On a split vote, the ACHD Commission approved the conversion of 5th and 6th streets in downtown Boise from one- to two-way operation. The changeover is scheduled to occur in 2019, based on the current capital project plans. Responding to a request from Boise City, the Commission reconsidered the conversion after first rejecting the proposal in June.
The selected option would convert the streets to two-way operation up to Washington Street, where 5th would remain a one-way street to Fort Street. The option avoids negative impacts to the complicated 5th Street, Fort Street and Hays Street intersection, which will be the subject of further study.
Following this option would require new turn lanes at major cross streets to avoid traffic backups -- a key finding of a feasibility study that evaluated the possible conversion. Adding the turn lanes could cost some 48, on-street parking spaces.
Commissioners Paul Woods, Jim Hansen and Kent Goldthorpe voted for the conversion, which was opposed by Commissioners Rebecca Arnold and Sara Baker.
Commissioners initially rejected the conversion in June, but Boise officials argued that Commissioners had not received enough information about the potential, positive economic impacts of a conversion at the earlier meeting and asked for an opportunity to present more material.
At the June 28, 2017 meeting, the Commission left open the possibility of revisiting the conversion in the future but the majority found no compelling reason to make the change, which was opposed by the State of Idaho and the bulk of public input.
Boise City, some downtown developers and the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, among others, supported the change, saying two-way streets are safer, promote economic growth and make it easier to navigate. Opponents said the streets function well today and any change risked creating traffic congestion, especially at rush hour, and could make the corridors less friendly for bicyclists.
The 5th Street and 6th Street Conversion Concept Design will be presented to the ACHD Commissioners for a possible decision on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.; however, this project is one of several agenda items and may not be the first item discussed. ACHD staff will make a brief presentation followed by an opportunity for public comment before the Commission acts.
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If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to submit comments, please send them to email@example.com or 3775 Adams St., Garden City, ID 83714.
At the request of the City of Boise, the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) is evaluating the conversion of 5th and 6th streets, between Fort and Myrtle streets, from one-way to two-way operation.
Miss the April open house?
All materials and handouts from the April 13, 2017 open house can be found under "Related Documents" to the right of your screen.