Red, white and blue road stripes spark debate in Myrtle Creek

An attempt to bring positivity to the community could be a liability risk for the city.

Posted: Sep 4, 2020 5:26 PM

MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. -- As drivers roll through First and Second avenues in downtown Myrtle Creek, they may notice something different -- road markings that are now painted red, white and blue.

Some feel the new stripes are a way to bring positivity to the community during the pandemic, but the city sees it as a liability.

In a statement, city officials said public works director Quinn Pickering repainted the road markings last Friday.

Many residents told KEZI 9 News that Pickering did all the research for the project to make sure it was legal, and he did it on his own time and money. 

“It was done in the spirit of encouraging people to be happy, that’s it,” said Jerrie Thomas.

However, city officials said they believe repainting over the original yellow markings implies the streets are one-way, not two-way like they’ve always have been.

If there was an accident, city officials said they worry they could be liable.

In a meeting on Tuesday, the city council discussed repainting the stripes but ultimately decided to push the decision back and seek further legal advice.

However, many residents told KEZI 9 News that Pickering has resigned from his position, but that has yet to be confirmed with officials. They also said that Pickering only had good intentions with the project.

“He’s a very positive person. He’s the type that would do anything for anyone and I think he’s proven that time and time again,” said Amanda Gibson.

Other residents said they understand why the city is concerned. They said it could turn messy if there was an accident.

“There’s a liability in case somebody wants to sue them,” said Alvin Ankle.

KEZI 9 News reached out to both the city and Pickering for comment, but they both declined.

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