Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, February 19, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Closed-lane adjustment on Front Street in Downtown Boise; no more "No Parking" signs for Magic View Drive at Allen Street in Meridian

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: Lane five of Front Street is blocked at CenturyLink Arena/The Grove Hotel for Grove Plaza construction, which is fine. But can anyone explain the logic of blocking this lane for 30 feet before the intersection of Front and Capitol? All this accomplishes is lane four backing up for blocks while people who want to turn right onto Capitol have to merge from lane five to four, only to turn right 30 feet later. Even outside of rush hour this creates incredible (and incredibly unnecessary) traffic flow problems. The obvious and logical solution is to simply block lane five after the intersection and sign lane five as right-turn-only.

Road Wizard:

Visiting the Grove Plaza can feel like you've been plucked from Boise and dropped into a different city.

The outdoor area is now surrounded by the new underground Main Street Station, the above-the-station convention and office space, and even a sky bridge to the original Boise Centre convention building. The Grove Plaza is also being renovated to include better shade and a refurbished fountain.

This work requires the use of "lane five," or the north-most lane on one-way westbound Front Street. The Idaho Transportation Department manages Front and had the lane reduction stretched back beyond Capitol to accommodate large trucks and equipment moving in and out of the construction zone.

"Todd" has an excellent point about the problem with right-turning drivers on Front creating additional traffic headaches as they merged to the left before going right. ITD decided to change that arrangement.

Now, the Front lane isn't closed until west of the Capitol intersection, which allows the curb lane east of Capitol to be used as a right-turn-only lane. However, the lane will serve both right-turning and through traffic between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The lane closure is permitted through March, and the Grove Plaza work should be done by the time it’s warm enough to enjoy the upgraded fountain.
Dear Road Wizard: What are the chances of getting "No Parking" signs installed on both the north and south sides of Magic View Drive in Meridian? When approaching Magic View from Gentry Way or Allen Street, the visibility is blocked by parked vehicles.

Road Wizard:

Although Magic View Drive intersects with busy Eagle Road and is near an Interstate 84 interchange, it's a relatively pokey business-access street with a 25 mph speed limit.

Some people may drive faster than that, of course. One effective way to slow people down is to allow on-street parking. It tightens up the driving space which reduces speeding. Removing parking on Magic View at Allen Street could potentially promote higher speeds.

Four months ago, ACHD looked for visibility shortcomings on Magic View, where drivers don't have to stop at the intersection, and Allen Street, where there is a stop sign. It was found that appropriately parked cars on Magic View don't get in the way of the recommended sight distances for drivers using 25 mph roads. Additional parking limitations weren't justified.

At the time of the sight distance check, ACHD also installed three new "No Parking, Here To Corner" signs to reinforce existing laws about parking away from intersections and fire hydrants. There was also a missing "No Parking" sign on the south side of Magic View east of Allen that ACHD replaced.

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