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Ohio Gulch Signal Timing Adjusted to Alleviate Traffic Congestion
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Homebound commuters stack up behind the light at East Fork Road at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. While they often stack up behind lights in Ketchum, at St.  Luke’s Wood River and East Fork Road, Idaho Transportation Department workers hope they have tinkered with the new light at Ohio Gulch sufficiently to prevent the backup there.
   
Friday, May 10, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

The Idaho Department of Transportation has adjusted the signal timing at the new traffic light at Starweather and Ohio Gulch in hopes of alleviating the congestion that built up following the deployment of the signal.

Before the traffic light was installed, traffic congestion in the going home commute from Ketchum usually eased up following the traffic stop at East Fork, with cars beginning to spread out as they climbed the hill on Highway 75 towards the Ohio Gulch intersection.

That changed with the initial deployment of the traffic signal on April 11, leaving traffic backed up until it passed the new traffic signal. And it elicited numerous complaints.

Additionally, those trying to turn into Starweather against the evening traffic complained that they had too little time to do so on the amber turn light. And bicyclists have complained that there are no push buttons to assist them getting across the highway throughout the day and evening.

Transportation Department workers collected data to help them refine the timing plan of the signal in both directions, said Courtney Salmon, communications specialist for the department. Feedback helped pinpoint specific issues drivers experienced, and the changes are expected to result in reduced wait times and congestion.

The department will continue to monitor the signal and make additional adjustments as needed, said Salmon.

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