The results are neck-and-neck, but a slim majority of people who've responded to an Ada County Highway District survey want downtown Boise's temporary bike lanes gone.
Those commuting downtown either love or hate the new lanes on Capitol, Main, and Idaho streets in Boise. Since the Ada County Highway District started the pilot project earlier in May, they’ve been collecting feedback from bikers and drivers.
The number of people weighing in on the bike lanes is amazing, says Craig Quintana, Chief Information Officer for ACHD. The level of interest is about 10 times what they usually see, even on big road projects. “The people are basically making this a horse race,” says Quintana. “We’ve had an unprecedented number of folks, 4,660, weighing in on these downtown bike lanes.”
According to an online survey, 52.5 percent of people don’t like the bike lanes on Capitol, 52.8 percent on Main street. On Idaho street, 51.5 percent don’t like the bike lanes.
ACHD also received 500 emails on the issue. Those results are more clear, with a two-to-one vote against the bike lanes. That's a stark contrast to an ACHD open house in March, when more than 60 percent of 600 commenters were in favor of the bike lanes.
ACHD Commissioners will get an update on the survey results. Commissioners will also look at how many people are using the bike lanes and how many bikes are still using sidewalks downtown. And, says Quintana, how the lanes impact car traffic. “Reducing a lane on Capitol, a lane on Idaho, a lane on Main really hasn’t had that much impact, at least at the peak commute times,” Quintana says. “There may be a little more spot congestion but it certainly hasn’t brought things to a grinding halt.”
He says there have also been no official reports of bike vs. car accidents caused by the bike lanes.
On Wednesday, ACHD Commissioners will decide whether to extend the program or wrap it up at the end of May. At a later meeting they’ll decide whether to put in the bike lanes on a permanent basis.
You can voice your opinion on the bike lanes through the month of May. Take the online survey here.
Copyright 2014 Boise State Public Radio