ACHD to Hear Project That Would Add Sidewalks to Emerald and Americana

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Emerald Street on the Boise Bench is known for its spotty sidewalk access. On one stretch, a narrow track has been beaten through a grassy lawn by thousands of feet and bike tires. Meanwhile, the Ada County Highway District Board of Commissioners is set to hear from its staff about a proposal that would revamp the sidewalks on Emerald Street and Americana Boulevard.

The plan will be presented at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 25 in the ACHD auditorium (3775 Adams St., in Garden City) and is in an early phase. It would add 5- to 7-foot-wide sidewalks as well as new curbs and gutters on Emerald between North Pond Street and Wilson Street. New sidewalks would also be installed between Roosevelt and Marshall streets on the west side of Emerald Street. Finally, a proposed bus pullout and new sidewalks and gutters would be installed on the east side of Americana Boulevard between North Latah Street and the entrance to Ann Morrison Park.

If ACHD commissioners move forward with the project, engineers would be tasked with creating a preliminary design that would later be discussed and voted on.

In January, ACHD released a poll to gauge public opinion on bike and pedestrian options along the thoroughfare connecting downtown with the Bench neighborhood. Of the 1,039 respondents, 90 percent said continuous sidewalks were needed between Ann Morrison Park and Orchard street, while 79 percent said continuous bike lanes were also needed. 

During an open house hosted Jan. 27 and attended by 163 people, 57.3 percent "strongly agreed" with a proposal for Emerald and Americana that would accommodate sidewalks and bike lanes. An additional 19.8 percent agreed with the proposal and another 19.8 percent were unsure or against the proposal.

If the ACHD board approves the staff proposal, it could undergo design development, with the commission hearing from the public on a final design proposal sometime in fall 2015. Construction could begin as early as 2017.

Proposed changes to Americana Boulevard between Latah Street and Ann Morrison Park - ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District
  • Proposed changes to Americana Boulevard between Latah Street and Ann Morrison Park
Proposed changes to Emerald Street between Roosevelt and Latah streets - ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District
  • Proposed changes to Emerald Street between Roosevelt and Latah streets
Proposed changes to Emerald Street between Orchard and Roosevelt streets - ADA COUNTY HIGHWAY DISTRICT
  • Ada County Highway District
  • Proposed changes to Emerald Street between Orchard and Roosevelt streets