ACHD continues to improve pedestrian safety

The Ada County Highway District (ACHD) is taking great strides to improve pedestrian safety and capability.

Last June, ACHD began installing new software and controller upgrades to traffic signals with flashing yellow arrows. The RedB4Ped software eliminates the flashing yellow arrow signal for a turning vehicle when a pedestrian has activated the pedestrian button and is given the signal to cross.

The upgrade is designed to eliminate the conflict between left-turning vehicles and pedestrians.  

To date, the RedB4Ped software upgrades have been installed at the following intersections:

  • Adams and VMP
  • Parkcenter and River Run
  • Parkcenter and Pennsylvania
  • Parkcenter and Law
  • Parkcenter and Bown
  • Eagle and State
  • Eagle and Floating Feather
  • Curtis and Franklin
  • State and Dewey
  • State and Collister
  • Orchard and Irving

“Pedestrian safety is not only a top priority at ACHD, but we continually look for new technology and solutions that enhance safety for all users,” said Gary Inselman, ACHD Deputy Director of Development and Technical Services. “We are excited about the advancements in pedestrian signal technology that have been made and the opportunity to implement them here in Ada County.”

Approximately 220 Ada County intersections will be upgraded to the RedB4Ped technology by the end of September 2020.

ACHD begins pilot project for touchless pedestrian sensors

ACHD also began a pilot project a couple of weeks ago with a local pedestrian safety company, the Campbell Company, who has developed a touchless option for pedestrians.

The new signal detects a “waving” motion from 2-3 inches from the sensor. The sensor has a no-contact locating tone for persons who cannot see to identify it, and verbal location information and cues are included. People can choose to “bump” the ped crossing button in the traditional way or use the touchless option.

The new sensor is currently being tested at the intersection of Bergeson Street and Gekeler Lane in southeast Boise. The location was chosen in part because of its proximity to the Campbell Company, who will be checking on the functionality of the sensor frequently.

A second sensor will be placed on Orchard Street at the pedestrian hybrid beacon between Irving Street and Fairview Avenue. The Campbell Company is presently working to construct that sensor now. This location was chosen because of its proximity to the ACHD Orchard facility and can be easily used and tested by engineers at that location.

ACHD will rely heavily on public feedback to determine the success of these new sensors. If it is determined that the sensors are successful, they will stay in place and more sensors will be installed at locations as resources become available. If it is determined that the touchless sensors were not a success, they will be removed and replaced by the traditional ped crossing button.