Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, August 14, 2016 ACHD's Road Wizard

Despite sideswipes, utility pole at Amity and Five Mile will stay; ACHD keeps resident from watering road; ACHD will look again at dedicated left-turn at Chateau Drive and Locust Grove Road

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: What a surprise when I read the column and there was Donna's name about Five Mile and Amity roads. Donna and I are neighbors and I stopped in for a short visit and she said she had dropped you a note. And yes, "atrocious" was a big word about the rough intersection back then. Well, I went home and did the same thing, wrote a note to the Road Wizard about a different location. Well, in probably less than a week or two the road was smoothed out. You do have some pull with someone. But this utility pole they are talking about now at the northwest corner of Five Mile and Amity is just super bad. The pole has a steel plate on it to keep cars from removing the wood. And it's all scratched up.
"Eddie Idaho Native"

Road Wizard:

If only I had enough pull to yank out that utility pole!

Although there are many "strikes" against the pole, a look overhead shows why moving it is difficult and costly. The many wires serve lines to the north, south, east and west. Strong ground cables keep the pole in position.

The interim traffic signal, and the extended shoulder work that serves as a sidewalk, required the intersection layout to shift close to the pole. But the work wasn't considered a road widening project. Intersection rebuilding generally requires the utility company to move poles, but that kind of work at Amity and Five Mile isn't expected for several years.

On a side note, I understand that there is a property owner who didn't want to sell land to ACHD to make more room at the intersection. Perhaps Eddie could visit that neighbor next, although I suspect the person already knows what is at stake.

Dear Road Wizard: I live out on Cole Road close to Amity Road and drive down Cole to go to work every morning. I wanted to let someone know about a road hazard we have to deal with. A homeowner who lives on Cole just down from the canal (on the right when heading north) has a sprinkler that is watering Cole instead of their yard.

Road Wizard:

ACHD inspectors handle street safety hazards, and will even dip into the landscape irrigation business when duty calls. Not a bad assignment on a hot day.

The inspector met with a property owner on Cole and helped her adjust an offending sprinkler head. But was this the correct sprinkler? Cole crosses the New York Canal three times, once north of Amity and twice south of Amity, so please let me know if there is still road watering.

Dear Road Wizard: I would like to explore the possibility of getting a dedicated, left-turn green arrow signal light at Chateau Drive and Locust Grove Road. We have a left-turn lane on Locust Grove, but with the new traffic load on Locust Grove it's extremely hard to manage. With school coming soon, this becomes a nightmare on Chateau trying to get onto the already congested Locust Grove.

Road Wizard:

A similar request was evaluated in 2013, but left-turn signals were not justified at that time. There were brief times when it was difficult to make left turns from Locust Grove, but adding turn signals wasn't worth the delays for other drivers. Things change, so traffic engineers will crunch updated numbers again.

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