“What does the growth of Idaho Falls look like five to ten years from now? Does it still make sense that we would have widened a quarter of a mile of this road?” said South Boulevard homeowner, Sarah Mueller.
Last year the City of Idaho Falls re-striped South Boulevard between 17th street and Sunnyside Road.
“Through the course of the year we’ve discovered, the bike lanes are too narrow to be safe, families don’t want to ride them, even cyclists are undecided whether they’re really viable or not, and the center turn lane hasn’t proved to be all that effective,” said Mueller.
Now the city is proposing more changes to the road, considering adding one additional lane on South Boulevard from 18th to 21st street, which would require widening the road and homeowners are asking them to reconsider for a number of reasons.
“It encourages more traffic on South Boulevard, it ruins some historic nature of South Boulevard. It takes out a quarter-mile stretch of the road and it takes out all of those trees. So at the same time they’re promoting this as an actual bikeway and encouraging bikes to use south boulevard they would at the same time be widening it and encouraging more traffic on it and it just seems counter-productive,” said Mueller.
Homeowners have a plan they would like the City to consider.
Mueller says, “A win for us at this point would be to go one centerline and viable wider bike lanes.”
As for what changes will take place, the City says they are not at the point where they’re making a decision.
“As we’re studying the operation of South Boulevard, those public comments are very valuable, as we go through those comments as they come in, it helps us see ‘oh is there something we should be looking at that maybe we weren’t looking at, so it’s very helpful in that regard,” said Idaho Falls City Engineer, Kent Fugal.
Comments are encouraged via email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
A public petition against the changes can be found here.
Public comments will be discussed in a public meeting on August 15, 2019, you can find more information here.