to thus improve the streets' condition--and the merchants deserve the very best service possible as a recompense for their weekly contributions to the project--and The Mail is satisfied Mr. Slover will fill the bill very acceptably--he's that kind of a man.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 1, 1900, page 7


    Drayman Slover has his sprinkling tank nearly completed, and within a few days he will be in readiness to do business with our streets.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 22, 1900, page 7


    Street Commissioner Hooker has had teams at work this week grading North F Street, between Sixth and Seventh. The surplus dirt is being hauled onto Seventh Street, where stood the old depot, and some of it is used in grading a sidewalk from the Southern Pacific track west to the Palm property.
    The street sprinkler is at work--and the work it is doing is all right--and appreciated, in addition to the weekly tax upon some of our business men.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 29, 1900, page 7


    H. G. Shearer:--"Where's the street sprinkler? Was that what you asked? Well, it's been retired for the season. Some of the patrons pulled off from the list of contributors, and we just naturally pulled the sprinkler off. The streets won't need sprinkling any more this fall anyhow, and we figured it would be an act of charity to the contributors to quit. It's a big job, this street sprinkling, and requires a great amount of time."

"Echoes from the Street," Medford Mail, October 5, 1900, page 7


    A new street crossing was put in this week near Mr. Palm's place; also other street improvements were made by the city authorities.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, November 12, 1900, page 3



    Street Commissioner Hooker has finished re-planking the Bear Creek bridge and now has a full force of men and teams grading North D and F streets.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 30, 1900, page 7


    That's a fine job of street grading and graveling which Street Commissioner Hooker did along the railroad company's right-of-way, but my land! it was expensive--and the town has it to pay--when the council and taxpayers thought all along that the company was doing it.
    T. W. Johnson is engaged in putting a new fence around cashier Enyart's new residence. Mr. Enyart has had his grounds graded, also the street and sidewalks surrounding his place graded and graveled--all of which improves the appearance very much.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 7, 1900, page 7


THE TOWN OF MEDFORD AND ITS STREET GRADING
    Medford citizens and taxpayers are very much dissatisfied over the proceedings of the street committee in ordering the grading of F and D streets along the railroad company's lands. Especially indignant are these same taxpayers because of the part Mayor Howser took in the matter.
    As a prologue to the matter in hand we will say that, by order of the street committee, Commissioner Hooker graded and graveled D and F streets from Seventh to Fourth streets, along the Southern Pacific Railroad Company's right-of-way, and sent a bill amount to to $670.87 for the work so performed to the company for payment. The company refused to pay the bill upon the grounds that it had not ordered the work. It appears that a few weeks ago Mayor Howser visited Portland and while there had a conversation with Mr. Koehler, manager for the railroad company, regarding this work of street grading. Upon his (Howser's) return to Medford he is alleged to have reported to the street committee that Mr. Koehler had agreed to the street grading proposition and that he would pay the bill. The streets were graded and the bill send to Mr. Koehler. It was returned to the street commissioner, and the following letter accompanied it:
            PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 15, 1900.
    MR. J. D. HOOKER, Street Commissioner, Medford, Oregon, Dear Sir:--Roadmaster Donnell has sent to the office of the resident engineer the enclosed bill which I return herewith. I will refrain from commenting upon the items of this bill, the amount of which I consider very much in excess of the value of the work. I beg to say, however, that there is no understanding between this company and anyone in regard to this matter, and I must, therefore, refuse to approve this bill for payment. Mayor Howser, in his last visit, told me that a certain amount of work, plowing, would be done by the city forces, at the expense of the city, on F Street, between Seventh and Fourth streets. Nothing was said about D Street. He also told me that it was expected the adjoining property holders would then do the grading, or it could be done for them by the city, and I then stated to him that while we were not legally assessable, I would not be unwilling to contribute a small amount towards the cost of grading F Street between limits mentioned; but I must respectfully refuse to entertain any proposition like the one expressed in the closed bill.
        Yours truly,
            R. KOEHLER, Manager.
    The work, as above stated, amounted to $670.87. This was the cash price to be paid for it by the railroad company, but as the company refused payment town warrants were ordered issued at a meeting of the board held Wednesday evening of this week, and the amount was increased 10 percent--to meet the reduced market value of town warrants, which is ninety cents. Thus it can be figured that the amount which this work has cost the town is $737.95.
    By comparing Mr. Howser's statement with Mr. Koehler's letter it can be easily seen that someone has made statements not true.
    The street committee is being criticized because that they acted upon the authority of Mr. Howser and did not secure a written agreement from Mr. Koehler before commencing the work.

Medford Mail, December 21, 1900, page 2


    Mayor Howser tells The Mail that the street committee, in ordering the grading of D and F streets, along the railroad right-of-way, acted in accordance with an ordinance passed by the council over a year ago. Mr. Howser further stated that the railroad company would be compelled to pay for the grading. The Mail hopes Mr. Howser is correct as regards the payment by the company, and if he will collect the amount paid out for this work by the town, these columns will tell of his success in larger type than was used last week in telling of his failure in negotiating with the company.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 28, 1900, page 7


    Street Commissioner Brandenburg has a number of men engaged this week in putting in underground box culverts, and otherwise repairing the street and sidewalks on Seventh Street, near the depot.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 1, 1901, page 7


    Street Commissioner Brandenburg is engaged this week in doing street patching. The continued wet weather has made some of our streets holy terrors to travel, but this bright sunshine is fixin' 'em plenty good.

