Letter to the editor – Lee Sheeder

Re: Highway 4 resurfacing project

To the editor,

At 5:40 am this morning, I nearly struck two pedestrians with my truck. It was my fault, and I owe these two ladies an apology.

I was westbound on Lincoln Way and attempting to turn north onto Elm (Hwy 4). As I entered the intersection it was not clear what northbound lane was open due to the road construction. I changed my mind, took off my blinker, began to accelerate forward, and that’s when I saw them in in the crosswalk. I hit the brakes, and thankfully it was quick enough…it was just inches away from striking them. It scared me, but no doubt it must have terrified them.

You were completely correct when you shouted I had my blinker on. I did. As I entered the intersection and realized I could not determine what lane to use, my focus was on picking a lane and my eyes were on the other car to my left entering the intersection. I am truly sorry for not seeing you, and sorry for the the fear it must have caused. Please accept my apology.

I am very disappointed in the Iowa DOT for their oversight of this patch and pave road construction project. Even if we overlook the delays due to weather, this project has been chaos. Not once have I observed a sign that clearly identifies the ever-changing temporary lanes and the designated direction of those lanes. Construction debris has made it onto open lanes. The cones and barrels lay crushed on the curbs daily, and cones placed to restrict traffic flow are often missing. On three occasions in the daytime I have had cars coming at me in the wrong lane traveling in the wrong direction. I have had to stop and allow them to enter the correct lane. At night it has been even worse.

If the city of Jefferson has any joint involvement in this project, I urge you to work with the contractor to improve their signage, as well as closely monitor missing cones and barrels that could inadvertently allow traffic to enter an incorrect lane. Hopefully this construction will be completed soon.

Thank you,
Lee Sheeder, Jefferson, IA

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