Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, April 30, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Records Avenue extension opened, closed, then opened for good; Orchard Street and Victory Road intersection signal stuck in "constant call" mode; road sign issues; Idaho law regarding intersection entry

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: We had been anxiously awaiting the completion of the Records Avenue extension between The Village at Meridian and Ustick Road, which had looked complete for quite some time. We were happy to see it open on Easter Sunday, but when I went to use it the following Monday, it was once again closed.


Road Wizard:

The ability to drive on Records Avenue was critical during the Capital Christian Church egg hunt that was held at Kleiner Park the Saturday before Easter. Organizers didn't want to put all of their eggs in one basket by counting on the project to be completed in time.

So, the Meridian Police Department asked ACHD to plan a temporary opening of the unfinished park access for the event, which advertised skydiving Easter bunnies among other things, and ACHD agreed. There was still work to be done that required Records to re-close, but it's now open for good.

Dear Road Wizard: I think that the sensors may be jacked up at the Orchard Street and Victory Road intersection. Going southbound on Orchard, I have a stop on a red light. There will be no traffic eastbound or westbound on Victory. I will have to sit for more than a minute before it acknowledges traffic on Orchard.


Road Wizard:

The signal was under the influence of the accidental activation of a traffic detector test switch. This put the eastbound turn lane on Victory in "constant call" mode. Basically, the vehicle detection camera was tapping the signal computer's shoulder as if to say, "a car is waiting to turn, keep the light green" even when no vehicles were present.

The computer is programmed to hang up on those calls after a minute or so, which is why the wait on Orchard was taking that long. ACHD turned off the test switch and the signal is working normally again.

Dear Road Wizard: I thought you might want to check the spelling on your road signs. There has been a misspelling at Warm Springs Avenue and Walnut Street for several weeks.


Road Wizard:

Good catch. Business is misspelled, so it reads "Buisness Access Open" at the road closed sign on Warm Springs. The sign company will correct it. Another reader reported an upside-down pedestrian crossing sign at nearby Front Street and Broadway Avenue. Heavy winds were blamed for that one.

Dear Road Wizard: Regarding your answer to "Scott in Star," when I moved to Idaho, I too wondered why people didn't move into the intersection to await an opening for a left turn, thus allowing one or two cars through as a minimum. But then I learned that it's illegal to enter the intersection unless there is an obvious opening. If my memory is right, I think that calls for clarification/correction. If my memory is wrong, and you are right, I like that even better.


Road Wizard:

Idaho Code 49-614 is the likely source of confusion. It states that no driver shall enter an intersection unless there is sufficient lane space on the other side of the intersection to accommodate the vehicle. This prevents downtown-style gridlock.

But a driver making a left turn may legally creep into an intersection as long as there is open space in the destination lane. Drivers don't necessarily need to wait for a gap in oncoming traffic to enter the intersection prior to making the turn.

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