Downtown Boise sidewalks show artistic side
When crossing Front and Myrtle streets in downtown Boise, pedestrians might notice the crosswalks allowing them to safely move from one side to the other are more artistic than they used to be. The circular patterns of red and white imbedded in the concrete represent the first result of a multiple agency effort to improve mobility and travel in the downtown Boise core.
In Spring 2003 the Downtown Boise Mobility Study began working on a comprehensive approach to transportation options in downtown Boise and for people traveling from, to and through the downtown area. Pedestrian enhancements were among the study's recommendations.
Since Front and Myrtle are five lanes wide, there seemed to be a lot of perceptions that the route is a barrier to development and a safety hazard for pedestrians, said Sue Sullivan, District 3 planner and member of the study's project coordinating team.
As a pavement rehabilitation of Front and Myrtle broke ground last summer, the district worked hard and fast to take advantage of the opportunity and begin implementing the mobility study's recommendations, making ITD the first partner to do so.
Four recommendations were included in the project:
A countdown pedestrian signal head is a pedestrian signal where instead of a flashing handprint when the traffic signal is about to change, there is a numerical countdown of the seconds left until the signal changes, said ITD project engineer Kelley Lower.
The approximate cost of the entire project is $950,000. Valley Paving of Sun Valley installed the patterned sidewalks; Northwest Pavement Markings of Boise installed the high visibility crosswalks; and Power Plus of Boise will install the new signals.
Other partners in the Downtown Mobility Study include ValleyRide, Ada County Highway District, Boise City, Boise State University, Capital City Development Corporation and the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS).