Ada County Highway District

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

East Overland and West Overland roads seem swapped; concerns about the view of oncoming traffic at Quail Ridge and Collister drives

The Road Wizard Replies

Why do East Overland and West Overland roads seem swapped? East Overland is further west, and West Overland is further east. This also seems to apply to Victory, Amity, Lake Hazel...


Road Wizard:

Boise and Meridian have different addressing grids. Boise's east/west dividing line south of the Boise River is roughly Gekeler Lane, so roads west of that are "west" and roads east of that are "east."

Meridian's east/west dividing line is Meridian Road, so anything east of Meridian Road to the city limits is labeled "east," then of course "west" in the opposite direction.

Not all metro areas are set up that way. Salt Lake City and Portland have single addressing grids that cross city limit and zip code boundaries. But here in Ada County the whole "west is east, east is west," not to mention "north is south" and "south is north" issue, happens on many roads.

A single unified regional addressing grid would be better for city and county governments as well as emergency personnel, but a change would be a complex, expensive, and most likely unpopular effort to undertake.

Dear Road Wizard: The intersection at Quail Ridge and Collister drives really needs some attention from ACHD. There is a stop sign on Quail Ridge, but it's set so far back that it's impossible to see traffic coming from either direction from the stop sign. As a consequence, most Quail Ridge residents don't stop until they get to the middle of Collister, risking collision with both northbound and/or southbound traffic. I have had several near-misses myself. I think there are at least two solutions to the problem. One, add stop signs for Collister traffic, or two, install mirrors that would give the Quail Ridge drivers a view of both uphill and downhill Collister traffic.


Road Wizard:

The stop sign is set back from the intersection because it's located close to where drivers must first stop and look for pedestrians before pulling forward to watch for conflicting traffic. This is generally the case at stop-controlled intersections.

If drivers on Quail Ridge pull forward slightly, after stopping at the stop sign, but not into the roadway at Collister, there is typically enough sight distance to see oncoming traffic for the conditions. History tells us there haven't been any intersection related crashes at this location in the last ten years.

But because the sight distance falls a little short from the stop bar, ACHD added an intersection warning sign for northbound traffic on Collister along with a 20 mph speed limit advisory plaque about six years ago.

The current issue may have to do with landscaping at the intersection. Vegetation growth can be a seasonal sight-distance disrupter, and ACHD will see if pruning is needed.

As for mirrors, they are not really a better option, due in a large part to the "Objects In Mirror Are Larger Than They Appear" issue with convex mirrors.

As for stop signs on Collister, those are not recommended because of low traffic volumes and a lack of crash history. In general, drivers tend to show less respect for stop signs that appear unnecessary due to infrequent conflicting traffic.

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