22 Hazardous Miles

More mule deer are killed by vehicles on a 22-mile stretch of roadway east of Boise than on any other stretch of road in southwest Idaho.

This stretch includes 8 miles of Warm Springs Avenue, which runs along the base of the Boise Foothills and parallels the Boise River. It moves east through city neighborhoods and then suburban developments that are scattered across the valley.

BRWLP Project Area Map 09-02-08

Click map to view larger version.

This checkerboard of houses and bare land gives way to open space along 14 miles of State Highway 21. Much of it is public land or part of the Idaho Fish and Game’s Boise River Wildlife Management Area (BRWMA.) The road continues into the mountains traversing rocky and steep mountainous features of the Boise Front.

What was once a laid-back country road used by local residents, loggers and sportsmen, is now a busy well-paved two-lane road. It has occasional passing lanes and numerous curves planked by long stretches of concrete guardrail paralleling the highway. The alignment of the road and surrounding terrain further limits a driver’s visibility.

Road/Mountains

Photo Credit: Scott Rudel

Every year more commuters ply the road to Boise and more city residents drive into the mountains to play. Speed limits range from a low of 35 mph on Warm Springs Ave up to 55 mph on the flat stretches of Highway 21, though many people drive faster.

Between the years of 1979 and 2001 a minimum of 1,267 deer were hit and killed. The map below shows where accidents happened during this time period.