Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Two busy intersections on Capitol Boulevard to receive pedestrian crossing signals in downtown Boise
Boise- During a typical weekday rush hour, more than 100 people cross Capitol Boulevard at Broad Street on foot within a two hour time frame. It’s one of two locations in downtown Boise where pedestrians frequently opt for the shortest walk route in exchange for a protected crossing. However, pedestrians will soon have a couple of new options for getting across Capitol Boulevard.
Ada County Highway District (ACHD) crews recently finished construction on the first of two new pedestrian crossing signals on Capitol Boulevard— one at Broad Street and another at Grove Street. Construction of the new crossing at Capitol and Broad is complete; work on the crossing at Capitol and Grove is underway, with completion anticipated by the end of October.
The new pedestrian signals will increase safety and will better connect downtown Boise for pedestrians in two areas known to experience heavy foot traffic. "To roadway users, the new pedestrian signals look like a conventional traffic signal with the red, yellow and green indications for motorists and standard ‘walk/don’t walk’ signals for pedestrians. They resemble the existing pedestrian signal at 8th Street and Front Street," said Ross Oyen, ACHD’s Traffic Engineering Supervisor.
"The new pedestrian signals will be coordinated with other signals in the downtown corridor and will remain green for motorists unless activated by a pedestrian wishing to cross Capitol," said Oyen. Because of the coordination with nearby signals, pedestrians may need to wait one minute or more before getting the "ok" to walk after they’ve pressed the walk button.
The new signals will also provide audible cues such as a tone that helps people locate the push button and, when activated, a recorded "wait" voice message and distinctive walk tone to help pedestrians who are sight impaired. Crews will also upgrade the existing pedestrian signal at 8th and Front to include similar audible features.
Temporary signs alerting motorists to the new crossing signal are in place on Capitol and will remain for approximately two to three weeks.
The two new pedestrian crossing signals are being built by ACHD crews and cost approximately $80,000 each to construct.