District 3 inspector Todd Daylong: An intersection of talent, safety
Todd Daylong, an inspector out of District 3’s Residency 1 office, lives near the intersection of Highway 44/ Old State Street and Ballantyne Road in Eagle. He drew up and proposed several modifications to the intersection to assist with traffic flow and safety.
Seems it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Daniel Glivar recently e-mailed to offer his thanks for, in his words, “an excellent job done on re-designing the intersection.” Glivar went on to say, “over the past seven years, I have seen more serious accidents at that intersection than I care to count or remember. Whoever was responsible for designing and implementing the new intersection should be recognized and complimented. That intersection is now very safe and easy to navigate. I haven't seen a single accident there since the change was made. And there is rarely a car waiting to get out from Old State Street or Ballantyne onto 44 now."
The intersection was reconfigured in mid-June by District 3 Boise Maintenance and the Special Crew. Essentially, the right-hand westbound lane at the intersection was revised to no longer be a through lane. Instead, the lane ends at the intersection and became a right-turn only lane. The right eastbound through lane remains a single lane and does not open up to two full lanes until 500 feet after the intersection, allowing for a dedicated and protected entrance into the traffic flow from Old State Street in the left eastbound lane.
Daylong said that for a year and a half he “had heard accidents from my back yard,” including one that resulted in a fatality. The main problem were drivers in too much of a hurry, not taking other traffic into consideration – much of it motorists intersecting the route. Some maneuvers even “covered up” cars in the adjacent lane, making them invisible to intersecting traffic…until it was too late. The physical layout of the intersection created a whole host of problems. The intersecting traffic movements were coming in at an angle rather than a straight line, creating blind spots for drivers.
Part of the concern was how to address the issue without resorting to another stop light to that stretch of Idaho 44. The solution, as Daylong saw it, was simple: keep the through traffic in one lane until after the intersection, eliminate the left through lane and utilize the distance of that lane for a transitioning left-turn only lane onto Old State Street.
“I requested a set of plans from Design for that particular stretch of Hwy. 44, marked out my perspective changes with a red felt pen, and showed it to District Engineer Dave Jones,” said Daylong. “We walked it down to Traffic Engineer Kevin Sablan’s office. He said he would discuss it with his contact at Ada County and apparently they loved the idea. It seems the plan was a more cost-effective idea as opposed to erecting a traffic signal.”
“Congratulations on a job very, very well done,” said Glivar. “This was an excellent improvement, and one I was happy to fund as a taxpayer. I have no doubt the change saved lives.”