"Additional Local," Medford Mail, March 8, 1901, page 6



    The street sprinkler was started Monday morning--and it was none too soon, as there was more than a plenty dust gyrating about the city. This street sprinkling is paid for by subscriptions from the business men of the city--the majority of them agreeing to pay a stipulated amount each week. It is a genuinely good investment when the work of sprinkling is properly attended to, but there were times last summer when the streets were neglected to some extent. The man who drives the sprinkler should remember that pretty nearly every business man in the city is interested in having this work well done, and even though there be a rush of other work for the sprinkler teams the wetting of the streets have the preference over all else--in that the interest of the whole cannot be turned down for the convenience of individuals.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 10, 1901, page 7


    Some means ought to be adopted, either by the city or the railroad company, to do away with the necessity of incoming passengers from the southbound trains being obliged to step off the cars into the mud of the street crossing near the depot. The train stops, almost invariably, at a point where passengers alighting from the car or in getting aboard are compelled to wade in mud for about two rods. This could be obviated by putting down a plank crossing between the main line and the east side track, or the train could be pulled a car length further south before the stop is made. This mud is not only deucedly unpleasant to walk in but it tends not to the good of our town in the minds of strangers who visit us.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 4, 1901, page 7


    If the draymen of the city who have previously handled the street sprinkler want to keep in good favor with the merchants of the city, they will at once get around with their little wagon and proceed to make mud of some of the dust now flying about the streets.
Medford Mail, April 18, 1902, page 3


    The work of street cleaning has been inaugurated by several of our enterprising property owners. The cutting of grass and weeds from the street sides enhances the appearance of the city to a great extent--and it don't cost much. If every property owner would expend either a little money or muscle in this manner on many of the streets which now present an appearance not as clean and tasteful as could be wished, there would be a great transformation, and the city people as a whole would rejoice thereat.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 18, 1902, page 7


Street Improvements.
    Street commissioner J. Brandenburg has been doing some good work this spring on the streets and roads in this district, and he has no small job, for his district is two miles square, and in addition to having about twelve miles of streets to look after, he has nine miles of road to improve and keep in repair. He has done considerable grading and graveling on the main thoroughfares this spring and has most of them in very good shape, but he will do no more graveling until fall, as the gravel, now being dry, will not pack. As part of the improvements that he has made he has put in this spring over 1200 feet of culverts, using in their construction iron, tiling or stone as the size and location required.
    Mr. Brandenburg is now superintending the putting in of stone crosswalks on the line of the south sidewalk on Seventh Street across D Street, between the depot and the Nash Hotel; a second across F Street between Orr's grocery and the depot grounds, and the third across the alley between the Medford Book Store and the Central Meat Market. They are each to be six feet in width. The one between the depot and the Nash Hotel is to be of Jacksonville granite, while the other two are to be of Griffin Creek sandstone. The granite walk, which is being put in by the Oregon Granite Company, of this city, is the first of that kind of rock to be used for street crossings in Medford. This granite is considered by experts to be of the best quality in the United States. It is remarkably free from flaws and seams and has a firm, even texture of great hardness and having a good cleavage can be worked into any size block or slab that may be required. The sandstone walks are being put in by Chas. Phiester. This sandstone is very hard and easily worked, and all the crosswalks heretofore put down in Medford have been of this rock.
Medford Mail, June 20, 1902, page 2


    Many of our enterprising business men have been having the streets cleaned in front of their places of business this week. It's a commendable act and one which all might emulate and the city's general appearance profit thereby.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, September 19, 1902, page 6


    The street cleaners were out in full force Monday, and all of Seventh Street was swept clean of dust and debris. This was a good job--and it was well done. It is to be regretted, however, that this spirit of cleanliness did not extend beyond the streets and onto the sidewalks.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 24, 1902, page 7


    For the first time since the vagrancy ordinance was passed the chain gang was in evidence on the streets of Medford on Monday. Six professional tourists were gathered in Sunday evening by Chief Howard at a camp fire they had built below the Southern Pacific water tank, and on Monday morning were sentenced to five days at hard labor on the streets.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 26, 1902, page 7


    Another proposition under consideration is the grading of J Street from Seventh Street to Fourth Street. This will be a great deal of work, as the street is a very uneven one, but anyone would but need to look at the street in its present condition of mud puddles and high knolls to say at once that the only thing to be done for the health and convenience of people living in that vicinity was the grading of that street. A new culvert has recently been placed at the intersection of Fifth and C streets, which will prove a great benefit to that part of the city.
"Local News Notes," Medford Success, February 10, 1903, page 2


    The rock crusher, recently purchased by the county, has been put to work on the edge of the desert, to the north of that sticky strip of road east and north of Medford. Some few years ago a rock road was built for a distance of fully a mile and a half out that way, but it has never been used because of the fact that it was too rough to drive over. It is the intention now to cover this piece of road with crushed rock--which ought to make this one of the best thoroughfares in the county.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 5, 1903, page 6


    Street Commissioner Brandenburg was at work last week raising several of the crosswalks. This was done for the purpose of lessening the amount of mud which is quite liable to gather thereon during the winter months.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, November 4, 1904, page 5


    A. C. Allen:--"There is a place on the Medford-Jacksonville road, just opposite my home, which is likely to be the cause of trouble. The road has been thrown up in the center here and a culvert put in to let the surplus water through. The culvert does not project beyond the grade and at either end is a ditch at least two and a half feet deep. The point is this. Should someone not acquainted with the road accidentally drive off the grade some dark night, either in passing some other team or from some other cause, there would be a serious accident, resulting in either the crippling of a team or the occupants of the vehicle, or both. The place is not safe, and anyone injured would have cause of action against the county for damages. Besides this the culvert is not filled up level with the grade, and the depression causes a jolt which might cause a broken king bolt in a rapidly driving vehicle, a second source of danger."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, August 11, 1905, page 1



    Ex-Commissioner Riley:--"We Big Sticky people can come to town now any time we want to, on account of the way the county constructed the road last year through one of the worst stretches of ground in Southern Oregon. Formerly it was an absolute impossibility to pull through that sticky lane at certain seasons of the year, and there have been more wagons and good resolutions broken along that line of road than anywhere in Southern Oregon. Now, however, after Roadmaster True and his men have made a roadbed of crushed rock and packed it solid with that big fifty-ton roller it's a pleasure to drive over the road, especially to some of us oldtimers, who can point out places wherein former days we got "stuck" and were either compelled to unload or abandon our vehicles entirely. There's nothing like good roads, and the people are getting educated up to the idea. Within five years Jackson County will have some of the best roads in the state if the present policy is kept up. The court was criticized somewhat when it purchased the road machinery, but you hear very little of that now."
"Street Echoes," Medford Mail, February 21, 1906, page 1


