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Monday, August 01, 2011
Fairview and Steelwood traffic signal to be turned off for study

Boise- A traffic signal at the intersection of Fairview and Steelwood avenues will be turned off for 90-days, starting Tuesday, August 2 while Ada County Highway District (ACHD) traffic engineers evaluate whether the signal should remain operational or be taken out of service.

The signal currently serves a small number of motorists each day turning onto Fairview from Steelwood-- a side street located on the north side of Fairview between Five Mile and Cloverdale roads. The signal favors Fairview traffic and is triggered when a driver approaches the intersection from Steelwood.

Based on low demand, engineers determined a study should be done to determine whether the signal is necessary to serve current traffic volumes. "The traffic signal was installed in 2007 in anticipation of development in the area; however, development has not occurred at the rate expected," said Terry Little, ACHD Traffic Services Manager. "When an unwarranted traffic signal is in operation, motorists are less inclined to notice and respond to it, which can lead to red light running and unsafe driver behavior."

During the 90-day study, traffic engineers will examine the function of the Fairview and Steelwood intersection and nearby intersections without the signal in operation. Turning movements, overall demand and traffic flow in the area will also be examined. The signal heads will be covered and signs alerting motorists to the change will be put in place. Motorists on Steelwood will be required to stop at temporary stop signs and wait for gaps in traffic to turn onto Fairview during the study.

Following the study, a recommendation will be presented to the ACHD Commission for final approval. If a recommendation is made to turn the signal off, stop signs would be placed on Steelwood and the traffic signal heads and mast arms would be removed. The poles and wiring for the signal would remain, as restoring its operation will be warranted sometime in the future.
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