Medians to be put on Fairview only as last resort

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Fairview Avenue will get a face lift as a part of a plan from ACHD to make the street safer for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.

According to ACHD research, Fairview Avenue between Orchard Road and Linder Street has proven to be one of Ada County's worst areas for crashes in recent history. They've done studies and shown that almost 400 crashes happen on that stretch of street every year. Most of the crashes happen in the three mile stretch between Curtis Road and Five mile Road, which is where commissioners want to put the medians.

However, dozens of business owners showed up to the meeting Wednesday to show their strong stance against the medians. One speaker went to the podium and asked the crowd how many people there were business owners on Fairview and almost every hand rose. But when he asked who wanted the medians, every hand dropped.

Even paramedics showed up to oppose the concrete barriers, saying the medians would affect emergency response because the proximity of Saint Alphonsus to Fairview Avenue.

"If we take out that center lane and we put an impossible barrier, it will significantly affect our ability to respond in a timely matter," said Darby Weston, the director of Ada County Paramedics.

ACHD defends their plan, saying the installation of medians on Eagle Road cut the number of crashes there by about 30 percent. Also included in the project are better lights, controlled crosswalks, and bike lanes.