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Wednesday, September 16, 2015
ACHD Commission to consider changes to design of 13th/Main

Garden City – Commissioners will consider altering the design of the freshly paved intersection that would keep parking on the west side of 13th Street – but that would come at the cost of a left-turn lane onto Main Street.

The current design would remove parking from in front of Idaho Mountain Touring, a sporting goods shop, to make room for the turn lane, which traffic engineers say will be needed as 13th is converted from a one-way, northbound street to a two-way street with southbound traffic. Without the turn lane, traffic will back up when drivers want to go east onto Main, they said.

The owner of Idaho Mountain Touring, Chris Haunold, has told the Commission that the parking is vital to his business. On Wednesday, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter sent a letter to the Commission urging the turn lane to be sacrificed in favor of parking.

"If the intersection proves to be problematic the dedicated turn lane can always be added at a later date and we can look at alternatives for replacing the parking, such as narrowing the sidewalk," the mayor wrote.

A majority of Commissioners indicated they would like to consider the change at the September 23rd Commission meeting, which starts at 6 p.m.

As of today, the intersection of 13th and Main has been repaved and temporary markings show where the lane lines would go. Permanent striping has been held off as discussions continued over whether to save the parking.

The intersection design sprang from the Downtown Boise Implementation Plan, a joint project of ACHD, Boise City, the Capital City Development Corp. and a number of other partners. The plan has led to the conversion of 13th and a number of other streets from one- to two-way operation, among many other changes.

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