Yesterday, I met with Ada County Highway District (ACHD) Commissioner Sara Baker, and a couple of ACHD staff members, about putting a signalized crosswalk in front of the Ada County courthouse. You might recall that I have been advocating for this project. As it stands now, people frequently run across Front Street in front of the courthouse, darting through traffic, and it is only a matter of time before someone is hit and seriously injured or killed.
It turns out the problem is even more significant than I had realized. According to ACHD, on average, 80 people per hour are jaywalking across Front Street in front of the courthouse. I knew we had a problem. I didn’t know it was this big.
The bad news from ACHD is the cost of this project, which is expected to approach $200 thousand. But then, what is the value of the lives of the people who are crossing, including the infants in strollers and children being tugged across the street by their parents or grandparents?
The other piece of the crosswalk puzzle is the fact that Front Street is a state road, so the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will have to sign off before this project can be completed. ITD approval seems to be the lowest hurdle to jump. Finding funding is the bigger problem. Perhaps there are stimulus dollars or grant funds we can tap into in order to complete this much-needed public safety project. I will be looking.