Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, May 14, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Reader watches speeding and crashes at Curtis Road and Northview Street and hopes for a sign; construction signs said to cause hazards at Keldoon Avenue and Braemere Road; overkill sweeping reported for small subdivision at Coleen Drive

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: I live at the intersection of Curtis Road and Northview Street in Boise. In the past six months I have seen at least four or more accidents. People drive Curtis as if it's a highway. The biggest concerns I have are the people going down over the hill as well as coming up. I don't think that some realize that traffic comes to a sudden stop at the Northview signal. Recently, while standing in my yard, I watched cars doing the normal 45 mph to 50 mph and they came screeching to a halt. One slammed on their brakes so hard that the back end swung into the next lane. Are there any signs that can be put up stating that there may be abrupt stopped traffic ahead?


Road Wizard:

You must be watching and shaking your head. It's difficult to determine travel speeds by just watching cars go by, but there are definitely some drivers going too fast. This letter prompted ACHD to do a speed study on Curtis, so there is proof. But of the 115 vehicles sampled, only three were going more than 45 mph.

About 85 percent of people were traveling between 32 mph and 41 mph, which is considered good, or at least expected, since the speed limit is 35 mph.

Even most of the collisions at Curtis and Northview don't involve speeding. The most available data shows that over the last five years there have been nine crashes, with seven considered rear-end collisions. Speed didn't seem to be a factor in any of the rear-enders. Distraction was to blame.

That is not sufficient reason to install "signal ahead" signs. They are for locations where traffic control devices are not easily seen due to turns or hills. Despite the potential for a high-speed approach, the Curtis and Northview signal is in plain sight.

Dear Road Wizard: There have been six to eight large orange "Men at Work" signs, and a dozen orange traffic cones in the street along Keldoon Avenue and Braemere Road. The signs are traffic hazards. Some folks have moved them onto their lawn. The signs don't belong to Idaho Power or the sewer district. I'm not sure where to go next.


Road Wizard:

ACHD's website would be a good place to start next time because the agency tracks and reports road work and traffic lane restrictions throughout Ada County. RITA (Road Work in the Area), is available to the public and includes both ACHD and non-ACHD projects.

In this case it was sanitary/storm sewer construction associated with the Highlands Cove housing development. ACHD contacted the contractor to discuss the signs, but the signs had already been removed.

Dear Road Wizard: I have seen people in your column begging to have certain streets swept. Meanwhile, our little subdivision, off Maple Grove Road, which includes Coleen Drive, has been swept three times. Our streets were never sanded, and the most they will find around here is probably a few pine cones. BB


Road Wizard:

Nothing to sweep under the rug here. ACHD sweeper drivers were instructed to make two trips to this area. The first was to collect as much winter traction sand as possible. The second was for a final clean up. All areas of the county are getting the same treatment, but crews may make extra passes if troublesome spots are reported.

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