Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, January 20, 2019 ACHD's Road Wizard

Google goof on street name off of Columbia Road; Hampstead Drive error in Garden City not Google's fault; the reason why both the Five Mile and Cloverdale overpasses will not become freeway interchanges

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard:The street name between Cloverdale Road and Five Mile Road, north and south of Columbia Road, is listed as Columbia Drive on Google Maps. The street signs say it is Valley Heights Drive. This has caused problems for people using Google Maps. What is the official street name? How can it be changed so the name is consistent?


Road Wizard:

The official street name is S. Valley Heights Drive. Google Maps has it wrong, but oddly, Google's "Street View" got it right.

Google isn't about to "map out" the secrets to its map-making powers, but they gather much of the street information from government agencies. One source is what the United States Census Bureau calls "TIGER," or "Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing." It is a database of roads, railroads, rivers and geographic areas.

ACHD does not directly control what is presented on Google, but governments, or anyone for that matter, can report an error to Google. There is a "send feedback" link on map pages, but any direct feedback to a person's feedback may not be promptly returned. ACHD reports incorrect street name information, and reported the Columbia Drive mistake as well. Sometimes Google will quickly correct the maps.

Dear Road Wizard: Why is the street sign at the corner of W. Prince Street and N. Hampstead Avenue in Garden City labeled as W. Hampstead Avenue?


Road Wizard:

This one can't be blamed on Google. It should indeed be N. Hampstead Drive. ACHD will modify the sign. Thank you for the keen observation.

Dear Road Wizard: I was wondering if ACHD or the Idaho Transportation Department was considering adding an on-ramp and off-ramp on the new Cloverdale bridge that is going to be built. If the state is going to spend the money on replacing the bridge, it would make sense to add on-ramps and off-ramps to help alleviate some congestion on Eagle Road. We are already spending millions, so why not do it right the first time?


Road Wizard:

A similar question about Five Mile, one mile east of Cloverdale, appeared in this column last March. Five Mile is also without an interchange, but there are not any plans to build interchanges at either location.

Idaho Transportation Department's interchange spacing policy strongly discourages freeway access less than two miles apart. ITD says that is an appropriate distance to get up to speed and make necessary maneuvers prior to the next interchange when traveling Interstate 84.

Even though the Five Mile overpass is more than two miles from the Cole Road interchange, and two miles from the Eagle Road interchange, it is too close to the Flying Wye/Interstate 184 connection to build the ramps necessary without significant additional construction.

There is only one mile between Cloverdale Road and the Eagle Road interchange. The ramps off of the freeway at Eagle are fairly long, and there would be a lot of merging and weaving in this mile that would significantly affect through traffic operation on mainline Interstate 84.

The new Cloverdale overpass, which ITD is rebuilding after it sustained damage from a freeway crash last summer, will be wider than it was before. That will also mean wider approaches on the ACHD portions of Cloverdale up to the bridge. But the Five Mile overpass is expected to remain a narrow two lanes for the foreseeable future.

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