ACHD

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Update: ACHD Outlines Traffic Patterns Near Proposed ThrU Turn

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 3:24 PM

Update April 1:

According to ACHD, the current average wait time at the intersection of State Street, Veterans Memorial Parkway and 36th Street is 187 seconds during the afternoon peak hour.

"That wait time is expected to be reduced by 50 percent compared to the existing intersection with estimated year 2020 traffic," wrote ACHD public information officer Nicole Pineda in an email.

Currently, approximately 40,000 vehicles use State Street near VMP each day—the maximum number of vehicles for which that stretch of road was designed—but that number could increase to 47,000 vehicles per day by 2035. In the next 20 years, the number of vehicles that use VMP near State Street is expected to increase from 28,000 vehicles each day to 39,000 vehicles each day. At 800 left turns per day hour during peak traffic, the northbound left-turn movement is among the busiest in Ada County.

Original Post March 31:

It was an item so far down the list of Ada County Highway District projects that it could have easily escaped even the wariest transportation authority observer's notice: the State Street/Veterans Memorial Parkway/36th Street Intersection project. This intersection is one among Boise's busiest, and ACHD's "preferred alternative" to remedy traffic congestion is likely to raise eyebrows.

Meet the "ThrU Turn," which directs road users wishing to make a left-hand turn forward through an intersection, across multiple lanes of traffic in a sweeping U-turn and forward again to the original intersection, where drivers can make a right hand turn.

It sounds complicated, so here's an animated video developed by Avenue Consultants and the Utah Department of Transportation, which have already installed ThrU Turns, describing its mechanics:



The project is the "preferred alternative," and doesn't yet have project dates—an open house on the project is scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, at the ACHD auditorium—but engineers have already estimated the cost of the project ($7.7 million). During a 2012 ACHD public involvement meeting, 34 attendees submitted 16 comments suggesting that among several possible plans to combat congestion at the intersection, the ThrU Turn was the most popular, but ACHD officials are holding Thursday's open house to continue gathering feedback from the public about the possible project.

"I'm not sure if we heard from as many as we really wanted to at that meeting," said ACHD public information officer Nicole Pineda.


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Monday, March 16, 2015

ACHD to Hear Project That Would Add Sidewalks to Emerald and Americana

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 3:58 PM

Emerald Street on the Boise Bench is known for its spotty sidewalk access. On one stretch, a narrow track has been beaten through a grassy lawn by thousands of feet and bike tires. Meanwhile, the Ada County Highway District Board of Commissioners is set to hear from its staff about a proposal that would revamp the sidewalks on Emerald Street and Americana Boulevard.

The plan will be presented at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 25 in the ACHD auditorium (3775 Adams St., in Garden City) and is in an early phase. It would add 5- to 7-foot-wide sidewalks as well as new curbs and gutters on Emerald between North Pond Street and Wilson Street. New sidewalks would also be installed between Roosevelt and Marshall streets on the west side of Emerald Street. Finally, a proposed bus pullout and new sidewalks and gutters would be installed on the east side of Americana Boulevard between North Latah Street and the entrance to Ann Morrison Park.

If ACHD commissioners move forward with the project, engineers would be tasked with creating a preliminary design that would later be discussed and voted on.

In January, ACHD released a poll to gauge public opinion on bike and pedestrian options along the thoroughfare connecting downtown with the Bench neighborhood. Of the 1,039 respondents, 90 percent said continuous sidewalks were needed between Ann Morrison Park and Orchard street, while 79 percent said continuous bike lanes were also needed. 

During an open house hosted Jan. 27 and attended by 163 people, 57.3 percent "strongly agreed" with a proposal for Emerald and Americana that would accommodate sidewalks and bike lanes. An additional 19.8 percent agreed with the proposal and another 19.8 percent were unsure or against the proposal.

If the ACHD board approves the staff proposal, it could undergo design development, with the commission hearing from the public on a final design proposal sometime in fall 2015. Construction could begin as early as 2017.

Proposed changes to Americana Boulevard between Latah Street and Ann Morrison Park - ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District
  • Proposed changes to Americana Boulevard between Latah Street and Ann Morrison Park
Proposed changes to Emerald Street between Roosevelt and Latah streets - ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District
  • Proposed changes to Emerald Street between Roosevelt and Latah streets
Proposed changes to Emerald Street between Orchard and Roosevelt streets - ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District
  • Proposed changes to Emerald Street between Orchard and Roosevelt streets

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Warm Springs Ave. Closed for Six Months in Barber Valley

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 11:13 AM

This portion of Warm Springs Avenue highlighted in red will be closed for six months beginning Monday, Feb. 23. - ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District
  • This portion of Warm Springs Avenue highlighted in red will be closed for six months beginning Monday, Feb. 23.

