Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, August 4, 2019 ACHD's Road Wizard

Who is responsible for sidewalk closures in Downtown Boise; upgrading "Doghouse" type traffic signals to flashing yellow arrows; sidewalk sweeping after chip sealing

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: Who would be the person in charge of sidewalk closures for downtown Boise building construction projects? Is that the responsibility of the city, county, or state?


Road Wizard:

There is a lot of orange out there! Downtown Boise is a very busy area for construction and maintenance projects. Each project is different and could be managed by several agencies such as Idaho Power, Suez Water, City of Boise, ACHD, Capital City Development Corporation, Century Link and other developers. The best way to find out which project belongs to which agency is to use the ACHD Road Work in The Area (RITA) map on the ACHD website or contact them and ask about a specific area. If you have a safety concern, ACHD can talk to the area inspector for further review.

Dear Road Wizard: I've noticed ACHD has made a significant push over the last few years to switch over to the new flashing yellow arrow turn signals. I know quite a few of the intersections that once had the older "doghouse" style signals have been retrofitted, but a few still remain. I'm curious how many intersections are still sporting the old doghouse style signals, and if there are any plans to go back and retrofit the remaining intersections so the county will have a consistent style of left turn signal?


Road Wizard:

Ada County currently has 46 intersections with the 5-Section "Doghouse" type signal heads. ACHD has a goal to modify 15 intersections annually with the new, nationally-adopted Flashing Yellow Arrow (FYA) signal configuration. Switching out the older "Doghouse" signals for the new FYAs can happen one of two ways.

If ACHD has a project to rebuild an intersection in the area where an update is needed, the new FYA signal will be worked into the contractor's plan for that project and implemented.

If ACHD is working to improve traffic flow along a particular corridor, work orders will be submitted to update the signals to the FYA within that corridor and ACHD crews will install them.

If at the end of the year, the annual goal of 15 intersections is not met through those two methods, ACHD will select corridors where FYAs have been installed and will implement additional FYAs in the area to create consistency for the public.

Dear Road Wizard: I appreciate that Meridian is doing the resurfacing of the streets, but they have thrown so much rock on the sidewalk around Ten Mile Road and Linder Road to Pine Avenue and beyond, that I've had TWO flat tires on different bikes in the past two days riding to work and back home. Does anyone go back and remove that rock? For some people, biking is their only method of transportation and this is just a huge problem to keep encountering so frequently.


Road Wizard:

ACHD is still "chipping" away on their annual road maintenance process, and once the chip seal process is complete, crews will go back and sweep the sidewalks on collector and arterial roads that have been fog sealed.

ACHD waits to sweep the sidewalks until the end of the chip seal season in order to reap the most benefit from the specific (warm) weather the chip seal process requires and to minimize the impact on travelers, all the while maximizing the crews' work time.  ACHD has currently completed 60 percent of the chip seal process or has roughly 20-25 days of work left.

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