When a Pepsi delivery truck rolled onto Boise's North Eighth Street between Bannock and Idaho streets shortly after 10 a.m on Aug. 8, the drivers were greeted with a friendly warning: From now on, show up sooner.
"I said, 'Gentlemen, you'll need to do this before 10 o'clock tomorrow,'" Max Clark told Citydesk.
Clark is the parking and facilities director for Capital City Development Corp. If there's an issue regarding transportation in downtown Boise, Clark knows something about it. If it has anything to do with parking, he knows everything about it.
Clark hit the pavement at 6 a.m. this week--and he'll continue next week--serving as what he calls an "Eighth Street ambassador" for a major change to the city's inner core.
As of Aug. 8, public parking is now prohibited on North Eighth Street between Bannock and Main streets, Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. Only delivery vehicles will be allowed to park in metered spaces during that time. Parking by the general public in the metered spaces resumes at 10 a.m. Additionally, a new bike lane has been introduced to the two blocks.
"For years, bicyclists have asked for a safe way to get from the south to the north side of town," said Clark. "It was pretty hard for them to do so, especially if the cars and trucks were three abreast."
Clark said the congestion, with cars and trucks "trapping" each other on the one-way street, was the tipping point, resulting in the changes.
On the first day of the change, Clark said he heard plenty of feedback from both sides of the street on the issue.
"Some said, 'What do you mean I can't park here?' But a lot of folks said it was a great idea," said Clark.
Not every retailer or restaurateur is thrilled, however.
"Some people are upset; 6 to 10 is our busiest time," said Kelsey Green of Dawson Taylor Coffee at 219 N. Eighth St. "Our regular customers always parked on Eighth."
Clark said he made a point of engaging with Dawson Taylor's customers.
"They asked me where to park while they got their coffee, and I suggested Bannock Street, where there are plenty of spaces," he said.
One of North Eighth Street's newest restaurateurs said he supported the change.
"I actually think this will make things more inviting," said Cameron Lumsden, owner of Fork at 199 N. Eighth St. "It will make things more challenging for deliveries, but I think the change makes it a better place for Boise pedestrians. It's worth it."
Boise police will begin enforcing the change following a two-week transition period. Non-delivery vehicles parked on North Eighth between Bannock and Main during the restricted hours will be issued a $40 official sign citation. If a delivery vehicle is in a space after the meters go into operation at 10 a.m., it will receive a $15 citation for each space occupied and not paid for. If the delivery vehicle is double-parked or parked on the fire lane curb, drivers will receive a $40 citation.