    A Farmer:--"Apropos of the matter of good roads, I don't believe it would be a bad idea if the streets of Medford which are traveled most are taken care of during the coming season. Try driving over any of the four main thoroughfares leading out of the city and you will find them full of holes and bumps, where the top dressing, if there ever was any, has been worn down to the larger stones beneath. It is just as bad in the summer, only dust takes the place of mud. Now, I want you to understand that I am not making a kick against any person or policy, I understand the difficulties which the city has labored under heretofore, but it seems to me that right now is a good time to take up the matter of building permanent streets in the city. A patch here and a patch there won't do. Take a hint from the work of the county on roads during the past year. Take a section of a certain street and build a permanent, solid street on that section. If you have any money left, build another section. That part is done then, and you can build more sections. You will be surprised to find how soon you will be able to have good streets, where there were none before, and how much more money you can put into new ones each year, because you won't have to expend it all for repairs. The material for making good roads is right at hand, it only wants to be intelligently and practically applied. For years the Big Sticky land was synonymous with broken wagons, balked horses and profanity, now it's one of the best roads connecting Medford with the country districts, and this result was accomplished by labor and material intelligently applied."
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 2, 1906, page 5


    Street Commissioner King is having the streets cleaned this week--and, best of all, he is having the alleys cleaned. Good, clean streets are pleasant to look upon, and to drive upon, but much of the pride which our townspeople might take in this connection would go below the zero mark if the alleys are left in an unsightly condition. In this connection The Mail is going to say that the means adopted by the street committee in cleaning the streets heretofore could, and ought to be, improved upon. Heretofore, and right now for that matter, the renters on the business streets have been and are compelled to clean the street in front of their respective business places. It is hardly fair to ask them to do this, neither is it pleasant. As the work is required to be done within a given time laborers cannot always be secured, and as a result either the merchant or some of his salesmen are compelled to get out with a shovel and hoe and perform the work. A salesman at a goods counter or soda fountain is not usually equipped for street cleaning work. This work should come in with the other duties of the street commissioner and should be paid for out of the road fund.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, March 30, 1906, page 5


    G. W. Stevens was circulating a good roads subscription paper in Medford Wednesday, and within a very short time over $100 was subscribed. The road improvements asked for are to be placed between Thos. Riley's place and the Bradshaw ranch, a distance of about three and a half miles. Before coming to Medford he secured subscriptions to the amount of $345 among the farmers living in the neighborhood of the proposed improvements. The roads are sticky, and they want them covered with crushed rock. It is expected that the county will help materially in this work.
    Arthur Wells has started the street sprinkler again. He secured a longer list of patrons this year than last, and is promising to give us good service. He did the job well last season, and if he does as well, or better, this season all patrons will be satisfied.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, March 30, 1906, page 8

A Portland street, October 17, 1906 Morning Oregonian
A Portland street, October 17, 1906 Morning Oregonian

    W. S. King:--"No one realizes more than I do the awful condition the streets are in, but I am doing everything possible to better them. Teams and men are now at work hauling away the mud, and I will keep this work going until the worst of it is removed. There has been so much building done on the principal streets this fall that it has been next to impossible to keep them in any kind of shape. Then again there is a great deal more traffic on the streets now than ever before. The council has directed me to hire more help, and I shall do everything possible to put the streets and crossings in at least passable condition. All Oregon towns have the same trouble Medford is now having every winter. Eugene people are always complaining of their streets and crossings--and they are always muddy. Why don't Medford pave her streets? Tell me, will you? Why don't Eugene pave her streets?''
"Things Told on the Street," Medford Mail, December 14, 1906, page 1


    Street commissioner W. S. King did a good job Sunday when he and an able corps of workmen, who were not afraid of either water or mud, gave Seventh and C Streets a good washing. It may not have been quite the right thing to do on Sunday, but could hardly have been done on a week day because of the great amount of traffic on this street. A little of the work had to be finished Monday morning, and it was a difficult task after traffic had gotten fairly well started. It is a great satisfaction to again be able to travel over the crosswalks and not wade in mud to near one's shoe tops and be spattered with mud from passing teams.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 21, 1906, page 5


    Now that the roads are drying up in consequence of the several days of sunshine, many of Medford's residents are again obtaining fuel from the coal mines. This will greatly relieve the fuel shortage and have a tendency to prevent the rocket-like rise of wood when the next storm comes.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, February 22, 1907, page 5


    While Portland and the cities up the state are complaining of having too much wet weather, here in Medford the dust is very much in evidence, and Joe Scott is already out with the sprinkler, laying the surplus realty which is inclined to change hands without due notice.
"Additional Local," Medford Mail, April 19, 1907, page 8


    In Medford there is wrath against the vacation of streets many years ago by the city council for the benefit of the Oregon & California Railroad. Says the Medford Tribune:
    "Some time in the long ago, when the Silurian held absolute sway in this city and the blighting breath of despair had stilled the fire of ambition in the breasts of the few 'live ones' remaining, the city council, out of the abundance of its ignorance and stupidity, gave to the Southern Pacific Company its official sanction to the closing of every street crossing, except three, within the city limits. Large, white posts flank the railway tracks where the street crossings should be, mute monuments to the stupid shortsightedness of the men who sold the city's birthright for a mess of pottage. But further comment on this point is useless. The evil has been done, and the question now is how shall it be undone? The city council had no legal right to give away city streets dedicated to public use under a reversion clause, and if this has been done the present council should take steps to annul the legal acts under which the city streets were closed. It would be well at the same time to see that the existing crossings are kept in better condition."
"Caution in Granting Franchises," Morning Oregonian, Portland, May 1, 1907, page 8


