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Reshaping the Streets: Check Out Proposed Changes to Fairview and Main

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Citizens weighed in June 2 on the multiple proposed changes to Fairview Avenue and Main Streets. - GEORGE PRENTICE
  • George Prentice
  • Citizens weighed in June 2 on the multiple proposed changes to Fairview Avenue and Main Streets.


The Ada County Highway District and city of Boise drew significant citizen input Thursday night in an effort to reconfigure two of the city's most traveled corridors, linking the downtown core to the Boise Connector: Fairview Avenue and Main Street, between Whitewater Park Boulevard and 16th Street.

ACHD has proposed to reduce the number of travel lanes on Fairview and Main from four to three; add some on-street parking; and enhance bike lanes on both roadways. City officials insist that by making the area more accessible, walkable and bikeable, mixed-use neighborhoods will grow and the area will improve its mobility and economic vitality.

The proposed changes are also intended to improve safety in the neighborhood. From 2010 to 2014, there were a total of 147 crashes, 135 of them at intersections. Two particular intersections recorded the most crashes: Main and 17th streets, and Fairview Avenue and 27th Street.

For daily commuters worried about what proposed changes might do their their travel-time, ACHD estimates that only two seconds would be added to the Main Street morning commute if the lanes were reduced from four to three. Meanwhile, the Main Street afternoon commute is estimated to decrease by six seconds. According to projections, the Fairview Avenue morning commute would increase by one second and the Fairview afternoon commute would increase by three seconds.

ACHD engineers explained that even though traffic will certainly increase in the future, some travel times on those busy roads are expected to decrease as drivers presumably choose alternate routes.

Here are the options, assuming one option is always to leave Fairview and Main exactly the way they are now:
  • Main Street Option No. 1: On-street parking on both sides of the street with wider bike lanes.
  • Main Street Option No. 2: On-street parking on the south side of the street with wider, buffered bike lanes.
  • Main Street Option No. 3: On-street parking on both sides of the street with parked cars buffering the bike lanes from traffic.
    ACHD
    • ACHD

  • Fairview Avenue Option No. 1: On-street parking on both sides of the street with wider bike lanes.
  • Fairview Avenue Option No. 2: On-street parking on the north side of the street with wider, buffered bike lanes.
  • Fairview Avenue Option No. 3: On-street parking on both sides of the street with parked cars buffering the bike lanes from traffic.
ACHD
  • ACHD

Those unable to to attend the June 2 open house can still weigh in on the options at achdidaho.org. After reviewing comments from the public, ACHD staff is expected to come out with a preferred option, possibly as early as July, and get more public comment. The proposal could go before the ACHD commission as early as September.