UPDATED POST 5/22/14
Boise’s City council has passed a resolution asking to make the bike lanes permanent. The ACHD has offered to revisit any decisions at a June 4 meeting. A KBOI radio’s Nate Shelman launched a “no” campaign which triggered a big turnout of bike advocates at the ACHD Wednesday meeting.
We noticed Capitol Blvd. was down to a single lane at 8:30 a.m. Thursday when a delivery truck tractor-trailer rig blocked one of the two lanes near the Grove Hotel. The hotel often blocks lanes, but when the road is restricted to nobly two traffic lanes, gridlock ensues.
A slim majority of those offering comments on the bike lane project were NOT in favor of eliminating some traffic lanes for bikes. Anecdotally, we feel the bike people are more organized than the general motoring public which could skew the results. In a week’s worth of trips down Capitol Blvd. we have seen only two bikes using the system.
Here is the ACHD press release on the project:
A bare majority of the 4,660 people voting in an online survey about the vehicle-lane-for-bike-lane pilot project in downtown Boise favor removing the bicycle facilities, ACHD announced today.
The results vary slightly, but a few more of those expressing their opinions about the buffered bike lanes on Capitol Boulevard and Main and Idaho streets support eliminating the features rather than making them permanent.
ACHD Commissioners will discuss the results Wednesday as they consider whether to extend the pilot project beyond the month of May.
The survey asked how users experienced downtown – by automobile, by bicycle or on foot, and also why they used the roads. They were also asked to rate their experience with the roads during the demonstration and if they wanted bicycle facilities added in the future:
Regarding Capitol, 52.5 percent oppose the permanent installation compared to the 47.5 percent who want the facilities.
Regarding Main, 52.8 percent favored removing bicycle facilities over the 47.2 percent who want them made permanent.
Regarding Idaho, the vote was closer, with 51.5 percent favoring removal, compared to the 48.5 percent who wanted them to remain.
ACHD thanked the public for the record-setting amount of feedback on this project, noting that more than 4,660 surveys have been filled out along with some 500 e-mails. The level of public interest is about 10 times the input the District generally receives on even its biggest projects.
While the survey results are nearly even, the e-mails have run more than two-to-one in opposition.
While public input was important, the survey was never viewed as an up-and-down vote by the ACHD Commission about the pilot project.
Other factors, such as congestion on downtown streets, feedback from area businesses, input from Boise City, as well as the Capital City Development Corporation, the Downtown Boise Association and other partners, will be evaluated before a final decision is made about installing permanent bike lanes.
The Commission will discuss the status of the pilot project at Wednesday’s Commission meeting, hearing a briefing about the public response to date as well as preliminary data about vehicle and bicycle use of the roads. The Commission meeting starts at noon and will be held in the ACHD Auditorium, 3775 Adams St., in Garden City.
Following an open house on the proposal to add buffered bike lanes to Capitol, Main and Idaho in March, some 600 people commented on the plan, with two-thirds in support. The Commission ordered the demonstration before considering any permanent alterations.
The public can continue to weigh in on the demonstration by going to www.achdidaho.org and taking the survey. Citizens can call or e-mail ACHD but the online survey will allow the District to best track and evaluate the public reaction.
More information is available about the project on ACHD’s web site, www.achdidaho.org.
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