Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Friday, November 04, 2016 ACHD's Road Wizard

Onward Shay! marathon causes traffic problems in Boise despite good intentions; big Blue Spruce creates concern at Overland and McDermott roads; PODS parked in Boise's North End overstay welcome

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: A marathon downtown. I can't come up with any reasoning in which that makes sense for runners or motorists. There was no warning. I turned onto Front Street to get on the Interstate 184 Connector, and in the four signals to get me to the Connector I counted them turning green 26 times before I could get past the poor drenched cops that finally waved me on. Please rethink next year.

Road Wizard:

One of the pleasures of running in a road race is to run on public streets. Participants in the first-ever "Onward Shay" marathon and half marathon were able to see Boise'sNorth End and downtown up close without worrying about traffic.

To get permission to use public streets, Onward Shay! organizers had to seek permission from the City of Boise and ACHD. Once the city approved the event, ACHD helped by looking over the traffic control plan.

The plan was fine, and ACHD approved it, but there were still problems on race day. It was raining, and some volunteers didn't show up. Also, the event's traffic control company didn't come with enough signs, cones, etc., to implement proper road closures. I even heard that a race winner literally had to go the extra mile (two miles, actually) because of poor course marking.

There will be a meeting with city, ACHD, police and event representatives to discuss how to prevent the problems from happening again.

>Dear Road Wizard: I have noticed another sight line obstruction that I believe needs attention. This one is at the corner of Overland and McDermott roads. There is a huge Blue Spruce that obstructs the sight line until you creep almost into the intersection. It really needs to be trimmed back (or removed). Also, I noticed that there are workers at Black Cat and Overland roads cleaning up the sight lines in that area. Thank you!

Road Wizard:

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree comes from McCall, Idaho this year, and was cut down this week. But perhaps the better choice would have been the Blue Spruce at Overland and McDermott.
However, the street-side Spruce isn't wide enough to obstruct the required sight line, so there is no justification to cut it down, or trim the tree. Remember, drivers are expected to pull forward toward intersections to look for oncoming traffic. A full view isn't necessarily guaranteed from where the stop sign is located.

Dear Road Wizard: I'm wondering if there is a limit to how long temporary PODS (or similar) storage units are allowed on city streets. There are a few here in Boise's North End that have been on the street long enough to have their own mailing address. It can be frustrating as many of us don't have garages, and on-street parking is certainly at a premium.

Road Wizard:

Placing a storage container on the street requires a permit from ACHD, and they discourage longer-term usage by charging a fee. But it's still a bargain at $15 for the first three weeks.  Then the fee goes up to $15 a day.

Since PODS are becoming more commonly used, ACHD will consider stiffer penalties for not securing a permit, and higher fees for using the street for storage. For now, if you give ACHD the location of long-term PODS parking, they will check to see if the units are properly permitted.

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