Scores of New Sidewalks, Bicycle Paths Proposed for Central Bench


An aggressive plan to introduce more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly features to Boise's Central Bench neighborhood will be unveiled this Tuesday.

The population density of the Central Bench neighborhood is 6.5 people per square mile, higher than a citywide average of 5 per square mile. (Editor's note: This statistic was included in the report addressed to the Boise City Council from Comprehensive Planning Manager Patricia Nilsson. But 2010 U.S. Census figures count 2,913 persons per square mile in Boise). Additionally, the population of the neighborhood is forecast to increase by 10,000 people over the next 25 years to almost 50,000. Major employers in the neighborhood include Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and surrounding health-related services.

A new analysis to be delivered to the Boise City Council indicates a lack of sidewalks and/or bicycle facilities along Alpine Street, Crescent Rim Drive, Emerald, Garden, Kootenai, Liberty and Orchard streets and Vista Avenue.

The council will be briefed on recommendations to introduce as many as 129 sidewalk projects and 57 bicycle projects to the neighborhood.

According to the proposal, the primary source of funding for the projects would come the Ada County Highway District's Community Programs, a dedicated local funding source for pedestrian and bicycle projects.