Prepare to see less parking in downtown Boise

Prepare to see less parking in downtown Boise »Play Video

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - People in Boise will begin seeing fewer on-street parking spots downtown. KBOI 2News reported in October that the city would change several one-way streets to two-way streets and add bicycle lanes. But after taking a closer look the Downtown Boise Implementation Plan, we've found that the city is also making other big changes, including several new roundabouts that will decrease on-street parking.

Craig Quintana, spokesman for the Ada County Highway District, says the roundabouts, in place of some intersections, are part of the city's plan to make downtown Boise more cyclist and pedestrian friendly over the next five years.

"Overall, we're looking to kind of change the vibe downtown," Quintana said, "Kind of a friendlier downtown- more walkable, rideable for the cyclists, and maybe a little less auto-centric."

Quintana says the city approved the plan after the public asked for more 'bike friendly' facilities downtown.

"It's not painless," he said, "There's going to be a loss of some parking to make this happen. But overall, people say 'yeah, this is the direction we'd like to see downtown go.'"

Up to seven new roundabouts are in the works. The first will be a trial roundabout on Third St. And Bannock. It will eat up four parking spots. But some of the other roundabouts could take as many as eight to ten spaces away.

KBOI 2News showed the implementation plan to people in downtown Boise, and they didn't like the idea.

"There needs to be more parking downtown if you want to see it continually grow," said Jacob Knutson, a Boise resident.

The city's plans call for a loss of up to 46 spots. And while planners say it's all to suit the public's desire for more bike-friendly streets, those KBOI 2News talked to say the changes will make downtown less accessible for anyone who's not a cyclist.

"When someone's driving downtown and can't find any parking and they almost hit three bikers, I'm sure their opinion will change," Knutson said.