The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

An Ode to the Turn Lane on Franklin and Wall

In memoriam
NW Wall Street, 1940

The corner of Franklin Avenue and Wall Street is a magic place: home to purple-tinged streetlights, that famed man-on-bench forever searching for cash and sidewalks perpetually bursting with window-shoppers and bar-hoppers. It’s at this particular intersection—headed southwest on Wall—that one seamless, fast-pass kind of right turn cheats a red light. One turn and you’re lost to the charm of a Drake Park filled with slackliners and Canadian geese out-of-towners on your right, and a row of antiqued Old Bend homes across the street at your left. At least, before.

Perched at a perfect blind curve that once necessitated nosing up unfathomably far into the crosswalk and craning over the steering wheel to see around a shiny new street-parked Sprinter van, this turn lane was once my favorite in Bend. Franklin-Wall was home to special pedestrian encounters, filled with miscommunications in the form of confused eye contact and shrugged shoulders with mill-arounders waiting for their table at The Drake. A friend in the passenger seat, innocently waving on a walker unbeknownst to me, and me (the driver, busy scanning for traffic) beginning the turn anyways.

It’s a loss that was, looking back, much anticipated. 

I found out Wednesday afternoon, still reeling in endless curiosities after catching sight of the newly installed parking indicator on the other end of Wall, at Newport Avenue. The meter I knew about. The meter, I was prepared for. I had seen it on a Bulletin front page that very morning and was unaffected besides simple lingering wonderings. Does this meter only include paid parking? How would street parking be accounted for, if at all? Are there truly 99 spots available in the Centennial Garage? Or does this new indicator not go to triple-digits? 

Those were my questions when I rolled to a stop at the red light on Wall at Franklin, and discovered that there was no other way out. No clever manuever to steer around stalled cars Old Mill bound, no alternate path to provide the same rush as driving too far through a Greenwood Avenue suicide lane. No. I was simply stuck. I found, to my dismay, to be flanked on all sides by cars, cars and cars. 

The Franklin-Wall turn lane was once the sacred keeper of a right-on-red rarity. It’s not every intersection that you roll up to lucky enough to be the first one in a long line of fellow cars, lucky enough to be at the front with the discretion to turn on a red light if you so choose. But Franklin-Wall guaranteed that. Franklin-Wall was an honest and dependable traffic fixture, if nothing else. Laughably too long, it’s here I would stop and avert eye contact, eye to eye with Pizza Mondo munchers and Velvet Bar regulars. The pyramid schemers with soap samplers, too.

Truly, these new parking spots at such a proximity provide perfect opportunity for the downtown skincare pyramid scheme to pounce, and I can only anticipate how many soap sample offers will have to be shot down while a helpless individual scrambles to unlock their car. These parking spots are for the bravest of individuals. Wintertime may be safe, especially once there’s snow on the ground and it’s just irrational to keep doors open and offer soap to passersby bundled in scarves and mittens. But come springtime, come that first lick of 60-degree weather, those newborn parking spots turn red-hot.

In all actuality, I’m not in terrible mourning over a downtown turn lane. Bend is doubling in size and with growth comes change. And change is good. Typically. But this provided all of four, maybe five parking spaces downtown. It’s an attempt to cram and accommodate an influx of more people under masking tape. Five more parking spots? That’s approximately 20 more Bend t-shirts sold (if every car parked is a family of four), maybe 11 more iced oat milk lattes bought across the myriad of local coffee shops downtown, et cetera, et cetera. While we’re at it, why not condense downtown to one lane throughout and start tandem stacking these out of towners? Joking. Maybe.

Farewell, Franklin-Wall turn lane.

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About the Contributor
Lindsey Pease
Lindsey Pease, Crest Editor
Lindsey is named Lindsey and likes pottery.

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