New downtown Boise bike lane protects cyclists

BOISE - There is a lot of construction going on in downtown Boise right now, including at city hall.

Construction on the City Hall Plaza project has been going on for several months.

Once completed there will be a law space, artwork, water features and a new opportunity for cyclists.

The stretch of road on Capitol Boulevard between Idaho and Main streets will be a new and safer designed bike lane, according to Boise spokesman Mike Journee.

The pathway is being constructed with not only cyclists’ safety in mind, but for pedestrians and motorists too.

A sign on the construction site details what the new bike lane will look like.

It will be a sidewalk in front of city hall, a curb that separates a 5-foot bike lane, and then another 3-foot-wide curb to separate the bike lane from cars parked on the street.

“So a car pulls into a parking spot and the bicyclists still have those cars protecting them from the traffic that is going by,” said Journee.

Journee says this bike lane will not affect street parking.

Along with protecting cyclists, the pathway is designed to keep pedestrians safe by keeping bikes off the sidewalks.

“One of the key things about creating a biking- and pedestrian-friendly environment is making sure people feel comfortable with those things,” said Journee. “If there is traffic whizzing by and it’s very busy it makes people a little less uncertain about it and they are less likely to use it.”

“And as the downtown population grows and more businesses pop up, Journee says the bike path will benefit the downtown area as a whole.

“It’s good for businesses who rely on walk up services, it’s good for common traffic and making it a better walkable downtown,” said Journee. “That's something that we are really focusing on as a city is creating that bike connectivity throughout downtown and other parts of the city, and at the same time creating a more business-friendly walkable downtown.”

Building this bike path is costing the city $91,000, but Journee thinks the benefits will outweigh the costs, and hopes this small stretch of bike lane will lead to bigger pathways in Boise's future.

“We are hoping that this kind of a bike lane will provide a model and a proof of concept for the local community to see these are the kind of bike lanes we would like to see throughout town,” he said.

The entire project is expected to wrap up in one month.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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