Pedestrian signal installed on Langer Farms Parkway
More than two years after his brother was struck and killed by a car as he was crossing Langer Farms Parkway, Pat Olds is happy the city has installed a flashing pedestrian crosswalk, hoping to prevent any future fatalities at the location.
"I'm just thankful they saw the need (for it) to be there," said Olds. "Honestly, I'm glad they put it in."
On a rainy Dec. 18, 2014, Jeff Olds was leaving his job at the Sherwood Walmart, crossing from the southeast corner of Langer Farms Parkway west when he was struck by a motorist. He suffered a major head trauma and died in the hospital two days later.
Since then, Olds has been advocating for the crosswalk, and in April 2016, the Sherwood City council approved what's known as a RRFB, or Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon on both sides of the street that connect the Walmart and Target retail complexes.
Craig Sheldon, city public works director, said the project is expected to cost $100,000 once it's completed.
"This includes a traffic study, labor, equipment, material cost," said Sheldon. "The solar panel signs were ordered in November with a plan of installation in late January, but with the winter weather it delayed us by about four weeks."
Olds praised the city and head city engineer Bob Galati for all their work in getting the pedestrian-activated light installed.
"It's finally done; that's the biggest thing," he said, adding he's glad no one has been killed there since his brother died.
Olds said he still misses his 53-year-old brother greatly and drives along Langer Farms Parkway every day in order to get to I-5 and his Portland job as a trucker.
"In honor and respect for my brother, I'll come through here," Olds said March 6 near the site where his brother lost his life. Then, once a month or so he'll park in the Target complex lot and reminisce about his brother. The pair were roommates for more than a decade.
For Pat Olds, it's the little things he misses about his brother like the fact that Jeff Olds would sometimes sneak up on his former U.S. Marine brother and scare the wits out of him as he relaxed in his recliner.
Meanwhile, Olds recalled what a great dancer his brother was and how he was friendly to everyone he met.
To remember him, Pat Olds made sure his brother's headstone at Pleasant View Cemetery contained the following inscription: "He never knew a stranger, only a friend he never met."
Now Olds would like to see his brother further remembered.
"It would be nice to have a memorial plaque on one of the poles," said Olds, adding that perhaps it could say something along the lines of: "Never assume the vehicle sees you. In memory of Jeffrey Olds."
Olds said his mother, Joyce Reber, has told him if the plaque isn't possibility, a memorial bench near Chipotle would be a nice alternative.
Tess Kies, who knows Olds through the American Legion and is a friend, said she's glad the signal has been installed as well.
"I'm glad to see it finally come to fruition," said Kies. "Even if it just saves one life, it's worth it."
City Manager Joe Gall said he is pleased to see that the city was able to make improvements at the intersection.
"I'm glad to see this finally happen but I would have liked to see it happen sooner," he said.
Gall stressed that motorists all around town need to slow down, noting that the city has been receiving more and more complaints about speeding.
During a March 7 Sherwood City Council meeting, Olds thanked them for pushing to have the signal installed. Kies added: "Here's pats on the back for all of you."