Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, December 25, 2016 ACHD's Road Wizard

Two lanes await drivers from the one through lane at Veterans Memorial Parkway at State Street; left-turning drivers on State Street going to 22nd Street shouldn't be stopped by a curb; problem asphalt ridge at Franklin Road at I-184

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: In Boise, on northbound Veterans Memorial Parkway just south of State Street, a single straight lane directs through traffic across State to 36th Street, but two lanes, versus one, await that incoming through traffic on the other side of State. It seems to me that this should be striped to leave the right-most lane unobstructed for westbound drivers turning right-on-red from State to 36th Street. Maybe even better: those folks get a green right-turn arrow.

Road Wizard:

Directing through traffic into one lane would be challenging without some sort of physical barrier such as a concrete island or plastic "candle" delineators. Northbound drivers also use the right-most through lane to access the shopping area just north of the intersection.

And it turns out that a second northbound lane is planned for Veterans. This will reduce the amount of green time needed for through traffic so other directions can be better served. Construction is expected to start about a year from now, but so far, a green arrow signal isn't in the plans.

Dear Road Wizard: I occasionally drive east on State Street during rush hour toward Downtown Boise, and if I'm unlucky, there is a car turning left onto 22nd Street in front of me. Because the car blocks an entire lane, traffic on State often backs up. If the left-turning driver drove one more block and used the dedicated left-turn lane at 21st Street, traffic would flow much better. Would ACHD consider blocking left turns onto 22nd with a cement median?

Road Wizard:

The section of State Street at 22nd is very narrow and doesn't have a center turn lane. Widening hasn't happened because it is a residential stretch with large trees that would have to come down. Plus, 21st is a great left-turn alternative.

Preventing the 22nd left turn with a concrete barrier would take up just enough space to create safety hazards. State Street is a bus route and is used frequently by larger vehicles, all of which could hit the curb and send shards of concrete into the travel lanes as they try to squeeze through.
There also isn't a highly visible place to install a "No Left Turn" sign, and some people would likely ignore it anyway. But most turning drivers should already understand the benefit of using 21st, not just for themselves, but for others.

Dear Road Wizard: For the past several years I have returned home from work along westbound Franklin Road and merged onto the eastbound Interstate 184 Boise Connector. There is a large rut that is at the entrance of this Connector on-ramp that bucks my car daily. With the icy road conditions, and my lack of patience for this rut any longer, can we please get this fixed?

Road Wizard:

ACHD crews would have quickly applied some fresh pavement to smooth out the road surface, but this intersection is in Boise Towne Square territory, which is an especially busy area at Christmastime. Because of the detailed traffic rerouting involved, this work would need to happen at night when temperatures are way too cold for paving.

The latest plan is to grind off the high spot. That should happen before the new year. Let's hope ACHD got plenty of coal - I mean asphalt - in its stocking this morning to cover the location once the weather warms.

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