Road Wizard

Dear Road Wizard:  For starters, I severely miss reading your section in the Idaho Statesman every Sunday. I am reaching out to you for clarification on required stop signs at railroad crossings. For a brief period of time, the stop signs were removed at the Garden Street railroad crossing and it was wonderful. With stop signs for Alpine Street and stop signs for the nearby railroad crossing, there is oftentimes confusion at the Garden Street/Alpine Street intersection as to who had the right of way. Are the railroad crossing stop signs required? If not, would it be possible to go back to “yield” signs? Allison

I’m sorry for not being in the Statesman, but you can still find me on the ACHD News Blog HERE.

Recently, numerous “Stop” signs at railroad crossings were changed to “Yield” signs in response to a change in Idaho Statutes that occurred this year. ACHD has asked that the “Stop” signs be reinstalled until location-by-location studies can be performed. The studies will help determine if a “Yield” sign or a “Stop” sign is the more appropriate posting, given site specific conditions.

At this time, my crystal ball won’t tell me what the study at Garden Street and Alpine Street will reveal, so we will just have to wait.

Dear Road Wizard:  Why on Main Street has the bike lane been painted and the arrows are pointing toward traffic? I thought bikers were supposed to ride with traffic, not against it. DL

The most recent pavement rehabilitation project on both Main Street and Fairview Avenue west of 17th Street included significant changes to road striping. On Main Street over the Boise River, there’s a two-way “cycle track” that allows bicycles to use the bike lanes in both directions to access the Greenbelt. Legally, it’s the only section of bike lane on Main Street that allows this to take place. It’s just like striping a road for two-way traffic, but in this case, one of those directions is meant for bicycles.

For what it’s worth, on Fairview Avenue west of Whitewater Park Boulevard, there’s a bike contraflow lane that allows bicycle access from Whitewater Park to the Greenbelt further west across the river. There’s no ramp on the south side of Fairview Avenue where the eastbound bike lane is positioned, so this makes it easier to get to the Greenbelt if you’re east of the river.

Dear Road Wizard:  With winter quickly approaching is ACHD ready for the snow? I am always entertained by the sight of blue sand and salt on the road and sidewalks around town, any chance ACHD would consider a color change, maybe throw in some orange for a Boise State theme? Buster

The ACHD maintenance team is well past the planning of winter operations and is ready for the season. They have over 8,000 pounds of salt on hand ready for the season. As far as adding a new color, my Wizard senses are telling me that it doesn’t look likely. Nice try Buster!