Greenbelt closures force cyclists to improvise

Cyclists improvising with Greenbelt closures.

BOISE - With the Boise River continuing to run fast and high, the number of closed sections along the Greenbelt, just in Boise, has now reached 10. The latest closure came Tuesday afternoon near the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Nine of those 10 sections are indefinitely closed until the floodwater subsides.

Many people not only use the Greenbelt to recreate, but also as a way to get to and from work.

"It makes it a big challenge for us to actually use the Greenbelt to get where we're going now," said bike commuter Joe Bruce.

It has left many, like Bruce, looking for alternative routes just to get to home.

"Cyclists are going to be out taking some alternate routes because their normal mode of transportation is taken away from them," Bruce said.

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Some of those alternate routes could lead to busy side roads.

"There will be some detours that probably aren't very safe, that say the Greenbelt is closed at this juncture and the only way you can get to the next section is to maybe go out on a busy, a very busy, street that doesn't have bikes lanes for example," Boise Parks and Recreation District Director Doug Holloway said.

The department is trying to avoid those kinds of detours, but Holloway added that safety is their top priority.

Some commuters, like Joey Schueler, have even improvised their attire just to get through some wet sections that aren't closed.


"I have to cross underneath the bridge and literally that's why I wear these boots. My feet will get wet," Schueler said.

Although, in some areas, Joey's boots won't even help.

"Near Ann Frank Memorial and today it was blocked off. So I just took the major, the next major, arterial road and went out to Americana, and then I got back up, and then got back on the Greenbelt," Schueler said.

This as commuters travel like Pac-Man just to get to work.

RELATED: Boise mayor: Stay away from Boise River, Greenbelt

The Boise Parks and Recreation Department expects many of these closures to last until the water subsides, which could be in June.

Crews will then go in and check those areas to ensure they're safe to open back up.

The Parks and Recreation Department says their main goal is education, but added that someone can be cited if they're caught on a closed section of the Greenbelt.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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