    The Medford people, also the people living east of Medford, have for years dodged what was known as the "sticky lane" in winter, when going to and from this city, but this year, no matter what the amount of moisture at all there need be no doubt in the minds of travelers toward Medford but that they will be able to reach their destination. The road from the McAndrew place across the black lands has been graded up, covered with crushed rock and is now being treated with a coat of sand, which will ultimately make it one of the best winter roads in this part of the state. The foundation for this was laid several years ago when part of the road was covered with rough rock. There wasn't money available to continue the work projected, and the "grading of the sticky lane" was regarded as a "joke." However, the foundation for a real road was laid there and now the road has been built on top of it, so that no fear of the "sticky lane" need deter anyone from taking the straight road to Medford.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, October 25, 1907, page 5


    W. J. D. Anderson--"The much-dreaded Big Sticky lane is now practically a thing of the past, thanks to the intelligent road-building that has been going on in that section. Time was, and not such a long time ago either, that anyone starting through that lane in wet weather, be he afoot, horseback or in a wagon, had no assurance that he would be able to traverse that stretch of road. Now he need have no misgiving about getting through. The road isn't as smooth as a floor by any means, but it is solid as a rule, especially where the crushed rock has been used as a covering to larger rock beneath. In these portions the road is perfectly solid and smooth, the crushed rock seeming to form a firm cement-like surface impervious to moisture above or below. Those portions which have been treated with river gravel are not so good, the gravel not packing so closely and the road being more or less muddy and rough, but even it is a great improvement over what it was a few years ago."
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 27, 1907, page 5


Rename Medford Streets.
    MEDFORD, Or., April 20.--(Special.)--Medford's streets, which were originally named from the letters of the alphabet, will now be known by horticultural names. The list, which may be corrected before adoption, now reads: Riverside, Apple, Bartlett, Central Avenue, D'Anjou, Evergreen, Fir, Grape, Holly, Ivy, King, Oakdale Avenue, Laurel, Mistletoe, Newtown, Orange, Peach, Quince and Rose. The east side streets are to be known as Walnut, Almond, Blossom, Cherry and Manzanita.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 21, 1908, page 8



THE STREETS ARE RENAMED
    Pursuant with the instructions given them by the city council at the last meeting of that body, the street committee met on Saturday afternoon with a committee of the ladies of the Greater Medford Club and selected names for the streets of this city to take the place of the letter of the alphabet by which a part of the streets are known at present. Horticultural names were followed as far as possible. Nearly all of the streets known at present by a letter of the alphabet were given new names; however, the names were not definitely settled upon and will not be until after a second meeting of the committee with the ladies of the club.
    In naming the streets after fruit trees the committee believes that they are taking a step that will add to the attractiveness of the city. Many large cities have streets named in such a manner, though as far as can be learned the names of fruit trees have not heretofore been used exclusively. In San Diego especially is such an arrangement carried out; all of the streets there are named after trees, the first letter of the names running in an alphabetical order. By naming the streets of Medford as far as possible after fruit trees, the names call attention at once to the fruit industry of the valley. Wherever it was impossible to find a fruit tree to correspond with the letter that a street is known by at present, the name of some other tree was substituted.
    Mrs. W. I. Vawter presided at the meeting, and F. E. Merrick acted as secretary. Those present at the meeting were: Mesdames Vawter, McGowan, York, Page, Kentner and McCray. Messrs. Trowbridge, Merrick, Olwell, city engineer Osgood and city attorney Withington.
    The names of the streets as decided upon at the meeting were as follows:
    Riverside Avenue, Apple, Bartlett, Central Avenue, D'Anjou, Evergreen, Fir, Grape, Holly, Ivy, King, Oakdale Avenue, Laurel, Mistletoe, Newtown, Orange, Peach, Quince, Rose. East side: First street, Almond; second street, Walnut; county road, north, Roosevelt Avenue. North end: Blossom, Cherry, Manzanita.
    As soon as the committee decide upon the list of names the city council will in all probability pass an ordinance bestowing the names upon the streets. The move is a good one and will prove an added attraction to the city.
Medford Mail, April 24, 1908, page 1




    The steam roller which was recently purchased by the city council arrived Sunday morning. The Buffalo Pitts Company have agreed to furnish an engineer for two weeks to instruct a local man in the running of the engine.
"City Happenings,"
Medford Mail, May 22, 1908, page 5


A Splendid Road.
    The road built from Medford to the desert across "Big Sticky" last year is a piece of work that should make the present county court famous and is a monument to their ability as road builders. This fertile region has been isolated heretofore on account of the impassable condition of the roads in winter. There was no demand for real property abutting it. This condition has now changed, and property values are much higher and in great demand along the entire stretch of road. Medford has received a great deal of trade that formerly went to Central Point because it could not get to Medford in bad weather.
Medford Mail, May 29, 1908, page 3


    "At that time [early 1909] the only paved street in Medford extended from Kentner's store at the corner now occupied by Luman Brothers to the old Washington School, where the courthouse stands now. At the end of the pavement near the school there was a large mudhole, and farmers coming to town in their wagons would often dump rocks into it so they could get over it."
    He recalled that when he bought the North Oakdale cottage a four-horse team and wagon were stuck in a mud puddle in front it. Going to the east side of town to look around to see whether he had made a poor buy, Mr. Getchell saw another four-horse team and wagon stuck in a mudhole just the other side of Bear Creek, he remembered.
"Getchell Reviews 30 Years in City; Need Coast Road," Medford Mail Tribune, January 22, 1939, page 3



