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ACHD Grants Boise City Council President One More Chance to Convince Them to Keep Bike Lanes

The meeting is set for 3 p.m. Friday at the ACHD Auditorium at 3775 Adams Street in Garden City.


The Ada County Highway District Board of Commissioners have agreed to hold a special session, Friday, June 6 at 3 p.m. to hear an appeal from Boise City Council President Maryanne Jordan to reconsider the commissioner's decision to end the current buffered bike lane pilot project.

ACHD commissioners deadlocked, in a 2-to-2 tie, Wednesday afternoon to extend the pilot which temporarily placed buffered bike lanes on Capitol Boulevard, Main and Idaho streets. As a result of the tie, the pilot project reverted to its initial 30-day window of time which has already come and gone.

Jordan said he wanted another chance to convince ACHD commissioners to reconsider their votes.

The meeting is set for 3 p.m. Friday at the ACHD Auditorium at 3775 Adams Street in Garden City.

UPDATE: June 5, 2014 2 p.m.

ORIGINAL POST: June 5, 2014 11 a.m.

Boise City Council President Maryanne Jordan didn't mince words in a missive fired at the ACHD after the organization that controls Ada County's roads from curb to curb scrubbed a controversial buffered bike lane project June 4 after a 2-2 vote by the ACHD Board of Commissioners.

"ACHD has spent tax dollars to install the bike lanes and gather unprecedented public input. Instead of retaining your investment and using the input to improve the facility you decided to just rip out a piece of infrastructure that has been gaining increasing support and to set up a stakeholder group to evaluate the input," she wrote.

She also took aim at ACHD Director David Wong, whose presentation, she argued, undermined the group effort on the part of stakeholders to establish workable bike lane infrastructure downtown.

"In his presentation to the commission, director Wong stated that you should convene the stakeholder group and see 'what demon emerges', then decide where you go next. With that approach, how can we possibly believe that there is any sincerity in this stakeholder effort?" she wrote.

Jordan wasn't the only person to express ire at the ACHD decision. Jeff Speck, a city planning consultant and walkability guru who consulted with local officials in 2013, ripped the ACHD in a tweet June 5 for dismissing the project data that showed Capitol Boulevard, Main and Idaho streets weren't negatively impacted by repurposing a lane of traffic on each for bike thoroughfares. 

"Unfortunately, #ACHD rejected the data that showed clearly how many streets' travel demand did not justify their unsafe # of lanes," he wrote.

The bike lane project, which began in early May and ran through June 4, placed buffered bike lanes on three high-traffic downtown Boise roads and installed "bike boxes" at intersections to help cyclists achieve better visibility and integrate with traffic. The project was controversial from the start  and thousands of Boiseans chimed in on an ACHD-conducted opinion poll to voice their approval or disapproval. 

In this week's edition of Boise Weekly, readers learned about the ACHD's Traffic Management Center  where engineers observe traffic patterns from 115 cameras fixed to stoplights across the Treasure Valley. Those engineers told BW that many of the complains about the bike lanes—e.g. they made riders less safe, the lanes contributed to traffic congestion—had been overstated.