Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, October 09, 2016 ACHD's Road Wizard

Missing crosswalk at 8th and Union streets; plan for leveling manhole covers on Franklin and State streets; street light illuminating land as well as roads at Can-Ada and Lanktree Gulch roads

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: When 8th Street got chip sealed, we lost the crosswalk at 8th and Union streets. It's kind of important, since the Boise Co-op is right across the street, along with several other businesses. A lot of people cross there, and now you have got to take your chances in traffic. Any chance the crosswalk could come back?
North End Kev

Road Wizard:

We can call off the search; the crosswalks at 8th and Union are not gone for good. There was just a delay in installing them because the street-marking part of the chip seal process is behind schedule.

ACHD got a slow start to begin with because the fog seal topcoat application went slowly in the North End. In average areas, crews can cover 15 roadway miles a day. In the North End, only about five miles were done each day, partly because residents had parked on the street and vehicles needed to be moved.

The North End also presents a sizable street-marking task since it likely has more crosswalks per mile than any other neighborhood in Ada County. And these days, crosswalk installations take longer. Instead of basic street paint, a material called "thermoplastic" is used. It's applied using heat, and the result is a more reflective crosswalk that lasts years instead of months.

Keeping thermoplastic on hand has also been a challenge. ACHD had enough to come back and mark the west and south legs of the 8th and Union intersection, and another expected shipment should cover the rest.

Another reader reported a similar situation near Shadow Hills Elementary in North Boise. With replenished thermoplastic supplies, those "lost" crosswalks should be marked within a couple of weeks.

Dear Road Wizard: We in Boise are blessed with generally really good roads. But while we enjoy few potholes, Boise motorists spend their time dodging deep manhole covers. This is a problem that gets progressively worse with each subsequent chip seal application. Two good examples are westbound Franklin Street between Curtis Road and Liberty Street, and westbound State Street, between Collister Drive and Ellens Ferry Drive. Is there any way to grind down the abrupt edges to smooth out these depressions to make the drive less jarring?

Road Wizard:

Grinding down the asphalt or chip seal around a manhole would make the road surface vulnerable to deterioration, which could lead to the type of potholes ACHD works so hard to prevent. The best method at the moment is to place a concrete ring between the asphalt and the lid to make it level with the road surface. That is what crews will do on Franklin and State.

Dear Road Wizard: I wanted to say thanks for the adjustment of the street light at Can-Ada and Lanktree Gulch roads. In the past few days I have noticed that it seems to shine more directly downward (versus out into the adjacent field). It's no longer directly visible as a bright spot from three-fourths of a mile away.

Road Wizard:

As Can-Ada Road suggests, this is a rural location on the county line. It's hardly "bright lights, big city."

But street lights are being used more often in the country because they help prevent nighttime intersection crashes at locations like Lanktree Gulch. ACHD adjusted the luminaire and added shields to direct the light toward the road instead of the surrounding landscape.

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