Ten Mile Christian Church

Photo courtesy Ten Mile Christian Church

The Meridian City Council chambers overflowed Tuesday night with Ten Mile Christian Church supporters who worried about a proposed median’s effect on church access.

Ada County Highway District plans to install a raised median on Franklin Road between Ten Mile and Black Cat roads. Church goers said this would eliminate left-hand turn access to the building’s main entrance and hinder people from attending the many services and meetings held at the 2,000-member church every week.

Their comments swayed City Council, which had previously approved of the median. The Council’s new recommendation to ACHD is that the median should still be installed — just not in front of the church entrance until traffic counts warrant one.

ACHD project manger Dyan Bevins will take this recommendation to the ACHD Commission, which will make the final decision Dec. 4.

Not installing the median in front of the church, she said, could open the door for other Franklin Road property owners to also request the median be removed in front of their property.

Another option is to wait to install any part of the median until traffic and safety needs call for one. A concern with that approach, Bevins said, is that the catalyst for installing a median could be a car accident.

Safety is the No. 1 concern, Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd said. She pointed out that after Idaho Transportation Department installed a median on Eagle Road near the Franklin Road intersection, left-hand turn accidents — a major issue in that area — decreased to almost zero.

“We may not have the traffic counts today to warrant raised medians (on Franklin), but it is a safety factor, and the first life lost is what stops us in our tracks,” de Weerd said. “... We would feel horrible if we said ‘do not put those medians in there’ and we had a fatality because those center turn lanes are not safe.”

As mentioned, the ACHD Commission has the final say on whether or not the median will be installed. Bevins said Ten Mile Christian Church members have also expressed their concerns to ACHD.

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