Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, October 29, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Additional "right lane must turn right" signs requested for Main Street at Whitewater Park Boulevard; is the far-left lane on Front Street at 9th Street still a turn-only lane? Flashing yellow arrow signal requested at Parkcenter Boulevard and Apple Street

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: Can better signage be put up on Main Street to let people know that the right-hand lane ends before Whitewater Park Boulevard? When I come home from work people are in the far right-hand lane but don't notice the small sign advising that the lane ends/becomes a right-turn-only. It's very frustrating. I understood the confusion when Whitewater Park first opened. But people are still not aware that the lane turns into a right-turn-only. Thank you for your column, it's so informative and I enjoy reading it.

Kris

Road Wizard:

Confusion is common at right-lane-ends/right-turn-only/drop lanes. Even when people become familiar with the route, when there are adequate signs, and where the lanes have existed for years. The drop lane on Main at Whitewater Park was installed four years ago so the lane beyond the traffic signal could be used as a buffered bike lane.

The drop lane has a standard-sized "right lane must turn right" sign just prior to Whitewater Park. There is also a "thru traffic merge left" sign farther back from the start of the drop lane. Sometimes signs may seem to blend into the background.

Adding additional right-turn arrows to the pavement at a greater distance from drop lanes can provide more notice, but on Main, the right-turn-only onto Whitewater Park comes just after the intersection of Main and 29th Street. Extra arrows would land prior to 29th and could be interpreted as arrows for a right turn onto 29th. There's also the bike lane along Main that further complicates matters.

The existing markings work well overall. ACHD monitored the right-turn-only lane and just over one percent of drivers in the drop lane needed to maneuver back into a through lane.

Dear Road Wizard: Heading west on Front Street, in the far-left lane, when you reach 9th Street, the pavement shows a left-turn-only arrow. During JUMP (Jack's Urban Meeting Place) construction, it was a left-turn-only lane. Before that construction, it showed a left arrow and a straight arrow. Please, which is it? Left-turn-only or left and/or straight ahead?

BoiseBarb

Road Wizard:

The lane was left-turn-only while construction barricades took up the left-most lane on Front beyond the 9th Street intersection. With JUMP up and running, the left-turn-only pavement arrows can go. The Idaho Transportation Department will adjust the markings to indicate that the lane can be used for turns as well as for going straight through.

Dear Road Wizard: I love the use of flashing yellow arrows and am very pleased to see them even in areas with higher traffic flows and speeds. We need one more at the intersection of Parkcenter Boulevard and Apple Street for the westbound lane to turn left onto Apple. I go through there at least twice a day, and more often than not am waiting for a green arrow with no oncoming traffic.

Jan

Road Wizard:

Parkcenter has just a 35 mph speed limit, so why not?

Parkcenter is curved at Apple, which makes it more challenging to see oncoming traffic from the left-turn lane. There are also trees planted in the median island that can obstruct the view. Those factors make turning left on a flashing yellow difficult for many drivers, so the arrow will not be installed.

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