Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, September 3, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Is Borah Street in Downtown Boise still a street? School zone flashing beacons obscured by vegetation near Garfield Elementary School; flashing yellow left-turn arrow installed at Milwaukee and Westpark streets; a right turn on red light is allowed from the left-most, right turn -- in Meridian

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: I attempted to find Borah Street, which maps show as located west or just off of 9th Street and just north of Myrtle Street in Downtown Boise, without success. Was Borah Street eliminated as a result of construction in that area? Garrett
Garrett

Road Wizard:

Borah Street is presumably named after Idaho's U.S. Senator William E. Borah who died in 1940.

The street was mostly lost during the construction of the Interstate 184 Connector and its connection to Front and Myrtle streets. What little is left of Borah Street is an access to law offices and "Jack's Urban Meeting Place" or "JUMP," named for J.R. Simplot.

While JUMP is a huge community center, Borah Street isn't even graced with a street sign. That's because it doesn't function as a road. The pavement is considered ACHD public "right of way."

It will stay public unless ACHD legally abandons it or allows the land to be turned over for public use. For now, ACHD will place a "Borah Street" sign at the intersection with 9th Street. Borah High School and Borah Peak (the highest point in Idaho) are also named in tribute to Senator Borah.

Dear Road Wizard: I live in Southeast Boise near Garfield Elementary School and I noticed that the trees are growing so much that drivers really can't see the flashing zone lights on Boise Avenue going east until you are right under them! Who is responsible for trimming these tree branches?

Sue

Road Wizard:

This must be in reference to the school zone flashing beacons. Typically, when vegetation obstructs signs or signals, ACHD sends a note to the owner of the property informing them that the owner is responsible for keeping street signs clear.

That can sometimes take awhile. Drivers need a good view for back to school, so ACHD just went out and cut the branches.

Dear Road Wizard: Thanks for putting a flashing yellow arrow at the left-turn lane from northbound Milwaukee Street to Westpark Street. That should minimize the traffic backups at the light. Plus it explains the recent widening of the turn lane.

Terry

Road Wizard:

The left turn was previously a protected, left-turn-on-green-arrow-only because the curve of Milwaukee limited the view of oncoming traffic for northbound drivers turning left onto Westpark.

Since ACHD couldn't rebuild Milwaukee, they instead moved the left-turn lane by shifting it slightly to the west to improve sight distance. Now motorists have a better view of approaching vehicles and can make a left turn on a flashing yellow arrow after yielding to oncoming traffic.

Dear Road Wizard: I was always under the impression that a right turn on a red light was only allowed from the right-most lane. However, at freeway off-ramps with two right-turn lanes (like the Meridian and Eagle westbound off-ramps on Interstate 84) I see people turn right-on-red from the left-most lane too. I have even had drivers honk at me when I don't turn. Can one legally turn right on red from both lanes?

Waiting for green

Road Wizard:

In Meridian, where these off-ramps are located, right turns from the left-most, right-turn lane against a circular red light are not specifically restricted unless a sign prohibits them. However, in Boise, police say the turn is never legal, even at circular red lights without signs restricting the turn.

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