Nobody needs a traffic count to know that Eagle Road is the place to avoid during rush hour, especially the epicenter intersection of Eagle and Fairview. Chinden Boulevard is no picnic either.
Every three years, however, Ada County Highway District compiles the busiest intersection list to put raw numbers behind the driver headaches.
The traffic jam winner for 2014? Indeed, Eagle Road and Fairway Avenue with a peak hour traffic volume of 6,530 vehicles. That’s 108 vehicles passing through per minute.
Eagle/Fairview has held the top spot since 2005 and was No. 2 in 2002, said Terry Little, ACHD manager of traffic services.
If you’re north-south bound on Eagle, it doesn’t get much better after Fairview. Four of the top eight most congested intersections involve Eagle Road. The westbound Interstate 84 offramp onto Eagle is No. 2 at 5,850 peak hour vehicles and a few seconds later you and 5,600 other peak hour drivers are stuck at No. 8 Eagle and Franklin Road.
If the Eagle and Fairway intersection is tops, expect Eagle and Ustick to rank at the No. 6 busiest intersection with 5,690 commuters. Things thin out just a little at No. 11 Eagle and Chinden Boulevard with 5,420 peak hour drivers.
It wasn’t always that way.
“When I started this 21 years ago, the traffic had just settled down after the completion of the (I-184) Connector,” Little said. “Traffic was heaviest in Boise City and worst on Broadway Avenue. Broadway had four streets on that first list of the dozen busiest intersections and Eagle Road had none. Currently, Eagle Road has five intersections in the top dozen and Broadway has none.”
Chinden is the next busiest street with three intersections in the Top 12. Along with Eagle, Chinden also gets sticky at Glenwood, ranking No. 3 with 5,770 frustrated souls passing through per hour; and at No. 4 Curtis with 5,740 peak hour vehicles.
The busiest intersections not involving Chinden or Eagle are No. 5 Franklin and Milwaukee at 5,720, No. 7 Front and 9th streets at 5,640; No. 9 Gary/Glenwood at State at 5,510, No. 10 Cole and Overland at 5,480, and No. 12 13th and Front at 5,420.
“It is hard to drive anywhere in Ada County without driving through one of these intersections,” Little said. “Each of these busiest intersections handles roughly twice the population of McCall in a single hour.”
Three years ago, 9th and Front was No. 2, Franklin and Milwaukee was No. 3 and 13th and Front was No. 4.l