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ACHD in early phases of improvements to 8th and 9th Street

ACHD hopes to make pedestrian improvements in the North End as growth continues. They just shared early plans to the neighborhood association.
Posted at 7:38 AM, Mar 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 09:39:46-04

BOISE, Idaho — The 8th and 9th streets in the North End of Boise could look very different in the future. ACHD is planning big changes to help with pedestrian safety and to calm the traffic. The highway district showed early findings to the North End Neighborhood Association this week, as a part of multiple public feedback sessions.

  • Multiple changes include creating bulb-outs on some crosswalks, additional road infrastructure that slows traffic, and more.
  • The project wouldn't start and finish until closer to the end of the decade according to ACHD.
  • Here is ACHD's project page.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Two streets that help connect downtown Boise to the foothills could look pretty different in a decade.

That's according to ACHD. They presented some changes to the North End Neighborhood Association on Tuesday after the association shared concerns late last year.

"With all the new development that's been going on up in the foothills, there's been a lot more traffic on 8th and 9th streets," said Erik Hagen, the president of the Association.

He says 8th and 9th have become a common way for folks to get to the foothills.

"And (8th street) becomes a one-way going North and a lot of people use 9th street to come down into downtown," Hagen said.

Now these projects range from Union to Lemp on 8th and 9th, almost three-quarters of a mile both ways.

ACHD has plans for better pedestrian infrastructure including what they call bulb-outs, which make pedestrians more visible and shorten crossing distance. They are also adding some rectangular flashing beacons that alert drivers to pedestrians.

Chicanes were also talked about. They are road modifiers that are supposed to reduce speed.

Hagen says communication with the highway district is important, as any changes they make to one road will impact the surrounding ones.

"If they calm the traffic too much to the point where it's a hassle to go up and down 8th street, they're just going to go over to 7th or 10th and the problem will just expand," said Hagen

With any improvements come construction.

"Anyone who is trying to get downtown lately knows how difficult it is with all the closed streets and that'll be no exception when there is work in the North End," Hagen said.

Hagen says while the disruption to traffic will be something to work around, it'll be necessary for future safety, especially as Boise continues to grow.

"The construction in the foothills is not going to stop so there's going to continue to be more people, and automobile issues driving through the North End," Hagen said.