Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, December 3, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Photos show trees were never planted where strips of asphalt exist along Chinden Boulevard; stop sign bars will not be painted on Allumbaugh Street at Irving Street because the stop signs are temporary; a signal malfunction goes away on its own at 8th Street and Cherry Lane.

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: As I travel down the eastern end of Chinden Boulevard in Garden City, I notice thin blocks of asphalt or concrete to the outside of the sidewalk. It looks like it's covering the space that would often be occupied by trees in more salubrious parts of town. Was Chinden once tree-lined? Could it be again?


Road Wizard:

The name "Chinden" recognizes the "CHINese GarDENs" that once existed in Garden City. Chinese immigrants grew crops that may have fed gold prospectors in the late 1800s.

But trees along Chinden do not appear to be part of local history. An aerial photo from 1939 shows that Chinden (US 20/26) didn't exist at the time, nor were there trees along what would later become the city's main travel corridor.

Chinden was also without roadside trees in both 1964 and 1986, years where aerial photographs were also taken. The odd asphalt strips along the road may have been installed as an inexpensive way to fill in the space between the sidewalks and property lines.

Creating a shady Chinden, if desired, could be complicated. The city would have to agree to manage the upkeep and the Idaho Transportation Department would have to approve what may be a complex and pricey installation process. Plus, the trees themselves could make it difficult for drivers to see oncoming traffic while exiting the many business accesses along Chinden.

Dear Road Wizard: Please paint stop bars at Allumbaugh Street and Irving Street, as many drivers do not notice the stop signs.


Road Wizard:

This is a "T" intersection that was designed to have only one stop sign for Irving drivers turning onto Allumbaugh. The intersection is currently an all-way stop because ACHD added stop signs on Allumbaugh, but only as a temporary measure. This was done to help reduce the appeal of using residential Allumbaugh as a cut-through route during the major rebuild and widening of the nearby Fairview Avenue and Cole Road intersection.

The temporary signs on Allumbaugh did not come with painted stop bars on the pavement because paint is very difficult to remove. People are likely seeing the temporary signs, with or without a stop bar, and are still choosing not to stop.

With the Cole/Fairview work completed, the signs on Allumbaugh will be taken out within a few weeks. If there is a concern about drivers not obeying the Irving stop sign, ACHD can observe driver behavior and determine if a painted stop bar is warranted. But the problem may go away along with the temporary signs.

Dear Road Wizard: Could someone check the light at 8th Street and Cherry Lane in Meridian? It will go to red for Cherry Lane when no car is on 8th and stay red until a car comes on 8th. The light will then stay red until the cars have gone through 8th and then finally turn green for Cherry Lane. Thanks for all the information in your column and for your help.


Road Wizard:

Of course when ACHD checked the signal, it wasn't doing any of that. It was working as programed to only turn red for Cherry Lane when there were vehicles waiting on 8th, or when the walk button was activated for crossing Cherry Lane.

If the problem returns, please report it directly to ACHD at (208) 387-6190. I'm happy to help, but ACHD is faster.

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