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Boise's 'Restaurant Row' Permanently Closes To Vehicle Traffic

Fork Restaurant in downtown Boise
Sáša Woodruff
Boise State Public Radio
A section of 8th Street in Downtown Boise. City officials are still working to close this stretch of the road to vehicle traffic like its sister block directly to the north.

Starting today, businesses on one of downtown Boise’s busiest blocks will be able to permanently reclaim the street from vehicle traffic.

After what the city says was a successful experiment, the portion of 8th Street between Idaho and Bannock streets will be closed 24/7 to vehicle traffic. The move allows restaurants to expand outdoor seating – a popular move amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sean Keithly, Boise’s economic development director, said businesses there have seen an uptick in the number of folks coming downtown since the experiment began earlier this summer.

“They’re bringing more people to the street, to their business, and giving them the ability to bring in more customers, whether that’s physically in the store or on a continued, sort of modified, pick-up drop-off model,” Keithly said.

Deliveries for these businesses will move to Idaho Street from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Keithly says they’re still working with the Ada County Highway District to permanently close the neighboring block of 8th between Main and Idaho streets, but he expects that to be approved soon.

Business owners elsewhere in Boise who are interested in similar arrangements are encouraged to contact the city.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!

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