September 16, 2021 (Moscow, Idaho) — The Moscow School District has requested that the City of Moscow explore potential modifications to the D & Mountain View intersection to improve student safety. The School District reports that families and school personnel interacting with this intersection have expressed a growing concern for the safety of students walking and biking to school. Since the start of the 21/22 school year, motorists have increasingly disregarded direction, verbally harassed crossing guards, and displayed potentially dangerous behavior.
The intersection of D & Mountain View is currently a 4-way stop-controlled intersection with both through and left turn lanes on each leg of the intersection. The intersection generally operates very efficiently; however, the increased volume of traffic due to parents or other family members dropping off students at Moscow Charter School, McDonald Elementary, and the Moscow Middle School during the short period of time before school starts results in significant congestion. The current configuration allows up to 8 vehicles to approach the intersection at once, leading to potential driver confusion regarding which vehicle has the right-of-way, adding additional delay and frustration for motorists, and increased risk for pedestrians.
During the week of Sep. 20, the City of Moscow Street Department will be installing temporary traffic control devices to remove the left turn lanes to assess the effectiveness of the modification in reducing driver confusion and improving intersection operation and pedestrian and bicyclist safety. The temporary traffic control devices are anticipated to remain in place for 90 days while the City evaluates the impact of the modification on pedestrian and bicyclist safety and vehicle delays. During the initial stages of the test period, motorists should anticipate potential increased delays as drivers become accustomed to the modification.
Parents are strongly encouraged to allow their children to walk, bike or utilize school bus transportation to help reduce congestion. If those options are not feasible, parents are encouraged to use drop-off locations along safe walking routes to the student’s destination. For more information regarding recommended safe walking routes, please visit the Moscow Safe Routes to School Program website at www.uidaho.edu/moscow-srts.
Story Contact: Scott Bontrager, City Engineer