North Boise’s 13th Street sees a lot of traffic for a relatively narrow road in a predominately residential area. A junior high, a popular park, foothills access and the Hyde Park business district all bring in cars. And people who live on 13th say those cars are driving way too fast.
In May residents got together and formed a group called Slow Down and Enjoy 13th Street. Tricia Kennedy is a member of the Slow Down committee. Kennedy thinks what happens on her street is that people drive slowly in Hyde Park and then hit the gas when they get past the restaurants and shops. She thinks some people don’t realize the whole street is 20 miles an hour.
“It’s just a problem waiting to happen,” Kennedy says. “And actually we’ve had 29 accidents on 13th in a year period. And that’s a lot on this small street.”
Slow Down borrowed radar equipment from the Boise Police Department and conducted a study. Kennedy says more than 60 percent of drivers were going closer to 30 than 20.
“It doesn’t seem like a huge increase over the posted speed limit,” Kennedy says. “But when you’re speaking of cars and pedestrians and busses and kids going to school and it’s a very narrow street, it makes a difference.”
The group received a small grant from the North End Neighborhood Association to print yard signs that politely ask people to drive 20 miles an hour. Those have been in high demand and now line the road. Kennedy thinks they’ll help for a while and then people will begin to ignore them. The group is now lobbying the Ada County Highway District for more safety features like crosswalks with flashing lights.
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