The Alameda-Jefferson intersection has long been plagued by traffic congestion. At times the Level of Service (LOS) is rated “D” which means that average travel speeds are about 40 percent of free-flowing speeds. Within a few years this intersection will be at LOS F, characterized by gridlock and high delays. In addition, traffic signal studies have shown that the Alameda-Jefferson intersection would not benefit from interconnected signals.
City staff has designed several traffic plans to alleviate congestion at the Alameda-Jefferson intersection. All options require additional right of way and are expensive, making this project a candidate for federal aid funds. Bannock Transportation Planning Organization (BTPO) conducts Long Range Planning Meetings, and this intersection ranked first in the region by the public. As a result, BTPO added this project to the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP). Federal funds were made available in FY10, with additional funds for preliminary engineering available in FY12, right of way funds in FY15, and construction funds in FY16.
The Alameda-Jefferson intersection project is in the preliminary engineering stage. The first stage of the project included a traffic study and concept report that was conducted by Parametrix, Inc. of Boise. At this stage, engineers analyzed several alternatives, conducted a public open house, consulted with stakeholders, and evaluated each alternative based on a set of criteria. The outcome of the concept report was a recommended alternative.
Unfortunately, new traffic modeling shows that the former recommended alternative will not function as once believed. The new engineering consultant, Six Mile Engineering, presented new alternatives to the city council this fall. City and State staff will seek public input on those alternatives at a public hearing to be held on December 9, 2014 from 5pm to 8pm at Tendoy Elementary School.