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Downtown Idaho Falls getting additional facelift with public art

Downtown Idaho Falls got a facelift this summer with the Broadway Project, which replaced sidewalks, curbs, gutters, lights and trees downtown. Now, the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation is looking to focus on more art projects downtown.

“Public art really creates a sense of place and creates a sense of community for the downtown experience,” said Catherine Smith, executive director of the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation. “And so we’re really excited to have people come and experience the alleyways, see something new in downtown that maybe it was a surprise that they wouldn’t expect to see otherwise.”

Another change coming is to parking. Parking meters will be installed in the off-street parking lots in September. These lots are already pay-to-park; however, the meters will allow drivers to use credit cards to pay for their parking.

“Initially we’ll have parking meters that will be installed in our off-street parking lots that are currently pay-to-park that most of our employees park in throughout the day,” Smith said “But, the street parking will remain free with the two-hour turnover.”

Downtown development wants the area to become a place where people want to come to take pictures, hang out and enjoy. Two new murals are complete downtown with another one in the works. This fall they will look at other areas in which art can be installed.

“Whether or not it will be more murals or more traffic cabinets to wrap,” Smith said. “Or we have quite a few green electrical boxes that we can wrap with some neat artwork. We have some alley work to do. We’d really like to spruce up the alleys, both public and private, and have them available for lighting and seating areas for people to congregate and enjoy themselves.”

There could be even more murals coming to the walls of downtown. There will be a call to artists next spring for new ideas.

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