As of Tuesday, February 24, 2015
The Northwest Passage Scenic Byway, U.S. Highway 12, in Clearwater, Lewis and Idaho counties is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Idaho Transportation Department’s 2nd District. It gets no respect. The last time it got respect, Captain Meriwether Lewis had something to do with it.
About 3,000 vehicles a day travel through Clearwater County, 2,000 through Lewis County, and about 500 through the Lochsa section of Idaho County.
In Kamiah, about 560 commercial vehicles drive U.S. 12 daily. The average daily traffic on U.S. 12 (3rd Street) at Main in Kamiah can be up to 5,000 vehicles.
The same highway in Lewiston has stoplights and pedestrian overpasses.
But the more rural areas, like Kamiah, can’t even get ITD to paint a crosswalk on the road, or put up a flashing yellow pedestrian light.
Instead, the people are told not to “play Frogger” or even cross the road in a way that makes it seem illegal. That is hard for some people who don’t drive and need to get to the town’s only grocery store, across the highway.
Bridge designs have been botched in Orofino and Kamiah, because we get no respect. We don’t deserve the full attention of ITD. The high traffic, high crash area at Dale’s Cashway used to have a flashing warning light, but it is gone now. What happened?
The ITD worker bees are doing a great job. Thanks for that. It’s the bean counters that give no respect. Can we get some respect? Can Kamiah get a crosswalk?
Glen Scott Swearingen