Over the past few years the City of Boise has partnered with businesses, partner agencies and the community to create a pedestrian-friendly 8th Street including the expansion of restaurant patio seating. Based on public feedback, the city will be making improvements to 8th Street to enhance the safety and accessibility for all users while creating a vibrant public space and business-friendly environment.
8th Street Improvements
Main to Bannock – Accessibility and Mobility Improvements
Project Vision and Goals
- Maintain 8th St. with access to bicycles and pedestrians and remain closed to motor vehicles
- Maximize the area for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists and scooters to prevent user conflicts
- Provide safe and accessible routes for people with disabilities
- Create an active and engaging public space supporting our local businesses
- Organize and streamline outdoor furnishings (e.g., bike parking, planters), dining spaces and amenities to ensure positive experiences for all users
Phase 1 Improvements
In collaboration with the community, the city is working to improve the accessibility of the 8th Street (from Main Street to Bannock Street) by converting the former street crossings to ADA-compliant pedestrian crossings, encouraging users to travel down the center of the shared space.
The first phase of this project is focused on the intersections (Main, Idaho and Bannock), and will include relocating pedestrian push buttons and signal indication poles, installing accessible guidance cues such as tactile warning strips and truncated domes, replacing existing pedestrian ramps with standard curb and gutter, and installing crosswalk markings. In addition, the orange barriers and bike lane striping will be removed.
- In 2020, the city-owned blocks of 8th St. (Main to Bannock) were closed to motor vehicles during the pandemic as a pilot project focused on economic recovery
- Closing the block allowed businesses to expand their patios
- Over the past three years the city has been working with users, stakeholders, businesses, and partner agencies to receive feedback on the closures
- In 2022, the city identified design solutions to improve access and mobility along the street.
- In Fall 2022, the Boise City Council recommended a preferred design and approved funding for the city begin on Phase 1 improvements.
What we heard
- Overall, the public and the businesses supported the car-free environment on 8th St.
- Improvements are needed at the intersections to provide audio and visual guidance for people who are blind or low-vision
- Opportunity to improve aesthetics and reduce street clutter
- Safety concerns with bicyclists/scooters
- 8th St. is a desirable bike route connecting the Greenbelt to Jefferson Street
- Businesses and 8th St. users dislike the orange barricades
Timeline / Next Steps:
- August 2023: Final design in review by partner agencies (August 2023)
- August – September 2023: Community outreach with our local businesses
- Fall 2023: Anticipated Phase 1 construction. Construction will be phased to limit impacts to businesses and the public.
- Fall – Winter 2023: Begin Phase 2: planning, design and outreach. Phase 2 will focus on improvements along the shared space, between the intersections.
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