Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, January 22, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Concern about snow-and-ice covered sidewalks and pedestrians, weather-related trench trouble on Meridian Road between Ustick and McMillan roads; readers thank ACHD for working hard to clear snow-covered residential roads

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: I appreciate how hard everyone at ACHD is working to clear off the streets. My issue is with the sidewalks and pedestrian areas. In so many cases, churches, schools, residents and businesses are doing their best to clear walkways, only to have ACHD plow trucks pile snow and ice back on the sidewalks and entry ways. People need to get around, often on foot, in order to maintain their lives. Private contractors could become responsible, under contract, and as directed by ACHD, for clearing pedestrian areas, sidewalks, fire hydrants, drains, bus stops, etc. Pedestrians should never have their rights removed in place of vehicles.

Road Wizard:

This is a very good point. I have seen school kids struggling to walk to and from school on sidewalks that have been reduced to deep, icy, chunky snow piles.

ACHD has an impressive inventory of winter maintenance equipment and staff. But in the future, private snow removal contractors may be hired on standby so residential areas can be plowed faster with more attention to preventing snow from blocking driveways, mailboxes, etc.

I know it's difficult grunt work and very inconvenient, but property owners will continue to be responsible for clearing sidewalks adjacent to their properties, no matter how the snow got there.

That same law doesn't apply to government snow plows, especially during our local "snowmeggedon." Because the plowed snow has few places to go other than on sidewalks, the temporary loss of usable pedestrian pathways is inevitable.
Dear Road Wizard: Road construction on Meridian Road between Ustick and McMillan roads just cost me a tire. The asphalt has been cut out and the fill is completely missing. I realize crews are very busy with snow, but every car that drives north on Meridian is going to experience the same thing. This needs immediate attention!

Road Wizard:

Another thing to add to the snow side-effect list: Melting snow and rain is causing dirt-fill in road trenches to wash out. Steel plates were used to cover the identified one on Meridian Road. Crews are also out filling weather-caused potholes with rock, cold-mix asphalt, concrete or more metal plates.
Dear Road Wizard: I would like to thank ACHD for the excellent job they have done in a very difficult situation. We live on a dead-end street on 24th Street in Boise, and one night a huge truck with a plow made a path for us. It spent about an hour moving snow in our cul-de-sac, making it possible for people to get in and out of their driveways. This was very unexpected and quite appreciated. Thanks to all the crews who worked around the clock trying to make our streets safe to travel.

Road Wizard:

They are happy to do so. Thank you for understanding that the high-priority areas had to come first.
Dear Road Wizard: I was down on you again until the news said ACHD had to remove snow on almost four thousand miles of neighborhood streets, and it stopped me in my tracks. I appreciate the fact that your team worked until midnight in my mom's neighborhood. And that our tiny cul-de-sac finally got a scraping because we were desperate for help. Thanks again team ACHD!

Road Wizard:

The kind words mean a lot to ACHD crews. I'm guessing they are ready for spring more than most people.

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