Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, April 02, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Signal timing at Front and 6th streets in Boise was changed to improve traffic flow on Front; speed limit sign requested for Spangler Place in Eagle; new lane lines on Veterans Memorial Parkway causing confusion despite fresh paint

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: What is the reasoning behind the timing of the stop lights at Front and 6th streets in Boise? Every evening, traffic on 6th gets backed up to Idaho Street and sometimes past Bannock Street. Front traffic has a green light for a longer period of time than 6th, with a portion of each light rotation having no traffic at the light at Front because Front traffic is stopped at a red light at 5th Street. It seems that with some adjustments, the traffic from 6th could utilize some of this time and prevent some of the backup.


Road Wizard:

Boise is growing, and Front, which is the primary exit out of the downtown area, is now overwhelmed by traffic. Difficult tradeoffs have to be made to manage congestion.
Traffic flow on Front was impacted by drivers on 6th turning onto Front and clogging up the short distance between the 6th and Capitol Boulevard signals. Traffic on Front at 6th couldn't move forward on a green light, causing Front drivers to wait through multiple signal cycles.
A couple of years ago, Front received about a minute more of green light time at the intersection with 6th. That allowed Front drivers to fill the space between 6th and Capitol rather than drivers on 6th. That change has caused backups on 6th ever since.
People using 6th may instead want to travel on Idaho Street to 16th Street, then turn onto Main Street to reach the Interstate 184 Connector, as this is practically the same distance. The travel time is equal to, and possibly even faster, than dealing with the access issues at Front.

Dear Road Wizard: How do I go about requesting a speed limit sign? We live on Spangler Place in Eagle, and people regularly use this as practice for the Firebird Raceway, I think. There are children, pets and livestock who live on this road and it's becoming increasing dangerous. I have witnessed cars and trucks doing 45 mph to 50 mph. I assume the speed limit is 20 unless otherwise stated. We need a sign! Please help!


Road Wizard:

There should be a sign, and one was actually put in place years ago. Perhaps a wannabe race car driver removed it?
Spangler is a dead end road in a rural area and should be posted with a 25 mph speed limit. ACHD will ensure that a sign is present.
An employee will be out there anyway because there was a request for a "dead end" sign on Spangler that will also be installed.

Dear Road Wizard: In Sunday's column you said that the lines on Veterans Memorial Parkway had received "a full paint job" earlier this month. I drove that road the other day and that is clearly not true. The road is currently an accident waiting to happen and when it's raining the situation gets much worse.


Road Wizard:

The new lane markings were obvious at the time of installation in early March, but various weather conditions can cast them in a different light. Rain may make the new lines less apparent, while the sun can cause the old markings to stand out. ACHD repainted the new lane lines again this week.
It will take a chip seal this summer to fully resolve the problem. The lane markings were originally changed for safety reasons; unfortunately, some people are experiencing the opposite effect.

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