Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, November 20, 2016 ACHD's Road Wizard

Westbound Cherry Lane at Linder Road delays should be helped by signal changes and nearby widening; upside of removing landscaping at Hickory Way for a right-turn too little; reader happy with more flashing yellow arrow signals.

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: Has anybody in authority ever been on Cherry Lane going west be-tween 3:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. on weekdays and had to wait forever to get through the intersection of Linder Road. The traffic is backed up to 8th Street and moves like a snail. There is no right-turn-only lane even though there is land to build one, and the timing seems to be off as Linder gets way more time with less traffic. Is there any help for this intersection coming soon?

Road Wizard:

Closed circuit television cameras located at most signalized intersections send video to ACHD’s Traffic Management Center, where Ada County traffic can be monitored throughout the day.

After hearing from Ginger, ACHD staff gave Cherry and Linder more screen time, and it was observed that there is a surge of congestion between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. A high percentage of motorists turn right from Cherry onto Linder, and they are often delayed by through traffic. Turn-ing drivers also have to yield to the many students using the crosswalks. Backups get worse again around 4:45 p.m. and remain during rush hour.

This level of congestion isn’t necessarily standard for Cherry at Linder. Utility work being done prior to the widening of Franklin Road has closed the section between Black Cat and McDermott roads, and Ustick Road widening work is underway. Drivers are using Cherry as an alternate route.

There is room for a right-turn lane from Cherry onto Linder, and the plan is to add one, but probably not within five years, at least in existing plans.

Instead, the current focus is widening nearby roads. The extra capacity on those routes should decrease the backups at Cherry and Linder.

As for the signal timing, Cherry and Linder get about the same amount of green time. Traffic volume overall may be a little lighter on Linder, but Linder only has the single through lane, while Cherry has two.

ACHD is making signal adjustments to improve traffic flow during the road work to better move Cherry drivers through the intersection, and the reopening of Franklin in December will also help.

Dear readers: ACHD did an investigation on possibly taking out landscaping at the sub-division entrance at Hickory Way and Fairview Avenue to make room for a right-turn-only lane.

Road Wizard:

Currently, Hickory has a left-turn lane and a through/right-turn lane at Fairview on the north side of the intersection. Reader "KJ" wrote about increased traffic and the frustration from not being able to turn right on a red light from Hickory when a through driver is stopped ahead.

ACHD removed some of the median island in 2005 to install a traffic signal. However, taking out anything more from the island or roadside isn't worth the trade, or expense.

Most drivers on Hickory are turning left onto Fairview, and adding a right-turn-only lane wouldn’t do enough to benefit the overall traffic efficiency.

Dear Road Wizard: I was so surprised to see flashing yellow arrow signals on major intersections and highways. It's been wonderful and has made my commutes much faster.

Road Wizard:

ACHD is installing more and more of the flashing yellow arrows on major roads, but it was a slow process at first. ACHD wanted to observe that the signals could be used safely on streets with higher posted speed limits.

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