More than four decades ago, Ada County voters created a new local
government -- one charged with doing
about the potholes that dotted area roads like candy sprinkles on a donut.
The Ada County Highway District was established to oversee and improve all
local roads within the county, including those within the cities. Forty-five
years later, the county's roads are highly rated -- as is the agency
citizens brought into being.
has a tradition of innovation -- from alternative transit, to signal timing
and big picture planning. As we look back at the experiment in local
government started by voters, the articles below highlight some of the
accomplishments, the innovations and the future plans of the District.
While unusual, ACHD's concept of one agency to oversee all the roads has
been endorsed repeatedly. Most recently, the Urban Land Institute backed
ACHD in a 2007 study that assessed the
District, as well as made suggestions for improvements that are being
"The panel's sense is that the county -- if not the valley or the region
as a whole -- is lucky to have a unique countywide entity to build,
operate, and maintain the road system," panel members concluded. "ACHD
not only provides an effective and efficient means to manage the road
system but also provides a great foundation on which to better integrate
land use and transportation planning.
"In addition, the public generally views ACHD as an agency that does a
good job of operating and maintaining the existing road system in the
county (according to 55 percent of the survey respondents and most of
the interviews) and recognizes that having a regional entity build and
maintain the road system for all local jurisdictions creates economies