I wonder how they decide where to put the deer crossing signs. Who decides where they are posted, and how do they decide? - Jim G., Boise
The Treasure Valley may be home to thousands of people, but wildlife is still abundant. On many streets and highways, bright yellow signs with a picture of a jumping deer alert drivers to possible danger ahead.
But how do the-powers-that-be decide where to put the signs?
Reed Hollinshead with the Idaho Transportation Department says several factors go into the decision-making process. They look at where known animal pathways are, the actual numbers of animals on roads and if they’ve had a number of accidents involving deer.
“We get with our maintenance guys who know the highways and Fish & Game to determine the placement based on known problem areas,” Hollinshead said.
One area known for having a high number of deer and deer-related accidents is Idaho 21 between Lucky Peak and Idaho City. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will be adding a new feature to the road – a sign tallying the number of animals killed. The “tally sign” will urge drivers to “give deer and elk a break,” along with the number.
The signs will be used during the winter migration season from October through March, and planners will study if they help reduce accidents over a three to five year period.