Pilot project downtown: Goodbye, auto lanes. Hello, bike lanes.

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Crews start swapping out lanes of traffic for bike lanes in downtown Boise Monday night as part of a test to gauge public opinion on whether the trade-off is one the public wants to make.

"I think drivers really need the lane, especially with a lot of people coming from California, this is always like rush hour, it's almost stationary," said George Nallathamby of Boise, "so if you lose a lane, it's going to be even worse."

The Ada County Highway District is converting lanes on Capitol Boulevard, Main Street and Idaho Street. One auto lane on each street will become a bike lane.

"It's a bike-friendly community, and having more bike lanes would make it increasingly safe," said Guy Gagne of Boise.

The buffered bike lanes feature markings and vertical dividers known as candles. The test runs through at least the end of May and will provide ACHD with information on how to move forward.

"The bottom line is, will the general public accept the trade-off of more traffic congestion for bicycle lanes, safety and connectivity?" said ACHD Vice President Mitchell Jaurena.

The highway district encourages people to take a web survey starting Thursday, when the bike lanes are scheduled to open. Feedback will play a large part in figuring out whether to make the changes permanent.