Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, July 14, 2019 ACHD's Road Wizard

Lighting on the Connector; signal timing at Franklin and Allumbaugh streets; idling cars; pedestrian crossing at Chinden and VMP

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: Question one: Who is in charge of the lighting on the connector? Coming home about 10:45 on July 3, I noted that there are a good many lights--maybe a quarter--that are not working. It's true on both the inbound and the outbound side of the road. Question two: Is it possible to (temporarily) adjust the signal timing at Franklin Street and Allumbaugh Street to allow for the fact that that intersection is the recommended one while construction is closing Cole Road between Franklin Street and Barrister Drive? It's always been the case that the light significantly favors Franklin and that makes sense when Allumbaugh Street is a neighborhood street with far less traffic. It still has less traffic--but less. And I've sat for a long time waiting to cross Franklin Street when there is no visible traffic on it. Thanks--you're a great resource and source of information!


Road Wizard:

To shed some light on the subject, the Connector is the responsibility of the Idaho Transportation Department, which includes both the roadway and the associated lighting fixtures.

The signal timing at Franklin Street and Allumbaugh Street was adjusted to account for the detour. According to the ancient texts, this intersection is programmed to respond to the varying traffic patterns throughout the day. Green time has been increased for the eastbound left turn as well as the northbound/southbound movements during daytime hours.

Dear Road Wizard: One of the oddest things about Boise and its driving habits is the number of people who sit in their cars in parking lots or on side streets, letting their cars continually idle (expensively, at $3-a-gallon for gas) during summer heat waves and winter weather inversions. Undoubtedly this has a great deal to do with our poor and declining air quality in the Treasure Valley. Can't figure out why motorists don't just "switch off" their vehicles. What's the position of ACHD -- our bustling road and highway overseer -- on the matter of such unnecessary "idleness" among our local road warriors?


Road Wizard:

ACHD, in addition to many organizations within the state of Idaho, have programs and signage declaring areas "Idle-Free". ACHD maintenance areas have posted signs for "Idle-Free" areas and encourage our employees to not sit in idling vehicles unnecessarily. After all, air quality is everyone's responsibility.

Dear Road Wizard: As a pedestrian, I regularly cross Veterans Memorial Parkway (VMP) at both State Street and Chinden Boulevard. I have observed the pedestrian walk light changing automatically when crossing at Chinden Boulevard. This occurs weekdays beginning about 6:30 a.m. when the east/west traffic on Chinden Boulevard has the green light. It would seem logical to me, that the pedestrian signal at State Street to cross VMP would be programmed the same. In order to get the pedestrian walk signal to cross VMP at State Street, pedestrians need to push the call request button prior to the north/south traffic signal changing to yellow. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated by the walking public.


Road Wizard:

Chinden Boulevard has a corridor timing plan that provides enough "green time" during the day for a pedestrian crossing east to west. So, the walk indication comes up every cycle.

Due to recent changes to Veteran's Memorial Parkway at State Street, the intersection no longer operates as part of a coordinated network. What that means is a pedestrian needs to press the button in order to guarantee they have adequate time to cross. ACHD currently has a consultant working on this matter and expects the intersection to be operating as part of a coordinated network again this fall. With several different potential scenarios, consideration will be given to "automatic walk" indications for east/west pedestrian travel.

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