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Survey on Downtown’s ‘restaurant row’ overwhelmingly favors closing it to cars

In April, BoiseDev reported on a survey over the future of Boise’s 8th Street from Main St. to Bannock St.

Now, the results are in.

Nearly 90% of those who responded said they would be in favor of a permanent or temporary closure of the road to vehicles.

“Would you be in favor of a temporary or permanent closure of one or both blocks of 8th Street?”:

“Overall, there was a 93.6 percent positive view on the closing of 8th Street, whether temporary or permanent,” the report’s authors wrote. “Considering how (many) people visit the downtown area, we feel that closing this portion of 8th Street could increase the city’s overall economic value.”

More than 701 people took the survey, administered by students in Boise State’s Econ 432 Urban Economics class.

The survey broke down responses by asking those who favored a closure what type they’d like to see. Results here came in more mixed – with a very slight plurality saying they favor a temporary closure to judge effects. Those voting for a permanent closure came in just behind.

The survey respondents broke down across a broad swath of different types of users of the street. Boise residents, Downtown residents, downtown employees, downtown property owners and “others” all saw strong representation in the survey.

City: not considering a closure

BoiseDev obtained the survey results via a public records request with the City of Boise, which was provided with a copy.

City spokesperson Mike Journee said there are currently no plans to consider closing the street.

The stretch of road is currently one way for vehicles, with a so-called ‘contraflow’ lane for bicycles. It includes a few parking spots, and commonly hosts delivery trucks during the morning hours.

[Parked vehicles pose danger in downtown bike lane]

Before the termination of the Capital City Development Corporation’s central district, it installed bollards at each end of the two road segments to aid in closing the streets for events. It regularly closes to traffic each Saturday for the Capital City Public Market, as well as other events throughout the year.

You can read the full report from authors Sophie Croome, Ryan Hulburt, Hailey Neff & Aaron Thomas.

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