Garden City – The speed limit on State Street next to the Idaho Capitol has been lowered to 25 miles per hour to enhance safety during the legislative session and to allow for the completion of the Statehouse grounds.
The construction zone limit will remain in effect until the Capitol Commission completes the revised streetscape for State Street, between 6th and 8th streets, expected to occur by mid-year. The current speed on State Street is 30 mph.
Although the building has reopened for the 2010 Legislature, work continues on the grounds. Last year, the Ada County Highway District approved a request from the Capitol Commission to narrow State Street between 6th and 8th, permanently removing most of the parking and shifting the travel lanes to the north. As a result, the curb near the rear entrance of the Capitol will be extended 12 feet to the north, creating an enhanced safety buffer between traffic and the building.
The streetscape was not finished with the overall restoration but is expected to be complete before summer, which created the need for the construction zone limits with the Legislature in session.
An arterial road, State Street handles some 11,000 vehicles a day. From 2000 through 2009, two vehicle-pedestrian accidents occurred in this area – one involving a legislator who was grazed while in the mid-block crosswalk in December. ACHD’s Traffic Department determined that reduced sight visibility due to construction fencing was a factor in the mishap.
The reduced speed, removal of the fencing, repainted crosswalk and use of visibility flags by pedestrians should improve safety, according to ACHD engineers.