Road Wizard 11/1/19

Topics:  Pedestrian beacon out of service at Park; appropriate disposal of fallen leaves


Dear Road Wizard:  Okland has started construction near this intersection. The crosswalk light from The Ram to St. Luke’s Plaza (formerly Washington Group Plaza) is out. Many people used this crossing and now run across five lanes, sometimes in the dark. Ferguson Street has two driveways into the Falcon Building parking lot. Okland Corp has blocked half the road with fencing and park their vehicles so as to block one of the entrances. This second entrance made it easy for cars to come in one driveway and out the other. How will emergency vehicles get to the Falcon Building and how will snowplows clear Ferguson Street if the road is blocked such as it is?  Linda

ACHD is aware of the out-of-service pedestrian beacon on Park and is actively working with the contractor to restore power. My crystal ball tells me that contractors working on the building site accidentally cut the power.  In the meantime, the signals at Broadway/Park and Parkcenter/Park provide reasonable pedestrian crossing opportunities.

Ferguson is a dead-end street, though it does have access to the Greenbelt, and a 10-foot wide lane is to be maintained on the east side of the street. As with most minor streets, Ferguson is not likely to be a priority for plowing unless there is significant amount of snow.


Dear Road Wizard: Why won’t the Ada County Highway District let me blow leaves into the street? I know they have sweeping trucks that collect debris in the roadway and leaves already fall there. What’s a little extra going to hurt? I hate having to bag them up just to be thrown away. Run the sweepers a few more times so I can just blow leaves into the street. Pretty please. Lester 

The sweepers at ACHD do sweep up some leaves but are not meant to collect all of them. Property owners are responsible to help with this matter so that sweepers are not overloaded. It is also especially important that leaves not be blown into the streets because they will easily clog the storm drains. Clogged storm drains will result in flooding and potential property damage. Flooding can also cause additional wear and tear on roads. Newer roads that have recently been sealed are less likely to be affected by flooding, which is good, although newer roads are usually associated with areas that have smaller trees, thus less leaves. Older roads however are much more effected by flooding because water then settles into the cracks at the base and cause erosion. These older roads are in places like the North End, where they have very large trees with a lot of leaves. So, the property owner collecting these leaves is doing the entire neighborhood a great service.

As for throwing away leaves in the trash, there’s no need for most residents to do that. In Boise, residents can fill their compost bins, and set out up to 10 bags of leaves per week on their normal trash pickup day.  There are also numerous drop-off locations in Boise that are open from October 28 until December 6. In Meridian, leaves in large paper bags will be picked up from your curb from November 4 through November 22 for composting and drop-off services are open until December 5. Garden City offers curb side collection for leaves in paper bags from November 18 until November 22 and the drop-off location (207 E. 38th St) is open 24 hours a day until December 8. Star has a drop-off location behind City Hall (10769 W. State St.). This site is open for leaves to be dropped off in paper bags until December 8.

All Ada County residents can drop off leaves at the Ada County Landfill for free until December 7. The landfill is open Monday through Saturday, 7 AM-6 PM.