A STREET TILT.
Driver and Humanitarian Disagree Over Work of Team.
    A heavily loaded wagon with its wheels frozen in several inches of mud, a willing team which was unable to extricate the wagon from its frozen grip, a driver who overestimated the physical ability of his horses and a young man who would not stand to see dumb brutes inhumanely fogged furnished entertainment for the residents of [North] Oakdale Avenue, near the German Lutheran Church, Thursday morning.
    Two wagonloads of poles had been left standing overnight in the street. When the teams were rehitched the next morning the animals on the front outfit, though they pulled and strained as nobly as any pair of horses ever did, could not move the wagon from its tracks. The driver first used his whip sharply and then began beating the animals.
    Nearby three young men were working on a wire line. One of them suggested they give the outfit a "lift." It was agreed. But with their assistance the wagon could not be budged. Again the driver fell to beating his horses.
    "Why not put the other team on with yours?" interposed one of the linemen.
    "This team can pull this load out, and it's got to do it," responded the irate teamster, and whack! went a club over the poor animals' backs.
    "Hold on there! Don't you hit those horses another time!" commanded the lineman.
    As the driver stopped to survey the husky young man who had objected, the latter went back and unhitched the other span of horses from their wagon and hitched them onto the first outfit. Then the command was made to "get up," and the wagon was broken from its frozen fastenings. "Now, you just pull along with all four to where you are taking your load or I'll complain on you," said the electrician.
    The teamster sullenly did as he was ordered. In a few minutes the extra team was brought back for its wagon and yanked it along without difficulty.
    The linemen resumed their operations, amid the inward applause of all the witnesses.
Medford Mail, February 5, 1909, page 3



    Many of our streets and the drainage, or rather the lack of such, would be a disgrace in the Philippines. These conditions can be remedied only by persistent efforts made effective as funds are available for the work.
City Engineer Thomas Osgood, "Annual Report of City Engineer," Medford Mail, February 12, 1909, page 1


KEEP TO THE RIGHT.
That Is Advice for Others Besides Owners of Automobiles.

    There is almost always a mixup of teams and automobiles at the Main Street railroad crossing when travel has been stopped for a few minutes by passenger trains blocking the way.
    Councilman Emerick suggested last night that all drivers of vehicles waiting to cross at these times line up on the right-hand side of the street. For instance, all vehicles moving west should line up on the Exhibition Building side, and those going east should line up on the side next to the express office. This would leave open space for each lineup to move when the train pulls out. The suggestion is a good one and ought to be carried out.
Medford Mail weekly, July 9, 1909, page 1



LOCAL ROADS ARE SOURCE OF TROUBLE
Rig Drops into Mud Hole While Horse Continues Even Tenor [of] His Way
    Tyson Beall has a kick coming on the roads leading into Medford and not with[out] reason, either.
    "The streets in the outskirts of town," said Mr. Beall, "are worse than many of the county roads, due, of course, to the extremely heavy traffic on these converging streets and roads. While coming in this morning with my brother we were driving along very comfortably when the buggy dropped into one of the many holes in the road. The horse, a 1600-pound animal, kept right on walking, but the rig stayed where it was. The horse simply walked out of the harness. Next year with the improvements projected it may be possible to get to the city from the outside, but just now it is a problem that requires careful driving and a good knowledge of the country to [be] traversed."
Medford Mail Tribune, December 19, 1909, page 5


18 PERCENT OF MEDFORD STREETS ARE NOW PAVED
City Engineer Compiles Figures Giving Total Amount of Paving in the City--
Sidewalks and Total Length of Streets Also in Report.
    According to figures compiled by City Engineer Foster for his annual report to the city council, which is as yet incomplete, 18 percent of the streets of Medford, or nearly one-fifth, have been paved, and the pavement accepted.
    According to the report, Medford streets total 45.43 miles. Of this distance, 8.42 are paved, or 18 percent. Another eight miles have been ordered paved.
    The city now has 20.30 miles of cement sidewalks and 8.46 of board walks. In the city 1675 houses have been numbered.
    According to the report, the city has 157,024 square yards of pavement, which cost $377,615.08.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 18, 1910, page 1



WORST STREET IS IN DARKNESS
NORTH CENTRAL WITH SUNKEN DITCH IMPERILS LIVES
Four Autos Run into Death Trap and Have To Be Pulled Out with Teams--
Lights Scarce All Along.
    In one of the worst, and for vehicles the most dangerous, parts of the city there are no lights. It is the unpaved section of North Central from Court Street to the north limit of the city.
    The section is all mud and mire and contains the sewer which was lain and the dirt thrown in loosely with flushing in. The dirt has sunk down from one to three feet, leaving a ditch where teams and autos are in the utmost peril. Within the past few weeks four autos have run into the ditch while trying to pass teams and have had to be pulled out with horses.
    It is one of the worst imaginable places in the daytime, but at night with no light for the entire length of the unpaved section which contains the sunken sewer ditch it is worse.
    Lights are very scarce along the paved portion of North Central, and there the sidewalks are torn up and in all manner of confusion. At street and alley crossings there are jumping-off places galore. The only safety for people in traveling night or day is to keep in the middle of the street and avoid the sidewalks. But when it is rainy there is a coating of mud all over the paving that makes that very uninviting and especially distressing for women.
Medford Sun, January 3, 1911, page 1


NATURE AND W. P. BAKER AT WORK
ON MEDFORD'S UNCLEAN STREETS
    Two mighty forces got busy last night, the eve of election, at cleaning the much-talked-of filthy streets of Medford. One was nature, in the form of a rainfall, and the other was Street Commissioner W. P. Baker. The one was sort of omnipotent in its operations; the other confined his activities to Main Street alone.
    The doings of the former are so frequent that they need no description, but those of Mr. Baker are so much on the seldom order that a brief description would not be amiss, stating that he had the assistance of a couple of men and a nozzle and hose and worked into the middle of the night.
    In behalf of Mr. Baker The Sun will deny that his work on the particular day and date was done to influence the city election result, though if any one of the three candidates, save Mr. Canon, shall be defeated they will have a fight to attribute it to that as one of the causes.
    In behalf of Mr. Baker The Sun will also deny that he rushed the work through last night in fear of its constituting a violation of the corrupt practices act if left until today. It, in fact, is not done as a sort of electioneering, much as it may seem that way.

Medford Sun, January 10, 1911, page 1


ALL STREETS BUT FOUR NOW DRAGGED
    Every unpaved street in the city will have been subjected to treatment with a "drag" by Wednesday night, if the present activities of Street Commissioner Baker and his force of assistants are able to continue their work.
    The dragging was commenced about four weeks ago, and since that time all but four streets have been gone over with the exception of four, which will be finished up by tomorrow.

