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 and conversion to a car-free space. 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
Phase 1 Construction
Construction will begin in January 2024 to implement the Phase 1 accessibility improvements on 8th St., between Main St. and Bannock St. The following upgrades will be completed:
- At the intersections of 8th and Main St. and 8th St. and Idaho St.:
- Conversion of former street crossings to ADA-compliant pedestrian crossings with new crosswalks in the center of the intersections.
- Relocation of pedestrian ramps, push buttons and pedestrian signals to align with center pedestrian crossings.
- Replacing existing pedestrian ramps with standard curb and gutter.
- Removal of temporary orange barriers.
- At the intersection of 8th and Bannock St.:
- Installation of yellow tactile wayfinding strips to guide people with visual impairments to the pedestrian crossings.
- Between Main St. and Bannock St., on 8th St:
- Removal of bike lane and parking pavement markings
- Removal of temporary orange barriers
Construction Timeline and Pedestrian Detours:
- The construction of Phase 1 improvements is expected to be complete in March 2024.
- The construction will begin at the intersection of 8th St. and Main St. and move north.
- Pedestrians will have access at each intersection throughout the construction, however certain crosswalks will be closed to allow for the construction. Wayfinding and detour signs will guide people through the construction and intersections.
- Businesses will remain open and accessible to the public.
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
- 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 – September 2023: Community outreach with our local businesses
- December 2023 – January 2024: Phase 1 project bidding and construction
- January – March 2024: Construction of Phase 1 improvements
- Winter / Spring 2024: Begin Phase 2: planning, design and outreach. Phase 2 will focus on improvements along the shared space, between the intersections.
Send a Message to Planning
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