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The road some call Death Alley

Neighbors concerned over the safety of Highway 16
Posted at 4:47 PM, Nov 06, 2023

EAGLE, ID — Highway 16 which connects Emmett to State Street has built up a dangerous reputation over the years. With the immense population growth, this two-lane roadway has seen a lot more traffic and a lot more accidents.

Speaking to several locals I learned many people refer to it with different names. One resident, Kelsie Atkinson calls it "Death Alley".

According to data provided by the Idaho Transportation Department, 344 total crashes were reported on Highway 16, from 2018 to 2022. Ten of those turned out to be fatal.

"It just breaks my heart whenever we hear those sirens going by," Atkinson said solemnly.

ITD started an environmental impact study in June to see what solutions can be made to address this issue. That study, however, will not be finished until 2025. Although ITD will soon be collecting ideas and designs and will hold two open houses for the public to see these ideas and voice their opinion.

Sophia Miraglio of ITD said, "The first open house is on December 4th. It will be from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Eagle Christian Church. The second open house will be on December 6th at Emmett High School."

I posted in a Facebook group that focuses on Highway 16 and Highway 52 to try and get the pulse of the community. My post received over 300 responses from many concerned residents. Several explained their ideas for how the road can change, however many explained that it may not be the road, but the motorists who travel it.

Atkinson explained, "People just get impatient. They will pass in no-passing zones and we end up with head-on collisions."

"When you look at the numbers, you can see that it’s inattentive drivers, drinking while driving, texting while driving, and that kind of behavior makes it unsafe for everyone," explained Miraglio

Idaho News 6 will continue to follow this story as these plans and solutions develop.