Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, March 4, 2018 ACHD's Road Wizard

The reason there is no Five Mile Road interchange; "no crossing" signs at pedestrian crossing on 9th Street/Capitol Boulevard between Royal Boulevard and University Drive; property owner asked to prune landscaping at Boise Avenue and Division Street.

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: A recent column mentioned that widening Five Mile Road would be very expensive because of the bridge over Interstate 84. I have lived in Boise since the 1970s and remember that the original plan was to have off-ramps every other mile. However, the interchange at Five Mile was never installed. It is the missing element between Maple Grove and Cloverdale roads. It seems that completing this plan would reduce the pressure on the existing interchanges, especially with all the new housing south of the freeway. Will a Five Mile interchange ever be constructed?


Road Wizard:

A spacing policy still exists, which is actually the reason why a Five Mile interchange is not planned. The Idaho Transportation Department says two miles is a safe distance to get up to speed and make maneuvers on the freeway before the next interchange.

Even though the Five Mile overpass is two miles from the Cole Road interchange, and two miles from the Eagle Road interchange, it is too close to the "Flying Wye."

The Wye isn't a standard interchange, but it connects Interstate 84 and Interstate 184. Drivers come from different directions at speeds higher than those on typical on-ramps.

Another concern about adding an interchange at Five Mile is that it could potentially cause congestion and safety issues if a Five Mile off-ramp backed up and vehicles were speeding by on the interstate, especially westbound.

Dear Road Wizard: When the pedestrian light and crossing was put in on 9th Street/Capitol Boulevard between Royal Boulevard and University Drive, the "no pedestrian crossing" signs were not removed!


Road Wizard:

This is a mixed-message oversight. The pedestrian signal was installed as part of the continued effort to get people across the six-lane 9th/Capitol route. Foot traffic is expected to increase between the Boise State University Center for Fine Arts building that is under construction and the student apartments along 9th/Capitol.

The "no pedestrian crossing" signs were left up in error and will be removed.

Dear Road Wizard: I used the ACHD website to alert a traffic/hazard/danger and received no response so I'm turning to you. I notified ACHD about a problem at Boise Avenue and Division Street. There is fencing and foliage on both sides of Division and new tree plantings on the west side, all of which obstruct the view of oncoming traffic. These conditions, combined with Division meeting Boise Avenue at an angle, all work to make the intersection dangerous and troublesome.


Road Wizard:

ACHD's goal is to answer all inquires within a week. ACHD didn't receive your message for unknown reasons.

The Road Wizard can hardly boast such speed with newspaper column responses, but I can report that ACHD did a sight distance evaluation at Division and Boise Avenue on February 13.

There is indeed landscaping that needs to be pruned, and the property owner was sent a letter on February 20. ACHD allows homeowners three weeks to get the requested work completed. If the homeowner does not take action, another letter will be sent. If the problem remains, ACHD will handle the pruning.

Crash reports over the last 10 years do not include any crashes that stated sight distance as a factor, and there were only four reported crashes during that period. That data does not support calling it a "dangerous" intersection. I would stick with "troublesome."

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