Drivers in downtown Boise Wednesday may find their commute a bit different. Two streets, 13th and 14th, went from one-way to two-way overnight. The Ada County Highway District (ACHD) did this with four other downtown streets last year; 3rd, 4th, 11th and 12th. It plans to convert Jefferson Street next year.
Spokesperson Nicole DuBois says ACHD hasn’t heard of any serious problems created by changing the streets from one-way to two-way. DuBois says changing the traffic patterns is part of a larger plan for downtown Boise known as the Downtown Boise Implementation Plan.
“It’s a collaborative effort between several local agencies to try to make downtown more motorist friendly and pedestrian friendly,” DuBois says. “Just kind of a safer and better place for all users.”
The one-way to two-way street conversions aren’t the only changes to downtown driving this week. ACHD has also installed green boxes painted on the road at some intersections. These are for cyclists waiting to turn or go straight.
“The idea behind the bike boxes is to put bicyclists in front of traffic so that they are more easily seen,” DuBois says. “The conflicts between car and bicyclists then become less.”
Cars must stop behind the boxes. Drivers can no longer turn right on red at an intersection with a bike box. DuBois says it will take some time for drivers to get used to the boxes. She says they will have people at intersections handing out information.
There are two different types of bike boxes. One is for cyclists turning right or going straight. The other is for turning left. The one for turning left is likely to cause more confusion.
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