Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Update: ACHD Outlines Traffic Patterns Near Proposed ThrU Turn

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 3:24 PM

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Update April 1:

According to ACHD, the current average wait time at the intersection of State Street, Veterans Memorial Parkway and 36th Street is 187 seconds during the afternoon peak hour.

"That wait time is expected to be reduced by 50 percent compared to the existing intersection with estimated year 2020 traffic," wrote ACHD public information officer Nicole Pineda in an email.

Currently, approximately 40,000 vehicles use State Street near VMP each day—the maximum number of vehicles for which that stretch of road was designed—but that number could increase to 47,000 vehicles per day by 2035. In the next 20 years, the number of vehicles that use VMP near State Street is expected to increase from 28,000 vehicles each day to 39,000 vehicles each day. At 800 left turns per day hour during peak traffic, the northbound left-turn movement is among the busiest in Ada County.

Original Post March 31:

It was an item so far down the list of Ada County Highway District projects that it could have easily escaped even the wariest transportation authority observer's notice: the State Street/Veterans Memorial Parkway/36th Street Intersection project. This intersection is one among Boise's busiest, and ACHD's "preferred alternative" to remedy traffic congestion is likely to raise eyebrows.

Meet the "ThrU Turn," which directs road users wishing to make a left-hand turn forward through an intersection, across multiple lanes of traffic in a sweeping U-turn and forward again to the original intersection, where drivers can make a right hand turn.

It sounds complicated, so here's an animated video developed by Avenue Consultants and the Utah Department of Transportation, which have already installed ThrU Turns, describing its mechanics:

The project is the "preferred alternative," and doesn't yet have project dates—an open house on the project is scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, at the ACHD auditorium—but engineers have already estimated the cost of the project ($7.7 million). During a 2012 ACHD public involvement meeting, 34 attendees submitted 16 comments suggesting that among several possible plans to combat congestion at the intersection, the ThrU Turn was the most popular, but ACHD officials are holding Thursday's open house to continue gathering feedback from the public about the possible project.

"I'm not sure if we heard from as many as we really wanted to at that meeting," said ACHD public information officer Nicole Pineda.

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