Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, July 21, 2019 ACHD's Road Wizard

VRT's commercial advertising violate the ACHD Policy manual; weeds on boulevards and curbs; why crews don't focus on only one road construction project at a time

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: By what authority does Valley Ride have the right to sell commercial advertising space (signs) on bus stop benches that are located within the public right-of-way? These signs violate Section 5104.3.5.7 of the ACHD Policy Manual which prohibits the placement of non-regulatory signs on any sidewalk.

Sean

Road Wizard:

In 2007, Valley Regional Transit (VRT) and the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) created an agreement called the Cooperative Government Agreement for Transit Structures. This agreement allows VRT to place and maintain transit structures, including bus benches, in the public right-of-way and to display advertising on these structures. As an allowed use, this advertising is not in violation of Section 5104.3.5.7 of the ACHD Policy Manual, which states "Signs shall not be located on any sidewalk, traffic median, island, boulevard strip, or landscape area between the curb and the separated sidewalk".

Dear Road Wizard: Our extra wet spring gave boulevard and curbing weeds a great head start. Which road entity is responsible for which? Hardscapes, landscapes, freeway interchanges? The Broadway Avenue entrance to Boise is embarrassing. Many road maintenance issues, I'm sure, but appearance says a lot.

Brian

Road Wizard:

This is, unfortunately, not a concise answer. The adjacent property owner is responsible for maintaining weeds up to the back of the curb, which includes the sidewalk area. Many medians are the responsibility of ACHD, but others have a license agreement with homeowner associations or the cities to be maintained. The Broadway Avenue median that you mentioned would belong to the Idaho Transportation Department since the freeway and that portion of Broadway Avenue (State Highway 20) is part of their right-of-way.

Dear Road Wizard: This will sound snarky, but I'm genuinely curious. Instead of having dozens of in-progress roadwork projects all over town, why not put all crews/efforts toward one project 24 hours a day 7 days a week and get it done fast before moving on to the next?

Barry

Road Wizard:

This question is not an easy answer. The roads within Ada County are no different than those across the country. ACHD is facing an increase in traffic, aging infrastructure, and limited funding. Projects that occur within the community are decided by elected officials, ACHD staff, partner agencies and the public.

Of all the projects happening in the valley, only a portion belong to ACHD. Many projects are the responsibility of utility companies such as sewer, gas, water, power, telephone, cable, and fiber to name a few. Traffic impacts from developer-driven projects, as well as detours and restrictions from various community events also play a role in the county's road construction scene.

All projects have to be done in a specific order. Underground work first, followed by gravel placement, concrete, and then finally paving. The notion of working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week has to be juggled with the actual costs to the entity and is simply not always feasible. Nighttime noise is a major consideration for projects within certain areas. In this job market, finding qualified workers can be difficult. Redirecting traffic to keep at least some of the flow going to have less impact on traffic can also be challenging on a 24-hour basis. And finally, not everyone wishes to work weekends and nights.

Your question is short, but the answer is long, so I leave you with this: Throwing all resources at one project sounds good in theory, but it doesn't always make things better.

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