Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, April 10, 2016 ACHD's Road Wizard

Lane blocked by barrels on Beacon Street at Parkcenter to make room for large rigs; "big task" work at Cloverdale Road and De Meyer Street already done; U-turns now restricted on Victory Road at Trabuco Avenue

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: Heading east on Beacon Street, it appears that some absent-minded ACHD workers left several orange barrels blocking the left-turn lane onto the West Parkcenter Boulevard Bridge over the Boise River. This is causing significant problems, as three lanes of traffic are now being compressed into two. Drivers who wish to turn left are using both remaining lanes, blocking drivers who wish to turn right onto Parkcenter. This issue is made worse, of course, by the closing of the Broadway Bridge. I know these barrels must have been left by ACHD by mistake, as there is no construction going on there for which they might be helpful. They block a lane that is more necessary than ever because of the bridge closure.
Impatiently Waiting for a Right Turn onto Parkcenter

Road Wizard:

Baffling barrels! I can see how the lane blocking seemed like a random, rookie move. But the lane restriction is there because of the Broadway Bridge construction detour.

Broadway is part of the state highway system and often used by long, heavy trucks. With the bridge closed, those drivers have to use Beacon and Parkcenter as an alternate route.

The empty Beacon left-turn lane opens up space for trucks to make the tight right turn from Parkcenter onto Beacon without hitting other vehicles. A pedestrian/traffic signal island at the right turn was also relocated for the bigger cause.

Dear Road Wizard: What is the project at Cloverdale Road and De Meyer Street? It started at the end of March and looks like a big task. This is a busy intersection so many of us will have to find another route. We are hoping you can tell us the end date.
Brian T

Road Wizard:

Idaho Power was working underground on a power connection replacement, and that work has already been completed. Please note that this information was powered by ACHD's RITA (Roadwork in the Area) online public service that lists and maps out active construction and street closures across Ada County.

Dear Road Wizard: I wrote you a few weeks ago about a problem with drivers making U-turns at the left-turn lane on Victory Road at Trabuco Avenue in Boise. I noticed last week there was a barrier installed to prevent people from making the U-turns. I don't know if this was already in the works or a result of my request, but either way, thank you very much. I will feel a little safer driving through this area.
JW

Road Wizard:

Yes, I remember: You were making a right turn on a green light from Trabuco and had a near-collision with a vehicle making a U-turn on Victory.

Both Trabuco and Milwaukee Way lead to West Junior High, and in the rush to avoid tardy slips, I can understand how delays getting onto Trabuco can motivate parents to make the U-turn. This allows them to backtrack and use right-in/right-out-only Milwaukee.

JW, you weren't the only person who was concerned about the traffic pattern. The Boise Police Department beat you to the punch by contacting ACHD before you wrote to the Road Wizard. That was what got the ball rolling on the new "candlestick" barrier. ACHD may ultimately put in something more solid, such as concrete curbing, to further prevent people from using U-turn tactics to beat the bell.

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