Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, March 17, 2019 ACHD's Road Wizard

Request to remove center-lane blockers on Locust Grove Road approaching Franklin Road; replacement date for bike bridge at Plantation Island and the Boise River; signal stays red at Overland Road and Silverstone Way, but no problems found

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: Traveling southbound on Locust Grove Road approaching Franklin Road there are two sets of barrier poles that prevent entering the left-turn lanes. The result is that sometimes it takes up to three signal sequences to make a left turn onto Franklin. The first set of barrier poles is totally useless because the left turn from that position leads into a vacant field. The second set is too close to Franklin to let more than a few cars into the left-turn lanes because of the traffic going straight ahead. An obvious solution would be to remove the second set of poles, those closest to Franklin, to allow more cars to enter the left-turn lanes. A second solution would be to allow the cars going straight ahead to cross Franklin to go first to let cars turning left get into the left-turn lane before the arrows turn green.

B.G.

Road Wizard:

ACHD installed the small-scale center-lane access blockers at the request of the Meridian Police Department. A large number of drivers were using the center turn lane to do an early-enter of the southbound left-turn lanes on Locust Grove approaching Franklin. Both Idaho and Meridian codes restrict travel in a center turn lane to no more than 100 feet, even if left turns are involved.

The behavior was also blocking left turns into the "vacant field," which is actually a driveway that serves as an access to a building material supplier. They have large trucks that enter and exit the property with frequency.

So ACHD isn't going to remove the posts, but the suggestion of having through traffic get a green light before the left-turn lanes is excellent. ACHD changed the traffic signal timing to a "lagging" southbound left-turn at the intersection this week. That should get through traffic out of the way so turning drivers don't need to rely so much on the center lane to get into position for a left turn. ACHD will be watching to see what impact the change has on both the intersection and the corridor.

Dear Road Wizard: I realize that this isn't a highway district issue, but it does keep us off of the roads. Do you have any updates on the construction schedule on the bike bridge replacement near the fairgrounds?

Chuck

Road Wizard:

This is the bridge that was plucked from the riverbank by crane due to high water and erosion a couple of years ago. It connected Plantation Island to the south side of the Boise River.

It took some time for the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands to gather funding to put it back, but it looks like the bridge will be in place by early April.

Dear Road Wizard: I have noticed this problem several times in the past, and when it happened again this past week I had to write. When attempting to turn left at the stoplight onto Overland Road from northbound Silverstone Way in the evenings, one can sit there for more than 10 minutes if no one is in the through lane. I finally gave up and went into that lane (light changed within 30 seconds then). I wonder if the traffic sensor needs to be adjusted.

J

Road Wizard:

How frustrating. And of course when a signal technician investigated, the traffic detection equipment was working just fine. Please tell ACHD if the problem persists.

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