Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, April 16, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Chip seal chipped away by plows on Highland View Drive; date requested for traction sand removal near Columbia and Cloverdale roads; frustration with drivers who don't pull into intersection at left-turn, flashing yellow arrow signals

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: Last fall ACHD took several weeks and spent a lot of money to chip seal Highland View Drive. Prior to this project the road was in good shape. Now, after only a few months, the chip seal coating is degraded and damaged, making the road much, much worse than prior to the project. Can you tell me what went wrong? Who is responsible for all of the wasted money on this project?

Thomas

Road Wizard:

By now, the term "Snowmageddon" should be packed up along with winter clothing. But the impacts from the record-breaking snowfall will last into T-shirt weather and beyond.

A chip seal preserves recently paved roads like Highland View Drive. The rougher chip seal surface is meant to take the abuse of traffic and weather.

Highland View is a fairly steep road and was frequently plowed. Unfortunately, the edges of the blades can catch imperfections in the road surface and scrape off bits of road along with the snow.

But at least it was the chip seal that was damaged instead of the original road underneath. Plows would be less likely to catch an edge on untreated asphalt, but it's rare for any street to be left unscathed after such extreme weather.

The same thing happened to chip seals on many other roads. ACHD will re-chip streets where the damage is a safety concern, but Highland View is mostly an aesthetic matter. The look will be improved somewhat after the street paint is refreshed this spring.

Dear Road Wizard: I live near Columbia and Cloverdale roads. The ACHD folks did a fine job trying to stay ahead of all of the snow we had last winter, mostly by doing some plowing in our subdivision and then dropping sand for traction. We have swept the sand from our sidewalks back into the street since we heard that ACHD would be coming through with their sweepers. Can you let us know when that will happen?

Chuck

Road Wizard:

ACHD's website (which has a new look) includes a section under maintenance that addresses street sweeping. There is a link that shows scheduled locations for that current week that can help pin down sweeping dates. ACHD is working on providing more detailed information on sweeping in the future, but for now the best estimate is that residential roads in the Columbia and Cloverdale area will be swept in a few weeks.

Dear Road Wizard: What can be done about educating drivers about flashing yellow turn arrows? Why won't people pull out into the intersection? It seems like many drivers sit behind the stop bar and then when the light turns red, no one gets to turn. If they would just pull forward, at least two of us could make that turn on the yellow arrow.

Scott in Star

Road Wizard:

Flashing yellow left-turn arrows have been the preferred "turn with caution when it's safe to do so" signals for about five years in Ada County. The consensus is that they have been around long enough that most drivers know how to use them, either by education or intuition.

Drivers can pull into the intersection as they wait to turn, but people who are more cautious may choose to stay at the stop bar. While that behavior can be frustrating for drivers next in line, it's not a cause for further education.

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