Medford Mail Tribune, March 7, 1911, page 4

Sprinkling East Main, 1910
Sprinkling East Main--a paved street--to keep the dust down in 1910.

Dirty West Main, 1912
A paved but filthy West Main in 1912.

    Many a municipality has a bad blot on its reputation because of the wretched condition of the thoroughfares leading thereto when timely work done with a road grader and drag would greatly improve their condition. In too many cases these same "rocky" roads are found in townships and towns whose road supervisors or street commissioners are drawing good salaries for taking care of the highways, while the equipment for keeping them in order is acquiring a coat of rust in some vacant lot or alley.
Frank E. Trigg, Central Point, "Farm, Orchard and Garden,"  Evening Independent, Massillon, Ohio, April 22, 1910, page 11


    A street flusher has arrived and is in use on the streets. It is proving a great success.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, February 29, 1912, page 2



Medford street crew, probably on the 500 block of South Grape, circa 1925.

THREE MUD HOLES OF COUNTY BRING PIONEER MEMORY
    The county court was informed this morning that there are a trio of mud holes in Jackson County, which need fixing right away.
    This caused County Commissioner George Alford to recall that he remembered when there were more mud holes than that on the main street of Medford, and the head of navigation to the westward was approximately where the Washington School now stands.
    Commissioner Alford said that there was a mud hole of considerable dimensions in front of where the Monarch Seed and Feed store is now located, and another opposite Charlie Strang's drug store. Commissioner Bursell corroborated his fellow official and declared these two were the best mud holes he had ever encountered or expected to. The mud hole adjacent to the Washington School, however, was a cousin to the Pacific Ocean, having breadth and depth. One spring a steer walked into the same and was never seen again.
    The modern mud holes called to the attention of the county court are puddles. One is located near the north city limits, another to the south, and the third on the north side of Rogue River between Grants Pass and Rogue River.
    "The Rogue River mud hole is terrible, by what I hear," said Commissioner Alford. "Some morning when it is frozen over we will go down and try to get across. They tell me it takes a long step to get across."
    Commissioner Alford harbors a supreme contempt for modern mud holes, and was aghast to learn that there were three in the county. He said that a census 20 years ago would have revealed at least 3000, and "everybody took them as they came."
    The three mud holes will be obliterated as soon as they can be filled up with gravel, the county court decided.
    The county court is desirous of eradicating the Rogue River mud hole at once, as reinforcing of the bridge at Rogue River will start soon, and travel to the Pacific Highway from the town of Rogue River will be suspended while the repairs are under way.
    Citizens of Rogue River recently requested that the road to Grants Pass (the Old Stage Road) be repaired. It gives the residence of that district a shorter outlet to Grants Pass and also enables them to avoid the traffic on the Pacific Highway.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 13, 1929, page 5


ALL STREETS BUT FOUR NOW DRAGGED
    Every unpaved street in Medford will have been subjected to treatment with a "drag" by Wednesday night, if the present activities of Street Commissioner Baker and his force of assistants are able to continue their work.
    The dragging was commenced about four weeks ago, and since that time all but four streets have been gone over with the exception of four, which will be finished up by tomorrow.

Medford Mail Tribune, March 7, 1911, page 4


    The Warren Construction Company has completed repairs to the south side of Main Street between Front and Central avenues.

"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, May 21, 1915, page 6



    The lines for the zones of safety at street car crossings have been completed, and autoists are warned that while the street is stopped they are not allowed to trespass within the lines. Violation is subject to a fine. Several motorists have the notion that by honking their horns and keep[ing] going they can invade forbidden territory. They are supposed to halt.
"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, June 2, 1916, page 2


    The paving at the intersection of Main Street and Central Avenue, under the warm sun, became as soft as mush, affording some discomfort to pedestrians. It is likely the city council will take some action toward having it improved.
"Local and Personal," Medford Sun, June 17, 1916, page 2


    The council last night decided to purchase a Baker sanitary dustless street sweeping machine at a cost of $550. The machine will be motorized by city employees at a cost of approximately $300. The use of the machine will reduce the city street force one team and two men.
"City to Park Southern Pacific Right of Way," Medford Mail Tribune, April 4, 1917, page 6



    Three of the busier street intersections of the city now have safety lanes for the protection of pedestrians, and other intersections will probably be likewise equipped in a short time. The lanes, point out the police officials, make jaywalking inexcusable and accidents less liable to happen as a result. The corners of Central, Bartlett and Riverside on Main now each have eight rows of square pieces of metal, making four lanes for each intersection.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, July 3, 1927, page 2


6TH ST. XING TO BE PAVED SOON
    The railroad crossing work has all been completed, both the approaches have been graded, leveled and rolled, and all other preliminary work is about ready except the placing of a new telephone conduit, so that within a day or so the work of paving the Sixth Street crossing over the Southern Pacific tracks from Front Street to Fir Street will be begun by the Medford Concrete Construction Company, which has the contract.
    This asphalt paving will be finished, it is said, in about five to six days after the work is begun.

Medford Mail Tribune, July 6, 1927, page 3



    While the paving of Sixth Street between Front Street and Fir Street incidental to the opening of Sixth Street over the Southern Pacific tracks, which was begun early this week, is progressing, it will take at least several days before all the concrete is poured, and the street will not probably be thrown open to traffic until August 17th, as after the pavement has been laid it must dry out about 30 days before vehicles can drive over it.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, July 17, 1927, page 2


TRAFFIC OFFICER RIVERSIDE AVE. MUST BE OBEYED
    The traffic director, L. D. Forncrook, at the corner of Main Street and Riverside Avenue has been placed there for the specific purpose of aiding the motorist, but if his signals are disobeyed and his authority taken lightly arrests will be made, said City Traffic Officer G. J. Prescott today. This dictum also applies to the pedestrians who are told to follow the orders of the traffic officer and cross the street when they are given the signal.
    In addition, Officer Prescott gave advice in regard to left-hand turns, which he classes a serious handicap to smooth traffic. "If you must make a left-hand turn," he said this morning, "be sure and turn short, for if you don't there are two chances to one that your machine will tie up traffic. As a matter of fact, I can see the time when the left-hand turns will be banished at the busy intersections, as there is little good in the practice, causing motorists many inconveniences for the benefit of one."

