Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, June 05, 2016 ACHD's Road Wizard

Confusing taxi sign on University Drive near Albertsons Stadium to come down; reader hits breaks due to recent changes at westbound I-184/Cole Road exit; another reason for merging after left turn at Federal Way and Gekeler Lane/Bergeson Street

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: I have a question regarding a very vague sign on University Drive near the entrance to Albertsons Stadium and Taco Bell Arena at Boise State University. The sign says, "Event Parking, Taxis Only, 1 Hour Before and After Event." What event does this sign refer to? Football, basketball, gymnastics and non-athletic events? This sign needs to be more specific. When I was down there for winter commencement, I didn't know if I should park in that zone.

Road Wizard:

Terry waited a long time for a response, as spring commencement has come and gone. (Congratulations graduates!) I finally have something worth reporting: ACHD will take down the sign.

Details about the taxi treatment were tough to round up because the people I contacted at both BSU and ACHD didn't have the full story on why the sign was posted to begin with, or who put it there.

Terry was persistent in getting an answer, and I give him credit for bringing about the removal of what was clearly an unclear restriction.

Dear Road Wizard: A number of months ago, some changes were made to the intersection at the westbound Interstate 184 Connector's Cole Road exit. The exit ramp breaks into three lanes, and the right lane is now right-turn-only. No problem there. But the other two lanes are somewhat problematic. The location of the overhead directional signs also seems to cause some ambiguity. In the last few weeks, I have had to brake hard to avoid a collision more than a few times. Drivers either tried to turn left from the center lane, or didn't stay in their lane when crossing the intersection to the Boise Towne Square mall.

Road Wizard:

The lane configuration changed when the Idaho Transportation Department put new blacktop on the exit ramp. That opened up the opportunity to see if any lane-use improvements could be made when applying the pavement markings.

ACHD determined that giving right-turning drivers a dedicated lane would increase intersection efficiency.

To go along with that, the center lane is now for through-traffic only, when it used to have a left-turn option. What was a left-turn-only lane is now a left/through lane.

The center through lane must now shift significantly to the right within the intersection. Most people observed by ACHD followed the painted, dashed tracking markings and crossed the intersection successfully. However, some drifted into the lane designated for through traffic coming from the left turn/through lane.

There are some old, faded markings for left turns that will be removed, and ACHD plans to enhance the tracking for traffic heading straight into the mall. The mall's ownership has been contacted about refreshing the lane markings on their side of the intersection, which will give drivers a better where-to target. Let's see how this goes before pressing for more significant changes.

Dear Road Wizard: I will happily admit to being one of the people who intentionally use the left-most, left-turn lane to make the left-hand turn from Federal Way onto Bergeson Street and then merge right to avoid the left-turn-only at Gekeler Lane. I do so because traffic regularly backs up well beyond the designated turn lane and into the through lanes for people continuing east on Federal Way.

Road Wizard:

Something for the "How dare you!" crowd to consider

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