An economic adviser says they are looking at how to better prepare businesses and community members for numerous construction projects.
BOISE, Idaho — Construction around downtown Boise is hard to miss — with about eight projects around the Main and Grove area.
“They’re all kind of culminating around the same time right now,” said Andrea Cantor, City of Boise economic development adviser.
A mix of hotels, mixed-use housing, and new streetscape projects enhancing the bikeways and walkways are all underway, she said.
Cantor, along with some other city staff, started analyzing construction impacts almost one year ago. She presented some of their findings to City Council members on Tuesday.
The city is working to improve communication with community members, so they are more prepared to handle numerous construction projects. Cantor said they are also reviewing how other cities manage growth.
She said another option is working with city partners, like the Ada County Highway District, to create a special traffic plan that outlines how to handle certain sidewalks and lane closures.
Current projects impact parking and accessibility for some businesses. Around The Record Exchange, manager John O’Neil said more than a dozen parking spots are out of commission.
Regardless, O’Neil said customers are still finding their way through the front door.
“We’re doing okay,” he said. “There’s a lot of dust, a lot of cement trucks going by at any given time. But it almost seems like an exciting flare of industry downtown.”
O’Neil expects construction around the record store to finish around September. He is looking forward to the reimagined 11th Street.
“It’ll reduce the width of the street and slow people down when they go down our business,” O’Neil said.
He believes the city has done a good job accommodating employees with its West Area E-permit, which helps people who work on the west side of downtown find convenient parking.
The permit system is here to stay for a bit, even if there are some changes. Cantor said it is tough to balance employee and customer parking, which might lead to some updates.
Community members like Mungo Ligoya said he has to plan a bit further in advance before going downtown.
“It takes a little bit for planning to try and figure out where you are and what’s happening if you have to park a little bit away,” he said.
Cantor said she understands all the frustrations.
“We’re totally with you on that,” she said. “[But] when some of these projects are done, like the 11th Street bikeway, it’s going to be a wonderful addition to our downtown and be totally worth the wait.”
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