Medford Mail Tribune,
July 21, 1927, page 5



    According to the present rate of progress, the new Sixth Street crossing over the S.P. tracks will be ready for travel in a short time. Finishing touches on the street approaches from Fir and Front streets were nearly completed today, and trucks are now busy hauling away the dirt which had served as a covering during the time that the concrete was hardening.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 10, 1927, page 2


SIXTH ST. XING OPENS FRIDAY, SCHEFFEL SAYS
New Improvement Finished and Ready for All Traffic in Morning--
Ceremony at Jubilee in September.
    Traffic will be turned onto the new Sixth Street crossing tomorrow morning, announced Fred Scheffel, city superintendent, today, thereby marking the completion of Medford's newest civic improvement and aid to traffic. This will open another through thoroughfare from Riverside Avenue, the Pacific Highway, to West Main Street near Newtown and will give traffic an opportunity to go east and west without using crowded Main Street.
    Plans for opening up  Sixth Street have been in the air for years past, but it was not until last fall that the actual work was begun. At that time several houses on West Main Street near the J. A. Perry home were moved and torn down. The cleared space was then graded and the street was soon extended west from Oakdale and opened to traffic. It has not yet been paved, however, but it is planned to do so soon.
    The construction was then delayed until this season, when the work was begun on the crossing between Front and Fir streets, across the Southern Pacific tracks. The new work is all of cement and was done by the Medford Concrete & Construction Company.
    No ceremony will be held when traffic is started on the crossing tomorrow. At the prosperity celebration held in September the new traffic artery will be officially opened, it is understood, as a part of the program.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 11, 1927, page 1


    A report to the council on the Cottage Street bridge announced that all footings have been poured, and that the concrete in four piers has been poured to date. The work is progressing rapidly.
"City Park Site Sales Are Urged," Medford Daily News, January 21, 1931, page 2


CITY LEADERS BATTLE FOR OPEN STREETS
    Aided by prominent residents, by Eighth Street property holders, city officials feel that a strong case has been prepared to show why the opening of Eighth and Fourth streets is necessary to the city. With attorneys for the Southern Pacific opposing the petition for the opening of the key streets across the railway tracks at grade, the hearing before the public service commission will take place in the circuit court rooms at the courthouse on January 29.
    Members of the commission will act in a judicial capacity, and evidence will be introduced in a manner similar to a circuit court trial.
    The Eighth Street opening is regarded as a greater need by city officials, and the city will concentrate its legal barrage for the commission's direction to open this street. Railway officials are not expected to fight the Fourth Street request so bitterly, as it will not affect the railway yards.
    At a public meeting last week Eighth Street property holders pledged themselves in favor of the opening, and indicated that all resultant costs would be more than repaid by increase in property valuation.
Medford Daily News, January 28, 1931, page 5


EAST MAIN SERA JOB NEARLY DONE
    Completion of the Main Street curve elimination SERA project on Siskiyou Heights is only a matter of a few days, Fred Scheffel, city superintendent, stated today. Excavation work and building of a rock wall along the bank is finished, with remaining work consisting only of leveling the new roadway.
    The ground will have to stand over the winter, Scheffel said, to settle before it is oiled. The project has employed an average of seven men since early this spring, with funds provided by CWA and SERA.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 21, 1934, page 5



CITY TO INSTALL TRAFFIC LIGHTS AT 2 CORNERS
    Stop and go traffic lights will be installed before the end of the year at East Main Street and Riverside Avenue and East Main Street and Central Avenue, it was announced today by Frank H. Rogers, city building and light inspector.
    The lights have been ordered and should be delivered here within a month, Mr. Rogers said. They will be installed immediately after delivery, he added.
    The lights will flash red and green at intervals to be determined later, Mr. Rogers related. A whistle will blow simultaneously with the color flash to call attention to the change, he said. Traffic light whistles are an innovation and have been found more effective than bells, he stated, adding that Medford's whistles will be the first to be installed in the West Coast.
    The traffic lights are intended to give local traffic a chance to enter and cross the Pacific Highway at East Main Street and to avert jams and aid pedestrian traffic at Main and Central, Mr. Rogers explained.
    As it is now, he pointed out, through traffic has a continuous right of way along the Pacific Highway, or Riverside Avenue, and local traffic has to manage as best it can, cars on Main Street frequently being held up in long strings.
    At Main and Central it is a battle of everyone for himself and this results in traffic jams and pedestrian hazards, Mr. Rogers stressed. On busy days and nights a policeman must be stationed there to direct traffic.
    The new traffic lights, with their whistles, will be automatic in operation, Mr. Rogers said.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 3, 1937, page 10

April 12, 1940 Medford Mail Tribune
April 12, 1940 Medford Mail Tribune


Pedestrians Criticized
    To the Editor: It seems that giving pedestrians right of way on street crossings has made more of a hazard for themselves as well as for motorists than ever before. This newly acquired right has gone to the heads of many, both men and women, who dawdle across the street, daring anyone to hurry them, ignoring the confusion of vehicles often arising from their nonchalance and their very false sense of security.
    It is amazing to see the gander crossings these dear good people think are guarded by this new law: catercorner, middle of block, late start after lights are changed, etc.
    Now, to make things safe for everybody, we suggest the lights be so arranged that time be extended on the yellow, and that pedestrians be limited to yellow light crossing exclusively. This would eliminate the danger to pedestrians when motorists are forced to turn into pedestrian right of way or else block traffic. So simple, so safe. We hope the police will try it.
A. B. E.                       
(Name on file.)                       
Medford Mail Tribune, September 21, 1947, page 8


