BOISE, Idaho — Cyclists in the Treasure Valley will have to wait another couple of years before they can enjoy the new raised bike lane on 11th Street in Boise. The Ada County Highway District approved the proposal for final planning on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
During Wednesday's meeting, Amy Fimbel with CCDC, the City of Boise's urban renewal agency, and Zach Piepmeyer with the City of Boise showed the ACHD board two options.
One proposal was a raised bike lane that would off of the street but would remove some sidewalk space and about 20% of the street's parking, and a protected-street-level bike lane that would completely remove the southbound lame between Front Street and Myrtle and remove about 50% of the street's available parking.
The raised bike lane would be protected by traffic with parked cars along the road and a two-foot concrete buffer between the parking spaces and the bike lane and "street furnishings" as Piepmeyer explained. Separating the bike lane from the sidewalk will be trees, lighting, and bicycle racks. The lane will also be painted a different color than the sidewalk and would have appropriate signage so pedestrians know where to avoid cyclists.
The ACHD board approved the raised bike lane to move forward with a 4-0 vote, with Commissioner Sara Baker abstaining.
In the next few months, the project's final design is expected to be submitted and once approved, construction would likely begin sometime in 2022.
Several Boiseans weighed in on the 11th Street raised bike lane and showed their support of the proposal.
"So overall, through the areas of climate commercial interests, the interests of the city and the community as a whole," Jared Austin of Boise said. "I think this project really does well and supporting the people of our community, and making sure that was the remains and becomes a better place to live for all of us, no matter how we choose to get around our city."
Nina Schaffer voiced her support for the raised bike lane, saying it would help North End residents have safe access in and out of the neighborhood.
"To me, it's a pretty simple question you know the Boise greenbelt is such a gem in Boise and you know you get all the way from the barber Valley all the way to eagle and it's just such a beautiful thing. The problem is you just can't get north and south off of the Greenbelt," Scott Schoenherr said.
Schoenherr is also a member of the ACHD Commercial Developers Advisory Council and works for Rafanelli and Nahas, a real estate development firm that owns property on 11th Street.
Before taking up the agenda item for the raised bike lane proposal, the Ada County commissioners voted in favor of extending Director Bruce Wong's contract by three years with an annual salary of $154,798.40. Read more about why his new contract frustrated some here.