Beginning Monday, Feb. 23, a little more than two miles of Warm Springs Avenue running through Barber Valley will close for the next six months. The road is closing for the construction of two roundabouts and the addition of 72 new residences in Barber Valley, developed by Barber Valley Estates. The roundabouts will be located at the intersections of Warm Springs Avenue and Parkcenter Boulevard, as well as Warm Springs and S. Wise Way.

Detour signage will be in place and local access to homes and businesses will remain open through construction. Reconstruction of the road will take place from east Warm Springs to south Old Hickory Way. 
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Friday, January 23, 2015

Traffic Flowing Again on Warm Springs

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 2:45 PM

More than two weeks after a 50-ton boulder rolled out onto Boise's Warm Springs Avenue, the roadway between East Starview Drive and East Starcrest Drive reopened to traffic today. 

Once Ada County Highway District Crews had move away the giant boulder they discovered more boulders had been posing a potential hazard to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, so they installed nearly 1,200 feet of so-called Jersey rails along two different stretches the Warm Springs Mesa.

ACHD reopened the road to traffic after Friday morning's rush hour, but crews say they'll continue to watch for fallen rocks during nightly patrols of Warm Springs.

Boulder sits in the middle of Warm Springs Boulevard on Jan. 7. - ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District
  • Boulder sits in the middle of Warm Springs Boulevard on Jan. 7.
Crews remove more boulders from Warm Springs Mesa on Jan. 19. - ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District
  • Crews remove more boulders from Warm Springs Mesa on Jan. 19.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More Boulders Pulled From Warm Spring Mesa

Posted By on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 12:39 PM

In the wake of a 50-ton boulder rolling out onto Boise's Warm Springs Boulevard, closing the thoroughfare for a few weeks, the Ada County Highway District says it has removed more boulders that had posed a potential hazard and are now installing 1,200 feet of so-called jersey rails along the Warm Springs Mesa.

ACHD will keep Warm Springs Boulevard for several more days while crews continue to install the extra safety protection. Crews are hoping to have the road reopened to traffic by the first part of next week.

ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District
ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

ACHD: Unstable Mesa Slope Keeps Warm Springs Avenue Closed a While Longer

Posted By on Sat, Jan 10, 2015 at 9:46 AM

ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District
People who drive on Boise's Warm Springs Avenue are well-familiar with yellow traffic signs reading, "Watch For Falling Rock." There's good reason for those signs: On Jan. 7, a 50-ton, 7-foot tall boulder rolled onto the thoroughfare. After clearing the giant rock away, officials from the Ada County Highway District say they're worried that the Warm Springs Mesa slope may be unstable and they will keep the road closed until they can clear away more rocks.

"Until those rocks are removed and our experts tell us the slope is stable, we simply cannot risk the safety of motorists by allowing them to drive through there," said ACHD Deputy Director of Engineering Bruce Mills in a statement.

ACHD officials say they have identified a contractor to deal with the issue, and they'll huddle on Monday, Jan. 12 to come up with a plan and time frame for removing the rocks. Until then, Warm Springs Avenue remains closed between Starcrest and Starview drives.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

ACHD: These are the Top 12 Busiest Intersections in Ada County

Posted By on Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 12:24 PM

The morning of Jan. 8, the Ada County Highway District released its list of the busiest intersections in the county.

It's a list ACHD updates every three years to assist traffic engineers with everything from traffic signal timing to intersection planning and design, and though between 2011 and 2014, the busiest intersections and their relative ranks in terms of traffic haven't changed in the last three years, ACHD representatives did indicate that the data reflect rising car traffic on the western end of the Treasure Valley, with pressure along Eagle Road rising more rapidly than major intersections in and near Boise's core.

"When I started this 21 years ago, the traffic had just settled down after the completion of the [I-84] Connector. Traffic was heaviest in Boise City and worst on Broadway Avenue. Broadway had four streets on that first list of the dozen busiest intersections and Eagle Road had none," wrote ACHD Manager of Traffic Services Terry Little in a press release.

