Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, November 5, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

ACHD employees jaywalking on Cloverdale Road explained; temporary stop signs placed in residential areas near the Fairview Avenue/Cole Road intersection construction to come down; a dedicated green-arrow left turn would cause a mess at 13th and Front streets

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: I'm curious why ACHD employees working out of the Cloverdale Road location don't use their new parking lot. Instead they walk across Cloverdale with no marked crosswalk during rush hour, sometimes standing in the middle lane waiting for traffic to clear. This is not safe and is a distraction to drivers.

Karla

Road Wizard:

So many properties along major routes are impacted by road widening projects -- this time it was ACHD's turn to deal with the inconvenience.

ACHD's Cloverdale maintenance yard is located on Cloverdale Road between Franklin Road and Fairview Avenue, a stretch that was widened last year. Because of the road work, ACHD lost a major component of its facility stormwater drainage system as well as half of the employee parking lot. The rest of the parking lot was used to build a new drainage system.

ACHD purchased land next to their facility for a new parking lot, but during the transition, ACHD employees had to park across the road from their workplace. All of the projects are finished, so staff is now off the street.

Dear Road Wizard: During the construction on the Fairview Avenue and Cole Road inter-section, four-way stops were installed around the neighborhood. Now that construction is complete, will those four-way stops be removed? Sharyn

Sharyn

Road Wizard:

It's time to stop the stopping. Temporary signs were put up to help deal with drivers avoiding the major intersection construction by using residential roads. The wheels are in motion to take the stop signs down by Thanksgiving.

Dear Road Wizard: I drive from the Boise Main Post Office north on 13th Street to Front Street and attempt to make a left turn onto the Interstate 184 Connector on a daily basis. There isn't a controlled left-turn light so traffic is backed up all the time. There is a high volume of traffic at critical times. Is any solution planned, and if so, when? Thanks for your column and great answers.

Lynda Marie

Road Wizard:

If only I had a great-sounding answer this time, like "Sure, a green-arrow signal will be installed at this location next week!" But that would be a terrible way to deal with the delays on 13th at Front.

That location is part of the downtown Boise traffic signal grid. The signals are carefully coordinated with common cycle lengths to help move traffic and avoid gridlock. This approach comes in handy when dealing with evening commute traffic.

As a result of that traffic management method, individual signal cycle lengths can't be made longer to provide dedicated left-turn green arrows. Having through traffic and turning drivers share a green light is more efficient for downtown even if it means delays on streets like 13th at Front.

This approach gives the most possible green light time to Front, which of course has much more traffic than 13th during the evening commute. Traffic doubles on Front between 6th and 9th streets during that period and any less green light time could cause blocks of backups.

Because of this there isn't any spare time in the signal cycle to provide a dedicated left turn on 13th. But there is another travel option from the post office area. Try taking Shoreline Drive to 27th Street, then turn left on Main to get to the Connector. Traffic signal timing has been adjusted to help move traffic more efficiently on that route.

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