Commuters going near Boise's downtown may have noticed expanded bike lanes and bike boxes on Capitol Boulevard, and Main and Idaho streets. These features were completed May 1 as part of a pilot project being conducted by the Ada County Highway District, which is asking the public to weigh in on the changes through an online survey.
The survey is meant to determine why people visit downtown, how they interact with the lanes and boxes, and how they impact commute times and convenience.
According to ACHD Chief Information Officer Craig Quintana, about 1,600 people have already taken the survey, with an additional 200 people communicating with his office via email and phone calls. Though Quintana didn't say how the survey's respondents felt about the infrastructure changes, he did say that public response by email after the first weekend has been unsupportive.
"The folks that are emailing us are much more critical and negative," Quintana said.
Nevertheless, the sheer volume of feedback has been high.
"That's more public response than any project has generated in my dozen years here," he said.
The pilot project is set to last through the end of May but could extend until the end of June, and the ACHD may decide if and how to extend the project—or even make the lanes and boxes permanent—at its May 21 meeting. Quintana said that this has been a challenging, rewarding project for ACHD, which has curb-to-curb control over Ada County's roadways.
"This has logistically been quite an effort for our folks but we're all digging on it because it's so out of the norm," he said.
In the next edition of Boise Weekly, readers will learn more about the bike lanes and boxes, and how they might impact Boise bicyclists.