ACHD considering switching 5th and 6th streets to two-way

5th and 6th streets could go from one-way to two-way.

BOISE - Downtown traffic patterns may change following a request from the city.

Boise is asking the Ada County Highway District to change several streets in downtown Boise from one-way to two-way, and ACHD is asking the public to weigh in.

ACHD held an open house at the Basque Center Thursday.

The agency wants hear what residents think about making 5th and 6th streets into two-way roads. ACHD says there are several pros and cons they want the public to consider.

KTVB talked with several drivers who were conflicted about the plan.

Dwayne Ward comes to downtown Boise five days a week and doesn't mind the traffic. But that could change if ACHD decides to convert 5th and 6th streets into two-way streets.

“It would create a little more congestion and we would be looking at give or take removing 54 on street parking places to make that work," said ACHD spokeswoman Nicole DuBois. "The benefits would be that there would be quicker access to certain locations in the area, and for people not familiar with the area it would be more navigable for them.”

Even some people who are familiar with the area think a switch to two-way streets would make it easier to get around.

“If you miss your turn off you have to go further down and that just means more gas money,” said Lorena Wilemon, who works in downtown Boise.

At Thursday's open house the public looked at three different plans, one which includes a "no build" where there would be no change and no cost.

The other two would involve making both 5th and 6th streets having one lane going in each direction until you get north of Idaho on 6th Street, each of which would cost around $1.5 million.

“It seems to me like with renovations in front of city hall they are spending a lot of money, for what?" said Ward. "Before you start changing things around you better have a good game plan why you’re doing it.”

You can weigh in on ACHD's website until April 25.

After the public comment window closes, ACHD will give a recommendation to commissioners, who will then decide by this summer.

If one of the alternative plans are adopted, as opposed to the "no build" option, construction would begin in 2019.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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