Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, July 17, 2016 ACHD's Road Wizard

Deep ruts at railroad tracks at Black Cat Road in Kuna; reader reacts to spray-painted, do-it-yourself "Slow Down" signs; request for Road Wizard RSS feed so readers don't have to check ACHD's website

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: There was maintenance done on the tracks at several intersections in and near Kuna. I hope that ACHD doesn't use that firm again. The posted closure dates were wrong, and after many weeks, they still haven't finished the job. I regularly cross the tracks at Black Cat Road near Greenhurst Road, and at Bridge Avenue. The bridge finally had pavement put in between the tracks, but not at Black Cat. I nearly got a concussion driving over the tracks due to the very deep holes in front of the first rail.

Road Wizard:

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." This Will Rogers quote is meant to be an inspiration, but getting run over is a literal fear for ACHD employees if they started work on the tracks.

The tracks are owned, operated and maintained by Union Pacific Railroad. ACHD sometimes helps with traffic control and asphalt patching at train tracks, but the agency was not part of the Kuna railroad resurfacing work. ACHD doesn't have any authorization to finish repairs, nor to stop train traffic during the work.

Union Pacific crews were pulled from the job early due to more pressing chores. The railroad assured ACHD that they will make a permanent fix next week.

Dear Road Wizard: I disagree with the whole tone and gist of the anonymous writer in the July 11 issue who complained about responsible citizens painting a "Slow Down" sign in the Chesterfield subdivision in Meridian. This complainer is obviously a chronic speeder and law-breaker, or probably wouldn't have even noticed it. The Treasure Valley has already had numerous bicyclists and pedestrians killed by these law-breaking speeders. Your published reply was weak. The real question is why aren't the police, city council, neighborhood watch guards and judges enforcing the speed limits?

Road Wizard:

First, I must point out that "responsible citizens" don't spray-paint roads, and the person who wrote about the white "Slow Down" pavement vandalism is statistically unlikely to be a speeder. ACHD's speed study a few years ago in the neighborhood showed that 95 percent of drivers were traveling at or below the posted speed limit. That's pretty good.

ACHD conducts speed studies around the county to help point police to areas that need enforcement. Police officers also respond to speeding complaints, in addition to conducting daily speed enforcement. There will always be speeders who don't get caught despite the best of efforts. This is a concern for everyone, but the vast majority of local fatal pedestrian and bicycle crashes in recent years have been unrelated to speeding.  

Dear Road Wizard: I was scrolling through Road Wizard columns online and have the same issue as Jackie from the February 14 column. It might be nice to have you change the format of the page into a standard blog format that accommodates a RSS feed. That way people could subscribe to it.

Road Wizard:

Jackie's suggestion was to have columns be accessible on Facebook. For those unfamiliar, a RSS feed allows subscribers to avoid manually checking a website for new content; the feed delivers the content. People still need to visit ACHD's website to see the columns, which may seem old-fashioned to some. But it should be noted that the Road Wizard started blogging online well before blogging became so fashionable.

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