Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, May 26, 2019 ACHD's Road Wizard

Tattered plastic bag at the Hill/36th streets dog bone roundabout; speeding concerns on Pierce Park Lane; when is Idaho Highway 16 going to be extended to Interstate 84?

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: At the Hill/36th streets dog bone roundabout (love it), there is a tattered plastic bag covering an old sign that says "One Way" on the last light stanchion when heading north on 36th. The "One Way" is left over from when that was the entry to Hillside Junior High School, now closed off. Is this an ACHD item to address, or how can we have the sign removed (so that the bag is also removed)? It doesn't make sense, and is currently an eyesore.


Road Wizard:

Stanchion is a ten-dollar word if there ever was one. It's an "upright bar, post, or frame forming a support or barrier."

The one-way sign was likely missed during the removal of the old intersection infrastructure and should be removed. The access still serves emergency vehicles, but the sign is unnecessary for that purpose. ACHD will take care of it.

Dear Road Wizard: My husband and I own a house on Pierce Park Lane. As more homes have been built in our neighborhood, traffic has significantly increased. Drivers are consistently exceeding the 35 mph speed limit. We find this especially concerning given there are two elementary schools in the area and a daycare. Are there options for us to request a speed limit reduction and/or the addition of speed bumps?


Road Wizard:

Unfortunately, additional traffic on Pierce Park is, by itself, not a reason to reduce the speed limit or add traffic calming measures. Pierce Park is also likely seeing somewhat higher traffic volumes due to construction at the State/Collister intersection. Plus, ACHD just completed a speed study on Pierce Park in the 35 mph speed limit section last month. It was found that most drivers are traveling around the speed limit.

The recent study is consistent with one completed in 2010, which means driver behavior hasn't changed much. Setting a lower speed limit isn't effective in reducing speeds because drivers naturally travel a speed suitable to conditions. And speed "humps" can impact emergency personnel arrival times when installed on primary response routes.

But ACHD has added "stop ahead" markings at the all-way stop at Castle/Pierce Park to help with compliance, and the school areas have flashing beacons during school walk times. 

Dear Road Wizard: As you are aware Eagle Road is extremely congested. When is Idaho Highway 16 going to be extended to Interstate 84? I live in a subdivision off of Eagle so I have to use the road to get anywhere. The highway needs to be built as soon as possible.


Road Wizard:

While there are steps being taken to eventually design and build an extension of Idaho State Highway 16 from U.S. 20/26 (Chinden Boulevard) to Interstate 84, there is no funding allocated to take those steps.

The project is the number-five priority on the Idaho Transportation Department's "unfunded improvements" list for Ada and Canyon counties.

However, there is some funding dedicated to the ID-16 extension that covers right of way acquisition. And the initial phase from Idaho 44 to U.S. 20/26 was built in 2014, which included a new bridge over the Boise River.

But even when the connection is fully built, traffic studies show the highway will have minimal impact on reducing delay on Idaho 55/Eagle Road. Instead it will help maintain the current level of service on Eagle.

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