Ada County Highway District, or ACHD, is the agency that maintains and builds roads in these parts. And I have ongoing appreciation for those folks.
First of all, they are proactive about trying to make the infrastructure as bike-friendly as possible, given space and budget constraints. Their efforts have been rewarded with a "Bike Friendly Community" recognition ("Bronze") from the League of American Bicyclists.
And second, they are very responsive to input from citizens.
On August 15, I emailed them (email@example.com) with concerns about:
- tree branches that were partially blocking a bike lane on a busy street,
- goathead vines that some yokel had harvested from his vacant lot, and tossed into the gutter pan,
- my ongoing concerns regarding the camera-activated traffic signals.
August 15th was Monday. By Wednesday or Thursday, the branches had been trimmed and the goatheads swept up! Amazing!
They promised to get back to me on the traffic cameras. I'm hopeful something can be done to make them more "sensitive" to cyclists.
Motorists often mistakenly believe that cyclists pay no highway taxes, since they don't buy gas. The reality is, property owners also pay highway taxes. (Which makes sense - you benefit from having a road to your house, even if you don't use it as often as the guy with the Hummer next door.) In my experience, ACHD is by far the most responsive government agency in these parts. The city, county, state and especially the Feds could learn something from ACHD.
(Side note: I was a charter member of ACHD's Bicycle Advisory Committee. I stepped aside after a couple years, because I believe such a committee is best served by rotating citizens with various viewpoints and ideas in and out, to keep things fresh and interesting.)