Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, January 13, 2019 ACHD's Road Wizard

The Idaho Driver's Manual needs an update regarding left turns on red lights; left-over election signs; "HAWK" signal preying on drivers with random red lights at Ustick Road and Fairview Avenue; far-in-the-future plans for Hubbard Road at Meridian Road

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: The Idaho Driver's Manual has an error. In the December 23 column, "Johnny O" was defending the Road Wizard to his brother-in-law, who believed it was illegal to make a left-hand turn on a red light from a two-way street onto a one-way street, despite this column's past statements to the contrary. The manual seemed to back up the brother-in-law.


Road Wizard:

The Idaho Transportation Department made changes to the 2018 version of the manual and it now states that, "when turning left, from a one-way street, onto a one-way street, you may proceed from a steady red light after stopping and yielding for cross traffic, unless otherwise posted." The ITD public information office said that meant, "left turns on a steady red light, onto a one-way street, from a two-way street, are not allowed."

But Idaho Code and local police go against that statement. It is indeed legal to make a left turn from a one-way or two-way street onto a one-way street when facing a circular red signal in the absence of a sign prohibiting the turn.

ITD now says the left-turning details in the driver's manual need to be updated. But the error will likely cause confusion and left-turning debates among in-laws for years to come. Thousands of copies have already been printed and distributed around the state.

Dear Road Wizard: I have noticed two election signs on the fence at Maple Grove Road and Irving Street. Who is responsible to remove these?

C. Dixon

Road Wizard:

The people who placed the signs are responsible for taking them down, and it is pretty easy to determine the offending "party." ACHD policy states election signs are supposed to be removed within 48 hours of Election Day.

While ACHD has policy-making authority, it isn't a law enforcement agency. So any signs still standing are gradually collected by ACHD crews. The signs are stored and people and their politicians are welcome to pick them up should they want them back.

Dear Road Wizard: When Cloverdale Road between Ustick Road and Fairview Avenue was widened, two "HAWK" crossings were installed. Both of them repeatedly activate (especially after dark) when there are no pedestrians around. They must be possessed by car-hating demons who rejoice in making a lone driver stop and wait on an empty road.


Road Wizard:

Electrical gremlins do seem to be at work. Humans are busy trying to exorcize them.

Dear Road Wizard: What is the plan for Hubbard Road east of Meridian Road? They did some utility work and patched the road, but clearly it has more work ahead of it. Four lanes?


Road Wizard:

Subdivisions are going in along Hubbard, and they need connections to utilities. That is the work going on under the road. But the pavement patches are only temporary because asphalt plants close during the cold-weather months. Additional patching work will be done.

But despite the new homes, there is no major widening planned or required with the development. However, ACHD's "Master Street Map" lists Hubbard as a way-off-in-the-future, three-lane arterial, and right of way is being preserved. A date has not been set for widening, but it is an important thing to note for those looking to have Hubbard as their new-home road.

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