Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, June 10, 2018 ACHD's Road Wizard

Wait time predictions for the two-stage pedestrian crossings that are part of the State Street/Veterans Memorial Parkway/36th Street intersection construction; mini-mystery project on Meridian Road between Amity and Victory roads.

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: I have seen references to pedestrians making a two-stage crossing on State Street east and west of Veterans Memorial Parkway when the intersection project is complete. Does this mean people who walk will have to push a button to get to the center, then push another button and wait through another signal cycle to cross the second set of lanes? If so, what will be the average wait time for a person to cross with the two stages?

Don K.

Road Wizard:

The "ThrU-turns" that are part of the State Street/Veterans Memorial Parkway/36th Street intersection rebuild will move the left-turning activity on State down the road about one city block. Drivers will use U-turns to complete their left turns. The additional pedestrian crossings will be built near those locations. And just like the two-stage left turns, there will be two-stage pedestrian crossings.

A pedestrian "refuge" will be built in the middle of the road and people will have to push a second button in the protected area to complete the trip. Breaking up the crossing causes the least amount of disruption to traffic flow on east and west State and still gives pedestrians a safe opportunity to cross.

The timing plan for the traffic and pedestrian signals are still in development and the exact wait time for pedestrians has not yet been determined. But traffic engineers know they want to avoid creating a situation where a person has to wait out two long signal cycles to cross one street.

The pedestrian signals will be coordinated with the main intersection signals and will operate so that U-turning drivers and pedestrians can share the crossing time. It may work out that if a pedestrian arrives just before the U-turn signal on their side of the road is about to turn green there will be a minimal amount of wait time in the first crossing stage. But once in the middle they may have to wait another signal cycle for the U-turn signal and pedestrian signal to activate again.

ACHD may be able to run the U-turn and pedestrian signals twice during the main intersection signal cycle, which would cut the wait time in half. But it's not known yet if that will work. If all goes well, a pedestrian wait might be an average of one or two minutes. That would be similar to what pedestrians experienced at the intersection before the construction began. It's also possible that the wait time could be longer.

Dear Road Wizard: I am curious about the project going on at Meridian Road just past Victory Greens between Amity Road and Victory Road.


Road Wizard:

Normally the best place to find out about road work is on ACHD's Roadwork in the Area/RITA map. But this bit of work wasn't listed there. ACHD makes every effort to include both ACHD and non-ACHD work on that map, but this project was on Idaho 69/Meridian Road. That road is under the jurisdiction of the Idaho Department of Transportation, and the project wasn't reported to ACHD.

It was listed on the City of Meridian's project map. It is a sewer line extension, as part of the city's plans to extend those services to the south. This part of the extension starts on Meridian at Victory and runs just south of Amity.

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