One block of 8th St. in Downtown Boise will no longer welcome cars – but will feature expanded patios.
The Boise City Council approved the move on the popular ‘restaurant row’ between Main St. and Bannock St. last month. The city, Ada County Highway District and business owners worked together to put a plan in place. The new patio expansion started today at 11am on the block between Idaho St. and Bannock St. The Main St. to Idaho St. block remains open, though with some changes to parking and sidewalk routes.
“I’m excited to see where this innovative solution takes us on the path to new ideas for our business community,” Boise Mayor Lauren McLean wrote in a statement. “We know we will pull through this together to become a stronger and more vibrant community as we jointly create a 21st century Boise for everyone.”
The street will no longer allow cars. However, delivery vehicles can still access the street between 6am and 11am each morning. The city will also keep a 20-foot-wide lane in place so that the fire department can access buildings if it needs to.
A survey conducted with the city and Downtown Boise Association last year by Boise State students found broad support for closing 8th St. on restaurant row to cars. 89.4% of those surveyed said they would be in favor of a temporary or permanent closure of the street.
The city said it could consider closing some other street segments in Boise to allow for expanded patios in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and need for increased social distancing at restaurants.