City Leaders Cut Ribbon on New Boise City Hall Plaza 

click to enlarge Boise City leaders cut the ribbon on the new City Hall plaza May 11.

Harrison Berry

Boise City leaders cut the ribbon on the new City Hall plaza May 11.

What is now the entryway to Boise City Hall plaza was once a parking lot, but months of renovations have turned it into a place Mayor Dave Bieter and the City Council hope people will stop to relax, spend time and engage in free speech.

"People think this is an office building—and a lot of important work goes on here—but we wanted to make this a public space," Bieter said Friday morning at a ribbon-cutting for the plaza.

The space is slated for general public use, with picnic tables, an open layout and towering metal sculpture installation by Zachary Hill and Dwaine Carver. It also boasts of some very specific amenities that include an electric vehicle charging station. According to Boise City Council President Lauren McLean, the charging station is part of a broader effort at environmental friendliness that includes adding hybrid vehicles to the city fleet.

"We at the city wanted to walk the walk," she said.

click to enlarge - Jimmy Hallyburton of the Boise Bicycle Project fixes at bike at the repair station at the new Boise City Hall Plaza. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Jimmy Hallyburton of the Boise Bicycle Project fixes at bike at the repair station at the new Boise City Hall Plaza.
In addition, the plaza is also fitted with a Boise GreenBike hub and a bike repair station. Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dave Fotsch of Boise GreenBike discussed bike-related developments. Boise GreenBike, along with busses on the Regional Valley Transit system, are free to use through May.

Fotsch also said he expects a surge of bicycles to enter the GreenBike program this year, with 85 on their way from a sister program in Topeka, Kansas. New bikes will be deployed in the current GreenBike service area, including at a new station in Hyde Park slated for a ribbon cutting of its own on Thursday, May 17. The bigger news for the bike share program will likely show up in Boise as soon as November.

"I've just placed an order for 115 [new bikes], but unfortunately we won't see them for seven months," he said.

The new units together will more than double the number of bikes in the program's 127-bike fleet.
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