Bike lane change causes congestion in downtown Boise

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Downtown Boise sure looks and feels different.

White plastic poles called candles have popped up all along Main Street and Capitol Boulevard as the Ada County Highway District launches a month-long pilot project to give everybody a taste of what new, wider bike lanes on Boise's major thoroughfares would feel like.

We asked Jody Buckner of Boise if it was causing any confusion as she drove around town.

"It's not," she said. "Not a bit. No confusion."

But others say it's a mess.

"I think you're going to have a lot of problems coming out of this," said Andrew Montgomery of Boise. "People getting hit on bikes, then there's going to be a whole new sort of complaint coming from the citizens, bike riders specifically."

Veteran downtown bicyclists we talked to were enthusiastic.

"I haven't been (bicycling) on Idaho or Main Streets, the major part of the streets, for years. It's too dangerous" said Mowbray Brown of Boise. "This is my first day (of the pilot program). Works great far as I can tell."

One of the most striking aspects of this bike lane configuration in downtown Boise is the parking. People are supposed to park on one side of the bike lane but that puts them farther out into traffic.

"The parking is a little confusing, for sure," said Don Crowell, of Meridian. "I wasn't sure if you were supposed to feed the meter. Hard to tell. So I checked with the city clerk and you do."

Boise city leaders and ACHD may disagree on how this pilot project should be conducted.
but there is agreement that safer bike lanes are needed between Boise State and downtown as well as east and west across town.

Just what that will end up looking like is what this test project is all about.