Here are the numbers: 

ACHD
  • ACHD

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

ACHD Welcomes Two New Commissioners

Posted By on Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 1:35 PM

Kent Goldthrope is sworn in as ACHD's newest commissioner Wednesday morning. - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • Kent Goldthrope is sworn in as ACHD's newest commissioner Wednesday morning.

The Ada County Highway District's auditorium has been packed with people often throughout the past year, over bike lanes and roundabouts—the mood usually contentious. This morning, however, it was packed with the friends and family of ACHD's newest commissioners as they were sworn into their new positions. This time, the mood was all smiles and handshakes. 

In November, Paul Woods won the election for ACHD District No. 3—including much of northern Ada County—and Kent Goldthrope was elected to take over ACHD District No. 4, covering the southwest portion of the county. The newest commissioners replacd Michell Jaurena, who lost reelection, and John Franden, who retired. 

Mayor Dave Bieter and a few other Boise city council members came to the ceremony to show their support, intertwined with chatter of a 50-ton boulder that fell onto Warm Springs Avenue early this morning.

Woods told Boise Weekly now that he has a seat at the commission table, he plans to be consistent with the promises he made in his campaign, such as creating safe routes to schools, showing fiscal responsibility toward current operations and cooperating with all municipalities.

That, of course, may be the most interesting and challenging work that lays ahead of him.
New ACHD commissioner Paul Woods addresses his friends and family after being sworn in, with a message of thanks. - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • New ACHD commissioner Paul Woods addresses his friends and family after being sworn in, with a message of thanks.

"I believe in cooperating with the cities and trying to have as little friction as possible," he said. "The cities make the land-use decisions and the highway district supports those and completes construction." 

ACHD and the city of Boise's working relationship became increasingly chilly in 2014, over disagreements on bike lanes, smart meters and roundabouts. But Woods said he doesn't have a knot in his stomach when it comes to bettering relations.

"I'm only one commissioner, so my vote is only one vote," Woods said. "I hope to be persuasive and I look forward to the opportunities."

Kent Goldthrope, on the other hand, said the change to be "real slow."

"I expect a lot more dignity and respect amongst the commissioners themselves," he told BW. "This has been described to me in a lot of ways, none really positive as far as like, kind of a little kingdom here in the valley. I tend to disregard all those comments. I'll find all this out for myself."

Jim Hansen is one of three ACHD commissioners who remain in their seats after the election (his term doesn't end until 2016). He said he looks forward to the new perspectives Woods and Goldthrope will bring to the board.

"I don't think there will be any monumental changes," he said. "I think we'll start to see the perspectives of the two new commissioners being incorporated into the discussion. ...  Some issues will be challenging, some less. Just pick an issue."

The commissioners held their first meeting together at 12 p.m., after the ceremony.
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ACHD: There's a Boulder Sitting in the Middle of Warm Springs Ave

Posted By on Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 11:22 AM

ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District

At approximately 3:15 this morning, a large boulder fell from the Warm Springs Mesa, coming to rest on Warm Springs Avenue between Starcrest and Starview drives. The boulder remains on the road while ACHD crews work to remove it and repair the road surface.

ACHD has closed Warm Springs Avenue along that stretch and is working on a network of detours.

The boulder was one of several large rocks that broke loose from the Mesa this morning, and ACHD is consulting geologists on road safety.
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Prepare for Multiple Downtown Boise Street Closures on New Year's Eve

Posted By on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Motorists travelling into Boise's downtown core on Wednesday will need to take note of rolling street closures, leading up to New Year's Eve Idaho Potato Drop.

Ada County Highway District crews will move in to shut down Main Street between 11th and Ninth streets and between Fifth and Sixth streets, in addition to Eighth Street between Bannock and Jefferson streets, beginning at 9 a.m.

Beginning at 2 p.m., ACHD will shut down Eighth Street between Main and Idaho streets and Eighth Street between Idaho and Jefferson streets.

And at 7 p.m., ACHD crews will put up barriers at the following: Main between Ninth Street and Capitol Boulevard and Main between Capitol Boulevard and Sixth Street; Idaho Street between Capitol and Ninth Street; Bannock Street between Ninth Street and Capitol Boulevard and Ninth Street from south of Idaho Street to Grove Street.

Additionally, at the discretion of Boise Police, Capitol Boulevard may be closed at Front Street to north of Main Street later in the evening. 

All streets will be reopened no later than 4 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 1.


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