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For the week of March 28 through April 3, 2001

Pull over, ITD wants a word with you

Survey examines Highway 75 traffic patterns

Express Staff Writer

Fluorescent traffic cones and flashing signs warned Highway 75 motorists on Tuesday and today that traffic would be a little slower on the morning and afternoon commutes.

Surveyors conduct their interviews at the historic site pullout north of Bellevue. Vehicles were funneled off the road and then smoothly returned afterwards.

As part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, surveyors from Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) began the work of an "origin and destination intercept study."

PB is the engineering and consulting firm hired by the Idaho Department of Transportation (ITD) to conduct the NEPA process.

The intercept study’s purpose is "to understand who is using the highway, where they are coming from and where they are going, why they are traveling and when."

Surveyors began the first stage of the study on Tuesday at the history information sign turnout north of Bellevue.

Matt Miller, an assistant engineer for PB at the site, said that his crew had been at work since 6:30 a.m. and would stay at work until 4 p.m.

The survey took no more than four minutes and afterwards drivers were rewarded with a dry marker board. Express photos by Willy Cook

Although bad tempers might have been expected for the delay of the survey, Miller said that everyone had been "excited to give their input and were very nice and cooperative."

The survey asks people where they had just come from at the time of their "interception" and where they were going.

Besides asking motorists for the zip codes of their home and workplace, they were also asked to locate their homes on a map and to identify the landmark or major intersection near their homes and workplaces.

Motorists were also asked if they would also participate in a later phone interview. Those who agreed were asked for their names and a daytime phone number.

As a "reward" for answering the survey, participants were given a magnetized dry marker board about the size of a sheet of paper—a pen was included.

Miller said he hoped to collect 300 surveys on Tuesday and another 300 today.

Today’s interview began at 6:30 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m. Instead of the intercept at the historic marker north of Bellevue, PB set up its intercept at the old weigh station along Highway 75 north of the Ohio Gulch entrance.

A second intercept study will be conducted in July or August to gather information about summer traffic and highway users.

Surveyors had little yellow cards for those who wanted more information on the intercept study. The card gave Diana Atkins’ number, 801-288-3227; or Chuck Carnohan’s, 208-886-7895.


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