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Nampa, Idaho Traffic: What’s It Like to Commute in Nampa?

Commuting in Nampa, Idaho Traffic Roads

Hey, Dave Edwards, Treasure Valley Dave here. In this series, we’re looking at what it’s like to live in small towns throughout Idaho. This time, we’re looking at Nampa, Idaho traffic — mainly what commuting is like. What started all of this is a great magazine that goes through all of these things, and you can get your copy for free on our website.

Are You Stuck with Interstate 84?

Interstate 84 goes through town, and many people commute on it. However, there are other ways to get from one place to another. The nice thing is that they’ve just about finished widening and improving the freeway. All they have left is to paint the stripes on the road between Nampa and Caldwell, and then we’re good to open up another lane. So, we have three lanes going both ways.

In the last year or so, traffic has gotten backed up on Friday afternoons. But now that they have finished construction, hopefully, that’s a thing of the past. 

Going Through the Improved Freeway

Well, here we are, Friday afternoon, and everybody’s going home. This is the peak of the commute. Will it get worse than this? Probably. And a lot of the reason is because we still have construction on the freeway.

On the side coming toward us, they’re coming from Boise, going on through Nampa, and maybe ending up in Caldwell. As I mentioned, they’re widening the freeway between Nampa and Caldwell. They’re waiting for it to stop raining for a bit, and then they’re going to put the stripes down, and hopefully, that will take care of whatever Friday afternoon backup we have out here. So, good job making our commute a little bit nicer.

Park & Ride

One of the options you might enjoy when it comes to commuting is our local Park & Ride. Quite a few people are taking advantage of that.

Treasure Valley Road System

So, someone brilliant laid out how the roads work here in the Treasure Valley. 

For example, what could we do if we go through the worst traffic intersection and get blocked off due to road construction? You go up one mile and take the next road because we’re on this grid system.

Why Would a Road Be Closed?

So, they close down these roads because they’re putting in these roundabouts at different intersections. Roundabouts can be controversial, but they work well for the most part. 

As another example, what if you wanted to go to the left, but the road was closed because there’s a place that needs a roundabout? We can go up one mile and take a left, right, or whichever direction you want because we’re on this extensive grid system.

Driving Through Nampa Roads

It’s early morning, so people are getting out there to mow their yards. It’s almost spring, although it’s hard to tell. So, we can scoot right along out here.

Typically, these roads on the grids are 40 or 50 miles an hour. And wow, here comes the next intersection. Then what can we do? Well, it’s a big grid, so we can go in any direction unless construction is going on. You get on the grid if you want to go generally in one direction. If you find traffic backing up or construction happening, you don’t have to know all the secret back roads and tricks to get from one end to the other. We can go this way and know that there will be another intersection in another mile. You generally know the direction you want to go, and then you start heading that way. It could be a rainy or sunny day, but it’s all good.

More About the Grid System

This grid is the same on the north and south sides of the freeway, it’s just squares. Oh my, look, there’s another intersection coming up. And if we’d only lived here for about five minutes, we could still be confident that there’s another intersection, and we can get this or that way. We will never get lost because we know we can always go one more mile over, and there we are. Pretty cool, huh? Is that like it is where you’re at?

Comparing It to California Roads Conditions

So, I remember my time back in California. In Vacaville, if you wanted to go from Sacramento to the Bay Area, there was only one way to go: Interstate 80. There were no back roads because there were streams, rivers, towns, and even politicians in the way. And you had to be funneled onto the freeway, which would back up, leaving you with no options.

Treasure Valley Roads on the Map

Out here in the Treasure Valley, you’ve got options. Once we zoom in on the map, you can tell we have this grid system throughout the Treasure Valley. You can see all these little squares. These are all just about a mile apart from each other. And so, if you’re coming across on the freeway and traffic’s backed up, you could take one of these other roads above or below the highway. Also, when you get out here in the farmland, everything else is still in these little one-mile squares. It’s pretty cool.

Taking the Back Roads

So, the major roads are sometimes blocked and backed up due to wrecks or just Friday evening going-home traffic in Idaho. Well, there are all sorts of back ways that you can take. We’re getting on one right now. 

We’re on Victory, which is parallel to the freeway. We’re a mile and a half south of the highway. We got this little curve to go around, but this is what it looks like after that.

So, if you’re not in a big rush and want to take a leisurely drive, you can take the back way from one place to another. You’re not going 70 miles an hour, but it’s a pleasant drive. You get to see things. Once you get older (like I plan to someday), stopping to smell the roses is lovely. Somebody should write a song.

Importance of Knowing Back Roads

Knowing these back roads is handy in case some construction occurs. They don’t close down the freeway, but sometimes they’ll block off a lane, which will bunch things up, and these back roads are a good option. But often, you’ll find that these back roads get heavy with traffic because some other way or one or two back roads are blocked off.

What's New with Nampa, Idaho Traffic?

What’s been going on is they’ve been putting in traffic circles and things like that, and it works just fine. You can hurry right across the valley. Just slow down for the traffic circles unless you’re a prior race car driver or take it as a personal challenge. Well, this time, we’re going to have to stop. 

Now, we’ve just got a straight shot from Meridian into Nampa here on Victory, and it’s pretty easygoing. We’re just moving right along, so the back roads are excellent. And once you get here and start exploring around town, you’ll find your own little back ways to get where you want to be. Nice.

Commuting in the Treasure Valley

Commuting here in the Treasure Valley is pretty decent. Is it great? It’s never fun, but how is it compared to where you live? 

And so, this is how our commute begins, leaving Nampa, getting on I-84, heading towards Meridian, Boise, or wherever we work today. There are many cars out here, but we’re moving right along. But there are times when this freeway will back up, there’s been a wreck, or sometimes on the on-ramps, you’ll find they’ll bunch up as more people come in. But compare this to the 580, the 680, the 880, or even just 80. Man, I’d rather have this every single day.

And if something does go on and it costs you an extra 5 or 10 minutes even, compare that to your commute in California, where it takes hours to go just a few miles. You guys have all been through that. It’s not like that every time, but it’s enough that it’s memorable, I’m sure.

Traffic at Ten Mile Road

So, now we’re at Ten Mile Road, listening to the traffic reports on the radio. This is where it gets bunched up. Let’s see how it looks today. 

Yeah, quite a few cars are coming from Boise into Nampa. Is that because there are a lot of great places to work in Nampa? I’m going to guess so. I didn’t see a bunch coming in off of Ten Mile Road.

Public Transportation

One of the public transit options is the Treasure Valley Transit. Now, you rarely see their yard this empty, because they’re driving all over the place. However, know that they’re here when you need them. And, of course, we have bus stops along the major arteries throughout town.

To Wrap Up

Hey, please help me out and subscribe to this channel and like this video. That means so much. I appreciate you for that, and thanks for coming along today. If you have questions about buying or selling a home in Nampa, contact us on our website. 

And until next time, hey, this is Treasure Valley Dave. Looking forward to helping you get home.

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