This way for a bikeway: ACHD plans to upgrade Boise bench bike network

The Ada County Highway District is working on a pair of plans to give cyclists on the Boise Bench an improved network.

The agency is working on a new Cassia Bikeway for east-west travelers and the Shoshone Bikeway for north-south cyclists.

East to West along Cassia

The draft plan for Cassia would help move cyclists from the Vista Ave. area past Borah High. A mix of tactics come together to provide a cycling option across more than three miles of the Central Bench. It would connect destinations like Vista Village, South Junior High, Cassia Park and Borah High School. Here’s how the plan works, starting in the east.

  • The bikeway would start at the corner of Robert St. and Kootenai St. – travelling north along Robert behind the Vista Village Shopping Center to Cassia St.
    • A new “low-stress bikeway” would consist of wayfinding signage and pavement markings. These would include “sharrows” to encourage cyclists and auto users to share the road on a slow-speed road segment.
  • The bikeway would continue along Cassia St. to the west. New bicycle detector markings would help bikes cross Vista Ave.
  • At the intersection of Cassia St. and Shoshone St., a “mini-roundabout” would connect the two bikeways.
  • Another bicycle detector is set for Cassia at Latah St.
  • At Roosevelt St., a special signal known as a “rectangular rapid flash beacon” would give cyclists a way to signal drivers that they wish to cross.
  • A new multi-use pathway and bridge would connect the bikeway through Cassia Park.
  • A “pedestrian hybrid beacon” would move to the intersection of Cassia and Orchard St.
  • As the bikeway passes Borah High School past Curtis Rd., a conventional bike lane is in place.
  • The bikeway would then head north on Franklin Park Drive and connect with Franklin Rd.
Courtesy ACHD

“The Cassia Street Bikeway is in the early stages of design,” Natalie Shaver with the Ada County Highway District told BoiseDev. “There will be a public open house to view and comment on the design. That’s expected sometime in the fall of 2019. Construction is funded for (fiscal year) 2021.”

North to south on Shoshone

Another mix of tactics would help transform Shoshone Street. This plan would connect from the Boise Depot area in the north to Shoshone Park in the south, a distance of about 2.5 miles.

Here’s the Shoshone plan, starting in the north:

Courtesy ACHD
  • The plan would start with a future connection from Capitol Blvd, as well as a new multi-use pathway to Ann Morrison Park.
  • A low-stress bikeway is planned along Crescent Rim Drive, turning on to S. Peasley St.
  • An upgraded crossing is set for Rose Hill St.
  • Shoshone St. from Rose Hill St. to Overland Rd. would feature traditional bike lanes. Parking along the east side of the street would give extra space for bike lanes on both sides of the street.
    • A mini-roundabout sits at Cassia St., connecting the two bikeways.
  • Another upgraded crossing at Shoshone and Overland Rd. Shoshone jogs slightly to the west at Overland, so ACHD says it will build a short two-way cycle track to connect the segments for cyclists.
  • The low-stress bikeway would continue from Overland Rd. down to Shoshone Park near W. Canal St.

“The Shoshone Street Bikeway is currently at 50% design,” Shaver said. “Construction is funded for FY 2020. There will be a public open house sometime early this fall.”

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