Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, June 11, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Who goes first when drivers arrive at roundabout entrances at the same time? Flashing yellow arrow requested for eastbound Overland Road at Entertainment Avenue; ACHD street sweepers visit all locations equally instead of spending extra time in north Boise neighborhoods

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: I have a question about the six-way "dogleg" roundabout at Hill Road and 36th Street. When waiting to enter the roundabout, I understand that I must yield to any vehicles already in the roundabout. But if there are no vehicles close enough to yield to, and two vehicles are waiting to enter from two entrances at the same time, which vehicle has the right-of-way to enter the roundabout?

Eric

Road Wizard:

Most call this intersection a "dog bone" because it's made up of two small, connected roundabouts that create a bone shape. This allows for six entrances, or "doglegs.' But the design can make "Who goes first?" tougher to sort out.

One could rely on the old stop-sign intersection rule of thumb. When two drivers arrive simultaneously, the vehicle on the right should enter first. But people may not be thinking that way in roundabouts.

Roundabouts are designed to allow vehicles at multiple entrances to yield and enter at the same time without stopping, as long as there are no pedestrians or conflicting traffic. When tightly-spaced entrances make that difficult, whoever enters the roundabout first has the right-of-way.

Dear Road Wizard: Some time ago I wrote to the Road Wizard requesting a U-turn sign be added to the left-turn lane sign on eastbound Overland Road at Entertainment Avenue. ACHD promptly replaced the sign to include U-turns and life became easier. Currently, that same traffic light allows a left turn, or U-turn, only on a green-arrow light. I have noticed that the left-turn lanes on westbound Overland at Vinnell Street, and eastbound Fairview Avenue at Records Avenue near The Village, allow U-turns and also provide flashing yellow arrows for left and U-turners. Is it possible for those of us who live in the Cole/Overland area to enjoy this convenience as well?

Patricia

Road Wizard:

The intersections at Overland and Vinnell and Overland and Entertainment are different. Drivers at Vinnell are crossing only two lanes of through traffic when making a left at the yellow arrow. There are three through lanes to cross at Entertainment. ACHD is being cautious about installing yellow arrows in those situations, so Entertainment only offers the green arrow.

That said, a few three-lane locations have flashing yellow arrows, such as Fairview at Records. ACHD continues to monitor operations at those locations, and intersections like Overland and Entertainment may be considered in the future.

Dear Road Wizard: As long as I have lived in the Sunset neighborhood in Boise's West End I have seen the street sweepers go through once a month, every month. I always knew when I needed to move my car, etc. But for the last year, I have only seen one sweeper, and that was without notice, leaving much leaf litter and debris to clog the drains this winter. Why did ACHD stop sweeping streets?

John

Road Wizard:

This neighborhood enjoys mature trees with many leaves, much like the North End neighborhood. ACHD sweeper trucks were spending more time in these areas than most other roads in Ada County. Some may have considered that special "tree-tment."

Now all streets are scheduled for sweeping at about the same frequency in the name of fairness. But even with the policy change, records show that ACHD sweepers cleaned the Sunset area two or three times since January.

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