Boise City Council Asked to Affirm 'Ambitious and Unprecedented' Plan for Downtown Core


Following a year in which the Ada County Highway District made some radical proposals to change a number of downtown Boise's one-way streets into two-way streets—and so-called "walkability" guru Jeff Speck suggested that downtown Boise include more pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares—the Boise City Council will be briefed Tuesday, Dec. 3 on what city planners call an "overview on coordinating and connecting the downtown core."

Boise Weekly was first to report in June when ACHD crafted a blueprint that included a big expansion of the downtown bicycle network, the introduction of "mini-roundabouts" at eight downtown intersections and the conversion of at least six one-way streets into two-way thoroughfares.

Shortly thereafter, BW sat down with Speck before he performed a detailed walkability study of Boise.

And now, city of Boise officials are preparing to set a series of priorities for what they call "an ambitious and unprecedented attempt to coordinate various projects" in the downtown core over a five-year period, from 2014-2019.

Planners are asking the City Council to give their blessing to a number of recommendations, including:

-expanding the one-way to two-way conversions of downtown thoroughfares to include West Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, 13th, 15th and 16th streets;

-refine the city's approach to downtown parking provisions and pricing in light of what they call "three principles of collective supply, demand-based parking and parking-benefit districts";

-institute a "universal" 25-mph speed limit in the downtown core, and re-synchronize all one-way signals to that speed;

-create a Memorandum of Understanding among the ACHD, the Idaho Transportation Department, the city of Boise and the Capital City Development Corporation;

-create a city program to officially assign underutilized structured parking spaces, both public and private, to the development of new housing downtown.

At its Dec. 3 work session the Boise City Council will be asked to affirm direction on the recommendations.