Changes are coming to two popular buildings in the heart of downtown Boise. Here’s what you should know
It may seem unbelievable to newcomers to Boise that until a few years ago, Eighth Street downtown was in some ways just another street on which impatient drivers jostled to get home from work.
The two blocks between Main Street and Bannock Street were popular at the time. But its popularity only grew after the city of Boise closed it to cars During the COVID-19 pandemicIt made it an exclusive corridor for pedestrians and cyclists, and allowed restaurants to expand onto the sidewalks.
People buzz any night of the week with talk, laughter and patrons emerging from stores carrying plates full of greasy potato pizza, Korean noodles or German pretzels..
It may be among the hottest blocks in Boise. Thousands of people walk or ride through it every week. Eighth Street downtown has become a symbol of the vibrant city leaders and residents want Boise to be.
Now, after nearly four years of closure, the city says the temporary changes will become permanent. The temporary orange barriers will disappear. Bike lane and sidewalk markings, which are no longer needed, will also disappear. Yellow haptic strips will be added under feet at crossings to better alert people with poor vision. Street crossings will be upgraded to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and pedestrian ramps and signals will be relocated.
“Over the past few years, the city has heard support from the community to keep Eighth Street, between Main and Bannock, a car-free space that cyclists and pedestrians can enjoy,” according to a press release.
“Eat Street is one of those places where we have to have the highest expectations so that businesses can thrive and all residents feel comfortable and inspired by the time they spend there,” said Tim Kane, the city’s director of planning and development. launch.
Construction will be done in phases, with work starting at the intersection of Eighth Street and Main Street and moving north, according to the city plan. website. The city expects the first phase to be completed in March.
Phase 2 changes could include changing the way restaurants can design patios and where bikes can park, according to previously reported by the Idaho Statesman Reports preparation. Planning, design and outreach for Phase 2 will begin in the winter or spring of 2025.
The city plans to spend $650,000 for the first phase and $350,000 for the second phase, according to the city’s 2024 plan. budget.
Pedestrians will still be able to use intersections, and businesses will remain open during construction, according to the release.
Connectivity to the Greenbelt, north end of 8th Street, will be improved
The stretch along Main and Bannock isn’t the only part that could see improvements in the future.
In August, the city’s urban renewal agency, Capital City Development Corp., or CCDC, approved improvements for bikers and pedestrians between State and Franklin streets on the south end next to the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial and on the north end of downtown near St. Michael’s Cathedral. . Episcopal Cathedral.
Improvements on the southern stretch of the street include realigning the Boise River Greenbelt, improving the bicycle and pedestrian path that connects the Greenbelt to 8th Street behind the Boise Library and adding security cameras and more lighting.
The northern extension of the street would go from two lanes with northbound traffic to one lane, move on-street parking to one side and add elevated bike lanes, according to a former statesman. Reports preparation.
CCDC directed $1.5 million of its budget to the North Extension and $2.5 million to the South Extension. Most of CCDC’s revenue comes from the taxes it collects on new construction projects it supports and from the ParkBOI parking system downtown.