Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, February 26, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Misspelled yield sign replaced at 9th and Jefferson streets; ACHD is two weeks into traction sand pickup; left-turning driver on Idaho 44 heading to southbound Eagle Road asks for more green time

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: While walking downtown this afternoon, I did a double-take at the corner of 9th and Jefferson streets. There is a sign telling left-turning drivers to "yeild" on green. Ouch! Any plans to replace this sign with one that spells "yield" correctly?

Road Wizard:

Clearly, someone forgot the old "I before E, except after C" rule of thumb. And apparently there are some sign-making shops that are beyond the reach of computer spell checks.
The sign was purchased and installed by a contractor hired by ACHD to work on the conversion of Jefferson from a one-way to two-way street. ACHD had already identified the error a couple of weeks ago, and the contractor replaced the sign on Wednesday.
Dear Road Wizard: It’s time to get the sand off of the roads. I sure appreciated it when the roads were icy but it sure is dusty now!

Road Wizard:

ACHD put about 20,000 tons of traction sand on the streets during the record-breaking snowfall this winter. That's enough to cover an entire football field, including the end zones, with something close to six feet of sand.

It's expected to take 14 weeks to clean it up. ACHD's 22 sweeper trucks and their drivers have already been at it for about two weeks. It's an urgent matter, but not only because the sand can become airborne. The material can travel down storm drains and cause water quality problems in the Boise River.

The sand can't be re-used on the streets when ice and snow returns because of the garbage, cigarette butts, oil, etc., that gets swept up along with it. Instead, the sand and debris goes to the landfill. That sounds like a waste, but the garbage needs to be covered by layers of earth periodically, and the sand helps serve that purpose
Dear Road Wizard: This is in regards to Idaho 44 turning onto southbound Eagle Road between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. While waiting for a green light, traffic overflows this turn lane. It often takes three lights for a vehicle to make it through the intersection. It's also problematic because the overflow backs up, blocking westbound through traffic. Any chance on lengthening this light?
JR in Eagle

Road Wizard:

It sounds like you are turning left from one of the two left-turn lanes on westbound Idaho 44. ACHD closely observed the intersection this week, and there was indeed an overflow issue that lasted about 15 minutes during the described time period.

This is a case of a turn having a lower priority in a signal cycle. At the same time of day, eastbound traffic on Idaho 44 is backed up much farther. There are about twice as many drivers heading east during the morning commute compared to the Idaho 44 left turn onto southbound Eagle Road. Moving the eastbound drivers is a higher priority in the morning.

The signal also has to operate in coordination with nearby signals on Eagle Road. Eagle City residents heading south onto Eagle Road from north of the intersection are another consideration.

Because of this, the only way to provide a longer left turn for westbound Idaho 44 drivers would be to decrease the green light length for eastbound traffic. ACHD will continue to monitor the intersection but I don't expect any signal timing changes.

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