8th Street becomes a pedestrian block to help Boise businesses

Posted at 4:25 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 18:49:19-04

BOISE, Idaho — The City of Boise restricted vehicles in a one-block section on 8th Street in downtown to make it a pedestrian area and provide more space for businesses to feature patios.

This block has several restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, and it is one of the most popular areas for outdoor dining in Boise.

These businesses have been hit hard in the last couple of months because of COVID-19.

"The loss of that revenue can partially be made up by having some of these tables outside, and that's significant not just for the business owners but also for tax revenue," said Dave Krick of Bittercreek Alehouse. " I like drinking beer outside, and I know that's where guests want to be."

The City Council approved Boise on the Block on May 19; then, the city worked with various partners and agencies to make this idea come to life.

"It has been a great partnership," said Mayor Lauren McLean. "I'm so excited to see this work and see people down here throughout the summer."

Removing vehicles from this popular corridor is a temporary measure, and the McLean told us she doesn't know how long it will last because that depends on how it all works.

Delivery vehicles can still access the Street from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m, and ACHD has designated the direction of travel in the adjacent alleys.

The block also features several ramps to make the businesses ADA accessible, and with the extended patios, the businesses will make an effort to continue social distancing.

The city is using 8th Street as a pilot program because the manage that block, but they have also been working with ACHD to see if this idea would work for other businesses in Boise.