ACHD rejects appeal to continue bike lane project

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by Justin Corr

NWCN.com

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 6 at 4:34 PM

BOISE -- A last ditch effort to extend a controversial bike lane project in downtown Boise has been rejected.

Earlier this week, Ada County Highway District commissioners voted to end the month-long pilot project. They upheld that decision today.

In a strongly-worded letter, Boise City Council President Maryanne Jordan asked the commission to reconsider.

The project added buffered bike lanes and bike boxes in downtown Boise, so ACHD could gather public opinion, and decide if they should make some of the project permanent.

ACHD received thousands of comments on the bike lanes. Most people they heard from, disliked the lanes.

Jordan says ACHD ended the project right when people were starting to get used to the change, and understanding how valuable these lanes could be. She said ACHD was also wasting money by paying to remove the pilot project bike lanes, and then potentially re-installing them, if they decide to.

But, commissioners said there wasn't any new information after they made their original vote on Wednesday, so they decided not to reconsider, and the lanes will be removed as scheduled starting this weekend.

ACHD Commission President John Franden said the pilot project had flaws. But, he also said the stakeholders group (which includes ACHD and the city of Boise) will create a better plan that will add permanent bike lanes in Boise that make sense.

"The design today was not the best," said Franden. "We know that. There's a lot of improvements that can be made. I feel confident that they will be made, and we will have something that can work for all."

That plan should be done in about two months.

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