Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, June 17, 2018 ACHD's Road Wizard

ACHD properties at Hummel Drive and Cole Road get weed trimming after landscape work delay; new speed indicator sign placed in wrong speed limit zone on Columbia road near Micron; there is not enough space for bike lanes on part of River Street but ACHD has a different improvement in mind.

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: The lots on the north and south sides of Hummel Drive on the east side of Cole Road were vacated some time ago in anticipation of Cole Road being eventually widened. When I drove by them recently, it struck me that the weeds on the lots are way over the allowable height. Is there a reason why ACHD hasn't seen to keep lots that they own at least adequately (or legally) maintained until they actually do the construction that will intrude on the lots?

Road Wizard:

Have a ruler handy? Weeds more than 12 inches tall covering more than 50 percent of a property violates Boise City Code. Residents can report overgrowth to the city, which could ultimately result in city crews cutting the weeds and sending a bill to the violators.

But there is no need to turn in ACHD. The agency hires landscapers to maintain the 34 vacant lots it owns in Ada County, and each lot is visited at least twice a year. The properties on Cole are scheduled for weed trimming once a month.

Unfortunately, landscapers are behind schedule. But ACHD said the lots of weeds on Cole would be cut by this weekend.

Construction on the Cole Road, Interstate 84 to Franklin Road project, is scheduled to start in November. Cole will be widened to five lanes with sidewalks and bike lanes, and the Cole and Franklin intersection will be expanded. A few more homes will come down in July to make room for the road.

Dear Road Wizard: I noticed that on Columbia Road out by Micron that a new speed limit indicator went up. This is way before the Painted Ridge subdivision. What is odd is that it states 35 mph in a 45 mph zone. Of course everyone is going to be 10 mph over the speed limit. Did someone forget to change speed limit signs out by Painted Ridge, or did someone put a 35 mph digital "how fast you are going" sign in a 45 mph zone?


Road Wizard:

This neighborhood is surrounded by vacant land, and speeding on Columbia Road can be a problem. But the 45 mph speed limit hasn't changed. The contractor placed the speed indicator sign in the wrong spot. The intended location was closer to the subdivision where the speed limit drops to 35 mph and drivers would benefit from a reminder to slow down. The sign will be relocated.

Dear Road Wizard: Can ACHD add a painted bike lane in both directions on River Street from the current bike lane end near 12th Street up to the connecting bike lanes on 15th and 16th streets? The road seems to have the proper width for the smaller type of bike lane already on River Street. This would dramatically help make the commute safer from the major-usage bike lanes on 15th and 16th toward the Boise Library and the Boise River Greenbelt connector near 12th/River Street.


Road Wizard:

There actually isn't room on the roadway with the existing travel lane layout for bike lanes. With the Greenbelt so close, ACHD isn't planning to squeeze them in. But using the Greenbelt to avoid the section of bike-lane-less River can be tedious for bicycle commuters. ACHD is looking at other ways to link bicycle facilities between 12th and 16th streets, but there are no solid plans to share yet.

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