While the Ada County Highway District showed little interested in abiding by the Boise City Council's wishes when it came to the buffered bike lanes downtown, the ACHD board of commissioners did honor the council's recent request to reconsider a mini-roundabout at Third and Bannock streets. The commissioners talked it over in their meeting June 25 and decided to shelve the project indefinitely.
"The design was wrapped up and we were going to build it in the fall," ACHD spokesperson Craig Quintana told BW. "And now we're not."
The City Council talked over the mini-roundabout in a June 17 work session, when Boise Comprehensive Planning Manager Daren Fluke briefed them on the proposal. Lawmakers said, "no, thanks"—not there and not now. The council and Boise Mayor Dave Bieter crafted a letter to the ACHD commissioners, saying that while they support roundabouts as a traffic control measure, they worry about the timing and design of the Third and Bannock proposal.
"Specifically, we are very concerned with the loss of approximately nine on-street parking spaces and six mature trees in addition to the unanticipated timing conflict with the St. Luke's and Fort Boise master planning efforts now underway," the June 11 letter read. "We believe that making a significant investment in this intersection prior to the resolution of those efforts is premature."
But Quintana said St. Luke's expansion project could be years, if not decades away.
The council suggested moving the mini-roundabout to Grove Street, but the commissioners decided against that as well. So, the project has been put on hold and the $250,000 for the construction of the roundabout will be budgeted for something else, according to Quintana. Now, when the city requests the mini-roundabout plan to move forward, it will drop to the bottom of the list and ACHD will have to re-prioritize.
ACHD will hold an open house June 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at their 3775 Adams Street location for folks to learn more about the 36th Street and Hill Road roundabout proposal.