8th Street Improvements

Main to Bannock – Creating a great public space for people

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.

Phase 1

Construction of phase 1 accessibility improvements were completed in March 2024. Those upgrades include:

  • 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.
  • 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
Ribbon cutting on 8th street

Phase 2

Phase 2 will consist of an existing conditions analysis and then additional design of the 8th Street corridor between Main and Bannock. This includes analyzing the related opportunities for placemaking and public space improvements such as bike accessibility, pedestrian walkways, furnishing zone amenities, signage, lighting, public art, landscaping, seating and other accessibility upgrades. The design phase will also include a public outreach process along with business stakeholder outreach to ensure future improvements are coordinated with input from all members of our community.

The design phase will begin late Spring of 2024 by initially gathering existing conditions data.

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
Two people cross through 8th street
A group of people standing outside of a building

Project Background

  • 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.
  • In Spring of 2024, construction was completed for the Phase 1 accessibility and mobility 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
Diagram showing improvements to crosswalk indicating removed barriers and painted crosswalk crossings.

Timeline / Next Steps:

  • January – March 2024: Construction of Phase 1 improvements
  • Spring 2024: Begin Phase 2: planning, design and outreach. Phase 2 will focus on improvements along the shared space, between the intersections.

Project Contacts

Chad Rietze

Senior Planner, Mobility & Public Spaces


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