by Andrew Crisp
Transportation planners from Boise City and Ada County government donned name tags and answered questions at a busy open house Wednesday night, giving citizens the chance to weigh in on planned improvements to city streets.
The goal of the event was to get a sense of what's important to those who use city streets, according to officials, and include that voice in the Ada County Highway District's Downtown Boise Implementation Plan. Plans call for altering vehicle, bicycle and transit routes, in partnership with Valley Regional Transit, Downtown Boise Association, the City of Boise and Capital City Development Corporation.
"When it will move forward, how it will move forward—we hope to get all of that information from the public," said Quintana.
Arranged at the edges of the meeting room on the second floor of the U.S. Bank building, planners referred to exhibits featuring possibile locations for converting one-way streets to two-way, mini-roundabouts for downtown intersections existing and planned bicycle facilities and other proposals. Near 7 p.m., 96 visitors had attended the meeting.
"The draws tonight are going to be the potential conversion of one-ways to two-ways, and if we're good with that, where," said Craig Quintana, ACHD chief information officer.
Changing one-way streets to two-way traffic has been a topic for years, including a 2011 Two-Way Conversion Study. Mini roundabouts, according to ACHD documents, would preserve parking when converting one-way streets.
For many, cycling was a big draw. At one end of the room, visitors were busily adding their ideas for better bicycle use in the city, including everything from adding bike lanes to 9th Street, to synchronizing traffic signals to proposals for better bicycle parking.
The implementation plan is slated for completion by mid-2013, following more public involvement at a late May/early June meeting. Projects can then be implemented and constructed in the next few years. A survey about the plans is available via the ACHD website.
Here's a PDF of the display boards from last night's meeting: