Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, September 9, 2018 ACHD's Road Wizard

Mini-stripes painted on resurfaced roads; signal changes improve traffic for the southbound left turn at Franklin and Cloverdale roads; ACHD sweeps up sidewalk chip seal rocks; "detour ahead" signs placed on roads without a detour ahead

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: Why is it that after resurfacing, mini-stripes are painted on the road? These tiny bits of paint - little more than dots indicating lanes and centerlines, rather than full stripes - are far less visible than proper striping. Surely the effort required to paint them is no more than simply making proper, full lines. I suppose the amount of paint is reduced, but is that really enough for a worthwhile savings?


Road Wizard:

On Overland Road near Cole Road, some spotty street lane markings were painted as a temporary measure on the newly resurfaced road. This technique is sometimes used on busy streets that have to be painted at night. The smaller markings can be applied quickly during the day and act as a guide to street painters working during the later hours.

In other cases, reflective tape is used to guide drivers and painters. Think of the tape as a connect-the-dots way to reduce errors when applying lines. The permanent paint is very difficult to remove, so it's important to go through these steps to get it right the first time.

Dear Road Wizard: I'm the guy that wrote in several weeks ago about the southbound left-turn lane at Franklin and Cloverdale roads toward the bridge that is out. Because I left for an extended fishing trip to Montana (which was a disaster because the fishing was terrible with all of the fires and smoke) I missed your reply to my question. But I have noticed the huge improvement in the readjustment of the signals at the intersection. Thanks for the help, it's much appreciated!


Road Wizard:

Yes, you were wondering about changing the green arrow left-turn signal from Franklin onto Cloverdale to a flashing yellow arrow signal. This would have required significant striping adjustments to reduce the two left-turn lanes to a flashing-yellow-friendly single turn lane. The signal heads would also need to be changed. The order and frequency of the left-turn green arrow signals were adjusted instead, and it's making a "reel" difference.

Dear Road Wizard: When ACHD chip seals a road there seems to always be leftover gravel on the sidewalks that no one ever cleans off. Not only does it make it hard to walk, but riding a bicycle is a little unsafe. Who would be responsible for this cleanup?


Road Wizard:

After a chip seal, sweeper trucks come through and collect loose material, but trucks only handle the road surface. ACHD is still responsible for sweeping the rocks off of the sidewalks. Crews get to it as soon as possible, however a call to ACHD asking for this service may speed up the process.

Dear Road Wizard: Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that in most states that I have traveled, a sign stating "detour ahead" refers to the road that you are traveling on. Here in Idaho it's often referring to a side road ahead that has a detour. That doesn't seem correct to me.


Road Wizard:

It's helpful if drivers have some warning of a detour or closure on a side street before turning onto that street.

So a "detour ahead" sign may be placed on a road that has no detour or closure at all, which may catch some drivers off guard. But those signs will typically include a smaller sign that names the impacted street.

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