Eighth St. Paving Started; Couplet Nears Completion
    Paving on Eighth St. was started this week by the state highway department in preparation for the new Main St.-Eighth St. one-way couplet for downtown traffic, it was reported today.
    Grading has been completed on Eighth St. between Fir and Fourth sts., it was reported, with the base rock being laid in that area. Between 14 and 18 inches of base rock will be laid before the 3½ inches of asphalt.
    Officials reported that 20 percent of the work in this block has been completed. Part of the base rock must be laid, they said, before the curbs and gutters may be poured.
Complete Curbs, Gutters
    Workers have completed the majority of the curbs, gutters, sidewalks and driveways, with some cleanup work needed in a few areas. This work consists mainly of short patches of sidewalks, curbing at Main and Elm sts., and the traffic separators at Main and Elm sts.
    Highway engineers reported that paving, which started at the west end of the couplet, will continue west and should be completed in the near future, weather conditions permitting.
    The project is expected to be completed in July, it was reported. Actual completion of the work depends on installation of eight new traffic signals.
    The signals will be installed at Main and Eighth sts. at Hamilton St., Main and Eighth sts. at Orange St., and Eighth St. at Oakdale Ave., Grape St., Front St. and Riverside Ave.
    Trowbridge and Flynn, contractors for signal installation, reported that the signal heads are to be shipped July 3 from Moline, Ill.
Total Cost
    Total cost of the couplet construction will be $227,261.80, of which the city is to pay 25 percent. Approximately $56,800 has been placed on deposit as the city's share, officials report.
    Construction of a new Bear Creek bridge, to finish the couplet, will be done later. Officials said that actual construction of the bridge is not expected to get under way until next spring.
    Until the completion of the Bear Creek bridge, eastbound traffic on Eighth St., once the couplet is opened, will flow into Riverside Ave. City officials reported that some congestion of traffic may necessitate a traffic officer at the intersection during peak rush hours.
    Traffic counter statistic furnished by the city show, during a 24-hour period, that 10,600 vehicles travel on Riverside Ave. at Main St., with as many vehicles on that section of East Main St. Officials concluded that approximately 15,000 vehicles will be traveling on South Riverside Ave., between Eighth and Main sts. once the couplet is opened.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 19, 1958, page 1


Main-Eighth St. Couplet to Open Friday Morning
    Inauguration of the Main St.-Eighth St. couplet is now set for Friday morning, Aug. 8, according to Vernon Thorpe, city public works director.
    Traffic on Main St. will be one-way westbound from Riverside Ave. to Elm St. Traffic on Eighth St. will be one-way eastbound between the same limits.
    Personnel from the state highway department are expected to arrive today or tomorrow to supervise placement of signs and temporary barricades. A crew from the Southern Pacific railroad is scheduled to set signals in operation at the Eighth St. crossing.
Flashing Yellow
    Meanwhile, Main St. signals have flashing yellow lights as traffic signal adjustments are made. With the couplet in operation motorists on both streets will find the signals timed to allow an uninterrupted flow of traffic, Thorpe reported.
    Thorpe and City Manager Robert A. Duff advised motorists approaching Riverside Ave. on Eighth St. to get in the proper lane for what they plan to do next. Traffic expecting to continue north on Riverside Ave. is advised to stay in the left lane on Eighth St. and on Riverside Ave. after they turn.
    Traffic expected to turn east on Main St., one block north of the intersection, is urged to get in the right lane on Eighth St. and move to the right side of Riverside Ave. to facilitate turning right on Main St.
    They also warned that motorists traveling southeast on Oakdale Ave. can no longer turn across Eighth St. onto King St. by the county courthouse, since they would meet Eighth St.'s eastbound traffic. They must instead either turn west on Main St. and then south on Laurel St. or else continue on Oakdale Ave. and turn south further on.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 5, 1958, page 1


Three-Lane Traffic Set on Main Street
    The state highway department completed restriping Main St. today for three-lane traffic from Riverside Ave. to Oakdale Ave., according to Vernon Thorpe, city engineer.
    The street will now include three 12-foot-width lanes of traffic including parking strips on both sides. Thorpe said that the former four 9-foot-width lanes were too narrow for driving comfort.
    The old stripes on the street are also being removed by the department.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 26, 1959, page 1

July 18, 1963 Medford Mail Tribune
July 18, 1963 Medford Mail Tribune

New Signal System Partially Operating
    Traffic signals at Medford street intersections were operated by a master computer at city hall for the first time Tuesday afternoon.
    But tests of various programs running the city's new computerized traffic control system involved only small groups of signals at any one time.
    "We hope to have all signals running on the master computer today," said Tony Barry, product planning manager for Multisonic, of Dublin, Calif.
    "We can't transfer all of the system over at once."
    Multisonic is the subcontractor that manufactured the computer system and its software.
    The master computer will operate traffic lights at 55 intersections. Local control boxes have operated the signals at each intersection and have been coordinated to provide an even traffic flow until now.
    Barry said the master computer is programmed with nine different patterns to operate at different times of day. But he said the computer also will respond to detectors beneath street intersections. When those sensors indicate changes in traffic flow, the computer can override set signal patterns and alter signal frequency to improve traffic flow.
    The sensors connect mini-computers at each intersection through telephone lines to the master computer. They record the volume and speed of traffic, and which lanes are getting heaviest use.
    Participating in the testing and evaluation of the system are specialists from the city, the state Highway Division, the main contractor, Sims Electric, of Medford, and the subcontractors, Multisonic and Omni Means, of Sacramento, Calif.
    Omni Means provided information from which the computer programs were developed.
    Barry said four representatives from Multisonic and two from Omni Means will be in Medford as long as it takes to get the system working.
    While part of the system was on the master computer Tuesday, the rest of Medford traffic lights continued to function on intersection control boxes. Signals were returned to the old system overnight.
    After the new system is determined to be functioning properly with the different programs, a 60-day evaluation period will begin.
    Within that period, city and state engineers will determine whether control patterns should be modified.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 8, 1984, page 1




Last revised November 10, 2016