Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, March 27, 2016 ACHD's Road Wizard

Can't traffic flow better on westbound Fort and 9th streets? Why only one through-lane on Cloverdale Road at Overland Road? Luck or speedy ACHD accounts for prompt sweeping?

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: It is such a pain trying to make a left turn from Fort Street to 9th Street in Boise. What is even worse is when you want to proceed straight but you get stuck behind someone wanting to make a left turn from Fort to 9th! More times than not, you have to sit through an entire light until they are able to turn, then you sit through the red light, and then you are able to go. What can be done here?

Road Wizard:

The sharing of the single lane serving westbound Fort causes the most significant delays at school release time around 3 p.m., then again during the evening rush around 5 p.m.

A good-on-paper approach would be to wipe out parking on westbound Fort between 8th and 9th streets to make room for a left-turn lane from Fort onto 9th. A dedicated left-turn signal sounds even better.

In reality, the parking spaces are heavily used by families with children at St. Joseph's Catholic School. Adding a dedicated left-turn signal would disrupt signal coordination and traffic flow for other travel directions.

Since the worst of the slow-down periods last roughly 30 minutes, it is best to "hold the fort." At least the downtown area signal cycle lengths are short. Waiting out a missed green light there is more tolerable than at the mega-intersections like Eagle Road and Fairview Avenue.

Dear Road Wizard: When the Cloverdale and Overland intersection was widened a few years ago, Cloverdale Road was painted for only one through lane. Other intersections in the area have two through lanes. With schools letting out both north and south of Overland Road around 4 p.m., traffic on Cloverdale backs up for a long way in each direction. And now I understand that there is a proposed development south of Overland that will put more traffic through this intersection. Are there any immediate plans to re-stripe Cloverdale to allow two through lanes?
Michael T

Road Wizard:

ACHD collected traffic numbers and ran a two-through-lanes computerized simulation, with one of the lanes also serving as a right-turn lane. At this time, changes would not be worthwhile.

Any benefit to Cloverdale through traffic would be negated by those drivers blocking right-turning motorists from turning on a red light.

In addition, northbound Cloverdale drops to one lane beyond the intersection prior to the Interstate 84 overpass. Cloverdale south of the intersection also goes down to one lane. There are no current plans to widen this segment of Cloverdale. A big factor is that it would require rebuilding the overpass.

There is a proposal for a development south of Overland west of Cloverdale, but it is too soon to tell if that would change traffic patterns enough to justify two through lanes.

Dear Road Wizard: Well, as I suspected, the Road Wizard is very responsive. On Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., I sent a request for street sweeping in the Quail Ridge neighborhood in North Boise, and Wednesday at 7:40 a.m., a sweeper truck was indeed cleaning the roadway. Incredible response. Or maybe it is coincidental luck. Either way, my concern has been addressed.

Road Wizard:

No St. Patrick's Day luck was involved. I shared your email with ACHD and a crew quickly headed that way. ACHD doesn't sweep requests under the carpet!

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