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8th Street closed while crews flip direction of traffic

August 24, 2014


Two blocks of 8th Street at the heart of downtown Boise are barricaded off until Tuesday morning while crews flip the direction of the one-way street.

Street signs came down and then workers turned the signs around to face the other direction Sunday. Stop lights had a similar fate as 8th Street is converted from southbound to northbound traffic.

“It’s kind of a mess,” said Amanda Patchin, a Boise resident who was visiting a bookstore on 8th Street. “It looks like the whole street is occupied with construction vehicles, so not quite our usual Sunday view.”

The work, which started Sunday at 6 a.m., is only expected to take 48 hours. Some of the reasons for the change include making way for the construction of a new bus hub on Main Street, and the Capital City Development Corporation says most of 8th runs north, so converting the stretch between Bannock and Main Streets to the same direction makes sense.

“I wasn’t married to it either way,” said Watahz Johnson of Kuna. “You know, it’s not like it was the first thing I noticed when I got to Boise was ‘Ooh, it goes one way.’ I don’t really care, but if there’s a reason for it, more power to them.”

Workers painted a green bike lane on the street Sunday, which is on the opposite side of the one you may have used last week. Cyclists will now travel southbound (but still against car traffic).

“I never found 8th Street very convenient the direction that it went,” Patchin said. “It was always pointing me the wrong direction when I got to Main.”

Locals point out the change is not a huge one, just one they’ll have to learn.

The street is scheduled to reopen Tuesday at 6 a.m., and flaggers will be there to guide drivers.