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ADA COUNTY -- One of the valley's busiest streets, State Street, is in for a makeover. New plans for the future of State are headed to the Boise City Council.

These plans have been in the works 2002, and it is an effort between Boise, Garden City, Eagle, Ada County Highway District and Valley Regional Transit. The goal is to make State Street efficient and safe, moving into the future.

It's a heavy commuter route, it brings in from Highway 55. It's just a very well used roadway on the north side of the river, said Kathleen Lacey, a comprehensive planner with the City of Boise.

Lacey said the State Street Transit and Traffic Operational Plan would help traffic on State. This, she said, will get even more important as the Treasure Valley grows.

Ultimately State Street is not going to be able to handle the amount of traffic that's projected for the future. It already operates at a fairly low level of service during our peak traffic hours.

There are several things in the plan to help the problem. Lacey said the plan includes expanding State Street to seven lanes, and increasing Valley Regional Transit busing. They are also suggesting bus rapid transit--a system similar to the light rail.

However, these plans cater to all modes of transportation. They include bike lanes and safer sidewalks.

These changes will happen over time.

This is a long term plan, and we're starting now to plan 20 years and 30 years in the future. So I definitely believe that there will be in 20 years, we will be in a place where we're ready for this high-capacity transit, said Lacey.

The plan will go to the Boise City Council at the March 12 meeting.

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