Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, December 17, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

When to stop for stopped school buses; interest in removing parking on southbound 13th Street between Front and Grove streets; median island on Park Boulevard between Parkcenter Boulevard and Walnut Street comes and goes.

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: I travel Maple Grove Road every day. What is the procedure for stopping when a school bus throws its stop sign? Are all lanes in both directions supposed to stop or just cars in the same lane/direction as a school bus? Sometimes I see all cars stop in all lanes, both directions, and sometimes only a few people stop in any direction.


Road Wizard:

The stance on stopping depends on the number of traffic lanes, which varies on roads like Maple Grove.

For roads with one travel lane in each direction, the law in Idaho is that drivers in both directions must stop when approaching a stopped school bus displaying the flashing red lights/stop sign. Drivers must stay stopped until all children are clear of the road and the bus moves again.

Stopping is not required for people traveling in the opposite direction of the bus on roads with four or more lanes (two lanes in each direction). Drivers in the same direction as the bus need to stop no matter the lane count.

Dear Road Wizard: I access the Interstate 184 Connector via southbound 13th Street between Front and Grove streets. For that one block section, there are two northbound lanes, but only one full southbound lane, until right before the stoplight at Front. During the peak times of the evening commute, southbound traffic backs up. There is a small section designated for parking on the soundbound side. About half the time, there aren't any cars parked along the street and drivers then often create two lanes of traffic which allows more vehicles to access the Connector. Any chance there could be a permanent change to eliminate the street parking?


Road Wizard:

Boise city leaders pushed for 13th Street to go from a mostly one-way-only northbound road to a two-way street between the Connector and State Street a couple of years ago. The city also wanted to keep the parking that is sometimes used as a de facto traffic lane on the north half of the block between Grove and Front.

Removing that parking and extending the existing right-turn-only lane for the Connector would provide room for about five additional vehicles. This may help a little during the evening commute, but maybe not enough to sacrifice the parking spaces. ACHD's Traffic Division will take a fresh look at the matter, as similar requests have been made by other citizens.

Dear Road Wizard: I'm interested in an explanation of the recent installation of a center divider on the section of Park Boulevard between Parkcenter Boulevard and Walnut Street. And even more interested in the reason for the recent removal of said center divider.


Road Wizard:

At the corner of Park Boulevard and Parkcenter Boulevard there is a new St. Luke's medical building that has driveway access for "Park"-ing. The construction approval required a median island to restrict the driveway on Park to right-in/right-out only. This is a common procedure when businesses are located at busy intersections because left turns can lead to crashes and traffic congestion.

Unfortunately, the median island also limited left turns for the more established business driveway on the other side of the street, and that was the only access they had. Upon realizing this, ACHD modified the center divider so that it only impacts the St. Luke's location.

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