Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, November 26, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

The meaning behind bike route signs along Kootenai Street between Vista Avenue and Federal Way; crosswalk markings disappear at State and 3rd Street in Boise; new street lights aren't lighting up on Ustick Road between Venable Lane and Linder Road.

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: What do the green "Bike Route" signs along Kootenai Street between Vista Avenue and Federal Way mean? There is a painted line along the right-hand side of the road, but cars are allowed to park there, so it is not a bike lane. Nor are there "sharrows" painted or "bikes may use full lane" signs like you see farther west along Kootenai. What function do the signs serve?


Road Wizard:

The original bike route improvement efforts go back perhaps 30 years. The goal was to designate bike routes that had relatively light traffic and lower travel speeds that connected points of interest.

The original signs show a white bike on a green background and say "Bike Route." They can still be found in many locations, but these days ACHD installs more detailed bike route signs. They include directions, mileage, and the length of time a typical bicyclist needs to get to specific destinations.

Last June, ACHD also launched an online bike map that pinpoints bike lanes, neighborhood bike routes, bus stop locations and more.

Kootenai will have a higher status on the bike map after a new sidewalk is built on the section between Vista Avenue and Federal Way. The project is planned for sometime within the next year or so. Parking will be prohibited on one side of the road to allow room for bike lanes. The old basic bike route signs will be removed, and updated signs may be installed eventually.

Dear Road Wizard: I walk along 3rd Street in Boise and have noticed something about pedestrian crossings. At most intersections, the crossing is painted on the asphalt. However, at State Street, only three of the crossings are painted. Does the unpainted crossing mean that pedestrians should not use it? At Washington Street, none of the crossings are painted which is fine with me. It is just the crossing at State that is a concern.


Road Wizard:

The missing marked crosswalk does seem to send the message that people should pick another crossing point, but that would only be the case if a sign prohibiting crossing was also posted. Otherwise, Idaho Code considers the intersection of any public road a legal pedestrian crossing regardless if a marked crosswalk is present.

But 3rd and State should have four marked crosswalks. The area was chip sealed a couple of years ago and only three of the crosswalks were repainted. Crews may have been focusing on the crosswalk that also includes pedestrian crossing signs. Crosswalk markings also disappeared at 4th and State.

Both crosswalk markings will be replaced. It is too late in the season for regular street paint, but thermoplastic material can be used in cold weather because it is heat-applied to the pavement.

Dear Road Wizard: It appears that the road construction on Ustick Road between Locust Grove and Linder roads is complete. However, the new street lights west of Venable Lane to Linder are not operational. Any idea when they will be functional? Janet


Road Wizard:

You must mean the street lights that light the road, not the traffic signals that display green, yellow and red. ACHD often installs lights as part of road projects, but once the lights are activated maintenance typically goes to the city.

The lights were operational in late October. The contractor who installed them is aware of the problem and is working on keeping the lights on.

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