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Main & Idaho Buffered Bike Lanes Detoured

ACHD cites 'turmoil' of downtown construction


In one of its strongest lobbying efforts in recent memory, the city of Boise pushed hard to bring buffered bike lanes to Main and Idaho Streets. Still, after plenty of public input on the issue, the Ada County Highway District has left the issue undecided.

"Indefinite hold is the term we would use," said ACHD spokesman Craig Quintana, adding ACHD commissioners cited "the general turmoil" of ongoing downtown construction projects, including Main Street Station, Simplot headquarters and the pending $400 million expansion of St. Luke's Hospital.

"We're not being shy about which options the city endorsed: parking-protected bike lanes," said Daren Fluke, comprehensive planning manager for the city of Boise in March. "That's why we're pounding the pavement and talking to anybody and everybody we can. A lot is at stake here."

However, ACHD commissioners "need to let some of those construction projects come to fruition before adding anything new to the mix," said Quintana.

Something new is already being added, though. The already approved conversion of Jefferson Street from one- to two-way from First to 16th streets, along with the addition of a bike lane and the elimination of several parking spaces is still on schedule.

"We're putting the project out to bid in the next week or two, and things will get under way this summer," said Quintana.

Mike Journee, spokesman for Mayor Dave Bieter, said the mayor and other city officials still think "Main and Idaho are the best options for bike lanes to improve a strong bike network in the city."

"With every accident, with every altercation between a bicyclist and a motor vehicle, it highlights that absolute need for people to ride safely and easily through downtown," said Journee. "And we owe that to motorists, too."