Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, May 6, 2018 ACHD's Road Wizard

Drivers traveling through the Victory and Amity roads intersections with Cole Road will experience less traffic trouble; Beacon Light Road and Idaho 16 intersection scheduled for a traffic signal this summer; a right-turn, green-arrow signal on State Street to 28th Street would speed up traffic but pose a safety risk to pedestrians and cyclists.

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: Will you please examine the traffic flow on Victory Road and Cole Road? Traffic has been backing up down Victory Road to Gowen Road and then backing up on southbound Cole. It's a nightmare. Then the light at Amity Road and Cole keeps turning red at the top of the hill, stopping traffic when there is only one car to pull out from Amity. The traffic on Cole sits waiting on the light to turn. This is crazy.


Road Wizard:

There were two things going on here, and one of the problems was an easy fix. The other problem is about to go away on its own.

At Amity and Cole, the signal's vehicle detection equipment was stuck on over-serving Amity traffic instead of giving Cole the green light time it deserved. Repairs were made and the signal is now back to normal operation.

The delays at Cole and Victory were not caused by a signal malfunction, although the issue at Cole and Amity could have played a role. Traffic was heavier on Victory at Cole because of the intersection construction at nearby Cole and Overland Road. Work was being done there to straighten out the right-turn-only lanes to decrease vehicle collisions, and drivers may have made their escape by utilizing Cole and Victory. But the construction at Overland is mostly complete, so conditions should improve.

 Dear Road Wizard: Do you know when a stop light is slated for the intersection at Beacon Light Road and Idaho 16? This is a tragedy waiting to happen.


Road Wizard:

The Idaho Transportation Department found that the rural two-way stop on Beacon Light at Idaho 16 should have a traffic signal and some intersection widening to improve safety at the crossing. ACHD is partnering on the project and work is expected to begin in the coming weeks.

Dear Road Wizard: At the intersection of State and 28th streets, westbound on State, when there is a green light for southbound 28th, there is no conflict with a right-hand turn from State to northbound 28th. Would it be possible to install a green arrow for the right-hand turn so traffic could just go through instead of having to stop and then proceed? This is done during the rush hour by way too many cars anyway.


Road Wizard:

If the desired goal is solely to reduce delay for motor vehicles, this could be a reasonable spot for a "right-turn overlap." A reader in a column from last October requested this at Chinden Boulevard and Glenwood Street, and it was put in place. Instead of stopping at a red light then turning right-on-red, right-turning drivers now have a green arrow while non-conflicting, left-turning drivers have a green arrow at the same time. Delays for westbound traffic have decreased as a result.

As for State and 28th, left turns from State to northbound 28th are prohibited, so that's another deduction in conflicting traffic for drivers turning right onto 28th. A right-turn, green-arrow signal would allow faster driving through the turn.

But 28th is more of a neighborhood street with two schools nearby, and there is a considerable amount of pedestrian and bicyclist activity. Keeping the right-turn, red-light stop is the safer approach for non-motorists, so it will stay as it is for now.

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