By this past Monday, even I had no idea which direction the vote on the Fifth Street Project was going to go. There was a lot at stake in time and money.

When the votes were in, I sighed inside just because it was finally over. Whew. That was a long haul.

Many are still questioning the four lane to three lane configuration and the bike lanes on such a busy street.

ODOT and other transportation experts have given the “road diet” a stamp of approval as a way to promote safety, smoother traffic flow and speed limit adherence.

We all want safety. City administration and council want safety. No one would have backed an idea that did not promote safety.

The bike lanes, while to most seem frivolous, are going to connect to others that will eventually stretch from coast to coast. Pretty cool.

Is it for small children or unskilled cyclists? No, it’s not. It’s for those who like to cycle long distances. There have been many occasions, at least four or five a season, that someone calls The Herald letting us know about a cyclist who is traveling from one point to another to raise awareness about something or to raise money for a cause. They are usually following Lincoln Highway.

A representative from one local business said he was excited about the bike lanes because many of his employees had told him of their desire to cycle to work. This will provide them with their own safe lane to do so.

There have also been many comments on taking out the two traffic signals. One is on the backside of Franklin Elementary. The city is currently working a Safe Routes to School plan that will have all children who walk and bike to school arrive at the front entrance on Franklin Street. Franklin Street has been a preferred bike route to that school for as long as I can remember. There used to be signs.

I know change is scary. Fifth Street does have issues. I receive a lot of accident reports from Fifth Street. There are issues.

What if this project improves it? What if it makes it safer for all?

Time will tell.


She’s been a part of my life for along time. I believe we became acquainted in the late 80s at a garage sale. She was so smart looking. She was color blocked in yellow, red, navy and white. She was just the thing I was looking for at the time.

She was used on the cold nights when you just want to snuggle in. She was thrown on as a layer for trips to the grocery store or to run other errands.

She was what I threw on at 5 a.m. that morning when a mouse had made its way from the mud room to the main bathroom, dragging a mousetrap behind that had just caught its tiny front paw. I threw her on so I could step out the back door into the dawn and release my captive.

Over the years, she lost all her buttons and a small fray on the left cuff is now a large, flapping tattered affair. There is also a hole in the right armpit area.

The last straw for her was on Sunday. I was frying bacon on the griddle and I reached for something and the tattered sleeve fell into the bacon grease and then slopped out and burned me. I quickly pulled her off and threw her on the floor while saying a few choice words.

I dropped that decades-old sweater into a trash can Friday morning. It made me sad. I will miss her.

Goodbye, my friend.